During my first year teaching, I facilitated a discussion to get to know my students.
One of my students blurted out, “My parents are getting a divorce!”
In that moment, I did not know what to say to make it better for that young person who was obviously preoccupied with the pending event which was about to impact his family system. This was also prior to me understanding ACEs and the potential lifetime impact it would have on him.
I simply knew that my student was hurting. It was one of my first emotional experiences as a teacher. I realized that there is more to my role than academics. My heart ached because I knew that student only cared about his mom and dad staying together – not what I was about to teach.
My biological father was never in my life. As I mentioned in another post, my mother married my first stepfather when I was 6 months old. Their relationship would be classified as horrible by anyone’s standards. He was abusive. They both drank alcohol almost daily. He was gone every weekend carousing with women, but home Sunday night to prepare for the work week.
They divorced when I was in the 6th grade. Finally, she had enough. It took courage and a chunk of her soul to walk away from that relationship. When I think about this – the divorce wasn’t nearly as traumatic for me as the years of their marriage. Perhaps it was a blessing, until stepfather #2 came along.
The answer to question #6 is YES.