Parental seperation

I am sixteen years old and my parents got separated last year. It was hard to accept their decision and I was shocked when they first told me. When one of them then moved out of the house, I was even more upset. However, I am learning to cope with our new family situation.

At first, I felt guilt and thought that I could have caused the marital breakdown or that I could have done something to prevent it. Of course, I am not the perfect son. I could do better at school, I do not always listen to my parents’ advice, we argue, I am not always honest with them and, like everyone, I make mistakes. All of this felt quite heavy, since if I were capable of causing such a negative situation, I must be a terrible person.

I was afraid of the changes my parents’ separation would bring. What would it be like with one parent gone? Where would I live? Would I need to go back and forth from one parent’s house to the other’s several times a week? Would my parents still have time for me? What would the financial situation be like? What would my parents’ future partners be like?

This was all very hard since I did not feel I could talk to anyone about how I was feeling. All this made me feel lonely and disappointed with the world.

With time, I developed courage and learnt to speak about my feelings. Although difficult at first, I saw that it felt good to share some of my worries openly. There are many safe options for speaking about such sensitive topics in private such as a trusted teacher, a school counselor, a psychotherapist or psychologist, and also, my parents themselves.

Talking with others taught me that relationships are very complicated and different issues may lead to a relationship’s success or failure. I learnt to accept that the separation was my parents’ decision and that there was nothing I could do to change the situation. This meant that the separation was not my fault.

The school counselor encouraged me to explore how I could express my feelings positively. To this end, I tried several hobbies until I realised that playing the guitar is the hobby which works best for me.

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