After two decades of anger, alcohol abuse, and screaming standoffs, my parents called it quits.
"I'm leaving your father."
Learning that your parents are getting a divorce at any age is a devastating thing for a kid, however, I never would have expected it to impact me so much at the age of 23. You generally hear that it affects little kids more because they haven't become a part of the outside world just yet and it often feels like their whole world is falling apart. At first, it was a relief that they were finally going to quit arguing, that the house was going to feel less hostile, that things would get better. That wasn't the case at all. Before I knew it, my whole world did fall apart.
I mostly knew it was coming. My parents didn't have the best relationship and I always thought they would get divorced sooner because of how much they used to fight. What I didn't expect was how much it would change things like the dynamic of my relationships or the viewpoint I had on who each of my parents were. I never would have guessed how much it would impact me as a person. I'm a firm believer that you learn more from trauma than any other life changes. I learned a lot when my parents divorced.
1. The little things are not worth worrying about
The thing about a big event is that it causes the world enough stress all by itself. There is no need to add to that stress by worrying about tiny things that won't matter an hour from now. You have to prioritize what is really important in the long run and what will work itself out. Preserve your health.
2. Change is constant, it's inevitable
This one was one of the harder ones for me to accept. I'm one of those people that fears change. I'm a creature of habit and I find comfort in my habitual ways. Divorce, however, is a world of constant change and to move forward, you have to get on the train. Otherwise, you'll sit and stew in the trauma of yesterday.
3. Not all parents are good ones
I know what it's like to be a single parent and it is more difficult than many things I've experienced in my life. However, parenthood is not something made for all. Some people don't have what it takes to be a parent and the child(ren) involved can usually see that from the beginning. Sometimes we aren't dealt the best set of parents. I believe that it's important to not let that determine your future.
Trauma changes people