Children of Divorce
Updated: Jan 30
I don't think there is a child out there that does not walk away from divorce without some kind of a scar. Even if the divorce is not a surprise to the children, there is still that lingering feeling of a family that is broken and no longer the unit that it once was.
The real head scratcher is that my own parents have been married for almost 57 years, and yet even after having the best example of what a marriage should be like, I still sucked at it. I had no idea what the children must have been going through, because I had never been through it myself. I can't help but wonder if I would have been a child of divorce, would I still have failed so miserably in my own relationship choices?
I can't imagine how my children, and my former step children must have felt through all this, and it weighs heavy on my heart still. As sensitive of a person that I am, and always thinking about others, I don't have a clear answer on why I didn't think more about what THEY were going through as a result of my decisions and actions.
It made me think about how we all probably have our own ways of dealing with challenging situations, and that some of those ways can even be harmful. What it comes down to, is how we work through those dark periods in a healthy and healing way, to get to the other side. For some, it may be through prayer and faith. For others, it may be just going to get a mani/pedi.
I look at all my adult children now who have lived through A LOT of divorce and other extremely difficult times, and this is what I see. I see three women who are strong and determined in their lives. I see women who don't give up and are able to handle stressful situations with ease. I see women who used to have low self-worth, thriving in their everyday life with confidence, even if they have made mistakes in certain areas. Most of all, I see each of them holding their own relationships close, and with the loving care and attention those relationships need to sustain.
Living through divorce is a lot like recovering from a major car accident, or bouncing back from a life threatening medical condition. You learn drive safer and treat your body better. Because you have seen and lived through the carnage, you will do everything in your power to not put yourself through that pain again. I think many children of divorce do just that.
So if you have been divorced, about to get divorced, or a child of divorce, it does not have to destroy you. It could be the best learning experience you may ever go through, even if it may be one of the hardest.
I hope you are the half that does not ever have navigate through an experience like divorce, but if you do, dust yourself off and move forward. You don't have to earn a Masters Degree in failed relationships like me, but you can and will grow from it ways that are positive and life changing, even if you don't know it yet.
Sarah Swindell's memoir, Rounding Home, is now available here! http://bit.ly/RoundingHome