To My 8-year-old self, as Our Parents Get Divorced

Written by Alison Chrun

Dear eight-year-old self,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry you’re about to go through the craziest storm of your life.

It’s not fair.  You deserve better.

Your family is about to be broken up, and you’ll be left to tend to your own needs and the needs of your little sister.

It’s not fair.  You deserve better.

I want you to stay strong for yourself and for that little six-year-old girl looking up to you for direction.  She’s depending on you.  She needs you.

You’re going to grow up asking yourself, “why me?”  But you won’t know that answer until a lot later in your life when things get better.

Oh yes, my sweet, innocent girl, things will get better.  Nothing lasts forever, and this won’t either.

You’re the strongest person I have ever known.  Your instinct to make good choices and keep your priorities straight is not only an amazing quality as a young girl, but it’s something that you’ll continue to shine at.

Try not to be angry with mom and dad for this mess they made.  They can’t fathom the pain you’re in, because all they can see is their own.

It’s not fair.  You deserve better.

I know it feels like a terrifying nightmare that you can’t find your way out of, but what I know now that I didn’t know then is that mom and dad had no idea what they were doing.  They didn’t know how badly this would affect you.  They didn’t realize the repercussions, how devastating it would be, or what a massive shift it would cause in your life.

But you’ll be okay, I promise.

From now on you’ve got to stay positive, stay open, keep honest, and love yourself more than any one person possibly could.

Be your own role model. Be your own hero. You have no choice.

You will one day be a parent that hasn’t the slightest clue on what the hell to do.  You’ll be passive at first, because that’s what you learned from living with dad all of your adolescent years.  The ramped guilt he possessed for what the divorce put you through will show in the way he parents you.  He will let his guilt become the reason he can’t say, “no.”

And while you’ll struggle with parenting your own children in that same way, you’ll get the hang of it and be a great mother.  You’ll overcompensate here and there for a childhood that you had to sustain, but you’re going to realize that your childhood is not theirs.

You won’t have to be frightened of saying no, or yes, or asking for help.  It’s okay that you won’t have all the answers.  You’re not perfect and no one, including your kids will expect you to be.

You’ll have issues, but everyone does.  You’ll build walls, but you’ll let them down for the right people.

You have to give yourself the credit of surviving this traumatic event called divorce.

The emotional survival skills you possess will be what make you special.  Yes, you’re special.  You’re so, so special.  I know you didn’t hear that from everyone you needed to hear it from as a child, but don’t let that take away from the reality that you ARE.

You’re a survivor, an over-achiever, a great listener, and a wonderful friend.  You’re loyal and compassionate.  You’re honest, intelligent and witty.  Your insight spotlights what an old soul you are.  And the way you love; how deep it runs, ah, that is what fuels the flame burning within you that radiates from every fiber of your being.

You’ve known from the time of early childhood that you’re destined for greatness, and my love, great, you are.

So, eight-year-old self, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry you had it rough in the beginning, and I’m sorry life hasn’t been fair, but you’re life is about to get really, really good. You’ll use all of the things that worked against you as a catalyst to be the greatness that you’ve always known you’d be.  And for that, I am so proud of you.

Congratulations, best friend. You deserved better, you fought for better, and you got, better.

Just like I knew you would.

With Unconditional Love,


About the Author: Alison Chrun is mother of two boys with an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy.  She is the author at Appetite for Honesty where she writes about self-development, relationships and the highs and lows of parenting. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


About The Author


Mary Katherine is a southerner, born and raised. Growing up in Alabama, she developed an affinity for lightning bugs, sweet tea, playing guitar, and having strong opinions. She's happily married with a son (Nugget) and two fur babies. Fun facts: MK is a living kidney donor, speaks a little Thai, and has written two novels.


  1. Such a personal subject that so many can relate to. We’re always so concerned with lifting others up and reminding them of their greatness but sometimes its nice (and needed) to do it for ourselves.

  2. Beautiful piece. I see in court many times parents who truly refuse to even disagree with each other together. These many parents then obsolve themselves of their anger in court then ultimately and inmediately turn to their children for emotional support as they exit the court room to the awaiting family kissing and hugging them almost demanding the child make them happy. I enjoyed this writing as it explains how you attempt to remove that burden from a child, yet you missed your own point in your statement to explain how dear old dad overcompensates for his part when the only point you could have only made and should have made was your own.

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