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  LiveWire / Teen Forums / Friends & Family / Viewing Topic

A Family Separation Guide/FAQ
Replies: 18Last Post Mar. 26, 2012 10:14pm by debbiety
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( caaattt  )

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Hello!

Family Separation can be quite difficult to comprehend and to live with, but the following is just for you, you who are reading this.


    Table of Contents
  • Definition of Family Separations/Divorces
  • Emotions
  • Your rights
  • After the Separation/Divorce
  • Coping with the change
  • Your friends can help too
  • Look after yourself during the separation/divorce

1. Definition of FamilySeparation/Divorces
Family Separations or divorces can happen over weeks, months, and years. During this time, you will most likely have many emotions and changes in your life. You may become a whole different person and some of the changes may be enormous or feel like is and separation can be a difficult thing to grasp, cope and understand. Relationships don't suddenly change overnight and mostly separations are caused by a list of problems and it is never your fault because you didn't cause the problems. Now, some teens who's families separate are worried about their own romantic relationships and the same thing will happen to theirs when it is in-fact, untrue. Just because your parents separated, does not mean you will have problems in your relationships. Every relationship is different. Remember, the key to good relationships is respecting each other, communication, honestly and trust.

2. Emotions
It is very normal to any or all emotions such as (see below) during Separation or a divorce in the family. They both happen to be one of the most difficult situations a teenager can go through, and commonly, someone else in the family will be going through the same feelings.
Common Emotions during separation and divorces:
- ashamed
- distressed
- irritable
- torn
- loved
- rejected
And a whole lot more.

The good thing is, emotions do not last, they shift and change randomly or sometimes on a pre-set course. Its common/normal to feel angry one moment and sad the next minute (your not going crazy). It's also okay to feel happy sometimes during divorces and separations within the family. One of the best routes to deal with your emotions is to talk it out. Give yourself time to work through every emotion that you experience, reflect on it and to talk about it with someone you trust or do something else. Don't be afraid to show your emotions. It doesn't make you a lesser person if you cry and what you are going through can be very depressing and sad. A wise person once said "One who can shed tears, is the real person that you would want to be around', even if you have to put on your favorite sad movie, at least your crying. Another good way to handle emotions during divorces or separations in the family is to write it down. If you don't feel comfortable talking about your feelings to someone, it is always easy to express yourself in writing in a diary or a story book. Ask your parents, what they need from you. Sometimes talking to your parents during a separation/divorce in the family can help your emotions about what they expect from you, like doing the dishes, taking out the trash, whatever, can help you figure out what you can be doing to help out and to also keep your emotions down. It's not your fault. I've stressed this to friends, until I was ready to bang my head against the wall in frustration. Often teens whose parents are separated or divorced have that thought in their head, that it's somehow their fault and they are to blame. You are never to blame and you cannot take responsibility for your parent's actions. It's their actions and choices that normally caused the relationship to deter among other stuff, and nothing you said or did is responsible for their decision to separate. Everyone copes with stress differently, how do you cope? Some cope by themselves, alone in their shells; while others cope with others. If you are worried how your brothers/sisters/parents are coping, you can try talking to them, or showing support with their situation. With separations/ divorces, your parents could be on edge to the point of them physically fighting. While they are adults and should know better, sometimes rage gets the better of us, if they start getting too rowdy or start to harm each other, you, as the mature teen, should dial 911 for help or contact your local Department of Family and Community Services, depending on how far the physical alterations go.

3. Your rights as a Teen and proceedings during it
During a separation/divorce in the family, you have rights under laws (In most countries) and also under the Charter of Human Rights Bill (UN) and are mostly the basic humans rights.
You have the rights, during and after the separation/divorce:
- A meaningful relationship with both of your parents.
- Be protected against neglect, abuse and family violence of any kind.
- Receive adequate and proper parenting from both parents to help you achieve your full potential in whatever it may be.
- Be known and cared for by both parents.
- Be able to spend time and communicate with both parents and all family such as uncles and aunts.
- The support and encouragement to keep your connection with your culture.
- Live free from witnessing any actions of neglect, abuse and family violence.
- Be treated fairly by both parents and with dignity.
- Feel safe and be heard.
- Express your own views and to have them heard by both parents.

