First and foremost: Divorce is hard.

Today's topic is hard. Divorce is hard. The stigma around divorce is hard. Hard to talk and write about. But I'm writing this anyways to maybe reach out and show people experiencing this that they're not alone. And to the ones who can't relate, I hope it gives you insight into how much this may affect me and others.

Also, this isn't a pity party. No need to feel sad for me, because I'm stronger because of this situation. I have worked past it, moved on, forgiven, and am so much more than a girl with divorced parents and stepfamilies.

How was I supposed to know?

As a kid, I never realized that problems between my parents existed. I continued to live happily, experiencing my small childhood issues like what was for dinner or who my friends were at school. When my parents were having problems, I had no idea. All I thought was that my mom and dad still lived happily in our home. And that there was nothing wrong.

Maybe if I was older, I would've gotten the hint. But I was in 3rd grade. Things changed before my eyes quicker than ever. Writing about it now makes me feel as if time started moving more quickly after my parents split up. And if given a chance, I would've done something to try and stop it. But as a kid, how do you tell your parents how to act or for a decent explanation of why they weren't going to be married anymore? There's a lot more I could say, but for the sake of crying or revealing too much, I'll leave it at that. Maybe in the future. After all, I don't know you guys that well yet. ;)

Two Lives

I never realized that I basically live two different lives until I was writing about it. Interesting how that works. I act in two different ways, and I know what I can and can't say. It's weird. But it's normal for me. It's been normal for a while now. And I'm not ashamed to say it, it's just that I subconsciously do it. In one house, there are one set of rules, and in the other, a different set of rules. Two different ways of eating dinner or curfews or even just talking. One family may know more than the other.

Anyways, I'm saying all of this to help you realize or relate to the fact that a divorce is not only the separation or your mom and your dad, but also the separation from you and each of them. You see each parent in a different light after they split up. You see a range of emotions you've never seen your mom show in front of you. Or responses from your dad that you don't want to hear. And the worst part: you can't do anything about it.

As a kid, the divorce hit me hard. So hard that at times I had to think if this was actually happening in my life. And why wasn't it happening to my friends? I know that sounds cold, but it was hard for me to understand at the time.

The hurricane, tornado, wildfire, tsunami, etc.

I never would've thought that as I got older, more problems between my parents would arise. But they did. And those environmental disasters listed above is what it felt like. Me, in the middle of the storm. Me, a messenger between two people I love. Although I took most of the fall for these problems, I did it without complaining. It's a harsh reality that may not seem like much to you. But it made a huge impact on my daily life.

Moral of the story:

Since my parent's divorce happened during my childhood, I never processed the whole situation until I was old enough to realize it. I began to think of every step leading up to my dad moving out, having to switch schools, having to move houses (still traumatic), the day of divorce, and the creation of stepmoms and stepdads and stepsiblings.

It's a little crazy to wrap my head around sometimes. How my life and people's lives change dramatically after a divorce. However, everything happened for a reason. And after going through it, analyzing it, and accepting it, I've realized that it was necessary. God let it happen, knowing that it needed to happen. I can confidently say that my parents are happier than I've ever seen them. They're thriving in their new lives. New marriages, new family, new house, new attitudes. It's calmer now. At a level I can handle and am content with.

I love them both.