The Pain of Separation Episode 5: From the view of a child


I love my Mommy and Daddy. I wish they love each other the way I love them. Daddy says they are taking a break from their marriage and not from me. Mommy says they love me and it isn’t my fault that their marriage didn’t work. So why is Mommy miserable? Why is she walking round the house like a zombie; distracted and not laughing. Why does Daddy keep asking me ‘how is your Mommy?’. My Mommy used to laugh a lot. My Daddy used to make her laugh and she used to make my Daddy laugh too. Now she doesn’t even smile.

I’m having nightmares and someone keeps pouring water on my bed before I wake up. I miss my Daddy being around the house. I miss the way he sneezes in the morning, that was how I knew he was awake. I miss the way he wakes me up and gets me ready for school. My Daddy would spend hours with me on my home-work, explaining it to me until I understood. I miss the ‘Wake Mommy up’ schemes every Saturday morning. I miss his footsteps in the house. I miss singing ‘Daddy, oyoyo’. I miss watching him eat and having his leftover meat, fish or chicken. I miss so many things.

My Mommy and Daddy used to love each other. I look at the picture albums of the time before I was born and I know they used to love each other. When I was born, they showered me with that same love. They can’t love me the way they do if they didn’t love each other.

Mommy has always been a very busy person. She loves her work. At first, I didn’t understand but Daddy explained it to me. She missed so many school programmes but I love her so I forgave her. Daddy, on the other hand, wasn’t always busy. He never had a steady job and could be out of work for long periods at a time, so he attended all the school programmes.

The fights started when Daddy lost the last job Mommy helped him get. She was furious with him. They fought the whole night. I laid on my bed and closed my eyes tight, wishing myself away from the house. I was so scared. Mommy had never been upset with Daddy before and Daddy had never said a nasty word to Mommy before. Mommy kept on saying “We have a child, so you can’t afford to be irresponsible with your job”. The next day was awful, they didn’t look at each other or smile or kiss or all the wonderful things they did in the morning. That fight was the beginning of many more fights.

I started leaving the house to spend the night at Debbie’s house. Debbie is my best friend and I tell her everything. I didn’t want to be in the house with my Mommy and Daddy fighting. I heard Aunty TY tell Aunty Chichi that ‘the tension in that house is so thick, you can cut it with a knife’. I think my Mommy knows why I always want to go to Debbie’s house, so she let me have as many sleep-overs as I can.

They think I’m too little to see what is happening. They think I’m too little to feel the pain they feel. I’m a child, but I can see and feel. I might not understand but I know what is happening to my Mommy and Daddy.

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