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Parent divorce causing anxiety as an adult

Community Member

Hello online community, this is my first post on here and am hoping to gain some insight into fellow member experiences of parent divorce and anxiety. Very recently my mother found my father with another woman, they are starting their process into divorce and selling our family home, I am 27 and no longer live with either of my parents but I still find this a sad moment for our family. My father continuously seeks to blame others for everything, including myself, he brings up my past experience of sexual abuse by a stranger for ruining his and my mothers marriage. He continually texts me rambling on and on about his other woman and tries to explain himself and his actions through several texts a day. Three days ago I had what I think is my first ever panic attack, his messages and blaming all got too much and I had a further 2 attacks all about 12 hours apart. I am still feeling extremely anxious, I tried to work today but couldnt due to the shaking and emotions. As much as I am angry towards my father for making me feel this way I cant not talk to him as I still love him despite his actions. But talking to him just makes me more anxious. On top of all this with him I am also dealing with hearing my mother flirt with other men and she even asks me about contraceptive methods. I am just completely lost and feel like im drowning in this process but no matter how much I try to ignore I still have a part of me that wants to be there for them. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Or have any suggestions on how I can stop this anxiety from becoming worse? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this!

1 Reply 1

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

My parents did not divorce, however I have bee a stepfather to one child in one relationship and step father to two other children in another. Also my own two daughters had to endure their father and mother divorcing and a step mother that was nasty to them.

So I've seen the other side. Your dad is no doubt in my mind full of guilt. He is trying to justify himself to you and anyone that can listen. His decision of an affair and subsequently your mums decision to divorce him is theirs alone and even though it is difficult to swallow all these changes at the moment, it is about them and their future right now, so they can find happiness and things settle down. Up until lately it has been all about you in terms of you being the centre of attention and we all like that, even though they are your parents, they need happiness and to get that sometimes there are victims, including you and themselves.

I dont know your age but you are working so you are an adult. I suggest based on that, that you text/ring your dad and ask him to meet you somewhere, preferably at a cafe. A cafe is good because you will both relax more over a drink. Tell him your panic attacks are really bad and you miss workdays over his messages. Let him know that you are aware he is feeling guilty and although you feel it was best he handle matters better, its done now and he is best to find happiness however he finds it. But you are asking him to help you reduce your anxiety by not involving you in details ...just love you and reduce the messages especially during working hours.

You other option is to turn your phone off at work.

Re: "On top of all this with him I am also dealing with hearing my mother flirt with other men and she even asks me about contraceptive methods."

Your mother could have endured many years of neglect in terms of affection and sexual pleasure- you dont know. She is also looking at a new life and you as a friend for information. Therefore she is spreading her wings. This is completely normal but uncomfortable for you. Be happy for her. She wouldnt care if you flirted with a young man would she? Regardless of the circumstances you are under going changes that takes time to accept. I've highlighted some goals for you to reach over time. Try to allow these changes to come about rather than resist them. After all, your parents deserve happiness however they find it.