Divorced Families

Taylor Nagel, Fall 2014 J1 Student


staff writer

Fifty percent of children scattered across North America experience divorce of their parents, according to Children Divorce Statistics. Fifty percent of people whose parents got a divorce get a divorce as an adult, according to Psychcentral.com.

Harrigan said the process of divorce can put children through so many different feelings. They don’t understand what’s really going on. All they know is their mom and dad are never around together she said.

“I used to cry a lot about missing my mom or my dad,” freshman Molly Harrigan said. “It’s hard on you emotionally because you just wanna see both of your parents each day, and you don’t get that opportunity.”

Kids can go through anxiety, anger, shock and distrust, according to Scientificamerican.com. Freshman Ashlyn Frickey said during the process of her family’s divorce, she thought it was normal, that all kids experienced what she was going through.

“It was a hard thing — I thought it was normal,” Frickey said.

Harrigan said it’s hard to remember what it’s like having a normal family. She said she doesn’t know the feelings she had gone through due to experiencing divorce so early.

“My parents were divorced ever since I can remember,” Harrigan said. “I don’t know what it’s like to have a real family — I never found out. I grew up with it, so I don’t know any different.”

Harrigan isn’t the only one going through this struggle — she said her sister has also felt the pain through this all.

“My dad married my step mom. My step mom was previously married, so she already had four children,” Harrigan said. “[I have] two older step sisters and two older step brothers. When my step mom and my dad married, they had two children together which are my two half sisters. Then my mom married my step dad and they had one child together, which is my little half brother. [My sister,] Cate and I are in the middle, so it’s just really confusing. Me and Cate don’t really feel like we have a place because of our stepfamilies. We are not really related to them, and we kind of feel like outsiders.”

Adjusting is not something that comes naturally, Frickey said — it’s hard to cope to a new lifestyle — in fact, you really can’t.

“I’m not really sure [I have adjusted to the situation,]” Frickey said. “I would say I’m still not really adjusted to it all still. It’s harsh. I don’t think anybody can really adjust to different places.”

Harrigan said her parents being divorced does affect her school work and outside activities.

“[My parents being divorced distracts me] because in my family, my [biological] parents are fighting or something,” Harrigan said. “I’m kind of focused on that other than school or volleyball. It affects me emotionally, and my friends can see it. They ask about it. It’s just like family drama, and they understand.”

However, Frickey said her divorced family does not affect school or her outside activities.

“It’s been 10 years since the actual divorce,” Frickey said. “Other than that, I guess when I know my [biological] mom and dad are mad at each other because of something my brother and I do — I wouldn’t say it gets in my school or soccer or any activities.”

Harrigan said it’s hard going back and forth between houses, and it’s an on-going problem.

“It’s actually really hard for me because you have to pack a lot, and you’re basically living out of this suitcase and always moving,” Harrigan said. “When I go from house to house, I bring two full duffle bags, two back packs and then two other bags. I need all of those clothes, shoes, cosmetics, homework, technology and stuff at each house. My families both don’t provide that, so I have to consolidate and bring [it all] back and forth.”

According to Remarriage.com, it is 54 percent likely to remarry after getting a divorce.

“Both of my parents are remarried,” Harrigan said. “My stepdad [is] Brian, and then my stepmom [is] Robin.”

Harrigan said it’s much easier having her parents living within walking distance from each other — it definitely saves time and is easy.

“Now they do [live by each other] but they used to not,” Harrigan said. “My mom used to live in Olathe and my dad used to live in Leawood, but they recently moved, so I can literally walk to my dad’s house, which is nice.”

Both Harrigan and Frickey split their holidays with their parents, whether that means having a delayed holiday or being with both parents in the span of one day.

Frickey said on holidays her family switches off. Thanksgiving Frickey said her and her brother go to Louisiana with their dad. She said they spend Christmas with their mom — typically out of town. Frickey said on halloween she hangs out with friends.

As said by Harrigan and Frickey, divorce is hard and something that you can never get used to. It has it’s challenges, but it gets better, Harrigan said.

“Be strong, and you can get through it,” Harrigan said. “There are some positives to this. The reason they got a divorce is because they didn’t work as a couple. It’s for the better — it’s not for the worst. Just stay positive and you will get through it.”