To The Girl With Divorced Parents, It's Not Your Fault

To The Girl With Divorced Parents, It's Not Your Fault

Mourning the life they gave up.
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I grew up thinking divorce was a dirty word. That kind of stuff didn’t happen to families like mine. We were a Christian family. Except for the Sundays when my sister or I had volleyball tournaments, we would go to church. We celebrated Christmas knowing the real reason to celebrate is that Jesus Christ was born. We studied bible stories together and prayed before every meal.

I grew up thinking my parents loved each other and it would always stay that way. The bell jar broke in high school and nothing has been the same since.

There’s so much involved in a divorce. Maybe you have a new home. Maybe there’s a new struggle to pay for that home. Picking a side? Websites with their “professional opinions” recommend you not pick sides, but it’s almost harder not to.

I used to think that it was my fault. I thought the way I treated my parents and the way I responded to the stress from home life contributed to their decision.

I want you to know, it's not your fault. No matter what you’ve done, you did not ruin the marriage.

Divorce is ugly.

It’s war and you do not need to appease both sides.

It has greater effects on you than you think. It happened when I was a senior in high school. I grew up never expecting it to happen. But it did happen. One day I woke up in my own home and later that night I went to bed in a hotel knowing that I was never going back.

Change is inevitable. Your life can turn upside down as fast as Taylor Swift’s switch to a new genre. It’s normal to feel like you’re mourning a death. You’re mourning a lost life that you used to have.

It’s okay if you are having a hard time moving on. There’s nothing simple about a divorce. There’s nothing right about a divorce. It’s wrong and they shouldn’t be normal events in life.

The inevitable “daddy issues” don’t have to be inevitable. The beauty of being in your shoes is learning first hand what not to do in life.

Regret, hate, anger, depression, you’ll feel it. But it won’t last forever. And when you wake up to realize that one day you’ll have the chance to not make the same mistakes your parents did, you’ll be grateful for what you’ve been through.

I’m sorry this is happening to you, but I’m not sorry it happened to me. My senior year of high school was less than normal. I finished school online, got a job, and I moved to live closer to my sister. But in that year of disruption, I learned some cool things. I learned how to file taxes, how to change a tire, how to disassemble furniture and how to pack a U-Haul by myself.

To the girl with parents in the middle of a divorce, I want to say that we are in this together. I found my strength in Jesus Christ. Life will never happen the way you want. But it’s not like we deserve this life anyways. Life is God’s gift to us and when bad things happen, all we can do is pray.

Cover Image Credit: Owen J Fitzpatrick

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Dear Mom, From Your Daughter In College

Here are all the things our phone calls aren't long enough to say.
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Dear Mom,

Do you remember when I was three and we would play together? It was the age of princesses and carpet that was actually lava, and you were the prettiest woman in the whole wide world. Do you remember when I was in high school and the world seemed too big and scary? You would know exactly when to take me on a mother-daughter date and have me laughing about anything and everything, and you were the smartest woman in the whole wide world. Now, I'm buried in homework and deadlines hours away from you and we don't get to talk as much you want, but you're still the prettiest, smartest woman in the whole wide world.

I'm sorry that I don't call you as much as I should, and you know a lot of what goes on in my world via posts and pictures. Our schedules just seem to never line up so we can have the three-hour conversations about everything like I want to. I know we don't agree on absolutely everything, but I cherish every piece of advice you give me, even though it probably seems like I'm hardly listening. I know that sometimes we get on each other's nerves, but thank you for putting up with me for all of these years. Thank you for listening to me cry, complain, question things and go on and on about how everything in college is. I know I don't come home as much as I used to, but I think about you all the time. After all, you're my first friend, and therefore, my best friend.

Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, and not downing me too hard for my failures. Thank you for knowing what mistakes I shouldn't make, but letting me make them anyway because you want me to live my life and be my own person. Thank you for knowing when to ask about the boy I've been talking about, and when to stop without any questions. Thank you for letting me be my crazy, weird, sometimes know-it-all self.

