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My parents’ divorce is a piece of my life that I want to share with you, not because I am looking for sympathy or for advice.

But because it’s an integral part of who I have become, and I think it’s necessary to understand some of the reasons why I am the way I am.

I’m choosing to share these bits of my life with you because I want you to know. I want you to understand.

We lived in the same house for 22 years together.

Their divorce was long awaited. It should’ve happened 10 years earlier. As selfish as I feel my parents had been, staying with each other until Sophia and I were adults was the most selfless act I could imagine a parent could do for their children.

Despite being a full grown adult when it happened, the feelings were still just as hard to process as they would have been had I been a child.

The divorce process began in September of 2014, was finalized in June 2016, and sometimes it still feels like I am in the middle of it.

We are still in Year 1 in terms of being a separate family. Sophia and I made the conscious decision to separate from each other.

There are 2.1 miles in between our homes.

Sometimes it feels like there is a whole world that separates us.

Living as a family of four was a struggle. It was like four tornadoes moving in four different paths of destruction. Living as a family of four was killing us slowly.

Now we live as two sets of two.

In the three years since this started, I have never once allowed myself to have a feeling about it. I’m not condoning that. I’m not saying that’s healthy. I’m not even saying that’s a good idea. In fact, I think it’s a terrible idea. But I feel things too deeply to start to pick apart that burden at such a crucial point in my life.

I’m writing this for you today not because I need to or have to, but because I want you to know that

good things can come from broken pieces of broken homes.

The relationship I have with my dad has been tested and tried and it is stronger than ever. He knows everything about me. He listens when I have to complain. He lifts the heavy groceries when I can’t.

On the opposite end of the equation, the relationship I have with my sister has a completely different dynamic than it’s ever had. This summer, we were able to drive 627 miles in one car together and we both made it out alive, with all limbs intact, and collectively, we only suffered three panic attacks.  It took us 19 years to get to that point.

My family is on a long journey of recovering our broken pieces. We have come so far and we have so far to go.

3 Replies to “Split”

  1. Courtney says:

    Thank you for sharing. My parents divorced when I was 12 and I remember praying for them to split up at a very young age. Now being older, I realize that was fear, powerlessness, anger and a lot of misunderstanding. I could never understand why my mother would never kick my father out or just leave him. Marriage has its own dynamic, love has it’s own and when you add children into the mix there are extra lives, emotions, well beings, futures, etc. to consider. Looking back in retrospect I actually realize that many families are split families and some tend to build and grow better that way.

    Again, thank you for sharing your experience and your feelings.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing Olivia. My parents divorced when I was a teenager and I didn’t understand why. Now that I’m older, I realize that it was probably for the best they separated. Just remember that whether your parents are together or separated it still doesn’t change how much your they love you. You will always be their child and that will never change.

  3. Allikat says:

    My parents got divorced when I was 4, my brother was 7.

    I was happy with the divorce because I despised the way my father treated all of us, especially my mother. My brother took it pretty rough though, I think it really hurt him because my dad was always so kind to him and they connected.. aka my father never hurt my brother, only my mother and me.

    I HATED going from house to house because I HATED being at my fathers house. He was always dragging us to his job or leaving my brother and I to figure out how to entertain and feed ourselves. My poor brother had so much responsibility at such a young age, not even in double-digits yet.

    There were some good times though with my father. Mainly when he would bring us to a park or when we would rough-house or have nerf gun wars.

    But I still felt most at peace and safe at my mom’s. She gave us lots of entertainment, never lost her temper, and embraced snacking 🙂

    Since my father was a very abusive man, both physically and emotionally, I tried to stay away from him as much as possible. For a long time I believed that that was just the way fathers were (I also had close friends with the same type of father, so it seemed really normal)..

    The divorce had another benefit… it gave way for my step dad to come into the picture. My step dad is really Dad to me. He’s a God-loving man, funny, smart, cool (most of the time), and ADORES my mother, my brother, and me. He’s literally THE BEST. (in fact, we all call him Mr. Wonderful as a nickname)

    Another good thing that came out of the divorce was the closeness my brother and I had. We literally were best friends. Kevin protected me and he loved having a little sister. He taught me things that I’ll never forget and I wanted to be just like him. I would follow him around and he would show me things, teach me things, guide me, and always make sure I was safe. I think we really had no choice but to stick together and not argue. We couldn’t argue anyways, there was already enough violence from my father. We hated anger and tempers. My brother saved me from a lot of trauma when I was little too. I’ll never forget when he turned a type of protection into a game, so that I wouldn’t even realize that he was saving me. Instead it was just another fun game to play with my brother, when in reality, he was preventing my innocent ears and eyes from hearing and seeing chaos and abuse towards my mother. Poor little guy, he was only 5-7 doing such a big boy job.

    I’m so glad that you can find happiness with the divorce, Olivia. It’s interesting how we know, as kids and adults, that our parents need to separate. I feel like a lot of parents stay together thinking that it would be better for the kids, when most of time, it doesn’t. Had my mom stayed with my father, it would have gotten worse for all of us. We weren’t safe, physically and emotionally, so leaving Dad was the best move.

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