How I Was Affected

 

An adult child of divorce shares their psychological nightmare from divorce. How unfortunate this child sees that they were used as a pawn.  What an awful feeling that must be.  Parents have a responsibility to LOVE their child!  A sad story!

 

 

How I was affected

My name is Mike. I am an 18 year old freshman in college at the University of Texas. I was born and raised in New York. My parents got divorced when I was nine years old and my mom won custody of me and my younger brother. I was scared of my mom and, as a result, she was able to use me as a pawn against my father. My parent’s divorce went on for another ten years and I was primary source of communication between the two for the entirety of it. Although they have been divorced for a few years now, they are still fighting to this day, which upsets me. They try to involve me but I repudiate by telling them both that I cannot be involved in their disagreements anymore because their issues have corrupted my childhood. For all you parents out there, please make sure you do not involve your children in such a terrible process. It is not their job to know when their father is late on child support or how terrible of a person their mother or father may be. I wish I had other children to speak to during my parents divorce. I am hoping this forum (Divorce Force) will connect children in need of support with people that can act as an consiglieres during their parents’ divorce process.

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Divorce Force

#323, How I Was Affected

So it is My Fault

 

An adult child of divorce shares the turbulent upbringing filled with abandonment and loneliness.  He recognizes how his mother lived a self-fulfilled life rather than a selfless life that a more attentive parent may choose.  Thankfully, he discovered the blessings of a secure family unit in his fathers’ family and found the fortitude to create a loving family of his own.   Imagine the heartache he could have been spared if his mother had provided a loving and secure environment. A parent who offers emotional security and unconditional love to their child is giving the best gift to their child!  

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My mother left because she was “not happy.” It was a simple answer, but it changed how I saw myself and everything else consequently. She said she had me out of wedlock, and back then felt pressured to marry, and no longer wished to stay with a man (my father) whom she didn’t truly love. She wanted to control her life, pursue her dreams, follow her destiny. But as far as I knew, she’d been doing that her whole life already.

I would’ve felt sorry for her if I hadn’t been dumped off at day cares or distant relatives while she went to go out with her friends. I would’ve felt sorry for her if the reason I was at school so late wasn’t because she wanted a promotion at work. I would’ve felt sorry for her if the reason I was eating cereal and PB&J sandwiches every day wasn’t because she was too lazy to get me something to eat. I would’ve felt sorry for her if the only reason she took us out to Chuck-E-Cheeses wasn’t to be distracted and force us to play with the children of her adulterous lover.

If my mother had left my father after selflessly giving herself to the end to put her child at least through high school, even better, college(!), than I would’ve said: “Hey, my mother may not have been happy, but she put her happiness below her love for her child and after all this sacrifice, I’d support a peaceable separation now that I’m out of the house and all grown up.” But she didn’t. Even while married, even while still responsible for kids, she prioritized her happiness. In the end, every major turn in my life after that day she walked out of the house when I was only 8 or 9 years old, would be a result of me (and my younger sister) riding on the back of her every decision to pursue her own happiness. Her every new house and apartment, her vain attempts to integrate her boyfriend and eventual (legal, though rightly not recognized by our Church) second husband, all leading up to the two new daughters she had with him.

She was not “happy” she said, before she took control of her life. Now she was. But what puzzled me as a child was how every step towards her happiness meant my sadness. My alienation. My struggle. When she moved out of the house, I had to pack and unpack my entire life to accommodate each week where ever in the world she had decided to live next. As she introduced her boyfriend into our lives, I had to deal with the psychological guilt of being obedient and respectful to the man who was the cause of the divorce, the one who was the reason she’d come late to pick me up at school or leave me with virtual strangers to have dates. And once she had more children with him, step-siblings whom I love unconditionally for their is no personal fault in them, I had no choice but realize the sobering fact that HER happiness was contingent on whether she could replace her imperfect mistakes with my father (myself and my sister included) with children that were brought about in her state of new found happiness.

She’ll never admit it to us though, that’s so buried down in her consciousness that only therapy can bring it out. But I noticed it! “I still love you.” She reminds us constantly. But love is supposed to be self-less and my whole life, the example of love has always been one that seeks to satisfy oneself before any obligation before that. Yes, my mother wasn’t happy in her marriage. But her children were. Her children had no idea of the gulf between father and mother. But rather than subordinate her desires, she fed them until the idea of putting her flesh and blood through such stress became feasible.

I left my mother eventually, when I grew old enough to make the call. I was scandalized by a certain incident wherein I was forced to listen to her and her new significant others’ amorous activities without any consideration to my presence and my sensibilities and boundaries. In other words, I was tired of being second in her life. I was sick of a love which never took me into consideration. Since then I’ve been consistently with my father and his big loving Mexican family, many of which’s member’s have been the victims of affairs in their own failed marriages. We support each other, my uncles and aunts raise their siblings’ children as their own if they lack fathers or mothers and we cousins support each other like brothers and sisters.

