‘My parents are separating’

By: Sanya Ghai

Mehul’s parents are separating and he is feeling really stressed about how his life is going to change forever. As he shares his fears with his friends, he is relieved to hear Pranav’s experience. What did Pranav say to Mehul? Let’s listen to their Canteen Talk.

The D word 

Mehul’s (13)  parents are not on good terms with each other and have always had fights for as long as he can remember. However, last night was really stressful as his father left home after a massive fight saying he would file for a divorce. 

Divorce? He can’t get the word out of his head and the thought that his parents would separate. He is scared that his life will change forever. 

What would they say?

He was also worried about what to say to his friends. Would they judge him? Would they think ill of his family? Would they think his parents are bad people?

His thoughts were interrupted as his friends began talking to him during morning meal time.

“Why aren’t you eating any food, Mehul? Don’t you like the taste?” Ansh asked.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I was thinking about something”, Mehul answered.

“Is something wrong with you, Mehul? You look really distracted these days”, Sakshi asked with concern.

“No no, everything is fine yaar. Nothing is wrong”, Mehul replied.

“You can talk to us, Mehul. You will feel better”, Pranav suggested.

“I don’t want to talk about it, guys. I know all of you will judge me a lot”, said Mehul.

“We can’t force you to share anything with us but I assure you that we are your friends no matter what and friends don’t judge”, said Ansh.

“Whatever it is that you’re facing, we’ll try to help you get through it”, Sakshi added.

“Okay, I will tell you guys”, he hesitated a little, “My parents…they are….. divorcing each other and I don’t know what to do about it. My life will change forever”, he couldn’t control his tears as he managed to get the words out of himself. 

“Oh my god. I hope you’re okay. This sounds so scary. What will you do now?” said Ansh.

“Stop it, Ansh! You are making him feel more anxious this way. It will get better with time, Mehul. Trust me”, said Pranav.

I get it 

“I don’t know. Yesterday Papa left the house and I have been so scared since then. How will this ever get better? I will not be able to live with both of my parents anymore. I will not have a family the way you all do”, Mehul cried.

“Mehul, I understand how hard this is going to be for you. I’ve been through it”, Pranav said softly.

There was a minute’s silence as this was the first time Pranav had shared this. Ansh and Sakshi seemed a bit taken aback but Mehul felt a little relieved as there would be at least someone who would understand what he was really going through.

“I am sorry Pranav. Were you scared too?” asked Mehul.

“I remember initially I was more scared about what everyone else would think about my family. I didn’t want anyone around me to get to know about this either. But you can’t really ensure that. Instead, after a time I stopped caring about what others were saying as it made me more upset. You shouldn’t care about what others will say. I know it’s hard but try not to think about that”, Pranav replied.

It’s not the end 

“But how hard was it for you to get through this entire process of your parents separating?” asked Mehul.

“I will not lie to you. Initially it was really hard to go through this process. It takes a lot of time, but after that things do settle down and you realise that you aren’t in an unhealthy environment anymore. You too will gradually feel better and realise that all the things that have been disrupting your physical and mental health will fade away”, Pranav answered.

“But I don’t want to be separated from my parents. I can’t live without any of them. I need  both of them”, said Mehul as he became teary-eyed once again.

“I know it is hard Mehul. But them separating doesn’t necessarily mean that you will lose them. In my case, my parents have been able to provide my sister and I with more and better-quality time. It feels like I am getting more attention from them now than I did before their separation. Even though this is not the same for everyone. But you should hope for the best”, said Pranav with a sense of comfort in his voice.

Mehul nodded without much confidence in his manner. 

Give it time

Pranav continued speaking, “I remember I thought settling down would be impossible for me. But as you leave an unhealthy environment, you will begin to realise after a period of time that as your parents are not fighting anymore, your day to day life will not be disrupted and this will make your healing process easier”, said Pranav.

“Things will get better. Trust me. Time is the key to that”, he added. 

“Yes, I am sure this will get better. Even though it may not feel like that right now”, said Sakshi giving Mehul a tight hug.

“And we are all here to support you. You can always talk to us”, said Ansh, as he patted Mehul’s shoulder.

As the bell rang, they all walked back to the class with Mehul in the centre. Mehul was now feeling a bit lighter. He was still feeling very upset about his parent’s divorce. But he was glad to have his friends by his side. 

Have you ever been in this situation? Share with us in the comments box below. Remember not to share any personal information in the comment boxes.

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