I was raised up with an amazing family though not birth parents. I joined the family when I was 8 years old and I was the older child among thhe two kids they had at that time, and that made me feel like the first born in the family.
As time went, the family was blessed with two more girls which meant there were five of us at the time; two boys and three girls. Since the time I joined the family, I have never seen my foster dad (who is my uncle) speaking to my foster mother (who is my aunt and a sister to my biological father) in a rude way. It has always been a loving family and I have always learned a lot from them.
My father has always told us to begin and end the day with prayer, all because our lives belong to Jesus Christ’s. This meant that we were not supposed to watch any channel in the morning apart from God Channel or any Christian channel and before we go to bed we had to gather as a family, pray and encouraged each other spiritually. In short, that’s how I have lived my life as a child before I started staying on my own two years ago.
And then there was another life apart from home; it was another home or school if you like. I spent most of my times at school, this was another new environment where I met different people who had different stories. The people I met became friends and some became family.
I had so many friends and we connected differently and we became good buddies. But one thing that I have realized is that most of my close friends were coming from broken families. One of my friends told me once how she wished to have a family like mine and explained how her parents got divorced. She said it started with rumors that his father had a girlfriend who was her age mate.
She never liked to talk about the story because she said it’s embarrassing and she felt like her parents didn’t love her and her siblings. Hannah, not her real name, continued to tell me that every time she looks at her father, she feels like her mother did not get the respect she needed; for that reason, she does not like men. She even said, at the time, that time she will not get married to avoid that. I knew and believed that this was so because she was very angry about what her parents’ divorce. Hannah thought that her parents never considered them in making their decisions or that they lost interest in her.
Most of my friends, who have been raised with a single parent, have similar issues they struggle with. One of the issues they struggle with is low self-esteem and not feeling loved by society. Divorce introduces a sudden change into the life of a boy and a girl no matter what age. Witnessing loss of love between parents, having parents break their marriage commitments, adjusting to going back and forth between two different households, and dealing with the daily absence of one parent; create a challenge in how one lives. In the personal history of the boy and a girl, a parental divorce is a watershed event. The life that follows is significantly changed from how life was before.
I am lucky I had a chat with Pastor Sunganani Manjolo of KICC church who experienced the effects of divorce at a young age. He told me that when he heard the news from his parents it was very devastated and traumatizing because it was something he did not expect. The time his parents got divorced, he was just 17 and his elder sister was a year older than him and he also had a younger sister.
Pastor Manjolo expressed that children or young people react differently to the matter because of different personalities. According to him, by the time he experienced that, he was a well behaved young man but still, it was hard for him to get over it and he had mixed emotions. His elder sister, on the other hand, was just minding her own business and his younger sister just hid into her shell and did her homework.
To some young people, it affects the way they relate with people because they feel like trust has been broken and it is very devastating. Pastor Manjolo added that, for him to get through it he had to find a mentor to walk him through the situation and it was so hard because at some point, his mentor was telling him that his parents may not get back together and that wasn’t good news.
Later he started focusing on his life more and while growing up he really wanted to study more about divorce and related issues. This made him work hard, do some research so that it should not happen to him. He also shared with me the effects most young people face after divorce. He said most of the young people engage in drug and substance abuse to get away from the situation and they end up messing their lives. He also added that most of the children suffer from depression which makes the young people lose focus and their minds are triggered with negative thoughts like, committing suicide which is very risky to a young person. Pastor Manjolo said he has been there (the divorce experience) and he knows very well what he is talking about.
It has been a long journey and now he is a pastor and has a beautiful family and urges young people who are going through the process of divorce to be strong and focus also on their life. If it is possible, find a mentor so that you can find someone to talk to when you feel depressed.
I was really inspired by Pastor Sunganani Manjolo’s experience and thought of sharing with you.
I have never experienced divorce myself and I cannot explain how it feels to see your parents living separate lives but what I can say is; it is not the end of the world. It can take time to admit that is happening but also try as much as possible to focus on life. As Pastor Manjolo has said, find mature people who you can talk to. Do not forget to look up to God and ask for wisdom and remember he has good plans for your life, according to Jeremiah 29:11.
Thank you so much for taking your time, feel free to comment or share your experience because it can change somebody life. Have a lovely week.