I grew up hiding in the hall when my dad would sneak home late at night. I lay in bed and heard my parents argue. I caught my mom crying in the bathroom, at the stove and whenever she thought we weren’t looking. And there were a few weeks, when I was eight, when my dad left on a “really long trip” as my mom called it. Years later, my dad again left. But this time it wasn’t under the guise of work. We were grown, so this time he used the word “divorce."
After a tumultuous summer, my parents got back together. Sometimes, I feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting for the cycle to happen again. Because their marriage has been like this for over 30 years—a back and forth dance of happiness and heartbreak, adultery and absolution. “Break up or shut up,” I once yelled at my father when he told me he wanted to leave my mother, again.