My Story

My parents started their divorce when I was 8 years old. My parents used to fight all the time. My sister and I would wake up on weekends to the sound of them screaming at each other in their room. I guess I never really thought anything of it, because it was normal. But then they decided to get separated. The whole idea never really effected me much. My mom kept telling me that things were going to be very different and that many kids with divorced parents think things like "it's all their fault". She even wanted my sister and I to join a divorced parent group at school. But I never felt like it was my fault and I never wanted to join any group. Looking back now, I guess I thought it just wasn't that weird. At firtst I kind of liked it... my dad moved into an apartment 20 minutes away from home and I liked visiting him. It was exciting because it was new. An it was a plus that both of my parents were noticablly happier.

But then, in the middle of the divorce, everything changed. I was about 9 or 10 when my dad sued for custody. It was war from then on. Both of my parents tried to turn me against the other, but always saying things like "I don't want you to be in the middle of this". But I was. I was the rope in their game of tug-of-war. It never even occured to me that they were fighting over me. All I saw was their fighting. But it just got worsse from there. Close relatives began to pick sides between my parents and every time I switched houses, I would be traumatized. They would both give sides of stories about their battles and there was no way to tell who was lying. It became a burden for me to go to my dad's house. Maybe it was because I was closer to my mom, but I began to join her side of the war. I began to blame my dad for everything, see things in him that turned me against him. Both of my parents tried to take me to therapists and guardiam ad litems to get my input into the case. But I was just a kid, I had no idea what to say to them. My mom would tell me to tell them just what I felt. But I didn't know how I was supposed to feel, I didn't know what they wanted to hear. Then whenever I came out of a meeting, my parent would question me about what I said to the person, and it was never good enough. I hadn't told them enough bad stuff about my dad or about what my mom had done to him the week before. It was extremely overwhelming. I cried a lot.

The official court part of the divorce took 5 years to complete. Five years. There was absolutully nothing that my parents could agree on. But just because the divorce was over didn't mean the war was. My parents now still have equal joint custody. Every year since then, I've grown further apart from both of them, but more so with my dad. I'm sixteen now and I can barley even speak to him anymore. I get a sinking feeling whenever I see his name on my phone when it rings. There isn't a weekend that goes by at his house when there isn't a fight, and even at dinner, I sit eating in silence. Looking back on it now, I realize that I had never really had the chance to know who he really was when I was a kid. But now that it's just my sister and I with him, I see everything that my mom used to say and so much more. But it's not her that turned me against him. I think he's the one that did that. I've got huge relationship problem with him now. I think this part is the hardest. Harder than the divorce. Now I have my own opinions. My opinions that don't matter to anyone. Countless times I have begged my mom to let me stay home rather than go to my dad's. And countless times I have been dissapointed. I've tried refusing to go, but all that accomplished was a huge fight, lots of tears, something for my dad to hold over my head for years and a police report. I've asked them to go back to court to get a custody schedule that I want, but I guess my opinion is irrelevent.

Now here I am, a year and a half away from college and I feel trapped. I feel like a child. I can't even talk to my friends about it. They always come up with worse stories like "my dad's a drunk" and "I never get to see my dad". Everyone is always trying to have the worst stories. They want to be the one with the worst life. I've given up talking to anyone about my parents because of this. I feel like whoever I talk to will judge me and say that all my problems are my fault and that it can't be nearly as bad as I say or that it's all just me being a rebellious teenager. But it's none of that. There is so much more to it. I think, however that living with divorced parents with joint custody is a whole hell of a lot harder than just having a nonexistant one. Maybe that's just me bieng nieve... I don't know

 Sorry this is so long, but I haven't vented about any of this to anyone for years. And this isn't even the half of it. Please let me know that there are others going through what I am!

barieuphan992 barieuphan992
1 Response Mar 5, 2010

You aren't alone. My parents didn't have a messy divorce, but my relationship has suffered with my dad because of it. In fact, it's to the point where I don't even go to his house anymore. It used to be equal custody. I think you're old enough to make that decision. You should talk to your mom more about it. Good luck.