Healing does happen
My story begins with five year old me. (I'm now 16 so this was 11 years ago.) My parents were having issues and my dad had been spending most of the little money that we had. Me and my mum had always been closer because my dad had been away working for long periods of time when I was little.
My childhood had no faults until I hit the age of five. My parents were constantly arguing and my mum decided that a divorce would be best for me. Me and my mother moved into a rented house. Eventually my dad and his new woman moved hundreds of miles away and had children - I now haven't seen him or the children for 5 years.
All of this gave me massive trust issues and severe depression in my teenage life, which I have only recently overcome. I can only thank my mum for being there to fight my battles for me and to help me get through these aspects of my life.
One tip I would definitely give to parents who are no longer living with their child/children is to always be consistent with visits and consciously make the effort to put your child first because that's the one thing that will make the child still feel like a priority to you. Always make sure that your child is loved and never ever (under any circumstances) abandon them for a partner or anything else.
For the parent living with the child, remember that the divorce or separation is not your fault because children can often blame the closest person to them, like I sometimes did with my mum when my father wasn't there to blame.
The only advice I can give to children or teenagers coping with divorce is that in life people do fall out of love or are no longer happy together, but this is by no means your fault!! I often felt like I was to blame but this is not true.
If you're suffering with abandonment issues with one of your parents, please remember that they are the adult and they should be the one to make the effort with you and be the bigger person. It is not your fault that they have perhaps left or made wrong choices concerning you, this is their own doing.
Often adults do make wrong choices because after all, we're all human. But just know that hand on heart, it does get easier as time allows you to heal. It took me 10 years to realise that I wasn't to blame for my parents' divorce but once I did, I've felt much better. It's just a case of letting go which can be a very long process for some people just like it was for me. And also, it doesn't matter how long it takes you to heal, just know that it does happen.
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker. Creative Commons.