What I Learned From My Parents' Broken Marriage
The story of my life has always been far from those in fairy tales, but that did not stop me from believing in Happily Ever After. I always had faith in love, the kind that will make you believe in magic and forever. So I guess you can imagine how painful of a horror it is to witness a love you have always believed in fall apart right before your eyes.
As early as my kindergarten days, I have witnessed my parents arguing over matters that I did not understand at the time. Truth be told, it happened so often I got used to it, thinking all the while that it was normal for every married couple and that no matter how much they fought, their love for each other will prevail. How little did I know.
It was a fine morning during my sophomore year in high school when I accidentally read the annulment papers of my parents. Though I knew nothing about the law—the terms petitioner and respondent were alien to me—the phrase "nullity of marriage" was something that was clear to me.
After that day, I continued doing my normal routine. Going to school was surprisingly easy to do. I was still that same average student who does her homework, recites, smiles and laughs, except I always had tears welling up in my eyes, a reeling mind, and a broken heart. For a long time, I tried my best to keep my emotions at bay. I was mostly successful at it, but I wasn't always able to escape the inevitable. There were moments when I burst out crying a dam of tears when I find myself alone and feeling pain I never knew existed. A person can only hold so much in.
The whole experience has hurt me beyond repair, still I am thankful that it happened. Believe me when I say that after every ending—no matter how painful or ugly it is—something beautiful is about to happen. I can attest to that by sharing some of the many lessons it taught me and how it molded me into a better person.
I learned to appreciate little things. During my 18th birthday, I begged my parents to let me have my party. My excuse was because I wanted to spend my special day with everyone that I love, which was true. But the more important reason was because I badly wanted to have our family picture taken which never happened before.
Quitting is not an option. The pain pushed me to give up but one look at my two younger siblings and I knew I just can't quit. It was a matter of finding inspiration that helped me go on.
There will always be lots of questions and the answers won't come in a snap of a finger. The only way to find the answers is to move forward.
I used to blamed myself, thinking that it was because of my not being a good daughter that my parents had to separate. But I realized that it was no one's fault and nobody wanted it to happen. It's just the way life is and there are things that are simply out of our control. So it's pointless to hold grudges because being angry will only hurt yourself.
Coming from a broken family made me look at things differently and more maturely. As the eldest of three children, I vowed to myself that I will do everything in my capability to be there for them always, especially whenever our parents can't. That s one good thing about pain, it makes us stronger and wiser beyond our years.
It's okay to cry and to ask for help. You don't have to put up a tough front and keep everything inside all the time. Remember that even superheroes sometimes need saving, too.
The pain brought by such kind of experience can be traumatic, but don't let it hold you back. Take it as a lesson to be careful in giving your heart away, not cynical about love.
This will sound cliché, but it,s true: some people are better off apart. When my parents decided to go on their separate ways, they both became happier. As their children, nothing could give us any deeper joy than to see our parents happy and talking like best friends. It makes everything worth it.
Even if their love for each other dies, parents will never stop loving their children. It's impossible. A parent's love is forever.
The little castle my parents once built may have long been destroyed, but the thing they built it with will always be there, and that is love. Broken or not, we are a family, and this is the most important lesson I have learned.
I guess my parents' story is still like a fairy tale after all. Sadly, their story did not end with a Happily Ever After. But thankfully, it had a happy ending: an end that started a new chapter with pages we can fill as we wish.