I was just sitting in front of my woodstove staring at the fire. Tears came. “What is this I’m feeling?” Then I got it. I finally know first hand what it feels like being a child of divorce.

My parents were together for 64 years. I am not a child of divorce in that sense. I have worked with clients with divorced parents and I’ve watched what that has done to their world, but again, I had no first hand experience…until now.

One of the things that alerted me is this awful feeling of being out of control. I’m not driving the car I’m in. I’m sitting in the back, at the mercy of the one who holds the steering wheel.

  • Where are we going?
  • Is he paying attention?
  • Does he know how to drive?
  • Will we get in an accident?
  • I don’t like the way he swerves when he’s mad.

Children of a rotten divorce watch their parents fight and bad mouth each other. They wonder about their safety, about their future, their friends, and what is next. What is going to happen to me? They fear because they have no say in the future being decided for them…and that they will have to live out.

Research shows us that children can get through their parents’ divorce relatively unharmed as long as the parents don’t fight in front of them, and especially if they speak well of each other. Children that don’t get that are the ones who are harmed, sometimes irreparably.

Our nation’s “parents” are going through an awful divorce. They are fighting over who is boss. They are fighting in front of us “kids” often with horribly dirty tactics. They never speak kindly to one another. To add to the awfulness of it, most of us are hearing/watching them fight from a “room” into which we have been locked down. It is a recipe for trauma.

It hasn’t always been this way. I’m old enough to have lived through several election cycles. In years past we had relatively peaceful transitions between administrations. Not any more. And… our awful parents don’t realize the damage they are causing the citizenry any more than clueless divorcing parents understand what they are doing to their kids.  

I just this moment realized this as the cause of a good deal of the pain I feel “in the collective.” I wanted to share my discovery with you so you know that, if you feel something similar, you are not alone.

And just like children of crazy divorcing parents, we will be better off if we stick together.  So tell me, how can I support you?