The normal teenager gets their license when they are sixteen and relishes in their newfound freedom and I was no different. I spent lots of time offering rides, chauffeuring my younger brother, and sitting in drive-thrus. Hanging out with my friends and driving to meet them soon became expensive habits so I was forced to get a job if I wanted to keep going out. My job, along with being in the International Baccalaureate program at school and cheerleading practices and competitions, kept me busy for a majority of my free time.
Because a large amount of my time was consumed, I didn't realize there had been issues in my home life. I didn't hear the fifths between my parents, I didn't see what had been going on. It hit me like a truck when I found out. My mom just didn't come home one night. I called to ask where she was and she told me over the phone. They didn't tell me together and they acted like everything was normal for a few days. My mom moved out and stayed with her sister for a few weeks. I found out my parents were getting separated at the end of June of 2017 and didn't live with my mom again until after the new school year started.
My friends with divorced parents were all young when it happened so they didn't know a life where their parents were together. I was seventeen. My parents had been together for nineteen years, had traveled the world together, had faced a large amount of adversity together. This change shook me to my core and I was devastated. I started acting out and doing reckless things because I didn't know how to cope. I was angry with my mom and I didn't want to be. I wanted to be strong for my dad but I didn't know how to be. My mom and I fought constantly and I struggled with my studies, something that had never happened before.
No one prepares you for things like this. I know I felt completely off guard and I was hurting for a long time. I was closed off from the world, angry and upset at it for giving me this picture perfect family and then ripping it away from me so easily. I had to talk to someone. I found myself confiding in my father like I never had before. He held me while I cried on multiple occasions and made sure that I knew he was there. I am forever grateful that he allowed me to open up to him. Additionally, I leaned on my brother. He was the one that shared car rides with me as we went back and forth. He listened to me when I vented about how upset I was. He was the only person who knew the pain I was feeling.
Finally, I learned to forgive. It was hard. It took a lot of emotion and effort out of me to forgive my parents. But I did it. I have grown so much closer to my parents as a result. My parents' separation was probably the most taxing situation I have ever been in. I am learning every day how to adapt to this new life and I will continue to reshape myself every day. I now know, however, that I am strong enough to do it.