An adult child of divorce shares the lifelong Grief due to her parents divorce. Divorce ruins the family and the feelings of loss will always be readily accessible. Notably, the words spoken by her father, “Don’t take her a way” have offered peace and solace over the years.
How many children do not even have that consolation. Problems from parents who engage in tactics of parental alienation syndrome are two-fold. First, the child is robbed of the emotional experience of having a relationship with both parents. Two, there are no explanations as to why one parent has left or had no contact with them.
Divorce can be a wicked event in a child’s life.
Divorce is between pareents-About the child!
My divorce story begins with an image of my father, curled up underneath my baby bed while I slept, whispering a tearful goodbye. Later that night, he would beg my mother, “Please, don’t take her away.” Because I was only two when my parents divorced, I have no actual memory of this moment. But my mother has shared it with me enough times that it feels like a real memory. I clung to this image as a child, and in some ways it fed my fantasy that my parents might have stayed married, if only she had allowed him to stay.
Whenever I heard this story, it always struck me that my father did not say, “Don’t leave me,” but only, “Don’t take her away.” My Lebanese father viewed their troubled marriage through the eyes of a culture where family ties are strong and divorce is rare. He believed they could find a way to work things out so that I could stay in his home, even if the marriage was bad. But that was not enough for my American mother, who had grown up in a turbulent home where her own mother had stayed too long in an unhealthy marriage “for the children.” After all, it was 1976, and the culture was shouting that getting out was the best thing to do—that she deserved better. What my parents did not realize at the time is that divorce never works out for the better—especially not for the children.
Nearly 38 years later, I am still grieving the loss of my parents’ marriage. The divorce left me fragmented, vulnerable, angry, and, in some ways, homeless. I am always half empty—longing for the family I will never have. When they divorced, my mother and father broke up our little family, but what neither of them realized at that time is that they also broke me in two.
Lifelong Grief as shared on Marriage-ecosystem.org
#356, Lifelong Grief