Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And now what?

It's been five and a half years since my dad moved out of my childhood home, two since my parents' divorce was final, and a year and a half since my dad married the woman he left my mother for. My parents   were first married (more on that later) in 1967. And now what?

Here is what I can say at this point in the process of grieving:

Almost no one understands how my parents' divorce continues to rip me apart, or how it has made me see myself differently; how I used to feel like a strong, confident person, but now I feel like I came out of the factory defective because I can't seem to stop grieving; how the hurt has lessened in frequency, but not intensity; how at this point I believe I won't ever escape from this.

A number of years back I joined a Yahoo group for Adult Kids of Divorce (AKODs, or alternately "adult children of divorce" - ACODs), but there's not much activity over there. Additionally, I've seen both of those terms used to reference adults whose experience of parental divorce occurred during their childhoods - and trust me, there are common elements, but it is not the same sort of experience.

There's exactly ONE scholarly book written on the subject. And it's out of print.

Searches for therapists well-versed in this situation have come up fruitless.

And over the years I have felt more and more alone. I have a sister who is 10 years my junior - she was still living at home when our dad left, and the extent to which both my parents protected her while simultaneously laying pretty heavy weights on me is remarkable. The hurt and implications of that discrepancy shattered my connection with the one person in the world who I thought was most likely to understand.

I lost my family, I've lost my dad completely, and to some extent I lost my sister.

So now I am reaching out.

2 comments:

  1. I can completely identify with this post--I used to feel secure and confident and now I feel like a mess in EVERYTHING. There really aren't alot of resources out there. I will say that Brooke Lea Foster's book, "The Way They Were" really helped me. It's the only book I know of (still in print) that exists for ACODs.

    Hang in there & keep sharing!

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  2. Thanks for popping over Michelle, I appreciate it!

    I did read that one, but I think I may have read it too early on in this process. I might need to pick it up again. Copies of A Grief Out of Season are still floating around, I managed to get one at a normal price for a used book. That's worth looking at for sure. I made my mom read it - though I'm not sure that idea was helpful to either of us. She read it sort of... selectively I guess you could say. The ideas that made her uncomfortable got ignored in a sense. But I found it to be very good.

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