Lingering Influence of Divorce

 

Interviews from three adult children of divorce. The last question is “give 6 words to describe yourself as an adult child of divorce. ”   Responses reveal the lingering influence of divorce. 

Adults were under the age of 18 at the time of their parent’s divorce and living with their parents.  

 

Hortencia, 48
Married for 30 years

1. How old were you when your parents divorced? 

I was 2 ½ years old.

2. What is your strongest memory of your parents’ divorce? 


It became a usual routine to wake up and not see my mother there because she would be working since my father was no longer there to provide for us.

We didn’t grow up as a family we were eventually all separated because my mom would work and father wasn’t there and my siblings and I were sent off to live with aunts. I didn’t really get to know my mother until I was an adolescent when I moved back to live with her.

3. What coping mechanism did you adopt?

I had support from my family—cousins and aunts. Some of them were going through the same situation, so we helped each other out and we never made each other feel any less because of it. I looked to them for support.

4. Do you feel differently about your parents’ divorce now that you are an adult?

Yes. I used to think that my parent’s divorce wasn’t a bad thing and that we were all better off this way. But now that years have passed, I see how it has really affected my mother the most. She never remarried and as she grows older I see how lonely she is and how I would have liked for her to have someone to spend her days with.
I feel guilty that I can’t do more for her.
5. As an adult if you could go back to yourself as a child and tell that child something, what would it be?

It might sound silly but I would tell her that everything will be fine. I would also tell her that dreams do come true. I wanted a family and I now I have what I always wanted.

6. Give me 6 words to describe you as an adult child of a divorce.
NOT A PERSON THAT TRUSTS EASILY

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Sara, 38 years old
Married

1. How old were you when your parents divorced?

13 years old

2. What is your strongest memory of your parents’ divorce?

That they finally did it. They did something to stop the fighting.

3. What coping mechanism did you adopt?

4. Do you fell differently about your parents’ divorce now that you are an adult?

Feel the same, happy

5. As an adult if you could go back to yourself as a child and tell that child something, what would it be?

This is going to get better. It will be over soon.

6. Give me six words to describe you as an adult child of divorce.

CAREFUL IN CHOOSING A GOOD HUSBAND

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Melissa, 25 years old
Engaged

1. How old were you when your parents divorced?

11 years old

2. What is your strongest memory of your parents’ divorce?

When my dad told us he was seeing another woman, I fell to the ground sobbing and crying. My brother picked me up and carried me to my room.

3. What coping mechanism did you adopt?

I had 2. One was eating. That is when I started to gain weight. The other was saying “I don’t care”. There was a period between 11-17 that I always answered- I don’t care. It was me not being trusting. I broke up with my fiancée in High School because it was too deep.

4. Do you feel differently about your parents’ divorce now that you are an adult?

Yes, my mother is happier than she ever has been. That means the world to me.

5. As an adult if you could go back to yourself as a child and tell that child something, what would it be?

I don’t think anything would have helped me feel better about my dad leaving us. It was hypocritical because he told us not to lie but his whole life was a lie.

6. Give me 6 words to describe you as an adult child of a divorce.

WE WILL NOT BE LIKE YOU

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Blog site: Adult Children of Divorce (ACOD): Shame, Empathy, and Resilience
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#82, Lingering Influence of Divorce
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