It's been a long road. Sometimes I wonder how in the world I'm still walking amidst everything that's happened. It's hard to believe I've been on this road for two years now -- it feels so much longer.
I've done some thinking this past week and have come to some interesting conclusions about my parents' divorce. This whole time, I've been wondering why my parents are having trouble understanding where us kids are coming from and why we're so upset. It seems like they're surprised we're still struggling and expect us to jump into their new life and accept everything that's happened. I often feel frustrated with them and the fact that they cannot seem to understand my perspective. But now I've realized that my parents have been dealing with their issues a LOT longer than us kids have. They are farther along in the process than us. Even though the divorce isn't finalized yet, they have moved on. They have headed into the next journey of life and are surprised to find their kids are not necessarily beside them in the process.
But that's the problem. We haven't been dealing with this as long as they have. I can only speak for myself and not for my siblings, but this is all still fresh and new for me. Yes, I knew there were problems and have been dealing with the issues for the past two years. But the separation/divorce is still relatively new for me. I'm still grieving. Meanwhile, the divorce is the official, legal end for my parents' marriage. The truth is, things have already ended for them, even if the divorce isn't final. That's why it seems like they're moving on so quickly. Unfortunately, it means that they won't always understand why I'm struggling. They may think it's because I don't want to support them or move forward with them. Not true. I just need more time.
I think many ACOD's experience this disconnect from their parents during the divorce process. It's difficult for parents and their kids to be at the same part of the healing process. And that's what contributes to the frustration and feelings of abandonment on the part of us ACOD's. Sometimes it seems like our parents have left us behind, doesn't it? And it hurts.
I guess that's why it's important to focus on your journey and your journey alone. You probably won't be at the same place as your parents or even your siblings. Everyone deals with grief differently and the time of healing varies. It's so easy to compare yourself to the rest of your family and wonder why you seem to be struggling more than them. I've found that's a dangerous place to be. It can cause feelings of resentment to creep up. God knows we don't need more resentment, right?
So hang in there. Keep walking. And don't worry about your pace -- you'll get to where you need to be in the time that's appropriate for you.
Anyone else deal with these feelings? Did you feel like your parents were far ahead of you in the grieving/healing process? Did that make you resent them or understand them better? Would love your comments and of course your emails -- just email firstname.lastname@example.org.