By: Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, LCSW
Author of Lily’s Little Life Lessons
Do you ever feel like you are talking and no one is listening? When I think back to being a preteen experiencing my parents’ divorce, I think feeling unheard was one of the more challenging aspects of what I was dealing with.
Let’s face it being 12 is a weird time anyway, you are not a little kid and you are not a grown up. So when adult things are swirling around you and you feel powerless to make them stop, it can feel confusing and scary.
I have said before that every family and every divorce situation is different. I know that there are those of you who come from a family where even though your parents are divorced, everyone gets along and can even still spend time together. That is great, and I wish that was the case for all of you out there. I also know that there are those of you who may not be happy that your parents are getting divorced. You can say that out loud but your words can’t stop it from happening. Why can’t they hear you? What you are saying makes sense. To me it does. You want your parents to try harder, work it out, stay together. You do not like that woman your father introduced you to as a “friend.” She is not nice and you do not want to share your father with her. I get it, why doesn’t he? I wish I could tell you.
What can you do? You can know that you have a right to your thoughts and your feelings. You are a person, a young person, but still very much a person. You probably have very good instincts too. If you feel a certain way, there is probably a valid reason why you feel that way. I was watching Oprah’s Life Class the other night and she looked right at the camera, as only Oprah can, and said, “All people want to feel heard and like what they have to say matters.” It is so true! So say what you want and need to. Even if the adults aren’t ready to hear it and can’t relate to or understand it, maybe in time they will. If they do, it will provide you with validation. If they do not, you will know in your heart that even at a young age you had insight beyond your years. Good for you.
Maybe just maybe someday you may meet a very nice woman who has innovative ideas and will provide with a space where you can share your experiences and voice your opinions. Then you will be heard. I want to hear your voice. Leave me a comment; tell me what you have to say. I am listening.