Thankfully, I’ve since learned what true love looks like with my true family. And you know what, it makes me happy to be no one’s liability or mistake, but to be loved and cared for. And I hope with all my heart to recreate the same with my family.

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Marriage-Ecosystem.org  So it is My Fault by Nicholas

Link: http://www.marriage-ecosystem.org/so-it-is-my-fault.html

#310, So it is My Fault

What Ever Happened to a “Happy Family”?

 

 

Excellent question!  I wonder how many children and adults of divorce ask this question.

One artist shares thoughts on their parents’ divorce.  Sadly, the effects of divorce linger on for some.  

 

Deviant Art Whatever happened to a __tvl__happy_family___by_pistol_pink-d53cp98

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Deviant Art: Happy Family by Joker-Darling

Link to artwork: http://www.deviantart.com/art/TVL-Happy-Family-307962332

# 308, Whatever Happened to  a “happy family”?

Hardest Part

 

 

An adult child of divorce shares their thoughts on divorce and the ever-present impact on their life.  A child should have access to both parents.  Notably, a child will figure out what happened and express thoughts on what SHOULD have happened.  

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For me the hardest part of my parents’ divorce was adjusting to having two families. One, that my mom wanted me to be in and one that my mom did not want me to be a part of-with my dad.  The divorce doesnt bother me.  What does bother me is being made to feel guilty for wanting to spend time with my dad.   To say it does not bring pain, doubts, and questions would be a lie.

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#297, Hardest Part

Generations of Divorces

 

The cascade of generations of divorces is revealed in this story!  She shares the emotional impact divorce may have on the emotional development of the child.  

Several family members have experienced divorce, more than one time. A sad family legacy.  Children learn from watching their parents.  Parents are modeling how relationships are suppose to work.  If a child observes parental conflict on a regular basis; they are likely to view fighting as normal behavior between a husband and wife.  

Divorce is between the parents-ABOUT THE CHILD!   LOVE WINS!!!

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I am the child of multiple generations of multiple divorces. Both of my grandmothers, who were born around 1900, were divorced twice. My mother was divorced twice, and so was my father. I’m not sure about my grandfathers; I think one was divorced twice.

I grew up thinking marriage was a bad idea, but my boyfriend was afraid of displeasing his parents, insisted on it, so we married. And divorced.

I became Christian, and realized that bad marriages didn’t mean that marriages were bad. So I married an intermittent alcoholic. And divorced.

My younger sister refused to legally marry, but was “divorced” several times before finally officially marrying in her late 30’s. She stays married because it is a good business arrangement (to quote her), but is divorced in her heart, and is waiting for her husband, who has a cardiac problem, to die.

Since my parents didn’t get divorced until after I left home, you could say I am not a child of divorce. But then, my father made it very clear to my mother on their honeymoon that he would never treat her as a wife.

My younger sister is a child of divorce, and she is worse off emotionally than I am. She smiles and sparkles, and is extremely successful, but is also emotionally dead, and incapable of genuine love.

She did make sure her children had a stable home. Perhaps they will be the first members of our family in over a century not to divorce.

Please. Don’t.

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Shared on Marriage-EcoSystem.  The cascade of generations of divorce.

Link to site: http://www.marriage-ecosystem.org/the-cascade-of-generations-of-divorces.html

#290, Generations of Divorce

Emotional Burden of Divorce

 

An adult child of divorce shares the emotional burden of their parents divorce.  As a parent, this individual is determined to stay married.  Disappointment in parents,and anger at parents, are part of the experience of divorce.  Sometimes this lead to more dependence on self and protecting themselves from emotional hurt in intimate relationships.  

I was 11 and 12 when my parents divorced and separated.  I engaged in minor acts of rebellion to “punish” both my mother and father in ways specifically intended to make each of them feel as bad as possible. (for example, for my mother I broke things I had made as a child which she treasured). I also pulled away from both of them and stopped talking to them about things that happened in my life. This probably is a natural part of being that age anyway, but it was certainly accelerated by the divorce.

I am now in my 30s, and looking back I can see that this has impacted on different aspects of my personality which are still present now. Not all of it is negative – having a chip on my shoulder has I think helped me do well in school and later professionally, but my tendency to withdraw when I am uncomfortable and not let people in does not do me favors. I have kids now, and I am determined not to “let them down” as I was.

#286, Emotional Burden of Divorce

The Family Portrait that Never Was

A common theme of divorce is wanting to be a family again.  This artist illustrates this point beautifully in her artwork.  The artists comments: “The reason as to why I picked the title, “The Family Portrait that never was” is that, my parents have been divorced for 17 years and havent had a family picture together since I was 5 or 6 years old (honestly I cringe at the title grammar. Is there a better way to word it?).

Anyway, this is my 27th birthday present to myself. An appreciation of my family/parents for what/who they are, and loving them anyway…even if they are not tied by marriage via paper.”  How sad.  Sometimes, accepting a parents divorce is a difficult task to master.  Perhaps creating this family portrait will help her with her parents divorce from many years ago.

