In 2020, the divorce rate in Kansas was approximately 18%. That’s a significant decrease from 2010 when the rate was at 37%.

Unfortunately, my family was part of that 37%.

In February 2010, my entire family dynamic was changed forever.

I was 10-years old, and it was honestly one of the worst days of my life.

After one’s terrible choices and some dramatic events, my mom sat my sister and me down and told us that dad wouldn’t be coming home. She told us what happened, sparing no details.

From the beginning, my mom has never held any information from us. She told us the full truth and I’m really thankful for that no matter how much it may have hurt to hear at times.

I remember the first few months were rough. I was angry. I was hurt. I was lost. I remember being physically sick for quite a while. I was going to the school nurse’s office almost daily for stomach aches. My doctor had put me on medications typically used for things like acid reflux, but looking back now, I know that it was all anxiety-related.

If I didn’t go to the nurse’s office, I went to the counselor’s office. We talked about what was going on and how that made me feel.

I started going to what I would call a support group for children of divorce, and it was honestly helpful as I explored this life-changing situation. They helped us navigate this array of emotions we were going through. Each of our scenarios was different, but it was comforting being surrounded by kids my age who were going through something similar.

My dad left by choice. He chose to walk out on his family. For years I held such a deep hatred for this man, and what he had put myself and our family through.

I was betrayed by the one man a girl is supposed to be able to trust in her life.

So many things have changed for me, but there have always been two constants. My mom and my sister.

My dad may have left, but my mom and my sister have never left my side, and I know they never will.

It has taken me years to finally get to the mindset I have now, but I feel free. I can’t forgive him for what he did and how he has treated me since, but that’s not my problem.

He has missed out on an incredible girl.

He missed out on extracurricular activities. He missed out on my biggest accomplishments thus far. I am missing nothing.

I am in an amazing spot in life today and it’s no thanks to him. I am doing amazing things and creating an exciting future for myself.

I don’t have a dad, but I’m not the one missing out.

This is his loss.

I came out on top.

Laci Sutton is a Nickerson senior studying nursing. She is the Collegian Opinion Page Editor.

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