Rosie is originally from England. Her parents divorced while living in America and her mother returned with her to England. Seven years later Rosie’s father developed cancer and she longed to be back with him to help him in his recovery.
How old were you when your parents told you they were going to Divorce?
I was 6 years old.
How did they tell you or did you know it was going to happen?
I didn’t know they were getting divorced as they were separated. We all sat at the table and they both discussed that they were going to separate and they said that my dad was going to live in an apartment. I didn’t like it at all I thought it was devastating and I felt like my whole life had been turned upside down. Dad moved out and we stayed in our house and it became like a maze. You had to be careful on what path you took as it all felt barricaded and so you had to stay on a certain path. I couldn’t say “Hey mom, hey dad let’s do something together.” I had to wait until I saw them and I really wanted them to get back together. My brother and I agreed that life without my parents together was not a good life. I was 6 at the time and thought that it was the end of the world
My dad divorced my mom without telling her, her lawyer told her. She was sad and we left America within two weeks. My Mom is European and had no visa to stay.
How did you truly feel about this decision?
I hated it I thought it was really heart breaking because the two people I loved the most were not going to be together anymore.
How did it affect you personally, what were your deep inner thoughts?
I thought that my whole life was going to change and the common things I loved to do like watching movies with my family or eating dinner with my family weren’t going to be happening anymore. I felt like it tore a gaping hole in my life.
How did this affect your home and school life?
I moved schools. I had been in school in America and I had to go to public school in England, which was a big difference to me. There were drastic changes and suddenly I had to wear a horrid uniform with an icky green cardigan and itchy woolly tights to match! We left America and moved to England but arrived with no real destination. We slept on my mom’s friend’s floor as we had no beds. It was really hard because we had no home and I had nowhere to go when I needed space. It wasn’t an experience I think anyone would want to have. Mom tried her hardest to make the best of what we had which was very little.
To get by mom sold all her jewellery including a ring she had promised me for when I was twenty one, but she couldn’t hold onto it. She used the money to buy us winter clothing and get a car. The kids at my new primary school would make fun of my American accent and they would terrorize me and my brother. Eventually it wasn’t so bad as we were highly influenced by everyone around us and soon inhabited the English accent.
I had best friends at that school and one of those friendships ended due to ‘Hello Kitty paper.’ My friend Bethany was a sweet kind girl and she gave me two pieces of Hello Kitty paper and my other friend wanted one and I didn’t want to give it to her as it was too precious to give the little I had to someone else. She thought I was being rude and greedy but I felt like I had given up too much already as I left toys and clothes, my bedroom and everything that had meant anything to me in America including my special wall with glow in the dark stars and my Dora the Explorer bed covers.
Because I wouldn’t give the other girl a sheet of the Hello Kitty paper, she and Bethany separated from me and left me by the potato patch as that used to be our place the three of us would hang out together. It was such a horrible feeling and I felt like everyone in my life was coming and leaving all at the same time.
I remember one night when we couldn’t sleep in my mom’s friend’s house because the little room that we used had a beautiful chandelier on the ceiling but the upstairs bath had leaked and was dripping onto the chandelier making it unsafe for us to stay in the room. We didn’t have beds at this point or sheets as my mom hadn’t sold her jewellery yet. We were sleeping on the floor, my brother and I either side of her on sleeping bags and that six months was the worst time of my life.