Adult Children of Divorce

I don’t know if I’m cynical or just masochistic, I watched a movie called A.C.O.D. or Adult Children of Divorce over the weekend. I was intrigued because Adam Scott is the perfect amount of sarcastic and weird to make him hot. But, that’s unimportant to the issue. The movie is funny because it’s accurate, to a certain extent.

The movie follows what happens in the adult lives of two brothers whose parents went through a messy divorce when they were young. You see the issues that they both develop when it comes to relationships as adults. You have the brother who meets a girl and decides to marry her after 4 months of knowing her, and then you have Adam Scott’s character who has terrible commitment issues. He obviously has the capability to love, but he has a girlfriend of four years who he won’t marry and he actually cheats on her at one point and doesn’t think anything of it.

It’s so weird because I feel like it really depicts the issues of adult children of divorce fairly. There’s the type who can be idealists, they fall in love hard and fast and sometimes don’t really step back and look at the big picture of the situation. They dive right in and are constantly heart broken.

Then there’s the type like Adam Scott… and me. (Not to say that I would EVER cheat on someone, that’s the worst form of betrayal in my eyes.) But we’re the types who are more realistic. We have serious commitment issues with a side of stellar sarcasm skills to cover up being hurt or expressing big emotion. I’m basically an emotional defect. I don’t like to cry. I don’t really get overtly angry. I have the tendency to be very open about my problems, but I am very good at scoffing them off and acting like I’m not as affected by them as I actually am.

Abandonment issues and “how could they ever love me like I love them?” thoughts also run on a constant loop in the minds of adult children of divorce. For some reason, watching your dad pack his suitcase, it doesn’t really leave the feelings of love, especially not from the one person who is supposed to love you unconditionally and always be there. And while it’s a memory that after many years I have forgiven, it’s still a subconscious thought that I will never forget.

Personally, growing up in a house with parents who fought for the better part of my tweenage years and then seeing a tumultuous divorce, it has kind of d*cked up my perception on love and romance. This is not to say that I am totally screwed up in the head and have never seen a properly functioning and loving relationship, but when you learn traits and actions during your formative years, it makes it hard to break away from the preconceived notions of marriage that I grew up watching. I have this warped way of looking at things because I know everything single thing that I wouldn’t want in a marriage, but I don’t really understand the bigger concepts of what I would want.

Which is why I find that I am very good at figuring out reasons why I shouldn’t be with someone. I can always make a con list. I can always talk myself right out of liking someone. But making a pro list, well, that’s usually where I struggle because I don’t know what the good things are that I want. I can easily name 100 superficial things that I would like, but what about on a deeper level? What kind of deeper connections should I want? I really don’t know.

Love is terrifying.

Relationships freak me out. Like, how on earth could I ever decide to marry someone, based on the fact alone that I have a tough time committing to an outfit for an entire day. What happens if I marry someone and then change my mind? But what if we had kids? Could I put them through what I saw growing up? It’s just so many panicky thoughts go through my head when I think too deeply about relationships, to the point where I start to get dizzy and shaky. It’s not normal. Is another part of it that I’m 20 and still trying to figure myself out?

It just sucks because in the future I want to get married. I want to not be freaked out by relationships and commitment. I don’t care about the wedding. I don’t care about the dress or the cake. All I care about is what scares me the most. I just want someone to love me, plain and simple.

I want someone to brush my teeth with. Someone that watches my reactions more than they actually watch the movie. Someone who would rather have me yelling at them than not speaking to them at all because they need to hear the sound of my voice. Someone who will bring me tea or peanut butter on a spoon, even when I say that I don’t want it, because I probably do.

Someone who wants to understand how every scar found its way to my body.

Someone whose laugh sounds like a crackling fire on a cold night, rain hitting the window pane and that moment I get my guitar in tune all at once. Someone who smells like Christmas, fresh laundry, warm cookies, Hawaiian pizza and all of my other favorite things. Someone who would only make me cry from laughing too hard. Someone to tangle my legs with while I’m sleeping. Someone who will find how many folders and lists that I keep adorable. Someone who doesn’t mind that pillows represent 75% of my bed. Someone who will hear me singing off-key love songs while I’m in the shower and know that it’s them that’s causing the melody. Someone who cares. I just want someone to love me. Every single part of me.

And that scares the sh*t out of me. I honestly couldn’t think of another single thing in the world that is scarier than allowing someone to come into my life, knowing full well that they could easily walk out.

Am I warped? Am I cynical? Am I totally deluded? Maybe.

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