Another thing during separation and divorces in the family, you might wonder what's going to happen to you and will they kick you out? In most countries, your parents have a legal obligation/duty (including under the UN) to look after you, feed you,, provide shelter, clothe you, provide education, and still provide protection, just because they are separated or divorced, doesn't mean they can stop being your parents and nor should you let them! Your parents with your input need to decide where you are going to live, what school you will go to, and how often each parent will see you. They may work it out themselves, through a mediator, through a lawyer and even family court. In all aspects, you have the right to say how much you want or how little. Now in family court, the judge must consider your wishes.

4. After the separation/divorce
Family separation and divorces may not necessarily be a bad thing. If your parent's situation has made you miserable, (As awful as this sound) the separation/divorce is a chance for a new start. Your family will always be your family and will remain your family even after the divorce or separation even if it feels like it isn't. However, there will be changes like living arrangements. Families are not just about who loves who, they are about loving and caring for one another. When you move out of a home, you don't move out of a family. Because your parents are separated or divorced, it doesn't mean they will have a bad relationship with you and most times, they just don't get along with each other. You have to remember that they might have been in love, married, but they are two separate human beings. It may be difficult to spend time with one of them, even harder if one lives some distance away. However, it is still possible to maintain a relationship with both parents if you wish too. Spend some time alone with each of your parents per month or at least talk over the phone, email, MSN, Skype, etc. Some topics you could talk to them about are stuff like how they are feeling during the separation and how you are, or you could totally not even mention the separation or divorce and talk about hobbies, school, news, etc. Another thing, do something you both enjoy like doing a board game, shopping, playing sports, watching TV together, whatever you both enjoy (: If your parents argue in front of you, when one comes to pick you up and such, try to stay out of it. You have the right to walk away and to tell them to stop. Don't play middle boy/girl between your parents such as passing information or spying on one parent for the other. If one parent asks you a question about the other that you don't feel comfortable answering, tell the parent to ask the other parent him/herself. Even when your parents don't get along, it's not your job to act as Dr. Phil between them or to make thing better, that is their responsibility because they are responsible for you, not the other way around. Also try not to take sides in fights or during/after the separation/divorce or to judge one parent, because relationships normally break down for many reasons, One may try to understand their parent's emotions after the separation/divorce because it does tell a lot about them. If your parents were un-happy during their relationship, they might be more relaxed and settled now they are separated. Alternatively, they may feel sad when separate. These are normal reactions and quite common and most chances will improve over time. Everyone deals with separation differently after it occurs. If you have brothers or sisters make have different thoughts and feelings and some chances are they may live with one of your parents, possibly away from you. Try to talk and to support each other through both the separation/divorce and the events after it, because they could be good comfort and support. Most chances will be that they will know and understand what you are going through and most likely feel the same way. Now, you may have different feelings and opinions about the separation then your siblings, but that is okay, it's normal to think and feel differently. It's also okay to disagree with them, but try not to let your differences come between your relationships.

Extended family
Extended family can also play a role in the events during the separation and after it. Often extended family members such as aunts/uncles, grandparents will have their own thoughts and feelings about the separation but this is also okay. You do not have to share their opinions or their feelings. The thing to remember is everyone reacts and feels differently over things. If you feel close to one of your relatives, you could try talking to them about how you feel. Relatives can also be a good comfort and person to talk too during separations and it is also common for teens to live with their aunts/uncles after the separation. It's okay and you can maintain a relationship during and after a separation with all of your family members and not just the ones you live with.

