I’ve Never Seen My Parents Kiss

Pre-cognizant divorces are just as damaging, if not more so, than divorces that happen later in childhood

Martin Vidal
Human Parts

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AI image, generated by author

I’ve often heard people tell the story of their parent’s divorce. They look sad as they say it happened when they were 8, 10, 14, or some other age at which they were aware of what was going, and I’ve always pitied them for it. My parents got divorced so soon after I was born that I never really identified with the other children of divorce. I felt like I had no basis for comparison; I have no memory of the before, and I wasn’t even cognizant of the divorce as it happened. I’d usually shrug my shoulders, act like it didn’t affect me, and reserve my pity for the real victims: those who were old enough to be conscious of what was happening as it happened. But recently, I’ve begun to reconsider.

A baby, of course, isn’t aware of what’s happening in a classic sense, but they’re still sensitive to it. You argue around an infant, and even though they might not know what’s being said, it can still be very upsetting for them. In light of this realization and others, I can reframe it, and I’ve concluded I may have actually been more affected by my parent’s divorce than someone who was old enough to be aware of it.

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Martin Vidal
Human Parts

I put the “me” in Medium. Like books? Check mine out at martinvidal.co