When Your Parents Separate In Your Early 20s

Which one do you want to live with? Mom or Dad? Door number one or door number 2?

Both options seem pretty depressing to be blunt, but what other option is there. This is just a strange thing to be going through. I had always had this picture in my head that separation and divorce was something that happened when people were children. As if the raising children was the hard part and after that it was easy as pie. I guess not. It’s not that I am oblivious to the fact that people can take a break at any point and time in their lives, I mean if you’re not completely happy with something you need to change it right? My parents definitely aren’t happy, they’re stuck. As a young adult I just thought it would have happened already.

So the big question is do you pick Mom or Dad? Strange how the answer would have typically been ‘which one do you like more’, but it seems like ‘which one needs you more’ is more appropriate. Trouble is they both need me. My mother is a powerhouse of a woman, but she’s a hopeless romantic at heart. My father is terrible with communicating and is blindly in love with my mother. She just wants to be fought for and heard. He is torn between the feeling of not being enough and terrified of uncertainty. Both are so lost, it makes me feel more emotionally secure and that’s really saying something.

Besides what is the difference between separation and divorce? They say they still love each other and this isn’t because they want to find other people. She says she needs to miss him. He just doesn’t say anything. I don’t know what would be worse, they stay together in the end and live with tension and longing glances or they call it quits and move onto small apartments and empty kitchen tables.

Despite all the confusion and misunderstanding I have, I must understand that this is about them. I must play the role of unconditional support and lead for my younger brother, as our parents try and learn how to walk again. I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that no matter how I’m feeling, they aren’t doing this so they can laugh about it over a bottle of cabernet sauvignon in a few years. Just like all things scary, they’re a lot more scared of it than you are. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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