This I Believe

Ted - San Diego, California
Entered on November 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, setbacks

Traumatic experiences help shape who we become. Everyone has at least one traumatic experience in their life that really affects them in the long run. It makes me sad to say that there are too many children experiencing the same traumatic experience, divorce.

Growing up many of my friends parents were getting divorces and I was seeing how badly they reacted to the whole situation. Same story every time; the parents would end up selling their home, moving out of the neighborhood and the child would only be able to see either parent for a restricted amount of time. That sounded horrible to me. So, I told my mom one day when I was about 11 years old that I never want them to get a divorce; I have seen what happens to my friends and I never want to be put in that position. When I was thirteen, my parents divorced.

I remember the day vividly; my mom came out and told me in the front yard after arguing with my father all morning. She said Teddy, I remember when you were younger, you told me that you never wanted your dad and I to get a divorce, but we are, and it is going to be just fine, don’t worry. I couldn’t say anything in response. I felt like I was stabbed in the heart, I had this overwhelming feeling that the reason all of this is happening is because I had been a problem recently. They are upset with me and are taking it out on each other. I felt like it was all my fault.

Not even five months after my parents separated I was on a plane to Tennessee from California to live with my dad. My whole world went up in flames. I had never been to Tennessee, and being fourteen years old at the time, I was mortified to fly by myself to go live in a strange new setting especially since the divorce left my dad and I on bad terms.

Through much therapy and soul searching I believe that any divorce does not revolve around the child and it is never their fault. I do believe that this experience has shaped who I am today and I have no regrets.

Everyday, a child’s life is ripped apart by their parents divorce. In fact, men and women that marry between the ages of 20 to 24 have about a 37.7 percent chance of divorcing. This is a very upsetting number, but if parents do feel it necessary to divorce I believe they should sit their child down and tell them everything that is wrong in their relationship. This will stop all confusion that I along with several of my friends had when our parents divorced.