My parents divorced in 1995 when I was 12. It came as a big shock to me and my little brother (Jack). We knew there was some tension between the two of them, but it was like that from time to time for as far back as I can remember, so when they sat us down to tell us, I was flabergasted. I had so many thoughts running through my mind. Jack was only 5 at the time, so although he understood what was happening on the surface, he really didn't understand the full ramifications.
To make a long story short, a lot of things happened in short order. My dad took a job in another state, we put the only house I had ever lived in up for sale, and my mom had to go get a job. My brother and I at the time were living with my mom in a two bedroom duplex. As far as I can remember, the court ordered joint custody, but we ended up with my mom at first. As soon as the school year finished up, my brother and I went on our annual summer vacation to stay with my grandparents. They had a summer home in Colorado outside of a ski resort, so there was always a lot to do there. We usually stayted for two weeks, but my mom let us stay for a whole month that year. When we got back, my mom sat us down and told us she had met somebody and that they were going to get married. The guy's name was Frank, and he seemed nice, but I was really upset about it.
I am not sure if it was for financial reasons or what, but she did end up marrying him. From the time she told us to when we moved into Frank's house was 1 month. Because Frank lived on the other side of town, I was going to have to start Junior High at another school in the fall, and of course none of my friends were there.
Well mom could see I was getting stressed out and Jack wasn't acting himself either. Frank was a nice guy. He tried to make us feel at home, but it wasn't the same. He had rules and expectations that I was not use to. I was acting out and becoming rebellious. One day mom asked me if we would prefer to live with my father in Utah. We had only seen him maybe 5 times since he moved away, but the thought had crossed my mind at least. There was no way Jack wanted to do this, so it became my decision. So at 12, I was given the choice. After much thought, I decided to go live with my dad. That was the hardest decision for me.
At my dad's place, I could pretty much do whatever I wanted. Dad worked long hours and I would only seem him for a little while in the evenings, and then we would usually do something together on Saturday before he went golfing or whatever he did. Bottom line he was't around as much as I needed. He regrets that now, but the damage is done. I started getting involved with the wrong crowd at the new school and got into things I shouldn't have. At 16 I got pregnant. Things pretty much got worse from there. I ended up back in Oklahoma with my mom after high school because my dad couldn't handle my any more. For a long time I had no direction. Eventually I went to college, but everything for me was delayed and it seems I still have not caught up to where a normal person my age is.
Now Jack, who stayed in Oklahoma, turned out okay, for the most part. I often wondered if I had stayed in Oklahoma with my mom and Frank,would things have turned out differently for me? Mom and Frank are still together. They actually even had another child together.