How Someone’s Mental Health Doesn’t Get Affected By Parents’ Divorce

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Jolene had been my best friend since fifth grade. I was a transferee back then and found it challenging to connect with my classmates, but Jolene befriended me immediately. While we were the exact opposite of each other – she was tall and funny; I was stout and silent – it somehow didn’t deter us from liking each other’s company.

Whenever we ate lunch and did our assignments together, Jolene would always crack jokes and make things light. (That’s especially true when we’re doing math – our least favorite subject.) She was charming and nice to my parents, too, to the extent that Mom often allowed us to have slumber parties. If you ever met my best friend, you would think that Jolene only experienced sunshine and daisies throughout her childhood.

Unfortunately, the reality was far from that. The reason is that Jolene turned out to be a product of divorce. At first, I did not realize it because her parents always took turns driving her to and from school. On all the occasions that I met them, I never saw my best friend sulk or roll her eyes while either parent wasn’t looking. I only thought of asking when I read Jolene’s permission slip for our field trip and saw that her mother used a different surname.

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I asked, “Oh, did your mom keep her maiden name after getting married?”

Jolene simply replied, “No, she started using it again after her divorce with dad was finalized.”

I was quick to apologize, hoping my question did not offend her, but Jolene waved her hand and laughed. She said, “Hey, it’s okay! It’s not like I was hiding or ashamed of being a product of divorce.”

I stood there, dumbfounded. The last kid I met at my old school whose parents went through the same thing became a rebel overnight. He vandalized the lockers, caused a commotion in the public library, and did everything else that his mom and dad told him not to do. When a teacher yelled, “Stop! Why are you doing this?!” he yelled back, “My parents said they would never split, but they did, and I hate everyone for it!” And here, my best friend was, seemingly unaffected by her folks’ divorce.

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I asked out loud, “How can your mental health be unaffected by all this change?”

Jolene gave me a few reasons that got stuck in my head even decades after hearing them.

There Was No Longer Fighting At Home

My best friend’s primary reason was that her mom and dad used to fight a lot when they were still together. It apparently started with which plates they would use for a family dinner and came to a point where they fought about a slight wrinkle on the bedsheets. Even from a young age, Jolene realized her parents were merely looking for ways to spite each other.

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When the divorce proceedings took place, though, Jolene’s parents still had to go through marriage counseling. That’s when it came to light that the soon-to-be-ex couple forgot how to communicate and lost their romantic love somewhere along the way. But this news helped them become best friends later, so it’s all good.

They Became Better Parents Post-Divorce

Since Jolene’s mom and dad were busy pinpointing each other’s misgivings, they turned into neglectful parents for a little while. My best friend said that there were days when she would go to school without ironed clothes or lunch because her mother forgot to help her dress up in the morning. Then, she walked a few blocks to get home because her father started a yelling match with her mom and didn’t see that it was time to pick up Jolene.

I couldn’t imagine those instances ever happening because of how devoted Jolene’s parents seemed to her. She said, “Yes, they have leveled up at co-parenting since the divorce, so I have no complaints. Perhaps it’s because they no longer live under the same roof, so their time doesn’t get wasted antagonizing each other, and they can focus on me now.”

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They Deserve To Find Happiness

According to Jolene, she had been encouraging her mom and dad to reenter the dating scene. Again, it took me by surprise because I had never met any child of divorce who was this open to letting their parents find new love. If my folks broke up (knock on wood), I don’t think I could do that.

But Jolene reasoned that her parents had been unhappy for years in each other’s arms, so they deserved to look for their own happiness. “I would be selfish to ask them otherwise,” she uttered.

Final Thoughts

I’ll have you know that Jolene’s parents ended up remarrying each other after a decade of being divorced. They had relationships with other people before it happened, and my best friend was cool with it. Still, she was the happiest girl in the world when she found out that her parents were tying the knot again.

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At the reception, Jolene told me, “See, if I acted up years ago and didn’t support my parents’ decision, they would have stayed together unhappily. But now they chose to be together without any prompting from me, and I know that this marriage would last this time.”

