I really need your help on my situation. I am a Sophomore here at Alcorn State University and my problems seem to have no end. My parents, who have been married for 21 years, are going through a tumultuous divorce and it’s really tearing my family apart. My father wants me to come live with him and my mother is dead set against that idea. My little sister is depressed all of the time and my grades have begun to suffer dramatically. My life is in shambles right now because all I do is sleep and hope that my problems will disappear. What can I do to improve my current life situation? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
At My Rope’s End
Dear At My Rope’s End:
I am sorry that you and your sister have to go through this but you are not alone. I have never had a two parent household so I have no idea how you feel. I do know that things will get better with time. Dealing with divorce is not easy especially when your parents have been together as long as your parents have been. As a teenager you have a say in how your life is going to go. You can’t do much to influence how your parents behave during the divorce but you can ask them to do their best to call a truce to any bickering or unkind things they might be saying about one other.
Here is my advice to you. Let your parents know that even though you know everyone is super-stressed, you don’t want to get caught in the middle. No matter what a couple may face, as parents they need to handle visiting arrangements peacefully to minimize the stress that you and your sister are feeling. You and your dad can come to a schedule where you and your sister can visit him for a weekend or a couple of weeks out of the month. Keep in touch with your father just to reassure him that you still love him and you don’t blame him for what happened. I advise you to let others support you. Talk about your feelings and reactions to the divorce with someone that you trust.
If you and your sister are feeling down or upset let her talk to you about what’s exactly bothering her and you talk to a close friend that you trust or a family member for support. These feelings usually pass. If they don’t, and if you’re feeling depressed or stressed out, or if it’s hard to concentrate on your normal activities, let a counselor or therapist help you. Your parents, school counselor, or a doctor or other health professional can help you find one. Good Luck, I wish you and your family the best and may you all work things out. May your grades improve and you and your sister get your life together after the divorce and all that’s to come.