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Your Tewksbury Today

Coming From A Divorced Family

Aug 02, 2016 05:50AM ● By Caitlyn Leary

Columnist Caitlyn Leary and her family after her 2015 graduation from Tewksbury Hiigh.

Growing up in a family where you are loved unconditionally by both of your parents, but then realizing that they no longer love each other, can be a very difficult concept to accept for any child. It is extremely hard for a child to let go of what used to be one, big happy family and learning to share your time with both of your parents equally. Even though you will no longer make memories together, you will make new memories with each of your parents in separate ways. Here is my story and how it has made me a hardworking and stronger person. I hope this inspires young ones, teenagers and adults that, even though you are going through a hard time today, it will get easier and you will overcome these current struggles.
I was ten years old when I started to really understand the constant arguments that were going on in my family. I started to see the true unhappiness that both of my parents felt when they were around each other. Even though they both put on a brave face and would always strive to make my brother and I happy, they were not truly happy. This eventually made both my brother and I very unhappy. We hated seeing and hearing the constant fighting.
Like any adolescent, I started going on a downward spiral and I was getting myself into trouble constantly. Every time I would get myself in trouble, whether it be in school or at home, it would cause another fight between my parents and this just ended up making everyone more miserable. I then started hanging out with the wrong crowd and didn't see a point in being home. I slept at my friends houses every night of the week just to escape the fighting. It was my only escape.
Seventh grade came to and end, and I came home and realized that all of my father's belongings were gone and he didn't even say goodbye. He left without saying anything to me, and this crushed me. I thought he left my brother and I forever, but come to find out, he moved in with his brother because my parents had gotten separated. I never thought that this day would come. I broke down in tears and thought the world was ending. My family was broken and I never thought it would be the same.
That same summer is when my parents finalized their divorce and my brother and I were to live with my father. We had a set schedule for visitations with my mom, but that didn't really stick. We still saw my mom every single day. I still had both of my parents in my life every day, but it just didn't feel the same as it did when I was little. Divorce takes a very long time to adjust to. Everything is different, but it does get easier.
Fast forward to freshman year, I got into my first real relationship and that made everything a little easier. I had an escape to go to everyday, to a family that all loved each other. Yes, they did have their own struggles, but at the end of the day they were all one big happy family under one roof. This gave me hope that things would one day be easier, and that both my parents would both find their own happiness with whoever they chose to be with.
I was right, both of my parents found a significant other during my freshman year, and they both seemed happy. I wasn't angry that my parents were beginning new chapters in their lives, but, for a while, I didn't understand why my parents just fell out of love. I now am just thankful that my parents found love and happiness again. That is all I want for my parents, and it's okay that they didn't find that in each other anymore because I know it will never change anything between my relationship with either of them.
As I grew older, I started to understand more clearly how you can fall out of love with someone. I know they never did it to hurt my brother or me. They divorced each other to make themselves happy which in the end made my whole family happier. We didn't have to listen to constant fighting anymore.
I'm now going into my sophomore year of college and I hold no grudges or any anger towards either of my mother or father for their divorce. Although they made mistakes while I was growing up, they weren't making them on purpose. You have to make mistakes in order to learn from them. This all comes with age, and it takes a long time to process divorce.
Although I was mentally hurt by this divorce in hundreds of different ways, I grew stronger from it. I have learned that you can never take time for granted and that you need to make time for your loved ones before it is too late. I have learned that just because you are going through something difficult, doesn't mean that you are the only one who is feeling the way you are feeling. This divorce sent me into a downward spiral but I have since woken myself up, and started getting good grades in school which has granted me the opportunity of studying Secondary Education and American History at a private university in an excelled four plus one program which allows me to obtain my masters degree in five years. My parents have taught me what matters in life and what shouldn't matter in life. I want to inspire the youth that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Even though growing up fast makes you miss out on things, I wouldn't want it any other way because now I have knowledge on how to guide my own children and students one day in the right direction. I thank my parents everyday for making mistakes because it has helped me be the strong young woman that I have grown up to me. I love both of my parents unconditionally, and that will never change no matter how many mistakes they make.
If my story has helped just one reader realize that things will get easier, that is all that matters to me. Also, don't forget to tell your sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends how much they mean to you, because they are the ones who will help you get out of your struggles. Family doesn't have to be blood. You can find people who care about you in numerous ways. Remember that you are never alone in your struggles and there are always people who will want to help you.

(Caitlyn Leary is a rising sophomore at Franklin Pierce University. She is a 2015 graduate of Tewksbury High.)

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