Sunday, March 23, 2014

Strength To Move Ahead


Yesterday I had a unique experience.  My paths crossed with three women who have survived the pain of betrayal and broken promises.  Each woman has a different story, but their journey to wholeness has been an inspiration to me!!

The first woman I saw yesterday was my mother.  Five years ago my heart broke each time I saw her.  Her agony was evident in every area of her life.  Her physical and emotional health was at risk.  We all wondered if we would ever have her "back" the way she used to be. To see a woman who had given all for her family have to endure the destruction of her family because of her husband's choices added to my grief! How could she go on? Would this destroy her?

The second woman I saw yesterday was a friend I met in Divorce Care.  The support group I sought out was designed for people going through divorce. Although it was my parents ,, and not me, experiencing the divorce, I found the Divorce Care support group at my church to be extremely helpful as I processed my struggle with what was happening!!
Listening to the helpful videos guided me through my healing, but listening to the stories of those who were processing their own betrayal and end of relationships added perspective.  A particularly wise and mature woman became a dear friend as a result of our time together in Divorce Care.  Listening to her story and her determination to grow and become better , not bitter, encouraged me to do the same.

The third woman I saw yesterday is a friend through employment who I ran into at a concert.  When I first met her I learned that a long marriage was ending. Although she was pleasant and enjoyable to work with, she was sad.  The changes and challenges in her life were unwelcome, yet she was having to face them.  As time has passed I have seen her confidence grow.  Her sadness has diminished.  She is embracing the new life and opportunities she has.

When I realized this morning, what a unique thing that was, for me to see these three beautiful women in one day , I realized that they have some wonderful things in common.
Things that can help us ACODs and also that can help the women or men we ACODs are trying to help heal from their own divorces. 

Each one of these women experienced the awful shock of realizing that they had been deceived and betrayed.

Each one of these women were enveloped by anger, depression, and other debilitating , but necessary stages of grief.

Each one had a faith in God that has been something they have leaned upon and valued more through their experience.

Each one sought help from family , friends and support groups. Their counselors and others in their support groups have been invaluable in providing guidance and insight and hope. 

Each women has grown, healed, gained strength to move ahead!!
They have moved, taken new jobs, made new friends, and reached out to others in similar situations. They are real life examples of how God can help us heal and grow in the midst of the pain of our lives.

Each woman still feels the pain of what they have gone through.  The memories, the continued effects, and the changes in relationships can't be ignored. 

But each woman has gained strength to move ahead.

I have been privileged to walk with them in some capacity.  Just their sharing their journey with me has been highly valued.  Their pain has been my pain, I have cried with them and for them.  As well,  their healing, has been my healing.  I have laughed with them and looked to the future with them.  Their strength has given me strength.

My experience yesterday reminded me that those experiencing divorce , as a child of divorce , or the person divorcing,  really need others to walk beside them.

If you are that child of divorce, seek counsel, support from others going through the same thing and take care of yourself.

If you are a child of divorce , helping your parent,  encourage the same for them.

And if you are a woman ( or man ) who is experiencing your life being dramatically altered by a spouse who is leaving,  seek help for yourself.  It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to get help!!!

A journey to wholeness doesn't just happen!!  As my friend said yesterday, that she had to do the "hard work" involved in maturing and growing and healing, it is well worth the effort!!

The women I am blessed to know are proof to me, that despite life's harshest loads given to us to bear, with God's help and the help of others, we can have the strength and grace to move ahead!!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Adult Children of Divorce Experience Burglary When Parents Divorce

Adult children of divorce experience burglary.  Things are taken.  Stealing takes place.  They are violated.  The parent sees only the boxes they are packing to carry on to their new life.  The leaving parent views what has been given in the past as most important.  The parent who is "moving on" takes belongings, photos, family heirlooms, and they take SO much more!!!

Adult children of divorce are left looking at rooms and spaces in their literal family homes, and the recesses of their minds.  The areas are empty or half full now.  They may be strewn with debris and bring a feeling of chaos and insecurity.   Even when they are cleaned, re-arranged , and filled with new furnishings, the memory of the burglary still haunts and changes the behavior in those rooms.

Adult children of divorce have a lot taken when one or both parents decide to leave.

If you are a parent of adult children and you are considering divorce, realize the enormous changes and hurts your actions will cause your adult children and what you will take from them in the process and how they will feel about it.

If you are a adult child of divorce and you have woken up to find your life burglarized by your parent's divorce,   "call the police, so to speak ( counselor),   begin to clean up what you can,  try to re-decorate and re-fill ,  and establish the "locks" and "safeguards" of setting appropriate boundaries.  

It is one thing to have something taken by a stranger, and it is quite another to have many things taken by a family member.  Adult children who experience the burglary of their parents divorce can feel safe again, but it may take some time!!!



Topics

JANUARY TOPICS : Help and Hope
Grief
Bonds Unravel
Pain
Anger

FEBRUARY TOPICS: Anger
Counseling
Bargaining
Triangles
Honesty
Depression
Waiting
Boundaries

MARCH TOPICS: Accepting Change
Forgiving Parents
Time For Serenity
Things/Objects of Meaning
House
Rings

APRIL TOPICS: Postcard
Holidays
Recipe
Photo Album
Pathway

JUNE/JULY : Reflecting and Writing Again

AUGUST:
Acods and Listening
Acods and Materialism
Acods and Identity

SEPTEMBER:
Serenity Prayer Worksheet
ACODs and Simplicity
A New Look to the Blog!!
Serenity Prayer Extended Version/Worksheet
Simplicity
Why do we Blog???

NOV/DEC:
ACOD Serenity Prayer
ACOD Fathers and Mothers
Things Still Aren't Right This Christmas

Grandchildren of Divorce
ACODs and Affairs
Keep Going
ACOD Forward and Back
Lord' Prayer ACOD version
Ripple Effect
Grief Revisited
Too Many Choices
ACOD Times To Remember
Telling the Truth
Behind the Curtain

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