~Monday, August 17, 2009


My mother kept her promise to me and did not serve my step-father with divorce papers until I moved out. She waited two days after I moved out.

She packed a bag and kept it in her car for emergencies. Hid extra sets of car keys by the garage door and made plans to stay at a friends house after he was served. She wouldn't step foot in the house unless someone was with her, so I found myself driving out to the suburbs on a regular basis to be there with her.

When we stepped foot inside the house, a handwritten note awaited my mother on the counter.

Sorry it didn't work out. Let's divide the assets without wasting money on ambulance chasers.

Bottom line: he didn't care. He checked out of the marriage long ago and my mother felt like even more of a fool for staying as long as she did and being so worried about him smashing the house.

He still doesn't know we know about the affair. It's supposed to be top-secret, confidential information until the end of the divorce proceedings when my mother demands most of the house my step-father already declared was "legally half [his]."

We knew he was partially checked out by having the affair. But when I got the last of my stuff on moving day and leashed up the Femme Fatale to go to my new apartment, my step-father did not say goodbye to me. My step-father loved my dog so much that he would insist on walking her to the car and petting her in the backseat and saying his goodbyes. Afterwards, he'd hide around the back of the house to mourn her leaving. This time, however, he didn't acknowledge either of us even when I stood at the door and called goodbye to him. And this was a week before the divorce papers were served.

I climbed the steps to my childhood bedroom. All of my afghans didn't make the move and still laid folded on a shelf in my closet. I walked in my now-empty bedroom and saw a single frame sitting on my barren dresser. It was the frame of the Femme Fatale that had been sitting on my step-father's bathroom counter since she first lived with my parents the summer I came home from college with a puppy. He returned the picture of her. That's how done with the marriage he is. The things he used to care about—me, my dog—aren't even worth a paper memento to him anymore. I already ran it by my therapist last week and she agrees he just doesn't care.

And it kind of sucks your father figure for the last 17 years can't be bothered. Just like your real father couldn't be bothered and found a new family. Like, what's so wrong with my mom and me? It's stirring up some deep-rooted rejection inside of me. Because when it's a family, you're not just leaving your wife. My mother may have filed the papers, but she was not the one to leave.


Blue soup said...

You know it isn't you.

Perhaps he's avoiding you and removing memories of you and the Femme Fatale because it's too difficult?

Tricia said...

One thing you have to rem. is that you did nothing wrong..don't blame yourself.Ive been here before but then you have to give yourself closure because he might never do so..

Anonymous said...

there is nothing wrong with you or your mother. it's him. h'es an uncaring jerk.

I understand though the deep rooted feelings that resurface. I am currently battling the trust issues from the past. hang in there and follow your heart.

hmmm I should probably do the same thing.

Amber said...


I totally understand those rejection/abandonment issues.

I'm just sorry that you're feeling the pain because of someone else who isn't even deserving of it.

I am thinking of you/praying for you as you go through the difficult journey of healing.

So proud of you and how you're handling all of this! You can already see how much you've grown, my friend.

Take care of you! =)

Anonymous said...

My family has been going thru the same thing for the last 2 years. Since my mother passed away, the real person my step-father was came out.

I have since learned he is a sociopath and it was not my fault that he doesn't show affection towards anything or any one.

All you can do is to continue to support our mother. Remember, karma is a bitch and the hurtful things your step-father has done will come back to him.

CoatMan said...

That's really very sad. He seems depressed, perhaps.

Anonymous said...

I am so addicted to your blog!! You are a FABULOUS writer! Please never stop blogging!

Sarah said...

Why thank you :)

dont eat the token said...

Great closing line. You and me have some same neglected feelings. We'll pull through it.


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