I always had very special relationships with both my parents growing up. My father is very athletic, so whenever he had free time I would find myself playing golf or playing paddle tennis with him. When my older sister went off to college and my dad wasn't around that often, my mother and I became a team, always doing something together. I would run errands with her and she would go shopping with me.
She always encouraged honesty from me; no matter what the issue was which promoted an open line of communication, boyfriends, smoking and other high school issues were never taboo. My mom always trusted me and, as a result, I always trusted her.
Some of the worst memories I have of my parent's divorce are of times when my parents overly confided in me. My freshman year of college, when I was still on the swim team, I received a phone call from my dad. At the time I was in Florida, gearing up for a day of strenuous swimming and exercise. My dad was hysterical and apologetic about everything that had happened between my parents, and I didn't have the heart to hang up. For the rest of the time I was on training trip, my performance hindered because of that phone call. Looking back, I shouldn't have let it get to me, but it made me realize how unfair it was to burden me at a point when my athletic performance demanded mental stability. Sometimes I look back and wonder if part of the reason I quit swimming was because I couldn't perform with the family stress and anxiety that surrounded me at the time.
I hate to admit it, but when I'm away at school I have a tendency to neglect phone calls from my family. They often call me selfish for it but sometimes, for my own mental health, I need to be selfish. I am very fortunate to have such a special relationship with my mother but in away I feel that my parent's divorce has really put our relationship to the test the last few years. I highly value the fact that my mother considers my opinion in the decisions she makes, but I also appreciate it more if she sends me an email or a message that she needs to talk ahead of time. That way, I am able to mentally prepare myself and set the conversation time aside that is convenient for me.
Sometimes I think the hardest part about the situation of divorce is that it's a new experience for all involved. It is easy to talk to your kids because they understand the circumstances surrounding it. Divorce can be really complicated and it is really important for me to keep an open mind about what my mom is going through. It really helps me be objective and remember that it isn't easy on her, and the least I can do is be supportive throughout this