Written by a child who’s parents got divorced……
Have you ever received a Christmas gift that you weren’t expecting and didn’t want? The summer before I was going into 6Th grade my family moved from my hometown, in New Jersey, to Florida. My parents said that we needed a change and we followed them. In late December that year I heard my parents fighting in their room and I heard bits and pieces of the conversation like “I’m done,” and ” We need to tell them now.” I went to my room with a million and one thoughts in my head of what they were talking about. They came out of the room, my mom crying, they called my brother and I out to the living room. My parents decided to sit us down to tell us something. My dad spoke and said something like, “We tried to work it out, but we can’t.” They told us that their relationship wasn’t working out and they are better a part, so they said they were “getting divorced.” After those words came out the arguing and yelling started.
Receiving this news was devastating. I never thought that it would happen to my family. I always saw it as the four of us. It felt like my childhood and life just stopped and my whole world was about to be flipped around. I was twelve when I found this out and didn’t completely understand what was going on. I heard about it happening to other families from friends and shows, but I always thought it was because they would fight all the time, and I never saw or heard my parents fight until that night. I knew that my life was going to change, but I was unaware of how much and how the process is. I became overpowered by the anger all the time from not knowing what to do. I was always the type to be organized and plan everything out and this was so unexpected I didn’t know what to do. I was angry with myself for not knowing that this was coming. I was also angry at my parents that they were putting me through this.
After finding out this news my family decided to move back to New Jersey because that is where most of my family and support system was. During the process, my parents wouldn’t agree and would just yell at each other. To make it all stop and the papers to get signed I decided to involve myself. I remember sitting at the kitchen table reviewing the finances with my mom, to see how much my dad should/could give her. They weren’t talking at this point and when they would it would just be screaming and not getting anywhere. After coming up with a plan with my mom I would bring it to my dad and sit down with him to look it over to see if he needed/wanted to make any changes. Of course, he did. Then I would go back to my mom for her to review over and so on. I did this for about a year until they came up with a plan that my parents and the judge agreed on. The whole process took around four years and it was mostly because they wouldn’t agree on issues dealing with the distribution of money.
I became involved because I was tired of hearing all the screaming and negative things said about each other. I thought being involved would help so I quickly learned to grow up and to understand more about finances. During the whole process I felt abandoned by the responsibilities my parents were supposed to do and now only having one parents, my mom, it was hard for her to do everything. I wanted to do anything I could to help her because she fought a hard fight to keep my brother and I with her. I started to help more and more around the house. I felt like I’d become the other parent in the house and like my childhood was gone, but it was something I choose to do and sacrificed since she did so much for me. In middle school, instead of having done the normal kid thing I would be doing the basic adult things. I had become more mature. I would do the dishes, cook dinner, go food shopping, etc. My life became more complex.
After those four years the divorce papers were signed and my dad was moved out. It became my brother, mom, and I. I walked home from the school bus stop after school one day to a letter on the door. I went inside, put everything down, and read the letter. It was an eviction
notice. We had to leave the house because my dad wasn’t paying like he was supposed to be doing. I called my mom crying, upset that I would have to leave the house that I lived in my whole life, where I grew up and had so many memories in. About two months later we were moved out and into a new home, a smaller home. We had to find something that my mom could afford and in the same town so I didn’t have to change schools senior year. I never called this place my home, but the place we lived in until we got back on our feet. One year later we found our new home. It is in the next town over, I was able to stay at my school to finish out senior year, it is close to the water, and it is a good amount of space to live in. This place became my new home the minute I saw it, I pictured myself living there. This new home is where my new life began.
When I saw and read that notice on the front door I felt like my whole world was ending. I loved that house and it’s still hard to pass by it knowing another family is there and you’re not. My childhood house would never be forgotten, I will always have the memories there. Looking back on it now it was a good thing to move out, it gave us a chance to move on. That house brings back memories of my whole family together, the four of us. We needed that change. We had to move on and stop living in the past because that’s the only thing that we can do. It hurt a lot and it still hurts talking about it now, but if we were still in that house things would be different and we would be living in the past and it wasn’t healthy. I hated the first house I moved into. It was small and in a bad area, the house kept falling apart. I didn’t want to be in that house, but I also didn’t want to move again. My mom would drag me to see these houses and I couldn’t see myself in any of them, I just wanted to be back in my home. That wasn’t an option and it never will be. We went to this one house and I actually thought to myself that this might be good, I saw myself living there and having family and friends over, I was excited. I realized that’s why my mom brought me to these she was looking for that smile I had on that day. She knew that was the home. My new home gave me that chance to move on and live my life and to put the past behind me instead of searching to fix it.
No matter what happens to you there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Bad things happen to the best of people and the worse, it’s just how things go, you just have to look at the big picture and hope to see the good one day. If we just sit there hoping for things to change we aren’t living. Everyone has to move on and hope that the future is brighter and that things will change. We can’t change the past so why bothering stressing out about it. During my parents divorce I was always trying to fix things, but I couldn’t, not because I wasn’t trying hard enough, but because it was already broken. I wasted four years stuck in the past. When I opened eyes, everything changed and it changed for the better. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and breath to realize that everything will work out in the end.
Without my parents getting divorced I wouldn’t be here where I am today. I don’t even know what my life would be like. It shaped who I am today and for that I am thankful. If I didn’t get involved I wouldn’t have found my love for math and business. If my parents didn’t fight all the time I wouldn’t have focused on my studies as hard for a way to escape. I wouldn’t be as close with my brother. My life has turned out good and I can’t wait for the future. I hope to be successful and help other children that are dealing with the same thing I went through and let them know they are not alone.