The idea of "our home" or "dad and mom's house" changes dramatically in the life of an adult child of divorce. The home may have been a place of fighting and disagreements or it may have been a place of laughter and love, or some of each, but regardless, it was a place of familiarity. A place of belonging and where we had a sense of security. As adults, we knew that both of our parents would not always live there. We knew that they would grow older and move or die and we knew that the house is not the "home", that the people are. We didn't think one would leave out of their own free will. When parents divorce, one parent leaves the house and sometimes both leave. The leaving is not a part of death, it is caused by a choice and that is part of the reason that a divorce seems worse than a death often to the children.
After parents divorce, adult children may experience their childhood home or the familiar home of their parents being sold. In her post entitled Moving House But Not Moving On, ( on the Feeling Barefoot blog ) Tali describes wanting to hug the walls of her house as it is being sold. It is as if she wants to hold on to that place so she can have a place to go home to. Many adult children of divorce say they feel "homeless" when there are two new homes to visit.
Other ACODs may experience visiting one parent at a home that used to be occupied by two. Aldon 3 , in the post called "well that wasn't much fun" , on the Yuku adult kids of divorce forum, talks about the experience of driving into the area of his parents home only to feel physical stomach pains. The description that is given of the one parent not being there anymore is that his "absence was just so palatable". Items of that parents are gone, places they stood and sat now are unoccupied and as Aldon 3 says it "now brings nothing but sadness".
I have felt the same. So have you if you are an ACOD. We know in our minds that the house is just the walls, floors and the carpet, etc. but we also know in our hearts that it is more. A house represents belonging, security and familiarity. And that is our challenge. To remember well the blessing of having that feeling and that reality at one time in our lives. To recognize the importance of our own homes to the ones who live with us. And to work on preserving the intangible meaning of belonging and security in other ways, through other items and experiences and memories that help convey the same things to those we love.
But there is no denying that The House has significant meaning to an adult child of divorce.
SHARE WITH ME/US HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR HOUSE...OR THE HOUSE YOU VISIT NOW...WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE AND WHAT MEANING DOES YOUR PARENTS HOUSE HAVE TO YOU?
( next post will be The Rings)