 

Mental Health Counseling For The Family

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Throughout the years, mental health has become less and less of a taboo in our society. We are slowly accepting and understanding the truth about mental illness and what we can do to help the people who are affected by this. With what is happening in the world today – the pandemic, being in quarantine, economic decline, and losing physical interaction – it is understandable for many of us to be in mental or emotional distress. So, we need to educate ourselves on the many facts of mental health.

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What Goes Around, Comes Around – Separated During The Lockdown

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I was not just brokenhearted last February. My whole being was devastated due to the fact that my husband of twelve years left me for a younger woman. There were issues of COVID-19 at that time when I heard him talking to her over the phone. “I will be with you, and yes. I will divorce her. I will tell her about it tonight.” I did not make tonight happen, for I walked out of that house, a house that was supposed to be a home for us. We dreamed together that we would grow old there, but then, he was divorcing me. How could he do that?

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Types Of Children From A Dysfunctional Family

In the 2019 parenthood events, there is an emphasis on how toxic parental roles affect the children’s upbringing. Such toxicity can influence the kids’ habits and traits that they somehow carry on to adulthood. It is noted that family dynamics that incorporates compulsive behavior often makes children take on the same example. Therefore, children quite come up with the role that they try to fit in the family.

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The Hero – A hero-type of children from a dysfunctional family is often the responsible ones. These kids are mature and wise beyond their younger years. Most of these hero-type kids are viewed as well-composed, self-sufficient, and over-achievers. However, in reality, these children suffer silently. They carry the burden of sadness from their parent’s toxic behaviors. These kids force themselves to become the opposite of their parents regardless of whatever it takes.

The Troublemaker – Usually, this type of child is the family’s scapegoat. These children are the ones who often take the blame for their parents’ incompetent actions. These kids are angry, aggressive, and defensive. They always put on a strong personality making most of them the leader of their social groups. But what people do not know is that they build walls around themselves out of fear. These children are emotionally sensitive and self-destructive.

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The Enabler – Children take on this role when they try to hide their dysfunctional family’s negative aspects. These kids appear to be the caretakers of the family. They do not know how to cope with the toxicity, so they do not try to confront every one of their behavior; they make excuses for other people to mask down their family’s dysfunctionality. These kids secure the family by convincing people to believe they are happy and well-rounded. These children distract people because they know how to show cheerful demeanor despite having an emotional dilemma.

Common Family Issues During This Pandemic

There are times that we know our families are the ones we want to be around. It is where we feel safe and loved. In a pandemic situation that we are dealing with, they are the ones we can hold onto. However, sometimes our family can give us an opposite feeling of comfort. There are instances that even if we are with them, we still feel alone, different, and in danger. In this time of the global health crisis, let us debunk some of the family toxicities that happen unnoticeably inside some of our homes.

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There’s A Chance Of Disrespect To Boundaries

All of us can love our families. However, there are instances that sometimes the small annoying things they do are what get us into our nerves. During this pandemic, it seems like they feel too attached to you that they forget to respect boundaries. Some feel they are entitled to just barge into your room just because they do not have anything to do during the lockdown. In some cases, your parent and siblings just won’t leave you alone and often get upset when you spend most of your time with your device. Of course, there is no such thing as “get out of my life.” Most times, when you want to feel alone for a while and just relax your thoughts a little bit, your family always comes up with a thing that inevitably annoys you.

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There Are Little To No Meaningful Conversations

Our family is supposed to help strengthen our communication skills. However, most units during this pandemic situation forget about the importance of having a good conversation. Honestly, if you try to ask people what are their usual daily routine, you might get shocked to find out that most families do not share a meaningful discussion even for five minutes. They get accustomed to the idea that each member of the unit should find a way to manage this situation independently. Therefore, it becomes none of your parents or siblings’ businesses to talk to you, not unless they can benefit something out of the topic.

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Family Situations Induce Mental Torture

One thing that all of us can hate about family toxicity during this lockdown situation is when we get caught up in the middle of a fight. That sometimes, even if it is not our fault, we end up apologizing because it kinds of feels like it is. When our parents argue about something, we feel frustrated and want to isolate ourselves even more, and that is not healthy at all. Being stuck with our parents and siblings who make fighting as a hobby is no different in living alone. There’s the buildup of antagonizing stress that makes us wish we could go outside and spend the rest of our time with friends and colleagues. The constant disagreements and unpleasant arguing somehow weakens our ability to appreciate being surrounded by the ones we love.

