Monday, March 28, 2011

Role Reversal

Do I agree with my parents' divorce?

Absolutely not. I am so completely disappointed in them. I feel their decision was childish (remember this is my opinion).  Not only that, but the divorce is evidence that my parents have failed at something. That feels weird to say because I've always believed what they've taught me was right. In some ways, I idolized them. But the truth is, now they've messed up royally. And that's a very complex thing.

It's complex because the roles have reversed. My parents have been the ones acting like argumentative children (who doesn't during a divorce, right?) They've been the ones that have put a sword in our family's side. They're the ones who owe their children an apology, not the other way around. Isn't that so bizarre? I'm the one that feels like the wise, mature adult. I can see the mistakes my parents made along the way in their marriage that led them to this point (although I guess hindsight is always 20/20). I'm the one that's disappointed in their actions and the way they've handled things. It's almost like I'm the parent, scolding my naughty children. Telling them what they've done wrong and how they've hurt me. I know I'm an adult now and can relate to my parents on a different level. But it doesn't change how strange things are right now.

Shouldn't parents be the safe, secure ones? The ones that protect you from the outside world? That offer you sage advice when you call them up at the drop of a hat? Unfortunately this isn't always the case. So how do you handle things when your parents are the cause of your problem? When a divorce causes them to act in an immature manner? Somehow I don't think spanking them with a wooden spoon and putting them in time-out will help.

In my experience, it's been better not to get involved. Because when I do, I feel like shaking my parents and telling them to straighten up and act normal. And naturally, that's not well received. Because even though we ACOD's can sense the role reversal, our parents sometimes can't. In their minds, you're still their child. And what right do you have to tell them they're wrong?

Don't get me wrong. If you confront your parents, I hope they listen. I hope it means something for them to hear their child tell them how much they've hurt them. But in my experience, parents don't always listen. They're so caught up in their problems that sometimes they don't have the energy to listen. Or sometimes they feel they're entitled to have a better life, no matter how much it hurts everyone around them. If that's the case, then let it go. Why bother arguing wirh someone when it's impossible to get through to them? I'm not saying you'll never get through to your parents. And maybe eventually, they'll admit they were wrong. But in the meantime, save yourself the unnecessary stress and let your parents make their mistakes. You're not responsible for them. Don't take on a burden that's not yours. Just focus on taking care of yourself.

Anyone else experienced a role reversal when your parents got divorced? If so, how did you handle it?

And of course, the email chain is always open :) Just email


Anonymous said...

I don't think you should be so quick to judge your parents. You'll be in their shoes one day and you don't know if you might have the same outcome. These people raised you, you should show them some support.

MVroom said...

Thank you for your comment. I realize how it came across as judgmental, but it's my opinion and sometimes I need to just vent. At times I do feel like my parents' divorce has made them act childish...I think many other ACOD's feel the same way. But you're right...we do need to find a way to still support our parents in the midst of it. Such a hard thing to do.


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