Letters To A Divorced Kid, Part II | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

February 28, 2012

Letters To A Divorced Kid, Part II

Dear Friend,

I hope this letter finds you well.  Last week when I wrote you, I shared a bit of my story.  Being 15 years old and learning that all was not okay on the home front was a life-altering experience for me.  There is so much to deal with in the beginning years of high school, it took every ounce of me to keep going through the motions of life while, life itself was crashing down all around me. 

I had a long road ahead of me.

Here’s the thing: Divorce sucks. It just does.  Because it is something that is out of YOUR control as the kid, but totally affects every part of your life. No one ever grows up thinking that they will have to face dealing with divorced parents.  We all paint a picture of our future, our life. And in that picture, our parents grow old and grey and happy together.  There is something comforting about that image: knowing there is this constant in your life you can always count on.

So when you get the news that your parents will be getting divorced, it’s like the rug is pulled out from under you.  The constant you thought you could always count on becomes a variable.  It is unsettling, upsetting, uncomfortable.  And it does a lot of crazy things to your heart and mind.

First, you aren’t sure who you can trust.  Do you trust your mom?  Your dad?  Do you have to pick sides?  You don’t. You don't have to pick sides. You are on both sides. Because they are both your parents. And you love them both, even when you aren’t happy with the things they are doing. You love them both, even if one (or both) has hurt you.  

Maybe one of your parents walked out without looking back.  Maybe one of your parents left for another person.  Maybe your parents have amicably come to the conclusion that divorce is simply just the best option.  Regardless, they have a place in your life, in your heart. And regardless of how you feel about one (or both) of them presently, remind yourself that they will always remain your mother or father. This truth, however difficult it is to swallow, will help you in the long run. 

Even though life feels topsy-turvy, it will even out. More advice to come next week. Hang in there, friend.



You can read more in the Divorce Series here. I'd love to hear your thoughts, your stories, your encouragement, your advice - so leave a comment below.

Check back Friday for the next Divorce Memoir.


  1. I'm loving this series, by the way.

    The not choosing sides. This is SO completely true. I was 20 when the 'rents separated and as the oldest (and at 20), I could clearly see there was much CRAP that had gone on that I was not (and should not) be privy to...it is/was their baggage and they needed to sort it out. But I was playing the roles of child/young adult, student, and friend. Somedays I had to phase out...had to unload at school...had to just stay at school because I couldn't go home and be the ear when I felt like they needed friends their own age to talk to. It was mostly me, my role, my brothers were too young and my sister was a mess with it all. Anyway...my parents' issues were not over anything that clearly painted one of them as the bad guy...at least not in my eyes. No one cheated for example. This was just unresolved crap from 10 years prior and involved mental illness, moving, lack of support, etc. My sister blamed my mom and sided with my dad but more b/c my mom was the one that (in my eyes) had the courage to say, "I'm not happy." And say she needed time to sort it all out.

    I love the line, "Hang in there." It's a reminder to me that whomever is saying it knows...has been there. It's the reminder that as crappy as the present moment is, I will be OK. Somehow. And I like that right now for something completely unrelated to this post. :)

  2. PS. I shouldn't say "just" to describe their issues. Nothing is "just." All of it is a big deal.

  3. It's so hard when the parents do pull the kids in, and as a result the kids feel like they have to choose sides. My experience of my parents' divorce and my sister's experience are so different. My mom shared stuff with her that she didn't share with me. My dad never said a word, not until years later when it was water under the bridge. I never had to choose sides, and I think it was wrong of my mom to share so much with my sister. My sister has a really hard time dealing with my dad because she only heard my mom's story. Not both sides.


Hey! Share a thought or two - I'd love to hear from you! ~ Steph

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