Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The wildest storm I survived

My parents divorced when I was 12.

It was August, hot and sweltering, and even our neighbor's horses had forgone their frolicking in favor of hiding in whatever shade they could find. Dad had left for work a few weeks earlier -- he was a long-haul trucker by trade -- and the house was wrapped in a quiet, comforting afternoon of radio music and laundry. The mail came, and Mom left to get it. "It's a letter from your Dad," she said with wonder as she walked in the door, tearing it open.

The rest of that day -- and the months that followed -- was a blur.

To put it plainly, divorce is ugly. There's no saying it otherwise. It rips you apart from the inside, makes you bleed out all the faith and trust and love you ever had in people. It lets loose all the pain contained in Hell and pumps you full of watery sorrow like a mad scientist. And amid the tearing, howling, violent storm of family destruction, you may think it kinder to die, to be swallowed up in the dark water instead of weathering the hungry tide.

I am 25 now, and when I look in the mirror, I still see the scars. They no longer bleed and ooze, nor are they merely scabbed over -- fresh skin has knitted over the emotional wounds. I stand here, broken and re-healed, bent and re-straightened to testify:

You can survive.

You can heal again.

It is possible, with a little stubbornness, with a little persistence. The waters of turmoil are potent and deep, it's true. But be like a sailor and fight the tide. Keep rowing. Eventually, the rain and clouds will clear, and you'll see the shore in the distance.


Heather S. Ingemar has loved to play with words since she was little, and it wasn’t long until she started writing her own stories. Termed “a little odd” by her peers, she took great delight in exploring tales with a gothic flair, and to this day, Edgar Allan Poe continues to be her literary hero. To learn more, please visit: or follow her on Twitter:

Buy a story (or two or three): Heather Ingemar on Echelon Direct


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