My parents divorced when I was very young. Most of my memories of my parents being together are from stories told to me by my mother. What was 'normal' to me was having a mother that was not allowed in the house. Pretty much ever. She had a long drive to get to us, and wasn't permitted to even use the bathroom except on very rare occasions, and I clearly remember taking advantage of one of those moments to scramble into the room that held the piano I was (badly) learning to play and playing something, anything, hoping she'd be able to hear me through the walls. I should probably say that not being granted permission to come inside was aimed only at my mother. My stepmother's ex-husband had no such rules. But this was what was normal in my childhood. In the years since, I have certainly seen divorce done better. And equally as bad, from both sides of the gender fence. Repeatedly, my own guideline has been to think of the child I was, when dealing with other people's children, and what would have made her life a little less angsty...and then to do that thing. This means I may make decisions that I don't like - allow things I think are not a good idea - because I'm always thinking of the kid that's also involved, how they're seeing the adults around them treat each other, and..I suppose selfishly hoping that any bit of angst I can avoid bringing to a child's life is a bit of healing towards the kid I once was. This is the time travel I believe in. Because no one should have these emotional scars, dammit.
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