08 Feb Bonus YSS: What it’s like to have divorced parents – one teen’s perspective
When my parents split, I was a mess. I remembered reading about depression for school and watching those videos in health class. I never thought I, of all people, would get depressed. (Blah, I hate that word, and it took a long time for me to be able to admit that I was). There are lots of feelings to feel when you go through a divorce. It’s confusing! Especially because when you’re young, you’re usually raised to believe that family is a unit, it’s the one thing that is never supposed to break (watching Disney channel movies and reading books about happy families etc.). So wrapping your head around YOUR family falling apart is actually a completely new concept.
For me personally, the hardest part was understanding how the two people who created me, could ever stop loving each other. One of the main reasons my parents got divorced was because my dad cheated on my mom with some woman and my mom had an online affair with another guy.
To understand how my parents could possibly do this, I actually started doing the same things they were. Although I kept good grades and performed well at school, I did sexual things with way too many guys because I wanted to see how you could be physical without having feelings; I cried and cried and cried every night for so long because that’s what my mom did; I became cold and introverted because that’s what my dad did; I became really insecure, was a bad friend, doing really stupid stupid things to make myself feel ‘cool’ and ‘normal,’ and eventually I just became feeling-less.
After a year and a half, I had completely worn myself out of feelings. I was at my lowest low and had nothing stable in my life. My mom actually ended up putting more on my shoulders then she ever had, and my dad didn’t talk to me very often and he was the one I was closest to. My siblings came to me crying and asking what was going on. I literally hit rock bottom before I pulled myself back out. I wish my parents would have been stronger for my siblings. I wish they would have sat us down through the process and not just had us watch the arguing. I wish they would have brought me in instead of pushing me out, and I wish they would have made me go talk to someone or kept me out of the house.
The way you deal with an event this big in your life that DIRECTLY, first hand affects you, is the most important part. And if you’re a friend of someone who is going through a divorce, understand that they need you. Maybe not to talk to, but just to have something stable in their life.
I guess it’s just important to realize that getting a divorce is for the better. I thought things would get so much worse after my parents divorced, but it actually all smoothed out. I have never seen my parents this happy before. Not in a long time, anyway.
I had to learn to view my parents as regular people, not as my parents. When I see them as a friend and as just a person, they definitely made the right decision. They did what they needed to do to be happy.
I learned that being happy is a blessing. Today I am the most happy I have been in, well, so long I can barely remember. And there are times I feel guilty I’m so happy (Interesting concept).
I know divorce comes in all different shapes and sizes so if there is one rule of thumb that I think best applies to everyone it would be this: Divorce is about your parents, but you have to worry about YOU first. Make sure you can sort through thoughts in your head because no matter how strong you think you might be, it will effect you in ways without you even noticing… unless you take the time to notice and deal with it all.