We all know divorce is quite common, even though the divorce rate in the United States is currently decreasing. Most of my friends come from divorced households with parents who split up many years ago. Of course, it is more traumatic for children who are younger, specifically those younger than thirteen, but it is a difficult experience no matter what age you are. At the end of the day, all the statistics about divorce don't make the process any easier.
I was aware that my parents never had a very healthy relationship, but I assumed they would stay together purely out of obligation. Both of them are not from the country and, because of this, they refused to branch out and create a larger social circle. They were both scared of being alone, so it was better in their minds to stay together and be miserable rather than be isolated.
In the summer before my sophomore year of college, the situation completely changed. It became very obvious that my parents would be getting a divorce, it was only a question of exactly when this would happen.
I felt like I was playing monkey-in-the-middle, relaying messages back and forth between two people who refused to communicate. My older sisters who live far from home and didn't understand the complexity of the situation wanted details, but I found myself confused from the different versions of the story that my parents would tell me.
By the time summer ended and I moved back to college, they still did not have the opportunity to file for divorce. Despite the fact that divorce rates are relatively high, actually separating is not cheap. Some children may try to do anything to keep their parents together, but I genuinely wanted them to go through with it as soon as possible. I hated seeing them both so overwhelmed, and I seriously considered offering my parents the money so they could just get it over with.
While I was trying to re-adjust to the strenuous life of college academia, my parents were constantly contacting me to ask some question about the other. Where was this tax form? When would one of them be available to talk? I found myself pressing my phone to my ear with one hand and typing a research paper with the other. I was emotionally and mentally exhausted for the first two months of school, and sophomore slump felt more like severe sophomore suffering.
Finally, after deliberation and coordination, the divorce went through, legally separating my parents. It was strange to receive the news because I wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to feel. Was I allowed to be upset? Was I too old for my hurting to be considered valid? Should I be relieved because it was finally over?
Inevitably, the situation is not fully resolved, even though I wish it could be. I know I will have to contact financial offices, decide which address to choose as my own, figure out how I will balance time between my mother and father during every vacation and travel to their different locations.
However, this situation is not about me. This is about the relationship between my parents, and I am grateful that they no longer have to take part in a marriage that made them unhappy for years. I am thankful that this happened when I am old enough to understand that it is not my fault, mature enough to see that this will be better for me and my siblings.
Now, I can get back to doing what I do best: procrastinating my homework.
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