Step-parents and step-siblings
Step-parents and step-siblings can be also quite difficult to get used too. They are basically complete strangers to you, and it's going to feel awkward. Most likely you are going have to get used to the thoughts of your parent(s) being with someone else and you will also have to get used to the person. It's really up to you how you act or feel towards them. Remember, a new step-parent can never replace your mum/dad, because it's a special bond they can never have with you, having not raised you and that stuff. With a step-father/mother, step-siblings may come and sometimes this is even harder than a step-father/mother. You may have to spend some time with them or live in the same house sometimes, but it's not the end of the world, as with step-parents, it takes time to adjust. Remember that they may be feeling the same way that you are feeling towards them and the awkwardness with them too, but in time you could grow closer together or become friends.

5. Coping with the change.
A lot of things may change when your parents separate or your family. Many or some of these changes may be upsetting or confusing, but you need to understand that your parents are separating from each other and not you. Your father will be your father and your mother will be your mother regardless of the separation/divorce. Most likely your parents will not live together after the separation or divorce and won't live under the same roof and because of this; you will have to decide where you want to live, and with what parent. The decision on where you end up living may be based on practical matters such as which parent lives closer to your school, which one has more time to be with you, and so forth. Your parents may ask you which parent you would prefer to live with and this may be a tough question to answer. Remember the choice is not about which parent loves you or which parent you love because both of them love you. You and your parents will make the decision based upon your needs and whoever happens to be in the best position to meet your needs. It is also okay if you do not want to choose, there is no harm in it. Talk to both of your parents about the things that are important to you so that they understand and have all the information so it can help them make a final decision. You might decide in this time that you would like to live with extended family and that is also okay as it can be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the family member in question. If you choose this option, it doesn't mean that you will never get to see your parents against or talk to them, you can still keep in touch and visit them. If your brothers or sisters want to live somewhere else or with your other parent, that is okay too. Your main focus should be what's best for your situation and you can still keep in touch and see them wherever they live and they never stop being your family. Separation and divorce can lead to a big impact on family financial situation. It is likely that due to the separation, money will be strained because of payments, and so forth for a while. This may mean you might have to go without pocket money or have it limited. One silver lining is the stress about money will probably improve over time.

Parents moving towns/cities
One of your parents makes decide to move towns/cities to start a new life or to just get away from the other one. This isn't always a bad thing, because they have had problems during their relationship that caused the separation and sometimes, they just need to move on. Now, this may make it challenging to keep in contact or to see them. While it's not your job to arrange visits or time to see both parents, there are some tips and stuff you can do to keep in touch (You can also use these to keep in touch with friends =D). Remember it's not your fault if one parent happens to move away and you can talk to them about how you feel about it.Make a regular time to talk on the phone or over Skype, MSN, AIM etc. It is always good to be able to hear their voice or to see them over webcam. You can also send letters back and forth or text each other using cell phones for very low costs. Emails are also another good way and if you do not have an email service, check out Gmail.com, yahoo.com or MSN.com to get one. If you find that one of your parents lets you down, you could always make a backup plan. Make an agreement with your other parent or your friends to do something fun later that day and it could be anything you enjoy doing;

6. Your friends can help too
The people close to you, such as your friends or best friends can help you during and after the separation within your family. Many friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, teachers and coach are great comforts and most of them understand a thing or two. Quick words of advice, the most important friendship is the one you have with yourself. One must love themselves and respect themselves to blossom. You might find it difficult to talk about stuff like this to your friends. However, family separations are common now (Sadly) and you never know what your friends have been through. If you talk to them, you might find out that they may have been through a similar thing and talking about it with a friend can make you feel better and it can help.

