Fairy Tale No More
Divorce is a difficult topic to talk about. As adults, most of us marry thinking, “this is my happily ever after.” We don’t usually go into a marriage thinking, “this may be my happily ever after, until we decide to divorce and then I’ll possibly meet another happily ever after.” Making the decision to separate and dissolve that fairy tale is difficult enough without involving other things, let alone people. Yet, many times divorce comes in a family where there are children present. Now, divorce really becomes a difficult topic to talk about.
I have worked with many children that come from households with divorced parents. Children cope with situations differently, some may be open about their feelings, and others may hold them in, while others rebel or regress in their attempt to call attention to themselves. I want to be able to say that there is a manual somewhere that helps parents navigate through this situation in the correct way, but there is no such thing. As parents, it is important for us to realize that there is no perfect way to handle children and divorce, but there are better ways than others.
A while back, I worked with a very expressive twelve-year-old girl. I remember the first day we met; I sat outside on a bench with her and asked how she was. Her answer was to tell me how sad she was that her father did not love her. She told me that she didn’t remember her parents being together, as they divorced one year after the birth of her younger brother. This young girl expressed how her father had given her a phone to keep in contact, yet he never called. She said he always made plans with the two of them, but never showed up. She said she tried speaking to him about missing him, and he blamed it on her for choosing her mother. She described trying to confide in her mother, only to hear criticism of her father and being blamed again for trying to keep him in their lives. I will never forget her saying that she felt “worthless of being loved.”
The story of this girl is not as uncommon as we may think. In her situation, her parents had a difficult divorce and she was placed in the middle. The continuous arguing and racing to see who could best put the other down caused for them to forget about the most important people in this situation…. Their children. This little twelve-year-old girl was feeling “worthless of being loved.” Feelings like these lead children to live difficult, sad, or angry lives that they never asked for.
If you’re going through a difficult time in your life, if divorce or separation are impending, if you feel you need help dealing with this situation, if you feel you need help dealing with your children, or if you feel you need your children to speak with someone, please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our Orlando mental health counselors.