My parents are finally getting a divorce, and now that the proceedings have started and it is public knowledge, the reactions from family and friends have shown me who really cares about us and who does not. These revelations have made me stronger, and I feel liberated knowing the truth. For one thing, I am reminded that the ones who are truly there for my family and me are not always those who are related to us by blood.
The paternal side of my family continues to shun my mother, my siblings, and me by saying nothing at all. It is so true that silence speaks volumes, and in this case, it is not a surprise to me. My aunts and uncles from this particular branch of my family have never really approved of us, because we did not attend their church and subscribe to their particular view of the world. Ultimately, I will never feel bad about this because I have always been polite to them and loving to their children, as are my mother, brother and sister. The maternal side of my family has been mostly positive and kind to us, even though divorce is taboo in my parents’ culture as a whole. I do not resent the side of my family that turned their backs on us, because I know we did nothing to deserve it. I will always care about my cousins regardless of their parents’ feelings and attitudes, and know I have at least one aunt from my paternal branch who is sympathetic to my mother's difficult situation to some degree.
My friends have been very supportive, even those who come from cultures, religious backgrounds, and family structures that look down on divorce. They continue to show my family and me unconditional support and good will, and know when to dish out the constructive criticism I need if I find myself regressing rather than progressing in my life. I feel lucky, because I know there are too many people in the world who do not have enough emotional support during the most difficult periods in their lives, and feel isolated and in despair as a result.
Have you been shocked when family and/or friends shunned you during the worst times in your life? If so, how did you handle the situation?