12/07/2022 - My parents are about to get a divorce and I don't know how to handle it
So my parents have been fighting a lot and I think that they are going to get a divorce! It is around christmas time and I really want to celebrate it with my whole family, in the same house! I don't really know how to handle this. My school has a counselor but I don't know if my parents will let me or if my best friends will make fun of me. I know that every kid deals with this differently, so that is why I would like to know how I should handle this.
HI :) Thanks for reaching out, I am sorry it sounds like things are really stressful right now.. I think its really great that you are knowing you need some extra support in this and I think school counselors are pretty great. I don't know how it is at your school, but at mine, I tell my friends I am feeling a little sick and need to go to the nurses station and then when I get there I just ask if there is a way I could talk to a counselor about what is going on in my life, and its confidential with school counselors as long as nothing is shared that they have to report (thoughts of hurting yourself or others, etc.) so your parents probably wouldn't even know you went to see them. I know how hard it is to get help emotionally with all of the stigma from other people being hard to weigh whether it feels worth it but I think you're super brave to even be considering it. Maybe there are other trusted adults you could talk to as well? And getting back to your question, I think you may have answered your own question? I think everyone *does* deal with it differently and every way is true and right and valid. I feel like you are feeling everything you are meant to feel in this moment. I think its pretty clique but I really do notice myself when I get really impactful news going through the stages of grief. If you haven't heard of it I would look at a google picture. But unlike how most people think of it, it was explained to me that even though it says or looks linear as first you go through this emotion and then this and then this, it is really a cycle and its okay to think you've reached acceptance and then decide you haven't. How do you think you've been handling this so far? I don't know if you feel safe doing this or what kind of relationship you have with your parents, but I think sometimes there's a lot of value in simply asking. Like acknowledging with them that it seems like things are getting worse and maybe asking if they are planning to divorce or asking one of them? I know that won't work for every situation but I would hope that they don't realize how much this is affecting you and that maybe they have the ability to reassure you. My parents used to fight a lot and they would talk about maybe getting divorced but in my situation when I asked it happened that they just said that in the heat of the moment and I didn't hear the rest of the outcome. I am really sorry that you're going through this right now. The holidays are such a difficult time sometimes when expectation/promises of a happy holiday are met with untimely issues that make it hard to experience the holidays like they should be spent. What things are you hoping to try? Well I really am glad to hear from you and I hope to hear more about how things are going because you sound pretty brave and amazing and brilliant and I'd love to talk to you more :)
Some examples of what I found when I googled stages of grief:
Hello! Thank you for reaching out to talk about this. I am happy you decided to share it with someone, this can be a lot to have on your plate at once. I am sorry your parents have been fighting, that sounds like it would be tough to be around. Great job on recognizing resources around you! I think the option of talking to a school counselor about this is really good to have. I do not know your exact situation with your parents, but it might be good to talk to them about seeing your school counselor. If you do not feel comfortable with that, that is totally understandable. As for your friends, they might have some troubles understanding your situation if they haven't experienced something similar. That is ok, but as your friends they should still try to have some sympathy for you. Communication with the people your close to can be really helpful during these times. It can also be difficult to start. You can take things at your own pace of course. Do you feel like you have someone in your life that you can open up to? You seem like a very aware and smart person, you got this! If you have any questions or if you want to talk more feel free to write again! My name is Corey, and my shift is Thursdays from 4-7 if you'd like to talk again :). I hope you have a good rest of your day.
I'm so glad you reached out to us. It sucks when people who are important to you fight with each other, and I'm really sorry that you have to go through all of this. Firstly, I wanted to remind you that you're not expected to handle this on your own! I hope you're not too hard on yourself when thinking about your situation, because your parents' feelings are out of your control. You shouldn't have to carry this burden by yourself!
You are so valid for wanting to celebrate Christmas with your whole family - this is something everyone deserves to experience, and I'm really sorry that you feel as if your parents' disagreements are making this difficult. If I were you, I would suggest talking to them each individually about your worries. Be honest with them - if you tell them how much you care about both of them, how much spending Christmas together matters to you, they might work with you to figure out a solution that works for all of you.
And honestly? I think talking to a counselor is a GREAT idea, especially if they're someone you know you can trust! If you don't feel comfortable asking your parents whether you can talk to the counselor, maybe think about whether you have any other trusted adults at your school that you could talk to. I know from personal experience - it's really comforting when you can talk to and get advice from other people who you trust. I'm sure your friends will understand that talking to someone, like a counselor, will help you. And if they laugh at you, then too bad for them, because counseling is honestly an awesome tool that everyone should feel good about using!
I hope you feel better soon - even if things don't work out during Christmas, please, please, please remember that it's not your fault. Your parents may disagree with each other a lot, but they still love you and want to spend time with you. No matter what, you will be surrounded this holiday season by people that care about you!
Hello! I'm so glad you decided to reach out, that sounds like a lot to be dealing with. Your school counselor is an excellent resource! Best part is you don't even have to tell you parents to talk to them. Although, having that open communication with your parents might be helpful! I'm not sure of your relationship with them so I can't say for certain, but you might get a better read on the situation by bringing up your fears/ uncertainties/ worries with them :) As for your friends, they should be there supporting you all the way! That's what friends are for. Think about it, would you make fun of them for seeing a counselor? If not, I'd hope they'd do the same and support you through this tough time. I hope some of this is helpful and you're able to work this to enjoy the holiday!
Best of wishes,