This I Believe

Kaitlin - newark, Delaware
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

Divorce, separation- to get away from the person you once “loved” because you can’t stand them. They can’t do anything right, anything “good enough”. That is my definition of divorce. Why do people get divorced? Some reasons are because they got married too early, not being ready; or they hate each other’s guts. In some cases one of the partners kept secrets, or cheated or was in the middle of a “midlife crisis” or something like that. It can be devastating to the partner if it is out of nowhere. It’s really sad actually because so many marriages come to divorce so fast. It’s really bad when they have kids; now they aren’t only altering their lives, they are changing other people’s too. It is not fair to the kid if they have to listen to yelling and having to “pick” the better parent. In a lot of cases the parents can try to turn the kids on the other parent so they can have child custody. Did you know that Discovery Channel found out that marriages that have no kids have a 66% chance of divorce? It is because of becoming lonely they want something more. Only 40% of marriages with children crumble to divorce. You know, my parents are divorced.

When I was younger, a lot of my friend’s parents were divorced. Lots of them had to go to counseling; they would get really upset about it. My best friend at the time was going through the same thing that I was at the time; she was like a sister to me. I loved her dearly; we hung out every day, even weeks sometimes. We talked about everything that happened with our families. Since we were so close, that meant lots of sleepovers. I remember waking up to get a snack or go to the bathroom and getting near the kitchen and seeing her sister sleeping on the couch. Her mom was at work until 1am, her dad wasn’t there either. He ended up cheating on my friend’s mom. He also was an alcoholic so he went drinking at night. Almost every night that I spent over there, he wasn’t there. Her parents are divorced now and mine are too. Her house was a safe house for me. Just because the stress at my house did not follow me, and if it did I knew she understood me. She was the one person who didn’t feel sorry for me. My friend wasn’t one to come up to me and pat me on the shoulder and tell me, “Its going to be okay” or, “god will help you through this”. Being at her house made me feel happy, her parents didn’t yell at me. I was always there for her, like she tried to be for me. It just seemed better to be there.

My parents have always fought for as long as I can remember; I got upset about the fighting and throwing stuff as any kid would. I remember being around 7 years old; I was sitting on the stairs with my head against the banister in our townhouse, listening to the yelling back and forth from my parents, and trying to stop my self from crying. My mom left the house for about 4 hours by herself to cool down and get away from my dad. I thought she was gone forever. But when she returned she told me like she usually did after she came back, “I won’t leave you here to be stuck with him.” Sometimes when I got older my mom and I would talk about getting a house and having lots of animals. I would fantasize about it. My dad doesn’t like animals like my mom and me. Living on a farm with my family was my dream. No more fighting but when there was, I could ride that horse I wanted far away, go fast and let the excitement of running and the feeling of flight overcome the stress. I kept daydreaming and thinking, ” It would be amazing”.

I was a daddy’s girl; he couldn’t do anything wrong. Its really sad how I thought that was true. I have gotten treated like an angel and I felt so special, now that I am older I see how manipulative he can be. I love him still, but I don’t trust him, or I try not to. My mom, she is crazy protective. I love her but she can be frustrating with her rules or her strong personality. Through my life (especially when I was 12 to the current day) I have had to act like an adult. That means I have taken care of my younger siblings, gotten them ready for school and stuff like that. It’s annoying, but when it would be us in the morning, parents not home and it just us, it was calm and realistically un-stressful. I think I am really mature for my age because I had to adapt to my new responsibilities. This is what Daniel from T.I.B. wrote “Having divorced parents made me grow up quicker than I wanted and forced me to grow up quicker than I had hoped to. I don’t blame them for the way I am but their situation has caused certain messages and experiences in my life to be lost.”

Now I am 14 years old; it’s May 2007. My parents got divorced in October. They still haven’t worked out the “housing” and “kid” arrangements. Because of money problems they are forced to live under one roof. It is pretty interesting, watching my parents trying to over rule each and not be overruled other and complaining about each other to the kids in the house. I believe that divorce can be a great thing (once they are in different houses). I wonder why kids my age hate divorce. If their parents have the same problems mine do, why would you want them to stay together and cause so much stress? If they tried to fix their problems and can’t or don’t want to… Why would the kid blame it on him-self or her-self and want them to stay together? I know, with all the crap I went through I am praying it will get better. I believe it will get better too. I KNOW it will. My parents being together has caused so much stress in my life that when they occasionally get along I wait for one of there little fights to burst out of nowhere…. That’s the thing. Whenever I thought the fighting and unhappiness went away and we were a “normal” family it flew apart. On those occasions I was happy, my whole family was happy; I loved it. I don’t think it has lasted a WHOLE day though. It usually ends up in a screaming match. It always ends up the same way, unless they are by themselves. That is why it would be good for a divorce. When my parents are apart its not as stressful and annoying. They argue about EVERYTHING! No matter how small, they challenge everything each other says. I can’t wait for it all to settle down a little bit.

Divorce is an ending of a marriage before death of either spouse. You can take it in a good way or a bad way. I choose that it is better to look on the bright side of all of the mess. I ask myself, “When this is over what did I learn and how is this going to help me?” It makes me hopeful and I don’t mean think “MORE PRESENTS!” What stress will it relieve in my life? I hope that it all works out. I believe it will. I believe divorce can be a good thing. But now I will just keep dreaming about that horse!