“Fifteen years of marriage,” I thought to myself, “fifteen years and they want a divorce.”
As a kid growing up, never had I thought that my parents would divorce, so needless to say it came as a quite a surprise. Sure they argued and disagreed with one another but don’t all couples do?
In the beginning, my parents were having difficultly deciding who would live with who and how things would be settled. My mom refused to go to court to fight for custody and my dad didn’t want to neither, so they worked it out amongst themselves. After some time it was decided my sister and I would live with my mom and my brothers would live with my dad. My dad moved out to a house in town and my mom moved into a duplex in town. When we moved into the duplex things started to look up and seem good from the outside, but things aren’t always what they seem.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with divorced parents often have long term emotional problems and it’s common for the child’s academic grades and achievements to suffer. This was and is true with me. Then I was hurting emotionally and didn’t want to talk to anybody about my feelings and now I have trouble trusting and expressing myself to people. Although my grades weren’t suffering my older brothers grades were not what they normally were, he was a straight “A” student, and during our parents’ divorce his grades suffered. My younger siblings, too young to understand then, now also have emotional issues today.
Once summer started things were beginning to go back to normal and my mom told me that we were going to move to Fort Worth, five hours away from my dad. I was eleven at the time so I didn’t completely understand what moving to Fort Worth meant. But it meant only getting to see my dad two days out of a month and getting to see my brothers four days per month. Getting to see my dad very rarely strained my relationship with him. He wanted me to move with him and although I missed him and wanted to see him more, I wanted to stay with my mom. This caused for a strange relationship between us because it made me feel awkward for not wanting to live with him and wanting to live with my mom. The first two years in Fort Worth were inconstant; I went to three different schools and to two different school districts and because I’m not a very social person, moving schools didn’t allow for me to warm up to people and make friends. Also because I moved schools often I didn’t want to make friends then have to leave and take more emotional strain.
Although most parent don’t realize it, kids often misinterpret why their parents divorced and believe that they’re at fault it can leave a lasting impact in their minds, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I was also affected by this misinterpretation, because my dad would often provide transportation for me to go to softball practice and that in turn would take away time from him spending time with my other siblings and my mom. I thought I had been the cause for their divorce, and because I thought that I didn’t want to play softball anymore and have that constant reminder.
But know I realize, five years later, that their divorce wasn’t my fault and in a way it was a learning experience. I learned that it’s okay to feel weak and I don’t have to be strong all the time. That it’s okay to let my guard down and let people help me when I need it.