Their divorce nearly killed me

Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, the daughter of two yuppies, it seemed like I had everything. I was pretty sheltered, a shy child by nature and nurture. The later cause of my introverted nature was the fact that my parents avoided verbal communication with each other. The only time I remember them directly talking to each other was a rather loud fight.

Instead of providing a good relationship model and any hint of social skills for me, my parents’ example made me evade meaningful social interactions with my peers. I found refuge in school, dance, and music. Unfortunately, my older sister discovered escape through drinking, drugs, and sex.

Fast-forward to late 2003. I was in 8th grade, in the middle of the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad stage of puberty. My parents announce that they are getting a divorce. Although they had been practically divorced during my entire life, this announcement turned my world upside down. My life-long depression spun out of control. I started experiencing suicidal thoughts. The climax of my depression was when I held a knife to my wrist. I wanted to kill myself, but I was afraid of the physical pain I would feel. I ended up putting the knife down. The next day, I went to see my guidance counselor at school. I told her what happened, and long story short, I was sent to the mental hospital. After my hospital visit, I continued therapy and medication.

While I no longer experienced suicidal thoughts, I still had much healing to accomplish. I learned that both my mother and my father had been in long-term relationships with other people (their current spouses). I also learned that my mother had been married before she met my dad. I was disgusted with the deceit and lies my parents had been feeding me. I was stronger than they thought, so why didn't they tell me the truth? I was so irate that they would blatantly lie to me!

In high school, I was still very shy and hesitant to develop real relationships. Subconsciously, I think that I was afraid of being hurt by others. My parents “relationship” consisted of mostly silent treatment, with occasional incidents of passive-aggressive behavior. In my mind, that was the pattern that all relationships followed. Throughout high school and the first year or two of college, I thought that in the rare chance that I became married, I would eventually get divorced.

Both my mother and father remarried, the former in January 2009 and the later in December 2011. My sister was in a serious relationship with a great guy. In my own family, I constantly felt like a third wheel in my family. I only started dating in college, but was consistently disappointed by the lack of authentic men on campus. Fortunately, I became more involved in my church community and learned about self-less, sacrificing, true relationships through academic study and personal witness of couples committed to each other, through good and bad times.

I will always carry some scars from my parents’ divorce. I share my story with you to show you that divorce is a horrible experience for children. If you come from a faith background, the following quote best sums up divorce:

"Divorce is when parents cast of their cross and give it to their children."

My story is just a small example of how deeply wounded our culture is by our destruction of marriage. We must work diligently to restore the true meaning of marriage as a sacrificial, life and love-giving union that produces children and furthers the good of all society. Marriage is a beautiful, life-long commitment and must be carefully entered into and protected and nourished by every one of us.

Comments for Their divorce nearly killed me

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Aug 04, 2016
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I can see what it does to kids...
by: Anonymous

I have three children, my husband left us for another woman who is now carrying his child. I feel my kids pain and really cannot imagine what it's like for them, reading your stories just reaffirmed what I believe they are going through. It will unfortunately scar them and well put re marriage and selfish parents putting their cross on their kids. I fought to save my marriage but clearly 12 years together and three kids meant nothing to him.

I hope and pray my kids will get okay.

Jul 11, 2015
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Thank You
by: Hunter

Thank you so much. That quote is 100% correct lol! My story is a bit different than yours but it definitely helps to know that I'm not alone. I have a younger brother and I'm constantly trying to shield him from my parents' crap and it sometimes feels like my parents literally are trying to kill me but overriding me with stress. But, I also have a continuously-growing relationship with God and that is the Only thing that is getting me through this right now. I almost had a panic attack today and almost broke down in front of my parents. Reading your story calmed me down and made me feel much better. Thank you again for sharing. I'll pray for you. Please pray for me. God bless.

Jun 24, 2014
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Same
by: Anonymous

I am a child now with parents splitting up and I feel exactly the same. When I was reading through it it was like the same as what I would have written (mainly). Very nicely put. Well done x

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