The story below is from an anonymous author, written at 25 years old. He gave permission for this story to be told.
My parents were always arguing when I was younger and I think my dad had another woman. He moved to a different city and then my mum followed. Mum has Alzheimer's now so I don't know her version of events but my dad said they became just like friends which I take to mean he was unhappy with their sex life.
I used to blame my dad for everything but now I realise there were two adults involved. Mum could be extremely stubborn and just did things her way. Dad is very unstable and mentally ill.
HOW THE DIVORCE MADE HIM FEEL
For years I suppressed it especially as my dad had two further divorces and my mum got dementia when I was 16. It was normal at school, even though it was Catholic, and nobody cared. All people care about is the adults having 'freedom of choice'. I feel sad, lonely and disparate, like I have two irreconcilable sides to my personality. I just want to feel healed but I am carrying around all of these wounds and scars.
I really liked where we were originally and my whole life was totally uprooted because of my parents' inability to love one another. Looking back now I feel like they failed me and can't help but feel that if they loved me more then they would've stayed together. Why weren't me and my siblings good enough?
HOW HIS PARENTS' DIVORCE HAS IMPACTED HIM
From 17-24 I slept around, did drugs, drank, smoked and treated women like sexual objects. My dad was a womanizer so I just followed suit. I hated God and was angry. I had this constant feeling of melancholia and I never understood why. I suppressed it and told myself I was stupid and a baby. I hated myself and still do sometimes.
ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHOSE PARENTS HAVE DIVORCED OR SEPARATED
Don't let people tell you to be grateful that you have two sets of Christmas presents or that it's “normal.” Don't listen to the lies. Allow yourself to be sad because you need healing. Reject the culture around divorce. Lies everywhere we look. Finally, don't blame yourself even though that's the easy thing to do.
HOW TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE FROM DIVORCED AND SEPARATED FAMILIES
The Catholic Church needs to be more proactive about it and stop focusing their attention on trying to give communion to the divorced and remarried. There ought to be greater understanding about the hurt it causes and how we can overcome it. It's such an overwhelming problem I think the Church is scared to tackle it head on through fear it will offend people and drive them away but the children come first.
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