One month ago, my mom acknowledged that telling me not to tell anyone was probably ‘unhealthy’.
It was definitely unhealthy.
When I was seven years old, my parents got divorced. Not only was the divorce a life-changing event, but I realised my emotions weren’t worth addressing.
I kept the divorce to myself because I didn’t want to make it a big deal by acknowledging it. I told myself that no one would understand me, including my mom. She grew up in rural China so I don’t think she knew how to manage her own emotions, let alone someone else’s.
I had gotten really good at being reserved and putting up a wall to the point where I didn’t know what anyone else was going through. I wish I had an inkling that there were other families dealing with divorce because it would have helped me feel like I wasn’t alone.
Talking about it would have released the fear of judgement that I currently struggle with. Even if I faced huge criticism from my friends and their parents at the time, I would have bounced back a lot quicker. Now, I don’t bounce back as easily from criticism because bottling it up for a decade says that your needs aren’t worth addressing.
I remember sharing it with my close friends for the first time and really struggling with the words to say… It was only a decade later that I realised divorce is a very relatable thing but I still struggle bringing it up in conversations.
As someone who overthinks, I’m tired of thinking on my own. I’ve been attending therapy sessions and it helps release my emotions as words. Talking about it releases the burden of it so my advice would be to just talk about it. As soon as you can, talk about it because ruminating isn’t going to help and will help you realize that your needs are worth addressing.
Story from: A.Y. | Words: Shona Yang | Cover Art: Jadessong