I've been putting off writing this all day. I've cleaned my pets out, cooked a full on from-scratch kinda dinner, searched for a new place to move to and finally resorted to a bath to relax and actually do something enjoyable with my Friday night.
My parents' breakup is something that I've never spoken about on this blog. To be quite honest, I'm not sure if I ever will talk about the ordeal itself. I've waited a long time to allow myself to be rational and fair with my thoughts on the matter. Today's post has been plaguing me for months, but until I experienced the 'big day' and had time to think about it in a detached manner I didn't want to write this. Ultimately, I'm writing this post so that young people going through this will have some tips on how to handle it; me writing this post from a negative space wouldn't help me and it wouldn't help anyone else either.
So, last month one of my parents got remarried. It's something that you never envision yourself attending. I mean, I've always thought about my parents being at my wedding, but the idea of going to one of theirs was just something that I never dreamed of.
At first I had no idea how to react. In all my wildest imaginings, I never thought up a protocol of what I'd do if this happened. Which is strange because my little anxious mind thinks up a protocol for everything. I assume this event seemed so out of the sphere of reality that it never occurred to me. But, all of a sudden it was a reality and I had to face it.
None of my closest friends have gone through this as an adult, and I felt so isolated when I was trying to come to turns with it. Everyone's advice was something I just wanted to bat away because they couldn't understand if they hadn't been through it. Luckily for me, I have a sister that I'm incredibly close to who knew exactly how I was feeling and who was there to talk things through with.
This post is here for everyone who doesn't have someone going through a parent remarriage with them, and who has no idea how to handle it. Here are some things that I've found useful over the past few months, or have learnt to avoid.
Discuss what exactly is happening with the parent who's getting remarried. This is a major one. I kept my feelings about the whole situation hidden for months and it finally wore me down until I felt downright miserable. Tell them how you're feeling: are you happy, or concerned about how your life might change because of it? Let them know how it's impacting you. Think about what you want from the day: do you want to be involved or in the background? Give them something to work with so that they can make the day better for everyone.
Bring a close friend, partner or family member with you on the big day. It's so nice to have part of your support network with you. It means that you won't be left alone to dwell on things that you may find upsetting, and you've got a shoulder to cry on, or someone to celebrate with if you need to.
Avoid surprises. Find out the colour scheme, plan of the day, etc, for the wedding. Things can go downhill so quickly if what you've emotionally prepared yourself for isn't actually what's going to be happening.
Wear something that makes you feel hella-confident. Whack out your favourite makeup, prettiest dress and even your lucky pants. That little extra pep in your step might be exactly what you need.
Don't cause a scene. If you think drinking might make you a bit more feisty, then avoid it. If something's upsetting you about the day, speak to your parent privately. In the end, you don't want to remember the day as being one where you publicly spoke out against something you actually agree with now.
Take some family photos. It's a tough day, and you might be finding it a bit hard, but it's one of your parent's best days ever. Let them have that photo together, and every time you look at it it'll remind you that you put their needs first when it mattered and supported them.
Remember that it's okay to get upset. Before the wedding, during the wedding or after. It's absolutely fine. It's a life-changing day for you in which your family structure is changing forever. Allow yourself to grieve for the way things used to be.
I really hope this helps any of you going through this, and if you ever want more advice on the topic then feel free to drop me a DM on twitter!