This week’s Reframe of Reference comes from a community member named John Parkes, and it’s about the effects divorce has on teenagers and tweeners. When one of the parents moves out, there is always a lot of confusion no matter your age, and in John’s case, there was a lot of rejection with a side dish other painful feelings. We hope you enjoy the telling of John’s stories, especially how he’s chosen to view or reframe his old story into a more positive angle as he moves forward with his life.
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When I was 12 years old, my dad started a family with another woman, and it hurt more than anything I had ever felt because my best friend and hero didn’t have time for me anymore. All of a sudden I was number three on the totem pole of people in his life and I cried to my mother for almost a year about how unfair it all was. How could he do this to my mom and me? He was the person I trusted to protect me the most and all of a sudden, he’s gone. There was no more tucking me in at night, or playing basketball on the driveway, or going to Sunday afternoon movies. He found something new and better, and that wasn’t me. Of course, in response, I wanted to be different all the time too and felt the need to stand out. From wearing crazy clothes, to making lots of jokes in class, to mouthing off, I was definitely a newer angrier me. And now the other authority figures in my life, like my teachers started to reinforce that I was a bad kid and that I should be punished and that I don’t deserve to be loved. And as time went on, I became my Dad, and changed friends quite quickly, running away from anyone that could see my pain, but feeling very lonely at the same time.
When I was 12 years old, my parents got divorced because they were always fighting and loved me enough not to expose me to such bad behavior all the time. My dad saw me as much as he could with his new family responsibility and gave me the biggest gift I could have ever asked for, a new sister who I love very much and speak to every day. Even though I couldn’t see my dad like I used to, my mom made up for it by spoiling me rotten and loving me even more than before if possible too. When I was sad and isolated myself, I slowly gained the ability to see things from an outsiders perspective, which helped my ability to be empathetic to others and to grow my sense of humor to be more universal. I enjoyed standing out, and that helped me pursue a career in comedy, which then helped me talk about my problems amongst strangers and now I’m connecting with people in a way that I didn’t think was possible.
If you are someone that has survived abuse or are currently in an abusive relationship and are still battling every day, our friends at BETTER HELP are here to listen to you if you need them by CLICKING HERE. The people at BETTER HELP are trained therapists that are here for you, no matter what life, addiction, or mental health issues you may be encountering. Their job is to listen if you need someone’s ear. So don’t hesitate if you need to talk right now. CLICK HERE.
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