Being a child of divorce is strange, here are some things that I’ve experienced. Maybe it will help you a little.
1.) The initial awkward conversation.
“So how many sisters/brothers do you have?” – Random person.
“I have six sisters” – Me.
“Wait! What?” – Random person.
And then I have to explain that it’s a situation where I have three step-sisters, one half sister and one full sister. I hate it. They’re all my sisters and I love them equally, so why should it matter whether they’re related by blood?
Another strange part is that people tell me they’re sorry for the fact that my parents are divorced and I don’t understand it. Nothing bad happened, they just didn’t care as much about each other as they used to. I understand I was very lucky to come from a amicable divorce and I’m thankful for that. It just seems strange to me that people say sorry without knowing all the facts.
2.) What work does your Mom/Dad do?
Which one? Is always the follow up from my side. For some reason this confuses a lot of people. After that the whole divorce talk comes up again.
My conclusion is that people have strange tendencies toward the social structure. Why should it matter what your parents do for a living? I want people to judge me for who I am.
3.) General confusion.
Enough about other people, there’s still confusion from my side. After being a child of divorce for ten years, I still haven’t figured it all out. I still have a strange aversion with talking to one parent about the other, even though I know that all parties have no problem with it.
The other problem I encounter is that I was never quite sure how to address my step-parents. I eventually decided to put the Mom/Dad title before their name. I know it sounds strange, but it works and after a while it feels so natural that I don’t even know I do it anymore.
4.) What does home mean to me?
To most people home probably means a certain place (where you grew up, the place you live now, etc.), but not for me. My home isn’t a place, rather it’s centered around people. My parents, sisters, two best friends from high school as well as some extended family.
If I had to guess why I feel like this, it would probably come from the fact that my two “sets” of parents live in different city’s. I would very easily pack up a bag to go to my dad over a weekend and just as easily pack the same bag to go back. The difficult part has always been saying goodbye to them.