Nov. 13th, 2012

The Harrow

Nov. 13th, 2012 06:21 pm
ghosthound: (Default)
This seem strange even to type.

My parents are fighting an awful lot.

I type this and I feel like it is something a child would type. But, then, maybe a twenty-four year old man living with his parents under the crippling weight of college debt is a kind of child. Seems like one to me; at least right now.
Both of them are talking about divorce. I look upon this with a strange sense of faraway concern. While separation of married couples is by no means limited to people younger than them, it seems strange that my parents would even consider it. They’ve not just had a strong marriage but an almost absurdly strong one.

My parents are the only reason I believe in True Love at all. The two of them have, or had as the case may now be, the kind of faerie-tale love you read about and scoff at. They truly gave nothing less than the impression that they’d die for each other if need be. When my mother got cancer, my father wept in a way only a truly harrowed man could and then spent a titanic effort to help her through it. Years and years of countless displays of love, tests tried and passed and passion and, now, they seem to want to end it.

I think this represents a damaging of an assumption I have long held about love. Apparently love like theirs, rare and powerful, is not indestructible. Perhaps it was all euphoric recall. Perhaps they put on that show for the sake of my brother and me as we grew. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps and I’m drowning in my own brooding on the subject. It hurts to know they hurt. I am concerned for them.

That makes the thought process that comes next all the more disturbing to me. It’s like a cold washes over my emotions and I become calculating, like a spider. I look at them and try to predict the future, prepare to roll with the punches. Will they split soon? Will it take time? When they do, who will remain in this house and who will leave? Where will I fit in? How can I salvage my own comfort?

Next comes the deepening cold that realizes something crucial: my loans are in my mother’s name. Her own income is very insubstantial. It was my father that made the money. If they divorce, I can use her lower taxable income as a now single woman as a means by which to forbear the loans for what my research has shown me to be a number of years and, potentially, forever. Even if that didn’t work, the Income Contingent Repayment plans, on her modest salary, would mean I only had to pay a fraction of what I now do.

I realize their divorce could mean a kind of freedom for me.
This realization makes me sick inside because the part of me that is a beast restlessly pacing his cage stops and sniffs the air at the prospect. He knows this will be beneficial to him. He whispers in my ear that if it does happen there was nothing I could do to prevent it. If it does happen, he says, I might as well take advantage of it. No shame, he tells me, in looking out for yourself.

What am I to do? Am I damaged for the fact that the realization that their divorce would make my life profoundly easier is something I can’t shake?

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ghosthound

January 2013

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