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Your Family’s Problems Become Yours

As much as you want to stay mentally and emotionally focused so that you can survive this pandemic, your family somehow affects you at all costs. Their problems instantly become yours, and there is nothing you can do about it. At some point, it takes over your whole life because you can never make decisions anymore. In some instances, your opinion somehow doesn’t matter. If your parents are on the verge of breaking down, you also end up going down with them. And when your siblings find it hard to move on, you find yourself picking them up even if that means there is no one to pick you after.

 

How I Raised My Child Alone

Attending the 2017 single parenthood summit is the best thing that ever happened to me. Because after all those years of trying to figure out my situation, the event became a blessing. Honestly, being a single parent is quite hard. You get judged, criticized, blamed, and hated by almost everyone. It is as if your decision becomes someone else’s misery. Well, I can’t blame them because that is how society blinds itself from the truth. So instead of focusing on the negativities, I managed to incorporate strategies on raising my child alone.

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I Removed Guilt – My decision to have a child is not someone else’s problem. It is my choice, and I know I have to deal with that. Removing the guilt that everybody tries to input in me is the best thing that I did. I realized that for me to be able to start with my life, I must practice the art of minding my own business.

I Set Limits – Raising a child alone requires double the effort. Honestly, you can never do both. The whole process is exhausting, and sometimes it makes you want to quit. However, setting up a limit on things that you can and can’t do manages everything. You need to understand the difference between responsibility and priority before you make a move.

Stay Positive – Yes, in certain situations, you can never stick to positivity. Life can be a mess, and sometimes it drags you to the pit. However, when you think about your child, and how life would be for your kid, things change. You begin to realize that the grass is always greener on the other side.

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Always Show Love – There is nothing more precious in this world than your kid. Giving everything is not enough if you cannot love unconditionally. Yes, single-parenting can drive you crazy. But the whole effort and sacrifices are everything that makes the struggle worth it.

Being A Single Parent Makes You Stronger

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It is ideal that a child has both parents growing up. The role of the father and mother are both equally vital to the wellbeing of a child. Fathers provide strength and courage while mothers give love and tenderness. Unfortunately, not all families have both. Some have a father but don’t have a mother and vice versa. Many instances may result in this kind of situation like the death of one parent, abandonment, or other more complicated reasons like the father not knowing that he has a child.

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Suits (Series): A Story Of A College Dropout

[You Can Be Great If You Choose To]

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Suits is an American television series which tells a story about Mike Ross, a college dropout who has a photographic memory or eidetic memory. He can extraordinarily recall everything he reads in a book, even if he had just read it for the first time. His skill was promising and made him aspire for greatness. Unfortunately, his best friend, Trevor, sold a test to a fellow student who happened to be the dean’s daughter. Mike took the blame and lost his scholarship and got kicked out of college. To make up for literally ruining Mike’s life, Trevor rented an apartment for Mike, but it doesn’t make any difference. Mike’s life turned messy as he got involved with Trevor’s illegal activities involving illegal drugs. He also was taking the bar exam for students who were not confident to pass.

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Words Of Encouragement After Losing Your Better Half

[You Can Still Succeed]

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One of the most devastating events that could happen in a lifetime is losing your better half, primarily when you have not yet achieved your goals. “The impact of bereavement and grief over the loss of a loved one causes most people to grieve and mourn.  It is a mistake to set a time limit for so-called “normal” bereavement,” says Clifford N. Lazarus Ph.D. How are you supposed to move on and continue with your plans? This kind of tragedy can mark a turning point in your life where you can choose to drown in grief or rise. Losing your spouse doesn’t make the world stop spinning. It will continue to do so no matter what, and that’s how life is.

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Teenage Pregnancy Should Not Be The End Of Dreaming

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Alona and I are sisters, and I love her with all my heart. We are the only children of our parents who love us unconditionally, although I have to say I may have disappointed them when I got pregnant when I was 18. I was still in college back then, and I had to stop going to school and get a job, but my parents insisted that I finish my studies. The guy who got me pregnant went missing, and my parents said to not bother looking for him because if he wanted to stand up for what we did that he would show up right in front our doorstep.

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