I don’t really know how to word things sometimes. Especially when it comes to sensitive subjects. But here I go:
If there’s anything scarier than everything you know taking a U-Turn and changing on you, lemme know. That’s just real life. It doesn’t matter in what form that means, humans have to learn to adjust to change. And even if you’re used to change, it can still be scary.
For me, that means divorce. In the last 9-10 months, everything I’ve known for my whole life has changed. My parents had me at 17 & 18 and got married when I was almost 2, so I’ve grown up with them, essentially. When my parents split up, I was less than a month away from being 17.
I have a weird position in this break up because of being the first born, an older sister, and a kid that understands everything going on. I know a lot of people whose parents got divorced when they were really little and it’s affected them in a totally different way than it has me. So let me tell you how it feels from where I’m standing.
No one prepares you for the way you’re gonna feel. From the fights, to the separation, to the living apart, and then the actual divorce. No one tells you how different it feels, especially at first. No one tells you how you notice the families that are together more now since yours isn’t. No one tells you any of that stuff.
What they do say is “aw you poor thing”, “are you okay?”, “I bet you’re sad they’re not together anymore, huh?”. They’re not gonna realize it hurts you more to talk about how your family is different. It sucks.
When you’re 17 and your entire life, even if it was fighting and chaos, shifts completely, it’s not easy coming back from it. It would be a total lie if I told you it was. There are books and articles written on stuff like this but you don’t know what it feels like until you yourself go through it (kind of like everything else).
Not saying this is what you’re going to or would go through if this was you, but I fell into darkness when my parents split up. I walked through the darkest valleys. I noticed when people didn’t notice. I noticed when people didn’t ask me how I felt. I noticed when I lied and said I was good. I’ve never wondered why God set things up the way He did like I did then. I had been in some dark places prior to them actually splitting up, but once it happened, it got worse.
I started to feel like I had zero control over anything. I couldn’t decide for them, I didn’t have a say. Now I couldn’t even decide on how I felt. It comes in waves, some bigger than others. I never know when it comes, I never know when it’ll come again. Even good days can be dampened by, what I call, a “funk”. The youth group Christmas party, a random Tuesday, my 17th birthday.
There’s no easy bouncing back. Now we go on separate vacations, we have two Christmases, two 4th of July’s, different lifestyles. My 9 year old brother asks questions and I don’t know know how to answer them sometimes.
I’ve gone through counseling ever since September and one thing my counselor has told me is that besides dealing with the loss of my aunt, i’m also dealing with the loss of what used to be. The loss of an ideal family.
I wouldn’t say I wanted them to stay together. I wouldn’t say living in the middle of the fights, the scariness, the bitterness, resentment, chaos was what I would’ve wanted for my life or my brother’s life. Or theirs. But Father, why this way? Why is this the path for us? Why did You make me go through that?
I think it’s because He allows a darkness to remind us that He’s the Light.
I have a friend that went though the same experience and we swapped stories over breakfast once and she told me her story. She said “I don’t know why I had to go through all of this. But maybe it was to help you.”
If my pain and my lowest helps bring someone else out of theirs one day, it’ll all be worth it. They say God never wastes a hurt and I believe it.
Even after my parents’s divorce and the passing of my aunt in May, Jesus has been good. He knows exactly how anxiety has built up and depression has affected me. Without Jesus, I wouldn’t be able to stand on a stage and sing with kids and say “My God is good, My God is great”.
Jesus is the reason. Praise be.