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Tina, a 34-year-old wife and mother, is still struggling to forgive her parents after their divorce nearly 30 years ago. "Things started to really upset me when my dad stopped showing up to pick me up, or he would say he would be there at such and such a time, and I would wait and wait, and he wouldn't show."

Once as a child, Tina performed in a talent show. "I remember doing this little dance and looking at the door constantly. He just never showed up," she says. "He was my dad, but also my friend. And now he just didn't care. I started wondering, 'What happened to him?'"

When Tina joined the police department, her father didn't make her graduation ceremony. "I felt like, this is ridiculous. I'm 29 years old, and I'm still looking at the door again like I'm in third grade. It's just ridiculous that I just couldn't let it go," she says.

Tina says she didn't see her mother much while growing up and spent a lot of time with her grandparents. "When she started dating again, it became all about whoever she was dating," she says. "I remember her just being absent a lot. It's kind of like I lost them both."

Ready to let go of her pain, Tina says she feels like an apology from her father would help. "It would mean a great deal. I'd like for us to go back to being buddies again," Tina says.
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FROM: Adult Children of Divorce Confront Their Parents
Published on March 14, 2008

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