By Madison Fraser | Reporter
“Divorce is hard, especially on the children.” This common phrase is often said from relatives, neighbors, friends, colleagues or really anyone who has heard the news that someone is getting divorced. However, when those children become adults and their parents get divorced, the impact seems more intense.
I was beginning my first year as a transfer student at Baylor, thousands of miles away from home when I received the phone call my mom was on her way to move across the country, without my dad.
This came as such a shock to me because I was halfway through college and my older brother was already three years out of college. We were supposed to have been in the clear. Growing up, I saw my friends’ families separate or divorce and I always feared my parents would be next. But of course, they were a strong couple that put the needs of their children first. They hardly fought and they always worked together as a team. My brother and I only saw them as great parents, but missed what their relationship lacked behind the scenes.
What I saw from the divorces of my friends’ parents was that young children adapted the easiest. Their schedules were set for them and they knew which parent they would see each day. I, on the other hand, had the hardest time with what came next. Because my mom moved across the country and my dad still lived in our California home, I worried about how the holidays would work and how much time I would get to see each parent. These worries became part of my routine and haven’t gone away.
I struggled my first year at Baylor because of the divorce. I was always worried about someone despite the assurance from each parent that this was all for the best.
In college, there’s so much that constantly changes, and the one thing you’re supposed to be able to count on in your life is your home and who lives in it.
What I learned through my parents’ divorce, however, is that they are real people too. I think I wouldn’t have realized that as quickly if I were younger when they had separated. While it hurt to go through the pain of my family separating, I saw the need for my mom to have a different life. As a child, I wouldn’t have been able to understand the choices they each made for themselves. Selfishly, I would have rather seen them work through things and reconcile. But being older and arguably wiser, I was able to understand and empathize with them.
Today, I still struggle with the uncertainty that came from the divorce. My parents have moved, acquired new jobs and found new partners. Everything that comes from change is frustrating, but I have learned so much about myself, and my family, through this process. Ultimately, you have the opportunity as an adult to handle the difficulties life throws at you in a way that will positively affect your future. I am honored to come from a family that is no longer perfect. It has shown me to fight for the things that better me and be willing to let go of the things that do not anymore. Endings are hard, but changes can be for the better.