When I was about 4 years old, my parents got divorced. Now, I know that kids having divorced parents is not something that is uncommon at all. But everyone has a different experience and story to share.
Since my parents' divorce happened when I was at such a young age, I don't really have very many memories of them ever really living in the same house. Don't get me wrong, I have tons of childhood memories with my parents, but a vast majority of them are either with my mom or dad.
And I never really knew why they got divorced, aside from what they told me when I was older. It wasn't until my senior year that I really thought about what it was like for them to have to explain their situation to such a young kid. I'm not an only child, but my sister is four years older than me, so she had a bit more of an understanding. And my brother was just a toddler, so it wasn't much of an issue for him.
I think one of the hardest things to get used to was having to move cities when my mom got remarried. We moved from Overland Park, Kansas to Lee's Summit, Missouri. I was a very shy kid and absolutely hated the idea of having to change schools. It also made things even harder because my dad was still in Kansas, so everything I did revolved around my schedule of going between my mom and dad's houses. It eventually became a normal thing as time went on, and I got used to it.
Having your parents get divorced is a big adjustment for anyone, especially when it comes to them getting remarried. With my mom, she got remarried when I was in first grade and has been married ever since. He has a daughter just a few months older than my sister, and we all get along great. My dad got remarried around the same time as well, but ended up getting another divorce when I was 14 years old.
This is something that took a major toll on me, mentally and emotionally.
See, I was very close to my stepsister from my dad's second marriage. We were less than a year apart in age and got along insanely well. We did almost everything together. But after the divorce, she never talked to me again. I tried to keep in contact with her for some time, but eventually gave up when I never heard back. It gave me a lot of trust issues because family is the one thing people say will never leave.
After that, I struggled a lot with the idea of my dad dating. I was afraid to let them into my life because I knew that nothing was guaranteed, no matter what people told me. Because every time I even slightly started to let my walls down, something would happen and I put my defenses back up.
Eventually, my trust issues began to expand into relationships of all kinds. I was just afraid that people would leave and take a part of me with them and I hated the idea of that. It's still something I struggle with today. But as time went on, and I opened up to my dad about how I felt, things got easier. I realized it's okay to have a guard up when meeting new people, but that it's also okay to let them in at a pace that you control.
As I look back at my past today, I realized that everything I have been through because of my parents' divorce was meant to happen. I wouldn't be the person I am today if things had played out differently, and I'm thankful for the way things went. My mom is still happily married, and my dad is with someone who is absolutely perfect for him and I completely adore.
And I know that if my parents hadn't split, they would have never found the people they were meant to be with. I know I wouldn't have met certain people in my life that have made huge impacts on me in a multitude of ways. I wouldn't have gotten the chance to experience lots of the things I have throughout my life if things had gone differently.
We all just have to remember that everything happens for a reason. And I couldn't be more grateful for that.