7. Look after yourself during the separation/divorce.
The last thing I have, is this point. Make sure you take care of your well-being during the separation, which simply translates to, look after yourself. Well-being can include, but is not limited to, thoughts and feelings, how well you do in home and school situation. Feeling safe means living completely free of any form of abuse, bullying, harassment, and violence. It also includes watching someone else suffer from abuse/violence or cause it. Violence and abuse is against the law and it's the very last thing you want to deal with in a family separation. You do not have to put up with it at home, at work, at school, or in public places. If you don't feel safe, talk to someone you trust about it. Remember, if you are ever in danger, to dial 911, 000 or your local emergency number, Emergency Operators are provided encase of emergency and anything you feel it's a danger to your society is worth a call, even if you don't think it isn't. Police Officers are paid to serve and protect and it's not likely they are going to flip out if it turns out to be a false call; their job is to ensure safety. There are many about separation that is normal like confusion, anger and sadness, and that's okay. However if you feel down for a long time, or have resulted to self-harm, it is a good idea to talk to someone about it. Remember, it's your personal well-being we're talking about here, no one else's. Well, I hope in some way this has helped or informed you, and some of my advice, maybe the separation in the family won't feel like the end of the world.  

Credits:
1. The Professor

Post edited at 4:54 am on May 9, 2011 by caaattt


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Bordmb


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wow what possesed you to write this. I mean its great but OMG. it took me forever to read it. lol gratz on the great help. I'm sure this may save someone one day!

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( caaattt  )

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Quote: from bordmb at 9:33 pm on June 19, 2009

wow what possesed you to write this. I mean its great but OMG. it took me forever to read it. lol gratz on the great help. I'm sure this may save someone one day!

Well, nothing really got me to do it! I just enjoy writing and helping people =]

Glad you liked it and yes, hopefully it helps someone in need.

~ Cat


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This is quite good! Thank you, I'm sure that it can help someone in need.

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Who ya gonna call?!
GHOST-BUSTERS!

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Looks fantastic.  :)

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( caaattt  )

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Thanks guys! :)

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Edited and Updated, 2:30 AM, 16 Aug, 2009

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you have to make something of yourself

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Clarissa Elaine Hester

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kyo1234


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wow what possesed you to write this.

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when im close to him time goes by faster but when were
apart my life just goes darker

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Quote: from kyo1234 at 10:35 pm on Oct. 30, 2009

wow what possesed you to write this.
  I   was  bored

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istab


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my mum and dad Divorces 3 years ago, my dad re-marid. it was hard, very hard to deal with, with out my frends i coud not cope.
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ICanSeeItInYourEyes


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This was a very good guide. My parents got divorced when I was 13. It was terrible for me and affected me for many years. However, I am 100% over it now, and it no longer bothers me at all.


The things that hurt me the most were initially finding out that the divorce was going to happen and life after the separation. I thought it was the end of the world and that my family was breaking up, and nothing would ever be the same. I was right that things weren't quite the same. However, the world did not end.

I was scared because I liked my life how it was prior to the breakup. I liked my daily life, the house I lived in, having both parents around all the time, etc. I was comfortable, happy, and I didn't want that to change. For many years, I resented everything. I wished that things would just go back to how they were before. In the back of my mind, I wished my parents would just get back together, so things would go back to how they were.

However, it's important to realize that most everything in your life will eventually change anyway. For example, if you're a teen, your life will probably make a big change within 5yrs. When many people are 18, they will either move out on their own and/or go to university. This will be a huge change. All of a sudden you will be living away from your parents, and you won't be constantly reminded of the separation/divorce because you will be on your own. True, when you go back and visit home, things won't be quite the same. But that can actually be ok. Something that I've learned is that change is not necessarily good nor bad... It's just different.

Changes can seem very difficult at times (esp. with a divorce/separation). However, as you get older, you realize that you have to be responsible for your own happiness. Don't let anything or anyone get in the way of that. What other people (your parents) do is up to them. Of course what they do affects you (and this is what makes it difficult), but you just have to make the best of it. Remember that sulking won't make things any better, so you might as well make the best out of your life.

I've realized that whether my parents are together or not does not matter much to me. My mom will always be my mom and my dad will always be my dad. I love them and they love me. It just so happens that they don't love each other any more. But that is up to them, and it's part of life.


I also wanted to quickly echo the point that the separation/divorce is NEVER your fault. Remember, the relationship is between your parents. Think about it this way; if you had a relationship with a bf/gf that didn't work out, is it ever because of other people that it didn't work out? No way. It's always an issue between the two of you. Same with your parents. Even though you are a very important part of their life, the relationship that is being broken is between your parents, not you.


