High levels of anxiety can cause disrupted sleep, loss of appetite, over-eating, low concentration, forgetfulness, nightmares, clumsiness. You may start to worry about relationships, love and marriage. You may decide you'll never marry or you may become very careful about choosing your own future partners - this is common for young people who have witnessed their parents' separation. Parents might look for your support and start telling you their problems. This may put stress on you and you might feel embarrassed by some things your parent tells you. It's OK to say you feel uncomfortable about this.
If you're not sure how to tell your parent, talk it over with a school counsellor or a health professional. You may feel torn between your mother and father.
You may want to blame one particular person for the breakdown. This can mean that all anger is directed at that one person, and all others are seen as 'innocent victims'. It can be hard to be fair when you feel angry and worried.
You might worry about things like where you are going to live, who you are going to live with, moving away from your friends and having less money in the home. You may have to deal with your parents acting single again (oh no, what if they want to double date with you?!) and becoming aware of your parent's sexuality (what! they don't really do it at their age do they? how disgusting!). You may have to face changing family roles.
You may have to do some of the things one of your parents used to do, like looking after younger brothers and sisters. All of these feelings are perfectly natural! Your life has changed dramatically and there was nothing you could do to stop it happening.
When a family breaks down, it is only natural to grieve. The feelings of loss can be almost the same as if the parent had died. Because we are all different, we all experience grief in our own way. However there are some emotions that many people go through. You may feel shock and numbness,...
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