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Dear Dish-It: It’s All My Fault

Dear Dish-it,

My parents got divorced and I still think it’s my fault. All my friends think it’s easy but it’s not. What should I do?

girlsrock678

Dear girlsrock678,

Believe it or not, lots of kids whose parents have split up feel the same way that you do. It’s also very hard for someone on the outside, like your friends, to understand why you feel that way. It seems crazy to them that you would think you could ever do anything to cause your parents to divorce. While they’re right in many ways, that doesn’t make your bad feelings go away.

It’s NOT Your Fault

I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT your fault that your parents got divorced. Please don’t blame yourself. Parents get divorced for many reasons. Usually divorce happens when couples feel they can no longer live together due to fighting and anger, or because the love they had when they first got married has changed. Sometimes nothing bad happens, but parents just decide to live apart.

Like I said before, it’s really common for kids to think their parents' split is somehow their fault. Just try to remember that your mom and dad’s decision has to do with issues between them, not something you might have done or not done. You may feel guilty about what happened, or wish you’d done a better job of stopping your parents from fighting by being a “better kid” – keeping your room clean, doing the dishes or getting better grades. But divorce is really about a grown-up couple's problems with each other, not with their kids. The decisions adults make about divorce are their own.

Feel Better

Talking about your feelings with a friend who DOES understand (maybe you know someone who’s parents are also separated?), a family member who’s going through it with you (like a brother or sister) or an adult that you trust (like a school counselor or your doctor) can really help. You could also try talking to your parents about your feelings or, if that scares you, maybe try writing them a letter…

Your school counselor or doctor may also know of a local support group in your community for kids and teens whose parents have divorced. It can really help to talk with other people your age who are going through similar experiences. The good news is, most kids that go through divorce eventually learn that they can make it through this difficult time in their lives. Just give it some time, let others be there for you and try and focus more on all the good things that happen in your life (getting an A on your next math test, or making a new friend) rather than the bad.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think girlsrock678 should do? Do you know just how she feels and have some advice for her? Leave your comment below!

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

PARTYHAT
PARTYHAT posted in Family Issues:
hey,  im so sorry about that, but one thing this reminds me of is my grandpa. he passed away when my dad was 12 years old and i never got to see him, he sounds soo nice. keep going  :thumbsup
reply about 7 hours
Littkekawaiiigirl
I have a friend, she was so nice and funny when my best friend and I met her on the first day of school. As months passed she started getting annoying. The way she texts, acts, and talks is starting to get annoying. Then she is becoming such a drama queen now. What should I do?
reply about 10 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Thank you for sharing something that has helped you cope with loss, and I'm sorry that you lost your friend and had to go through the grief and pain. I don't know what it is like, but I know there are a lot of people who do and would appreciate that you shared that way of coping. I hope that you are continuing to find more ways to deal with it, and don't forget those good memories you have with her. They'll always be yours to cherish.
reply about 11 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Hi Wonderfulcalico, I'm sorry to hear you're in such a bad situation. It must be tough, and it must be having a profound negative impact on you and those around you. It sounds like your mom has some things she needs to work out. But know that this behaviour from your parents is not okay. You shouldn't have to be subjected to this type of environment, which is toxic for your health physically and mentally. It also sounds like it is physically dangerous and it is making you live in fear, which is not okay. It is NOT your fault. If you feel that you are being abused, please get another trusted adult involved. Don't act on things that make you feel unsafe or confront your parents directly if you know they will act in a dangerous way. Your safety is number one. Try contacting another adult such as a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, a worship leader, social worker, child protective services, or call the police. Remember that 911 is also an option in any emergency, and that includes yourself being in danger from physical abuse. You can also call Your Life, Your Voice at 1-800-448-3000 , message them online, or even text them, or contact another local help line that you know. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. I know you may not want to do any of these things, and it's okay to feel that way, but also remember how important your safety is and make that a priority. 
reply about 11 hours
KayKayZ
KayKayZ posted in Friends:
Hmm, okay, well I'll try to give you the best advice that I can, Error. So you say you don't like your friend for a number of reasons: Liar, bad influence, uses swear words, too blunt, etc. I feel like some of these could be over-looked, such as the swearing and the 'bad influence' part. Really, all you have to do is just not copy her actions, and they won't be influential at all. If you disagree, it shouldn't be hard to just refuse to follow in her steps. However, lying isn't the best quality I would look for in a friend.  She doesn't seem like an enjoyable person to be around in general, which is why you are making this post, obviously. But I'm gonna ask you something here. Don't you think that, in a way, you're lying too? You're pretending to be her friend solely for purposes of monetary value because, I assume, your family cannot pay for or get you to gymnastic class themselves. If this is true, that's kind of bad, isn't it? It sounds like, to me, that your friendship isn't exactly a healthy relationship at all. But I'm gonna sympathize with you, since I know gymnastics must be important to you, and you wouldn't be doing this if you didn't have a good reason. So, what should you do about it? Well, personally I think there are a few things you could do. You could stop being her friend, therefore no longer having to deal with her; but in the process lose access to your gymnastics class and have to look for it in another way. On the flip side, you could continue to put up with her, which would probably not be in your best interests, but you'd still get to attend your class. Or, you could try talking to her about it. Ask her what she really thinks of your friendship, if she actually values you as her friend. Maybe you two can talk about problems that you're having with each other and work on fixing them. This option could have negative effects, since she might want to stop being your friend or things could become very awkward after that. But it's probably your best bet to be honest with her, as you'd hope she would be with you. How about if you tried being really nice to her? Kindness is contagious, and perhaps if you treat her well enough, she'll start doing the same to you. I feel like maybe if you complimented her, told her things that you really like about her, maybe even got her gifts or made her food once in a while, that she would come to appreciate you and all that you do for her. And in turn, she might start to respect you more herself, and become a good friend. That's about all I can say. If you're close enough with her mom, maybe you could even try asking her about her daughter and see if she can give you any advice. Hopefully that helped in some way, but if it didn't, maybe it at least made you think? I hope your problem gets resolved, Error, and you can be content with the outcome of it. :-)
reply 4 days