Learning to Grow: the Truth about being a Child of Divorced Parents This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 30, 2013
By , New York, NY
My father knelt down on one knee and gently put his hands on my shoulders where he said, “I will never leave you, and nothing will ever change between us.”
As I saw him drive down the road in his jet-black car with the tears in my eyes blurring my vision I had to understand. With the words he said, new and refined, in my head, I trusted him and to this day I believe that this is true. It will always be true. I cannot imagine a life without living with my mother and seeing my father on the weekends.
They were getting a divorce and everything just hit me. I didn’t understand. What did I do wrong? Was this my fault? Am I the one to be blamed? The words just danced around in my head. Separation is a place of almost no return. Just the word itself makes me cringe. The emptiness and confusion are like being locked in a room and you have no key to get out. The darkness embodies me. I don’t like change. Change scares me because I do not know the outcome of this new change. I see the brown boxes getting stacked, one by one, as the words that surround me cannot leave me alone. It was like as if I could taste the tension in the room. Everything was changing and I didn’t want this new life, this would be a new journey and I would not know where I was going.
The truth is things will be the same and will never change as long as you don’t let them. I learn that without change, we can never learn and understand what life is all about. My parents may not be living together, but my life is good. I know that with both of my parents by my side, both of whom love me and always support my decisions for the future, I will be alright. I can be who I want to be and nothing will ever change. No matter where they are, parents who care and love their children will always support them and be there for them if they ever need someone. Even with divorce, family bonds don’t change they just get stronger. With my life getting better and the relationship with my parents getting stronger, there was a time I thought differently. I didn’t know what to think and I just felt weak.

Learning to grow up with two different parents is a struggle; you have one different life and relationship with one person and a completely different one with another. If you understand what I mean, then you and I are one in the same. You, just like me, have divorced parents. You have one relationship with your mother and a different one with your father. With every family the situations are different, but when it comes down to it we all know that things are different with each parent. Even with parents that are not divorced we still have a different relationship with each of your parents.
With divorced parents I question everything and sometimes I don’t understand what is happening or why it is happening. There is a never end of curiosity. What could have happened if something else had happened? The time for questions start now.

What am I seeing? Is this really happening? ¿Qué vamos hacer ahora? (What are we going to do now?) The questions, in both English and Spanish, just scatter through my mind. My parents were doing, what I thought, was impossible.
Where would I end up? Would I be on an island or a busy city? Yo quiero quedar con mi familia. (I want to stay with my family). The time raced past me by and by and we could never really know what was going to happen. The people moved as quickly as the cars outside. Sitting while I was motionless, unable to talk makes me wonder. Is there any love? Why was I involved? Can I live through this big change? What will happen to me?
Something that I cannot live without is my caring, loving, and always-supportive family. These were the people who raised me and I have learned all that I know now from them. They taught me right from wrong, but to me what they were doing was just wrong. One day it came to say goodbye to my father, even though this wasn’t the final goodbye, it felt like it to me.
Swiftly he moved his feet, right foot in front of the left foot, in direction of the door. To this day I remember the words of my father as he slipped by each room one last time.

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