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Children of Divorce, Holler if You Hear Me

 

   My sister Anastasia Beaverhousen and I were joking around the other day about how our parents never gave us the divorce talk.
    No, you didn’t misread. I did say joking.
I was saying, “Next time I’m with Dad I’m going to make him give me the divorce talk! ‘Kids, we both love you. But Mommy and Daddy are going to live in separate houses now.”
   We get to laugh because it’s amazing what happens when you start to heal. When it doesn’t hurt like it used to. When you decide to take control over what happens to you in your life. You get to laugh. You get to put what happened a decade ago at peace.
    We laugh because no one had to tell us that our parents were getting divorced. I mean, technically I kinda was thinking they were going to kill each other first, so ending in divorce was best case scenario. I mean, I sat in the front row of the demise of a 20+year marriage. People who started dating in high school. A marriage that there was a substance abuse problem. The abridged version is….It was messy.
  So no, they were no Full House style family conversation!
To be fair, if they sat down 16 year old Brittany to have a divorce conversation, she probably would have responded with “No shit sherlock.”
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I’ll tell you some things that did occur though….
I was listen to a lot of Kelly Clarkson, “Because of you.”
There was a spray paint message across the front of our home from one spouse to another.
There was one leaving and living with someone half their age.
    The someone who was half your parents age did scream at you in the middle of your neighbor hood and also yell up the street that you are the “fat sister.” (Hmmm.. you know I’m a kid right? Am I infuriating? You bet. But you are an adult right?) After getting screamed at multiple times in public,  did I go over there one day with my sidekick Carter and flush all this persons rings down the toilet? No one can be sure.
     There was random people in town who would engage with me in a conversation in my ice cream window, at my job, about my Mother. “You need to be supporting your mother right now!”
Umm…
      I said, “You need to not be talking about my parents divorce while I am 16 years old and working at my job. Never mind the fact that I was raised in an Irish Catholic family that does NOT love talking about the hard stuff. So you are basically mortifying me right now. I haven’t seen you in 6 months and you really don’t know what you are talking about, so kindly exit my line.” 
Oh wait, that’s not right…
What I actually said was, “Do you want whip cream on that?”
        Some parents thought I was bad news. Hey Judy. But I was really just angry and confused.
My brother was teasing me the other night saying that I “cried out of college.” I was like oh shit.. it’s been long enough? We are starting to joke about this? A lot to digest. Considering the same month that I went to college my parents divorced, both moved out of our childhood home, went their separate ways, and put the house on the market. My sister was abroad in Spain and she was the only person that I talked to about family stuff. It was not 2016 and we could only communicate by email and she was backpacking. So…. ya. I cried. Being in another state didn’t work while everything you ever knew about your life was deteriorating  back at home. It was less than ideal.
     Especially when coming home meant moving in with one of your parents who is having the worst time of their life. You mutter under your breath as you walk in the house at midnight.. “please don’t be dead. please don’t be dead.”
      Some people were in my corner when they had no obligation to be. Which undoubtedly helped change the course of my life and helped shape me into the mostly functional, semi-responsible, hard working adult that I am today. I got this email the other day from someone I talk to maybe once a year and it made my week! I typically don’t like people sharing notes online, it seems to take away the specialness of it. Yes offense to every one on Instagram. (My boyfriend wrote I LOVE YOU Babe. xo on a note pad and left it on our counter. #soblessed) #barf.
   I have to make an exception to my general rule to share this email I got. It proves my point that EVERY ONE goes through some type of hard time in their life. Something emotional traumatic will happen to you at some point in the course of your life. Fact.
   What happens doesn’t matter, it’s how you heal from it. You can be hurting, but you don’t have to be broken forever. But you do have to lean on people. You do have to tell someone that you are having a hard time. You can’t push it down because it will eventually come out. So take control of how it comes out.
This is the email from someone I leaned on.
 “I love your new site.  You have a lot to say in a fun way, not preachy or “I know better than you because I’ve been through it”.  I enjoy your writing style and I remember that wacky Brit sense of humour and sincere love of life.  It’s what I missed about you as you were falling apart in 2004.  I am so happy for you that you are embracing your grown up life.  There is a lot of pressure to raise your kids the “right way”.  The most important thing is to care about them, and you will always do that.  You are not going to screw up.  I know you won’t.  It’s fine to look back a little and try to understand what went wrong, but don’t spend too much time back there.  Your life is in front of you and you are unstoppable. Please keep checking in now and again.  You are still important to me, Brittany Jane. “
You would be surprised how kind people can be when you let them in.
Your life is in front of you and you are unstoppable….
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