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#NicThoughts: Being a Product of Divorced Parents

According to Refinery29, their website stated in a 2017 article that, surprisingly, divorce rates in this generation are dropping. Who would have thought?

The article written by Sarah Jacoby stated: "Today, our picture of divorce is much more complicated — it's one that changes based on your education level, income, location, and a whole bunch of other factors. Plus, of course, your decision to divorce (and get married in the first place) is an incredibly complex and personal one. All of this means that no single percentage is ever going to apply to everyone. Ahead, we've collected a few of those factors that can increase — and lower — your chances of divorce."

Amazing--seriously. I love hearing that society is evolving in a positive direction.

BUT, can we talk about millennials regarding this topic for, like, a quick sec?

Let’s start with the surface of it all: Like most of you, statistically, I’m in my early 20s, I’m in college, and my parents are divorced. Same? Cool, let’s continue. My parents got divorced when I was 8/9 and my brother was 11/12; over a decade ago our lives permanently changed.

It’s not something I think about often because: 1) you gotta keep looking forward 2) I’m not sure if my memories are my actual experiences or stories I’ve been told 3) it’s been normalized in family dynamics 4) I’m happy with my life.

By NO means am I criticizing couples who decide to divorce. ALL situations are different and are accounted for; including my own parents. My point isn't avoiding divorce, it's examining the affects. I understand that divorce and mixed families aren't a new idea to American culture; I am addressing that it has been so normalized that those whom are internally struggling with it may not even be aware that it's the reason why.In fact, I hadn’t thought about how much that sadness resides in me until last year when I heard a song on Sirius Radio in my car when I was by myself:

“Sometimes moms and dads fall out of love Sometimes two homes are better than one Some things you can't tell your sister 'cause she's still too young”

Song: When You Love Someone by James TW

Oh my goodness I cried like a baby— I didn’t have a choice. Who wrote a song about me and my brother’s childhood? Better yet, about ALL of our childhoods. It’s weird to me, because, when you think about it, we are the first generation that comes from separated parents and mixed families in this widespread, high-percentage degree, but it is hardly talked about. Sure the news and media outlets will be the first to say “millennials are self absorbed and lack work ethic,” but where’s the broadcast on how the millennials are the first mass generation to be survivors of broken families? What mental concerns come with this? How can we cope? Divorced parents may be a trend but, with every global and negative trend, you can expect broadcasted suggestions on how to sail through such hardships. Where’s our guidelines? We modernized divorce, but when does my generation have the opportunity to realize what’s been bottled up?

According to the American Psychological Association, healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health; they are also good for their child(ren)."Growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems," their website states. "However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher."

All we are left with hopes and pinky promises to “never end up like our parents” and “get married only once” after enduring the lonely side of watching your family peel away through our whole lives. So we are the test dummies—fine. Measure our success rate, grades, our mental illnesses, our strengths, our weaknesses... but whoever is in charge of all this, you better make damn sure to apply it to the next generation coming up and implement a way for them to feel understood. Being a product of divorce needs better understanding than just “daddy issues” or “trust issues” or “anxiety.” There needs to be a way to better pave this without having to google search article after article about the affects college students face as adults after being a child from a divorced family— because frankly, I bet a lot of you don’t even know what symptoms you obtain after being exposed to such environments.

So at the end of the day, we will be the samples on how this shapes us and leads us into adulthood, but, let's promise each other to talk about it a little more and create our own awareness and support, deal? Deal.

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