During the process of divorce, children suffer the most.

“Selena, your father and I have something we’d like to tell you,” Mom said.

I knew something was up. I gave her a weary look and followed her to my room,where dad was sitting on the bed waiting.

They gave each other a look, and after a short silence, mom said, “Honey, your dad and I love you very much…”

“Yeah, mom. What’s going on?” She looked back at dad, Dad took a deep breath.

“Your mother and I are getting a divorce,” he let out in a rush.

My brain felt numb, unable to wrap itself around the idea of my parents splitting up. “Why?” I finally asked, voice cracking.

“Well” mom stared. “Sometimes things just don’t work out the way people want them to.”

I didn’t realize I was crying until mom pulled me into a hug, saying, “Oh, honey… Shh, It’s going to be okay”.

I watched my mom look at my dad again, then he spoke. “We have to get somethings sorted out, still…”

– “Like what things?” I pulled away from mom, forcing myself to stop crying.

Time to be a big girl, I told myself.

– Dad said, “Court date this Friday, custody, moving”

– “Who’s moving?”. I interrupted again.

– Mom answered this time. “Everyone. We’re selling this house. As soon as your dad finds an apartment. I’ve already found one”. Mom said. “Neither of us can afford to keep the house without both our incomes.”

I could feel tears threatening again; I looked at my lap and blinked them away. Again, I was trying to sort through all the thoughts swirling around in my head.

What was it that hadn’t worked out? Had they been fighting, and I just never noticed? Had one of them found someone else? I kept thinking. But NO was the answer.

I knew my parents wouldn’t cheat on each other, even if they didn’t love each other. Was that it? Had they simply fallen out of love?

Dad said, “We’ll leave you alone now, so you can think. You can come get us if you need us, though.”

“I know it’s hard, but it’ll be okay,” mom said, before they both left the room.

I didn’t remember falling asleep that night. In two days a woman arrived at our house. It was still ours for now, anyway. She introduced herself as Mrs. Tania, and explained that she would be my counselor of sorts.

“You can talk to me, if you ever feel like you don’t want to talk to your mom or dad. I’ll also have a say in which parent gets custody of you, but first I want to get to know you a little,” she said with a business like smile.

I didn’t really trust her, nor did I want to talk to her. I brought her to my room, at her request, and answered her questions.

She showed up to talk to me about once a week after that & I saw her at court days.

One day she said “Your parents aren’t splitting up because of you. It’s not your fault, don’t worry. They love you very much. And it’s their fault they can’t be together.” The divorce process went on and on…

I stayed at my grandma’s a lot. We would talk over dinner about meaningless things. Grandma tried to take my mind off of the divorce but it never really worked. My mind was always lost in how my family was falling apart.

My parents fought for custody of me, but in the end, mom won. Dad moved out first, then mom & I left house and moved into a 2 bedroom flat.

I felt numb most of the time. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. I wanted mommy and daddy, at the same time, not one on weekdays and the other on weekends.

This wasn’t fair/ I could hear mom crying sometimes, at night if I was still awake. It was a long time before both of us were okay enough not to cry at night.

Dad never showed it when I was with him, but I knew he was sad, too

Mom got remarried about a year after that. I think he helped her through the divorce. He helped her heal and they fell in love quickly. Their wedding was beautiful, presents, word, actions… Love was truly in the air.

I was happy for my mom though I wasn’t sure about having another dad. Or, rather, “Father figure,” because he’ll never really be my daddy. I had trouble accepting that.

But I was happy for them. They found their soul mates in each other, finally.

After a year and six months later, my parents adjusted, but I still am. I’m getting closer. That doesn’t mean I’m okay, though.

My parents broke my heart, just like they aren’t supposed to. Parents aren’t supposed to break their child’s heart, are they? I still cry a lot.

I miss the way things were before. My family and friends have done their best to cheer me up, but sometimes they just don’t know how. They don’t always understand.

I still get told that I “get two families now! That means twice the birthday presents!”

And that’s all good and true, but you know what?

I don’t want presents. I want a family.

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