Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Guest Post: They Still Love You!

Hello my lovelies! 

So today we have a wonderful little treat as my wonderful chummy Meg has offered to do a guest post for your reading! I know, how lovely of her! I should explain that Meg is one of my university friends and she is a very very dear one at that, so be nice guys! I may have only known her for a short while but we are incredibly close so I was delighted when she offered to do a post on my blog, especially as I know she's got a lot to say. Yes, it's a long one, but it's well worth the read. This post is one that is close to her heart and it can be a rather sensitive topic for many young people, so please take a look and let us know what you think by commenting, liking, sharing etc. 

Love you all! 

P.S. Check out my latest YouTube video and head over to my channel to subscribe!

Now it's over to you Meg! 

Hey guys, I've not done this before so I'm just going to get straight into it with a brief description about my experiences with parental divorce. - Oh and this is new to Tamsin too, so...sorry I've not shared this with you before chummy <3

My Story

My parents separated 10 years ago at the end of March. This was an extremely tough time in my life, and unfortunately the repercussions of my personal experience are still with me today. In the short form, my dad had an affair with someone my mum used to work with, and being insensitive, he decided to break this to us on Christmas day of 2003. To begin with, it looked as if things were on the up: he told us he'd ended things and that he felt terrible for making such a foolish mistake. Turns out he was lying. How did I find this out? I came back from school to find him carrying armfuls of clothes out to his car. Now, this was more than scary to me. My dad was moving out and no one had said a word to me, and this was the way it stayed until he'd run out of things to carry to his car. He then realised he had to explain himself to me and my brothers, and his explanation consisted of three words: "I'm moving out". That was the moment my entire world imploded. I still to this day cannot explain the pain I felt as I watched my dad turn his back on us and walk away.

Unfortunately, this isn't the end of the story. The next 4 years of my life were hell: I gained an excessive amount of weight, I developed anxiety and depression, and my entire personality changed. Why? Because my dad blamed me. Hard to believe right? But, in the 2 years following the separation, I came to learn that my dad had never wanted me; he saw me as the thing that "stole" the love of his life, my mum. The worst part about this - I have 2 younger brothers, who, to this day, see my dad on a regular basis. The years that followed are mostly a blur of depression, anxiety attacks - which then, over time developed into panic attacks - but worst of all, I developed an eating disorder.

My Aims for this Blog-Post

Although this happened 10 years ago, it saddens me to say that it is growing ever more common for parents to feel the need to separate in order to keep their lives happy. This decision often leaves it's mark on the children of a relationship, no matter how old that person may be. Now, there are many reasons for them to come to this choice, however none of them should make you feel any less loved. Why? Because usually, even if it doesn't seem so at the time, your parents have your best interests at heart. This post is designed to help guide anyone through this challenging situation, and show them that it's okay; that things will get better with time. Below I've listed some key ways that can help you move through a parental divorce, and remain positive when you reach the other side.

One: Understanding Their Decision

You may find it hard to understand, but there will be a reason for your parents decision. Do your best to understand this. I know from my experience that this is A LOT easier said than done, but, even I managed it. I can almost guarantee that if you are currently going through this, or have been through this - whether it was last year or ten years ago - you will know what I mean when I say you feel like your entire world has been torn down the middle. Your parents will be feeling the same. They may not express it in the best way, they may not express it at all, but they are feeling it. They are having to separate from the person they chose to spend the rest of their life with, and I can imagine that is one of the worst experiences to go through in life. They are loosing a lover, a partner, a best friend, and someone they've been relying on for years, so go easy on them. They need your support just as much as you need theirs.

Two: Expressing Your Feelings

Feelings. They are the bane of our lives. They are always there, whether they are happy or sad. Now, finding yourself in this family situation probably left you feeling an extreme sense of sadness, or in my case, a sense of utter dejection. Do NOT be afraid to show these emotions; they have a right to be aired, because, as hard as it is to believe, these feelings are not permanent.Yes, it will be a slow process, but if you want it and are willing to work for it, then it will happen. There are many ways to express your feelings, and that includes non-verbal ways - because if you're like me, you struggle to talk about any type of feelings.

Three: Keeping Afloat

The most important thing in this situation is to make sure YOU stay afloat. No, I'm not saying you need to be 100% positive all day, everyday, but I am saying that you need to find things that keep you moving through your daily routines. The worst thing you can do is stop your life to cater for the movements of your parents, your life is just as important. Below I've listed a few techniques that I found helped me when my parents split up, and in fact, methods that still help me to this day.

Keep Busy.
The worst thing you can do is to sit and think on it all day. Get up, get out and have fun. This may seem hard at first, but it is a key step in moving forward from the pain. Start by taking baby steps, like going to the park with your friends, going for a coffee with your boyfriend, or simply hanging out at someone's house. Eventually you will feel able to tackle the situation positively, enabling you to come out a stronger person. What about time on your own? Homework, reading, exercising, drawing, writing a diary. Find anything, be it and old hobby, or a new one. Find something to fill that time. Anything to fill that time. If it helps make a list, a list of all the things you want to achieve that week and work your way through it, ticking off each task as you complete it. This not only lets your keep track of what needs doing, but gives you evidence for your progress as the days pass by.

Talk It Through.
It is likely that you won't want the entire world to know what your family is going through, but it is vital that you tell someone you trust. This way you have to someone to escape to whenever you need to talk but don't feel you can confront your parents. This is a step you may find helpful in preparing yourself to let your parents know your opinions and feelings towards their decision; voicing everything to someone outside the situation will give you the chance to understand what you're feeling yourself, as I can almost guarantee you will feel extremely confused and lost about the entire thing.

Common Questions

What if my parents don't understand?
They do understand. They are going through the same experience, if only with a different perception of events. Chances are they'll be wanting to talk you about it. So talk, don't hide away thinking you'll be misunderstood.

Is it my fault?
This is a question I still ask myself to this day, but for me, that's because I was told it was. In most parental divorces, chances are, it is not your fault. You may experience a lot of hostility from your parents about the subject, and it may feel like you are being sidelined, but it isn't your fault. This behaviour from your parents is them coming to grips with what is happening. Give them time and remember that they do still love you, and they will not hold the divorce against you in any way.

Will I still get to see them?
Yes. To begin with this may be very minimal, but once things start to resolve and answers are known, the more you will see the parent who is no longer living at home. This may come through an arrangement through court or through a civil discussion between your parents. Just remember, you can choose what happens. If you want to see them, you can see them, and the same goes for those of you who don't want to see them; you don't have to.

Will I have to move house/school?
The only answer I can give to this is maybe. Each divorce is different. Sometimes moving is required to keep the financial situation going, sometimes it isn't. Ask your parents, only they will be able to give you this information.

Do you have more questions? Send them Tamsin's way and I'll get her to forward them on to me! 
Find her contact details here

Hope you enjoyed and maybe I'll see you again soon! 



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