Thought Catalog
April 13, 2017

What I Learned From Growing Up In A Broken Home

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Issara Willenskomer

When I was six, my parents got a divorce. At the time, six-year- old me, found this earth shattering. Even now, thinking of the memory of my mum closing the door as she left home for good does make me want to cry, and sometimes it will produce tears.

To a child this has a huge detrimental effect on their lives. I didn’t play up in school. I wasn’t a bad child, I didn’t act out or hurt other children (except the one time I accidentally hit another child with a skipping rope which really wasn’t my fault). I did my homework and all the work in school and then even performed above what was expected of me.

The worst dilemma for me with divorced parents was the fact I was only allowed to make one Christmas/Easter card, I had to deicide which parent I would make it for and which one was left out (being a very sensitive child this upset me incredibly, the thought of leaving out my dad or my mum was horrific). With the statistic of 2/3 marriages ending in divorces children in school now get to do two of big holiday cards, lucky them.

Growing up without my mum at home was hard, I’d cry when I left her to go home and I’d watch her cry as I left. Not living with her all the time did hurt me, I didn’t ever want to have to choose, I wanted both parents to be together and stay together for me.

Obviously, my view changed as I grew up, by about 10 years old I just wanted my parents to be happy, together or apart. My dad did amazingly, this isn’t me ever disregarding my dad, he is and always will be an amazing dad. I was in Centre Parcs with my dad at age 13 I got my first period. When I told him what I thought it was he laughed nervously and handed me £5 from his wallet to get some “lady things”, that was my dad stepping up to the mum plate in the most awkward and hilarious way I’ve ever seen.

I’m very lucky to have both my parents, they’ve both been my best friends, shoulders to cry on and wonderful hug- givers all my life. If you are reading this coming from a broken home, or are a parent going through a divorce, or are simply curious, I haven’t painted the best picture so far of broken home life. For a child it will be one of the most difficult things they will have to deal with, they may blame themselves, they may think they have to choose. At least they can make both cards unlike I could (yes I am still very sour over that fact!) and have two of every holiday!

As an adult now, it’s a very different story to the childhood struggle of separated parents. The way I look at my parents now, regardless of the fact that they aren’t together, is simply that I am so happy that they are happy.

Both my parents have found another partner to share their life with, I have a step mum and step dad who are extra parents that I adore and really couldn’t live without in the same way I couldn’t with my biological parents. I was an only child but now I have a half-brother, a step brother and a step sister, who in my mind are my actual siblings, regardless of blood/full blood.

The best thing my mum says about our family is that we are a patchwork family. We are a patchwork of all the most wonderful things. My family is huge, I am so well loved by everyone within it and it means I really appreciate them all and do end up putting family above everything. I’ve got 3 siblings I love with all my heart that I would have never had if my parents hadn’t got divorced, the idea of win-some and lose-some is never truer than my situation.

The divorced family perspective has helped me to decide what I want for my future.

I never want my children to go through a divorce. If I get married then it’s not going to just be thrown out the window at a bump in the road, I do understand that somethings are unfixable, but it has made me know that I will not stop fighting to save a marriage and a family life for any children involved.

If you are considering what impact this has on your children as a divorced/in the process of getting a divorce parent then I hope you understand both the good and bad points. My parents ensured that I always knew that it was never my fault and they loved me no matter what. Perhaps this will help you to fight more for what you believe is right or to help give you guidance through a difficult period. TC mark