Feel torn between parents
Hey, my name is Jade and I'm 17 years old.
I'm writing this to share with you my story of how my parents divorced.
7 years ago when I was 10 years old, my mum and dad decided to separate, but it wasn't exactly an amicable breakup as my mum shortly after the breakup had a new partner and my dad didn't like that.
Back then I didn't know what was going on, I always thought everything was okay with my mum and dad as they hid away all the arguments from me and my brothers and sister, so when they did breakup I was confused and upset.
My dad went to live with my nan and I felt bad for him, so I decided to go and stay with him for a bit because I was annoyed with my mum. In my head she was the bad guy.
After a few days of staying with my dad he had told me his side of the story - that my mum had left him for her new partner and that she had chosen him over us It didn't help with my nan and my uncle (my dad's family) getting involved, bad mouthing my mum and influencing my thoughts on the whole situation. I started to hate my mom’s new partner and blamed him for the breakup. I even started to resent my mum and started to believe she was choosing her partner to live with her over me, so I decided I wanted to live with my dad and didn't want to speak to my mum.
After a while I started to feel bad and miss my mum a lot, but i felt guilty for my dad also. I was living with him because I didn't want him to be alone, but I also really wanted to go back home to my bedroom and all my stuff. I was really torn between both parents and the whole situation was a complete mess. If I went home my nan, dad and uncle would hate me and not speak to me. If i stayed I wouldn't be able to see my mum, my siblings and her family. I was so confused.
After about 6 months of not seeing each other, my mum contacted the courts for a custody hearing, believing my dad was influencing me. She contacted an organisation called Cafcass (Cafcass is the voice of children in the family courts and helps to ensure that their welfare is put first during proceedings).
I still felt obliged to stay with my dad as beforehand he had told me to tell them I want to live with him, so that’s what I did, even though deep down I wanted to go home. I just wanted to please my dad because if I told them I wanted to go home he would be upset with me. So I ended up living with my dad, and I hated it. He didn't do all the girly stuff with me that my mum did. I started going through puberty and it was so awkward, I had to turn to my nan for help. I missed my room and my mum. Eventually I started to go over to see my mum and siblings and deep down I wanted to go home, I just pretended I wanted to stay with my dad because I felt bad for him.
5 months had passed and I finally plucked up the courage to go home to my mum. And everything I feared happened. My dad started crying making me feel guilty, my uncle was annoyed and nan even went as far as saying she disowned me! The whole thing was a massively awkward situation, and I wish it hadn't been that way.
Today I still live with my mum, things worked themselves out and I still get to see my dad. My mum and dad decided to put their differences aside for the wellbeing of me and my siblings, and I am happy with the way it is now.
My advice to parents is that no child should feel as though they are torn between their parents.
You should want what is best for your child and make it as easy as possible for them, because after all it isn't their fault, they shouldn't be made to feel guilty for what is out of their control. The breakup is between you and your partner, what is forgotten is that the child still sees you both the same way. No matter what you think of the other please don't influence your child to think the same way that you do about their parent, try to put your differences aside and support their decisions for their sake, let them decide for themselves.
My advice to the children is that you should never feel bad. No matter what your decision, both your mum and dad still love you, no matter who you live with.
I hope reading my story has given you some good advice and knowledge on what a divorce is like for a child, thanks for reading!
Photo: Billie. Creative Commons.