Thank you for sitting back and watching me spread my wings and fly. There is no way I could have known how to grow into the woman I am today if I hadn't watched you while I was growing up so I would know what kind of person I should aspire to be. Thank you for being the first (and the best) role model I ever had. You continue to inspire and amaze me every day with all that you do, and all that you are.

I don't know how I got so lucky to have a person in my life like you, but I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with the smartest, prettiest person to be my best friend, my role model, my confidant, my person and most importantly, my mother.

Love,

Your daughter

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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That Boy Won’t Cure Your Loneliness Or Fix All Your Problems— So Please Stop Expecting Him To

You need to find yourself first and really fall in love with that self before you can find your person and fall in love with him.

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The biggest misconception I had about love is that it would fix all the problems in my life. I inevitably thought love would give me a lifelong soulmate so I wouldn't feel so goddamn lonely all the time.

That happily ever after. A forever ride or die.

Once we fall in love with someone, we experience that euphoric feeling of passion and admiration. It's a great feeling, isn't it? That there's that boy who's all about you, just as you, are heads-over-heels about him. The world seems to be spinning in the right direction, and you suddenly believe that perhaps this boy was your lucky charm, a special omen brought exclusively from the heavens.

This boy knows all your tiny little secrets, calls you beautiful and stares at you lovingly when you walk alongside each other, hand in hand. With him, you feel as if you aren't lonely anymore. That you won't be that sad pathetic girl alone at a New Year's Eve Party anymore. That you'll have this boy to lean onto no matter what.

He says he's all yours, anyway. He puts your number in as "Babygirl" on his phone. He never misses the chance to text you good morning and be the last one to end a conversation before you drift off to sleep.

Let me get real with you, ladies. But this boy probably won't cure your sad loneliness or fix all the problems in your life. He won't become your soulmate, but instead, he's going to be a distraction. He's going to be a lesson, whether he breaks your heart or not.

Because once you start fully depending on this boy for emotional and moral support, he's going to start becoming distant. He's most likely not going to be there for you when shit happens, for one reason or another. He's not going to know what to say when you start crying other than a simple "It's going to be okay". Don't necessarily blame him for that. I guarantee that you're going to start blaming yourself about his behavior. And the more you start blaming yourself for how he's changed, it's only going to distract you from actually realizing the true reasons behind your problems and acting on them.

I know this all sounds a bit startling.

Try flipping the tables and think of it this way:

You just met this amazing guy. He's good looking, educated, passionate and respectful, etc. You have so much fun around him, and you come to fall in love with all his imperfections. But as time drags on, he begins to rant about how miserable school/work is and how much he hates these littlest of things you find a bit ridiculous. Imagine how confused and overwhelmed you would feel if he begins piling that stress onto you, telling you "But dating you is going to make me feel better about _____ since you're going to be here with me through it, right?"

I don't know about you but after hearing that, I would be running away at full tilt.

Now I'm not saying you have to be happy and bubbly around a boy 24/7. I'm not promoting some type of relationship where everything is perfect—of course, you'll come to find differences, have arguments and lean on each other during tough times.

I guess what I'm saying is that you shouldn't have to depend on someone in order to find your way through life or to feel less lonely.

Why should you feel that only a man would have the capabilities to change your problems? We're strong independent women, after all.

In most situations, you will only have yourself to lean on since not everyone's going to be there for you.

A boy isn't willing to fix all the problems in your life by licking your wounds and bandaging them up. Sure, he might be around to express sympathy and hold you when all you want to do is cry. But he's mainly going to be a part of your life to support you. He'll support your decisions and support you for how well you handle yourself. He'll love you for your independence, not how dependent you are. He fell in love with that free spirit from the beginning.

And if he left your life, he may have done so because *news flash* men aren't good with all that emotional baggage. Simple as that. So erase all those crazy thoughts about him secretly cheating on you or being a dick for wanting to end things.

My mom once told me this about love: "You need to find yourself first and really fall in love with that self before you can find your person and fall in love with him."

So, my friends, if you haven't found a boy yet, don't lose hope—he's going to come along.

But you need to find yourself first.

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