My experience, and current career, as a Bra Fitter has given me the privilege of discovering that we, Lingeristas, are made of women, men and those who have yet decided ( credit for the phrase goes to my gal Ruby Rose xo!) who come from such diverse backgrounds such as: teachers, designers, technicians, bartenders, doctors, Formula One engineers, models, writers and the list goes on and on. We can all come together for our mutual love ( and plain lust when it comes to luxury ) for lingerie and other boudoir fineries. My point is, upon realizing the diversity that exists in my beloved niche corner of fashion I told myself: Self, with such varied life experiences, maybe some of your kick ass Lingeristas may have an idea of the effects of divorce.
Personally, I’m happily married but I am a child of divorce (s) and the symptoms can feel isolating and confusing.
When I think of turning 30, I see the stain of my parents divorce. It still hurts writing that sentence right there. But, I’m at a cafe, in public, so… my eyes may be bonfires behind these sunnies but I won’t crack. Did I plan to write this piece in public? Yes and No. It was a decision made more in an effort to ensure I would actually finish this piece. Surrounded by my comforts, at home, would simply result in indulging in vices and prolonging what needs to get out. I thought I’d get emotional writing this piece. But I didn’t plan for it to happen so soon.
Let me rewind a little bit.
I turned 30 on September 13th of this year and simultaneously, my Mother and Step-Father’s Separation was finalized with Action. Papers drawn. Signatures signed at the ‘ X ‘ ( just like the movies ) and my Mother in a state of Being so foreign to me it often scared me to speak with her for fear I would crumble and not be enough for her to lean on. Years of living with highly functional anxiety, that I must consistently manage, have trained me well in masking pain.
Let me rewind a little bit more.
I turned 3 on September 13th and by then, my Mother and my biological Father’s Marriage had broken from Action. Infidelity. Same as Mike. Both men left Families. The details of each divorce are moot at this point. The reverberations of the pain are absorbed the same way so, what does it matter?. The only difference is 27 years. And, holy fuck, I’m feeling what an important difference that really is.
Unfortunately, my older brother ( 4 years ) felt each one. Vividly. A pain I know he grappled with ( and still may, although he’s never shown it to me ) in his life. This is the first time I’m living through the betrayal. I’ve only been the recipient of the effects of abandonment ( Daddy Issues 101, read a book folks, jeez!*) that I didn’t even realize until introspective examination after the so called “damage”.
Not unlike the saddest easter egg hunt where instead of pastel hued cylinder dreams filled with delight and joy I get to dig up coffins filled with confusing & miserable memories of unhealthy personal relationships, addictive behavior with a sprinkling of other masochistic personal behavior all culminating to a series of paralyzing and suicidal panic attacks leading to time in the psych ward. This shit got real real at one point, and I’m not blaming it all on my parents splitting up the first time. I take responsibility for my past self destructive tendencies. I placed myself amongst people who were pulling me away from my home base: my Mother, Brother, Grandmother and Cousins. But that desire to gain their acceptance and push down my own needs in order to create the illusion of effortlessness. A thin veiled attempt to feel loved and display my irreplaceable importance so the other will just -for fucksakes!**– Not. Leave. Me.
That is their fault.
As you can see I still have a lot of anger to work through, and maybe I always will. But each morning my Mother calls me to wish me a good day ( a tradition she began when my Brother & I moved away ) and well…. I’m not quite sure how to finish this sentence without these bonfires turning to floods on the corner of South 1st and W. Monroe street but, what the hell…Those morning messages are the very definition of Resilience and Grace.
Now, if you excuse me I must flee this cafe and not return for at least three months. ***
(*I also use sarcasm as a defense mechanism from getting close to people for fear they’ll leave/judge me and eventually live up to the disappointment I expected all along a lå Daddy Issues )
(** a desperate cry I often scream in my head when I’ve reached my wits end.)
(*** written post crying scene, of course: the crying scene i refer to is the one that exploded out of me after that last sentence. It goes as follows: Streams of tears followed by an emotionally confused attempt to bus my own table followed by a broken cup followed by the ‘balling up’ of my personal belongings while fisting sandpaper cafe napkins to catch the now streaming mucus out of my nose. All while keeping my sunnies on so, not too shabby, I think. )