The truth of the matter, these days, is that at least 50% of children will witness their parents separate. From there, life flips upside down. As a child of divorce, I watched the brutal process and the way it made my parents despise each other. When I was five, my father took us on a plane, dropped us in New Jersey, and disappeared before our mother could even figure out what had happened. It's not an uncommon story, anymore. "We're not in love", "We don't know each other". You'll hear these words, and somehow, somewhere in your brain you will decide that love is not for you.
It's a popular notion, that the kids who come from homes like this are less likely to do better, less likely to succeed, more likely to need psychological help and maybe that's right. Perhaps it's the idea of happily ever after shattering before our very eyes that makes us so much more susceptible to the darker nature of the world, and the way it really works that makes us more prone to being down or sad. If not anything else, maybe it's just the fact that we were taught from the time we were young by Disney movies and cartoons that two people were meant to stay together forever, no matter how hard it got.
We become a statistic, we become a number in a book for someone to compare to a regular kid with the white picket fence and the family portrait above the fire place of bright and smiley faces. But we're so much more than that. We're taught people can survive heartbreak. We bear witness to our mothers falling to their knees, our fathers drinking themselves into holes. To see these things at such formative ages, doesn't that make us super heroes in our own right? Do we not earn some sincere badge of honor? I would like to believe that. I truly would.
I refuse to be another statistic for anyone to write about.
I refute the idea that my childhood has made me less capable to succeed, and I don't think anyone else should believe such a thing. I think we are stronger from the places we have come, and we get more strength from where we choose to go following those dark memories. I'm not saying they don't weigh us down, because they do. They scar us. They stay with us, and they never wander too far off from the back of our minds.
We're less likely to allow ourselves to commit to someone because we believe it's doomed to fail. We're less likely to trust anyone to stick around for more than a blink, because we've watched something we believed to be invincible dissolve. We're told we have 'daddy issues', that we're unreachable, that we're cold. We are a whole group, a whole diverse sect of people who have been branded with stigmas that probably pop up in anyone's mind once our parents come into conversation. The truth, the real and honest wound left behind is far from one that wants to keep people out.
We hold on for dear life to feelings that connect us to someone else, while being scared to death that the minute we're brave enough to tread onto this territory, that the ground will slip from beneath us and leave us open to the cruel elements this world can throw at us once more. We pray for a day where we don't look at someone we wake up next to and wonder 'how much longer before you leave, too?' Is it not human nature to fear time? Are we not the only creature on this planet that counts down?
In the end, the kids from broken homes? We're the ones who want nothing more than to be loved. We want to do better, we want more than what we got handed when we were young. We want to succeed, to thrive, to make attachments, we want to love fearlessly because we were noted with such little care while our parents were so wrapped up in what was going on in their lives. We're the kids who want you to remember us down the line when you're thinking of people who made you stop and bask in the sunlight that radiates from our very core.