The Destruction of Divorce: Even after loss, the future holds promise

By: Drew Walker

It’s a cold winter morning in mid December in Houston, Texas, and the smell of syrup and hot pancakes fill the room. As I get up to see what this day brings, I find myself thinking a lot about my mother’s cooking that I used to wake up to every morning.

I lived with her up until I was 8-years-old and then a dramatic change occurred. It was April of 2008. I was with my mom and her side of the family celebrating Easter. My mom got a call from my dad saying that he got full custody of me and that I would have to move in with him immediately. After I heard about this, I just broke down into tears crying to my mom saying how I didn’t want to leave her. My face turned bright red as tears flowed like a never-ending, rushing stream of water.  The emotional connection my mom and I shared that day brought us closer than ever.

As a young child, I couldn’t really wrap my head around why my parents didn’t live in the same house. It was tough going to school with children talking about their holidays with their mothers and fathers and how they have always had one big Christmas with their families. When I used to stay the night at my friend’s house, I used to see family pictures all around the house. I remember crying myself to sleep because I’ve never seen my parents together, and I never will, and I didn’t understand why.

Being that I’ve never had one big Christmas, I used to be embarrassed to tell people that I had divorced parents. I used to think that I was the only one around that had divorced parents and didn’t want to even to talk about it.

After I found out that my parents got divorced when I was born, I used to think that I was the reason that it even happened. As an eight-year-old boy, I didn’t think there was any other reason that they could’ve gotten a divorce, so I would always put myself down because I could never see my parents together in my lifetime because of me. Although at this time I didn’t even know the real reason why, I just assumed it was because of me.

Having separated parents means a lot of going back and forth from my mom’s house to my dad’s. It’s like having a torn home and no one can do anything about it.

The emotional destruction this has on children is through the roof. Many people might not think about it as only the parents being hurt in a divorce situation, but it really hurts the children also. It can break a child down to not be able to have both parents in his or her household at once, and, take it from me, I know all about being hurt because I could never see my parents together. It’s all the little things that count, something as simple as a family picture hanging on the wall that people like me never got to be a part of.

In 2010, about 42 percent of marriages were expected to end in divorce, which is a drop from 2005, which was 45 percent, and 2011 was the highest number of marriages ending in divorce, where 10.2 people per thousand got divorced.

So, though I know I will never get to experience the family that the other half has, at least I can take comfort that the numbers of whole families are on the rise, and I can take comfort with all of my many collective “brothers” and “sisters” out there who know what it’s like to go missing. I’m sending a hug to each and every one of you and letting you know that everything is going to be OK.

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