use your experiences as knowledge, not as doubt.
“We’re getting divorced.”
Whether you were five, fifteen or twenty-five, these words stung. In that moment, the only world you had ever known was torn apart.
They were supposed to be together forever, right?
As millions of questions treacherously spun through your mind, the realization of why didn’t click right away.
You endlessly looked back on memories through a marathon of sleepless nights. You started to remember the nights of arguments down the hallway. You started to recall the lack of hugs and affection. You started to recognize the moments of forced smiles when they were together.
For the people struggling to comprehend the waterfall of divorce emotions, I promise it will make sense someday with plenty of hidden blessings along the way.
First, you will feel angry.
You’ll blame them for all of your problems and moments of weakness. With a swift slam of a door, you’ll disappear and ignore them for days.
Then one day, you will find your dad crying in his car. You’ll learn he is suffering from fear and heartbreak, just like you.
Talk to them. Help them in their vulnerable moments. You’ll realize they are just as much human as you are.
As time heals, you’ll see your mom dance around the kitchen when she makes dinner, and you’ll hear your dad’s infectious laugh again.
Happiness will start to seep back into the cracks of your house as it turns into a new home.
Second, you will say you never want to get married.
Nothing you’ve known lasted forever. Your attitude from experiences will make you think you’re just like them.
Don’t let their love story define your future.
Make your own love story by learning from their mistakes. Don’t rush, don’t settle. Use your experiences as knowledge, not as doubt.
Finally, you will say you want your parents to try it out again.
You will beg. You will try with all of your might to get them together again so it can be back to normal.
But maybe, just maybe normal isn’t what is meant to be.
Your parents might date a few weird people, and that is ok (unless it is a reoccurring cycle; then it is your millennial duty to teach them how to Facebook creep before they are set up on another date). But give them a break, let them find themselves again.
When they do find someone they want to keep around, be open-minded.
Your additional family members could become your long-lost best friends, show you an entirely new perspective on life and fill gaps you never knew were missing in the first place. The new normal will grow into those priceless family moments craved for so long.
Embrace the people your parents learn how to love again with, they deserve it.
But most importantly, no matter how hard the situation is, remember you now have to split time between your parents. So, get off your computer or phone and go cherish your moments with each of them.