Hopefully what I said makes sense and can help somebody. Best wishes to anyone going through this.

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Here is a little someone that I wrote on my blog www.universalteens.org.  It is not the whole article but just a piece that I enjoyed writing about dealing with divorce.

Divorce is hard for everyone involved, especially the children of the parents who are getting the divorce. I was once this little girl living with a father who left, a mom who has a serious drinking problem and the guilt that made me feel like something, everything, was my fault. Understanding what was going on at that age was difficult and I don't think I ever really understood what was happening. I had serious "Daddy issues" and felt that something was always missing inside of me. I was looking to fill a void so I looked to other men that my mom brought around.  But they were not great role models at all. My mother's series of gentlemen friends were not the male figure that I was looking for at all. So the pain inside twisted tighter until it hurt. When talk of my father came up crying privately was the only way to release the pain. No one around me understood what I was going through because they all lived with their fathers. My sisters and I should have discussed what was going on in our house, but we didn't. I don't know what we were afraid or ashamed of because we were going through the same situation, but the dialogue was never there. My mother never talked about what was going on and never comforted us by explaining what would happen next. While she was busy drinking life away, my sisters and I were trying to deal with the missing pieces in our lives and this happened with no such luck.

I have pushed away many people because I have this mentality that everyone is going to leave. This should not be! I should not cause others pain for what has happened in the past. I must rise above the broken home that I have come from and create a new home for myself, one that is filled with love and happiness. I am getting over those daddy issues and filling in that missing hole in my heart with positive love from myself and others that I know really love me.  It is hard to get rid of the skeletons in our closet, hard to press on when the world seems dim. Light your own path, make your own way, fill your own void, be in touch with how you feel and don't connect the terrible past you once had with the bright future that you deserve. Don't let the past burn your light out, keep your light shining so that you can love and succeed in spite of everything that has happened.  Be your own hero, your own little helper!

Heather
Follow me at www.universalteens.org

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Heather
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jessie lynn moore


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Divorce is hard for everyone involved, especially the children of the parents who are getting the divorce. I was once this little girl living with a father who left, a mom who has a serious drinking problem and the guilt that made me feel like something, everything, was my fault. Understanding what was going on at that age was difficult and I don't think I ever really understood what was happening. I had serious "Daddy issues" and felt that something was always missing inside of me. I was looking to fill a void so I looked to other men that my mom brought around.  But they were not great role models at all. My mother's series of gentlemen friends were not the male figure that I was looking for at all. So the pain inside twisted tighter until it hurt. When talk of my father came up crying privately was the only way to release the pain. No one around me understood what I was going through because they all lived with their fathers. My sisters and I should have discussed what was going on in our house, but we didn't. I don't know what we were afraid or ashamed of because we were going through the same situation, but the dialogue was never there. My mother never talked about what was going on and never comforted us by explaining what would happen next. While she was busy drinking life away, my sisters and I were trying to deal with the missing pieces in our lives and this happened with no such luck.

I have pushed away many people because I have this mentality that everyone is going to leave. This should not be! I should not cause others pain for what has happened in the past. I must rise above the broken home that I have come from and create a new home for myself, one that is filled with love and happiness. I am getting over those daddy issues and filling in that missing hole in my heart with positive love from myself and others that I know really love me.  It is hard to get rid of the skeletons in our closet, hard to press on when the world seems dim. Light your own path, make your own way, fill your own void, be in touch with how you feel and don't connect the terrible past you once had with the bright future that you deserve. Don't let the past burn your light out, keep your light shining so that you can love and succeed in spite of everything that has happened.  Be your own hero, your own little helper!

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single maybe , in love yes i still love you and always will ..
love you ashley rhoads ( :


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azad007


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It was very boring easy on my part,useless.It can't help any one in need.It is itself a new tension i derived.

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