(Note: I’m trying something new, and adding a podcast to this post. The audio content is different from the written content, so I hope that you will enjoy both. Please give me some feedback!)
Here is a link to my original Feeling Stuck post.
m4a type of file- if the won’t play for you, try the mp3 version
mp3 type of file
A friend of mine is going through a divorce, something I would imagine many of you can identify with, unfortunately. She has a little boy in elementary school and is worried about the effect this will have on him. She’s also worried about being able to keep the house they’ve been living in. It’s too large for just the two of them, and a bit more money than she feels comfortable with spending every month. That’s also something that I’m sure many of you can identify with. What if they have to move? What if he has to change schools?
Let’s count up this little boy’s losses:
- loss of a constant father figure
- loss of a loving, cohesive family
- loss of a home, if they have to move
- loss of friends, if they have to move
- loss of school, if they have to move
- loss of a comfortable and familiar routine (due to shared custody, lots of sleeping in Dad’s new place, etc.)
- maybe even loss of grandparents, if they get too involved in choosing sides
- loss of a healthy image of Mom, maybe blaming Mom for what happened
- loss of a healthy image of Dad, maybe putting Dad on a pedestal
- loss of self-worth since so many children of divorce, in trying to understand what happened, blame themselves for what the adults in their lives do
- loss of safety, due in part with Dad not being there to protect them, and in part due to the anger and stress that is always in the air.
- loss of Mom, who is into her own grief about the loss of her husband, her anger, regret and fear of the future.
I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking of, but you’re getting the idea, I’m sure.
And since Mom is in her own grief, no matter how much she tries to shield her son from that, he still feels that something has changed. He probably won’t really understand what has changed, but his mother feels different to him. Children can’t rationally think through these difficult issues. They just feel funny in their bodies, like having a stomach ache.
Can you see how the losses build and feed into each other? You might think I’m nitpicking, but I’m not. And the sad thing is that Mom has probably never been taught any effective way of dealing with all of this, and is completely unprepared to help her son.
What does he take out of it? Not to trust parents? That he’s so bad his dad didn’t want to be around him any more? That marriage stinks and he never wants to get married? Or have kids?
Wow. Do you see the chain reactions, and the ricochets? Like a giant, crazy pinball game.
Still more to come….