Deviant Art Family that never was m

 

Deviant Art.  The Family Portrait that Never was by Delight046

Link to artwork: http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Family-Portrait-that-Never-Was-501716151

#284,   The Family Portrait that Never Was

Scars of Divorce

 

A child of divorce shares the emotional turmoil experienced during her parents divorce.  One paragraph is especially revealing and is in bold type.  This is an excellent expose on the impact that divorce has on a child.  Not only during childhood but throughout their entire lives!

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Growing up in suburban Philadelphia, the daughter of two yuppies, it seemed like I had everything. I was pretty sheltered, a shy child by nature and nurture. The later cause of my introverted nature was the fact that my parents avoided verbal communication with each other. The only time I remember them directly talking to each other was a rather loud fight.

Instead of providing a good relationship model and any hint of social skills for me, my parents’ example made me evade meaningful social interactions with my peers. I found refuge in school, dance, and music. Unfortunately, my older sister discovered escape through drinking, drugs, and sex.

Fast-forward to late 2003. I was in 8th grade, in the middle of the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad stage of puberty. My parents announce that they are getting a divorce. Although they had been practically divorced during my entire life, this announcement turned my world upside down. My life-long depression spun out of control. I started experiencing suicidal thoughts. The climax of my depression was when I held a knife to my wrist. I wanted to kill myself, but I was afraid of the physical pain I would feel. I ended up putting the knife down. The next day, I went to see my guidance counselor at school. I told her what happened, and long story short, I was sent to the mental hospital. After my hospital visit, I continued therapy and medication.

While I no longer experienced suicidal thoughts, I still had much healing to accomplish. I learned that both my mother and my father had been in long-term relationships with other people (their current spouses). I also learned that my mother had been married before she met my dad. I was disgusted with the deceit and lies my parents had been feeding me. I was stronger than they thought, so why didn’t they tell me the truth? I was so irate that they would blatantly lie to me!

In high school, I was still very shy and hesitant to develop real relationships. Subconsciously, I think that I was afraid of being hurt by others. My parents “relationship” consisted of mostly silent treatment, with occasional incidents of passive-aggressive behavior. In my mind, that was the pattern that all relationships followed. Throughout high school and the first year or two of college, I thought that in the rare chance that I became married, I would eventually get divorced.

Both my mother and father remarried, the former in January 2009 and the later in December 2011. My sister was in a serious relationship with a great guy. In my own family, I constantly felt like a third wheel in my family. I only started dating in college, but was consistently disappointed by the lack of authentic men on campus. Fortunately, I became more involved in my church community and learned about self-less, sacrificing, true relationships through academic study and personal witness of couples committed to each other, through good and bad times.

I will always carry some scars from my parents’ divorce. I share my story with you to show you that divorce is a horrible experience for children. If you come from a faith background, the following quote best sums up divorce:

“Divorce is when parents cast of their cross and give it to their children.”

My story is just a small example of how deeply wounded our culture is by our destruction of marriage. We must work diligently to restore the true meaning of marriage as a sacrificial, life and love-giving union that produces children and furthers the good of all society. Marriage is a beautiful, life-long commitment and must be carefully entered into and protected and nourished by every one of us.

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Marriage-Ecosystem.  

Link to site: http://www.marriage-ecosystem.org/their-divorce-nearly-killed-me.html

#269, Scars of Divorce

I Just…

 

An emotional plea for her parents to be together.  A common theme with children of divorce.  The artist comments: “My parents divorced when i was kinda young (i think i was going into my last years of elementary school) and at the time i was crushed bc i really looked up to my dad and he was the one that moved out.”

I just want them back dl __tsc____how_could_you__by_fimbulvetrstar-d93qv2i

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Deviant Art, How Could You by Fimbulvetrstar

Link to artwork: http://www.deviantart.com/art/TSC-how-could-you-550487754

# 268, I Just …

When Parents Don’t Love Each Other

 

One adult child of divorce shares the reality and heartbreak of divorce and remarriage.  How true!  A child has DNA from both parents.  When one parent criticizes the other parent they are also criticizing the child.   The same is true for family relationships.  

Interesting take on what parents should do when they decide to divorce.

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When parents don’t love each other, they don’t love each others family. When they don’t love each other’s family, they don’t love the family of their child. The child feels alone and can’t show too much love or devotion to either side.

When the parents remarry and have children, they love that new spouse, and that new spouses family. The first child has to watch while the parent loves and gives preference to that new child’s whole family.

This state can continue for the first child’s entire life. watching the parents ignore 1/2 of the first child’s family, and giving preference and love to the latter child’s entire family.

I have lived this as the first child. the anger at the callousness and unfairness never really subsides. And then they wonder why you’re angry and why you never really seem to “get over it.”

When the parents don’t love each other, they should just give the child up for adoption rather than making the child live like that.

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Shared on Marriage-ecosystem.org

Link to site: 

http://www.marriage-ecosystem.org/when-parents-dont-love-each-other.html

#267, When Parents Don’t Love Each Other