Divorce… From a Child’s Perspective
Honesty Hour: Divorce, is telling a story of surviving divorce, from a child’s perspective.
Alright, well… here is a long time coming.
It started out as a numb feeling. As a what is going on? This can’t be real? I have to do what with my holidays? I have to share all my time between the two people I love the most? I have to sacrifice hobbies and friends because I just want to see my dad and spend time with him twice a week? I have to act okay and happy in front of everyone that asks me questions?
I remember walking out of that living room knowing, but not fully understanding, that my life will now never be the same. That I would never sit in that room again with all of my family. That my base as a whole was now gone. 9 years old.
Friends claiming I was making it up to even get attention. Teachers going out of their way to accommodate you and make you feel loved. People all of the sudden care. Save it, please. I can’t feel right now, just treat me normal. I felt split in two. A different person. Torn in half. Grasping for something to hold on to and something to help me feel semi normal again.
It’s okay for things to end.End.
Such a scary word. Closure. Risk. Loss. Heartache. Someone you love and care about, Gone.
August 2011. Ending. 17 years old. Senior Year.
February 2013. Ending. 18 years old. First Year of College.
All feelings of past loss and heartache brought completely back. Blown up in your face. Not easier, but harder this time. Numb. Distant.
No one in my family ever imagined that this would happen…
not a third time.
or a fourth.
I think it is safe to say that no one really knows about the trials and opposition they will face in this life. They just know that they will come. No one really knows how anyone else feels or what anyone else is facing. I honestly believe that we don’t even know to a full extent how we feel at times. Sometimes we numb the pain to help us deal. We push it back to forget that its happening.
I know for a fact that I have NO clue what my mom is going through. Or what my dad has been going through. Even what Kate and Jake have been through and are still going through. I have an “idea” because they are my siblings and us three technically “have been through the exact same things.” But we haven’t. All three of us are Different. We all deal with things and cope with things in a different way. We all have small personal things to overcome in the midst of these trials that affect how we deal with divorce and those around us. That affect us each differently. We all have different feelings and are attached to different things and people. Somethings mean more to me than to them and vice versa. We all struggle at times. Sometimes one of us is feeling better or stronger than the other. I believe those are the times we look up to each other and lift each other up the most. We do it in more of a silent way. We deal with the bulk of emotions that we are feeling on our own time. But with out knowing it, I believe we all help each other cope and deal with the similar, on going emotions that we have been feeling for the past 10 years.
The anger and frustration I hold inside of me has haunted me for far too long. Although it gets better with time, it is still something I work on everyday. Sometimes I lash out at people because I have no other way to express how I feel. I find myself secretly holding things in and then they come out at the worst times. I know that fights could of been avoided if I would of just let myself realize I was hurting. And let myself deal with my emotions. If I just could of put down that brave face that I felt I had to put on for so long. For my siblings, cause I was the oldest and for others, so they wouldn’t worry.
I DO NOT write this to exclaim that I have a hard life and to complain. I write this to hopefully help another child that could be dealing with divorce or anything of the likes. I write this to possibly put in a perspective of a child’s point of view.
I write this to say that we all know that life is hard. That trials are real.
I write this to help myself and maybe others understand that comments like, “What’s wrong with your family?” “She’s been divorced three times… whats wrong with her?” “Can your parents just not figure it out?” “Are they just not good people?” “Is there any explanation?” “Wow. Your family is messed up.” “Aren’t you terrified of marriage?” “What if one day your marriage ends up like that?” etc… Wether these are said as a joke or straight forward and serious.. there is still a sting in those words.
I write this to express my feelings of worry and sadness for people. I write to say I’m sorry for the things that we are all dealing with that no one else quite understands. And the judgements that we as people place on others constantly. I struggle with seeing everything and everyone in a positive light. I feel bad and apologize for those hurtful comments that I do not even realize I am making. Making about myself and my family and about others in general.
I believe that we don’t mean to be judgmental and hurtful. That we don’t realize what we are saying and what kind of an impact we are making on someone else and on ourselves. The quotes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” and “Don’t judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” time and time again ring true.
But most of all I write this to the girl who made the above comment that started me writing. (“My biggest fear is marriage. I don’t want my marriage to end up like my parents track record.”) That ripped me apart and tugged at my heart. That made my eyes water and think, “No. Please don’t feel this way. I don’t want you to be where I was.” These are my biggest fears wrapped into one. The fear of marriage and my siblings feeling this same way.
I write this to my sister.
I write this to a beautiful girl who deserves to marry someone wonderful. Who loves her and treats her like a queen. Who deserves to experience marriage and love even if it ends up how we least expected. Who deserves to experience life and grow as a person, looking back with no regrets, even when it ends up how we least expected. I write this to a girl who has hopes and dreams that any girl has. That has fears of the unknown and who refuses to be broken and to give up. I write this to a girl who has such a bright future and who has every right to look forward with positive hope and happiness.
I write this to you Kate because even though it can be scary at times.. and things hurt at times.. and you feel alone at times.. there is always someone there.
I hope that with time, we can all come to realize even just a fraction of our potential and what we have to offer in this life. I hope that with time, marriage becomes a strength, not a weakness. A happy thought, not a fear. Something to run to, not to run from.
My initial reply to Kate’s comment: “Don’t be afraid of love. I was this way at exactly 16 too. You write your destiny. Learn from their mistakes. Learn from yours.”
Call them mistakes, if you will. Lack of better judgement. Something that happened that “wasn’t” supposed to happen. That wasn’t necessarily wanted. Lets call if life, learning as you go, making the best of what you have.
With out much detail, stories, and information of the past. All in all, I hope that Kate and I, together, can conquer are fears. Can see these fears and turn them into something great. I hope that children dealing with these same things can see that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always someone to turn to and something positive to focus on.
I don’t believe that people intentionally make mistakes.
I don’t believe that people want to hurt others.
I do believe that people learn from their mistakes and try to better themselves in all aspects of their lives.
I do believe that people can change.
I do believe that we learn as we go.
I do believe that marriage and families are the most sacred and beautiful part of life. I believe that family brings pure joy. I believe that your families are sent to you for a reason. I believe like my mom once put it, “That we couldn’t make it with out each other.”My family is noticeably imperfect from the outside. But on the inside, my family is perfect for me. It doesn’t always feel like it at times, but I wouldn’t change them, or anything I have gone through, for anything. I have learned so much, met so many people, had incredible experiences and it would only be nice if the pain could just be swished away.
I could go on and on about my feelings on this topic that stems in so many different directions. But all in all..
These experiences lead us and turn us into the person we are becoming. When the option of marriage comes along we can decide for ourselves what we want to do. There can be a risk, a chance of heartache and failure. But with out that risk, there is no risk of meeting your eternal companion. No risk of falling in love and being with someone who works great with you. Someone that you could grow old with and be with for the rest of your life.
For me, I clung to the gospel of Jesus Christ and prayed to feel peace and comfort. I had always heard people say that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and that Jesus Christ knows what we are going through.
Through these experiences. I learned for myself (and keep learning) that Jesus Christ died for our sins. That he paid the price for me to repent and to feel happiness. To feel peace and love and to have hope. I know that Christ lives. That he loves us and that he is the only person who knows what it feels like to go through our trials. He has been through what we are going through and he cares. I know that Heavenly Father listens to us when we turn to him in prayer. And I know that this is the only way I feel peace.
Other people cling to different things. But whatever you are clinging to, to hold you afloat.. Keep holding.
“Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain. But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.”
Love, Madeliene Louise.