Dealing with Divorced Parents

I’ve put a lot of thought into how I was going to write this, especially how I was going to frame this. Some may find it very relatable. Some may have no understanding of it and that’s okay. I felt that this post is necessary for those who need help or feel alone.

As a woman who’s grown up with her parents separated her whole life, divorce was never something out of the ordinary. To many children who grew up with their parents always separated, it’s not a big deal at all. To many children of divorced parents, it’s heartbreaking and life changing.  For me, it was both.

It was a rare case. I had grown up with my biological parents who had me in college never married and married different people. I met my Step Dad when I was two and I met my Step Mom when I was four. I had two brothers from my Dad and Step Mom and two sisters from my Mom and Step Dad. For me, having two families was normal. I would visit my dad on the weekends and spend weekdays with my mom. For the holidays I would alternate each year. In fact, I loved having two families! More holiday parties, more birthdays, more get togethers, more people to celebrate! It was always the more the merrier. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Then, after graduating from high school, my Mom and Stepdad had filed for divorce during my freshmen year of college and I had never experienced anything more heartbreaking than that year. I didn’t understand why. I didn’t understand how.

Although I had grown up with two different families, I had never experienced a separation this way, or as people sometimes refer to it, “a broken home”. I finally understood why people sympathized with me when I said I had divorced parents. I understood why my teachers in elementary and even in high school felt bad for me and always gave me leeway when I left my assignments at my Dad’s house. I had never actually understood why they were upset for me or why they felt bad. It was always normal for me.

In the duration of my first year away at college, I felt like my world had been torn apart back at home. I dreaded coming back home for the holidays that year. I dreaded coming back home, period because it meant that I would have to face the greatest change of my life and get accustomed to a whole a new world, which I was never ready for and would never be for the next couple of years away at college.

To this day, it still makes me sad to come home. To this day, I’m still dealing with it as if it’s happened only months ago. I cry almost every time I go back home because in the duration that everyone was facing it head on, I was away at school never being able to face it and therefore, never being able to fully cope. I know that this may be the same way that other people are feeling.

Although it still makes me sad to this day, I’ve come to remind myself of very few simple facts that help me cope and give me hope and peace of mind every day that I hope can be taken into heart by those who have gone through or are going through the same thing:

  1. Home is still home.

    1. This was the hardest realization to come to because I would go home and my Stepdad wasn’t there so it didn’t feel like home anymore. To this day, it still doesn’t and I still have to remind myself. Home is the people you love and love you. It’s never a place. It’s never the attachment you’ve grown to a house. It may feel different, but your home is with the people you love, together or apart.

  2. Never Lose Touch.

    1. This is particularly a hard one for me since I am away for college. However, I always make it a point to talk to my family members at least once a week, whether it be a text or face time or a call. It’s important to always keep in touch and continue the bond that you’ve always had.

  3. It’s OK to Cry.

    1. It honestly is. I never cried about it my freshmen year. I was so excited to be in a new environment and it felt so refreshing to be myself and have new friends. It was the best distraction at the time. However, by not coping with it, I wasn’t able to emotionally grow. About a year after, I had started to really deal with it. I would cry every week about it. To this day, sometimes even talking about it makes me cry. I even cried writing this post. BUT, it’s OK. Crying is OK until you can no longer cry. Crying is coping.

  4. You are loved.

    1. This is the most important concept I always remind myself that almost ALWAYS helps and tucks the tears away. A divorce never happens because of the child, whether you believe it or not. It happens because two people cannot make it work and sometimes it’s just meant to be. In any circumstance, you are loved very much by both.

If there is anything I have learned from my parent’s divorce, it’s to never let a divorce make you feel insignificant about yourself. Never let it make you feel unloved or unwanted or different. Never let it affect your future relationships. You are your own person and it’s NOT biological to make the same mistakes as your parents. The best part you can take away from a divorce between your parents is that you are your own person, you are loved, and you can choose to do better and be at peace.

I hope that this post can be found relatable in some ways to family, friends and anyone who is going through the same thing. You aren’t alone.

Find your peace of mind and know that you are aren’t alone. You are loved.

xx, Bri.

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