Why My Parents' Divorce Broke My Heart

In the past, my mother, father and brother, were always the three people who had seen me through tough times.  Without feeling that my pride was compromised, I could always count on family support.  After our family meeting, which revealed the biggest change in my life, our lives, they were the three people who shared that exact experience with me.  I have friends who tried to relate their own stories to mine, and friends of friends who hoped to do the same, but a divorce is such a complicated and emotional situation that their stories did not impact me.  I felt alone.  Looking back, feeling alone after learning about the divorce makes sense because the three people who had seen me through tough times in the past, the ones who might possibly understand, were now all involved parties.  The family dynamics were jolted by new conflicts of interest.  Each member of my family went through the same event, the same divorce, but felt different emotions and saw the event through a unique perspective.  We were all fragile for the same reason and still we were not on the same page, at all.  My mother was pained in a different way than my brother. 

My brother and I tried to make sense of what was going on and grew aggravated with each other when we disagreed about aspects of the situation.  I never felt so distanced from my own brother before and, at the same time, I never needed him like I did during that time.  I am four years older than my brother, who was a sophomore in college and living in the frat at the time, it makes sense that brother saw the situation differently than me. 

I grew up with a family who usually saw eye-to-eye on things. Suddenly, the assurance of family support was compromised by thoughts of mistrust and disagreements over matters that were close to each of our hearts.  I felt obligated to hold my true feelings back but my heart was screaming constantly.

It was if there was a pink elephant in the house and we were all walking on eggshells.

There is a reason that, gut feeling, my parents’ separation felt like a much bigger deal than just a change of where each parent would eventually sleep.  It changed each relationship in my family.  My relationship with each individual, brother, father and mother, felt broken and new.  I lost the free and open conversation that I always had at home and that, in fact, is a very big deal.

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