Following is a post from my personal blog. I thought it might be helpful to post here as well since this is what this new blog is all about…

I just read this article, “No good divorce: The children’s perspective”. It’s an interview with Elizabeth Marquardt, the author of “Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce” and I’m ready to go out and read the book.

This is a subject that is very close to my heart. In some way I have always felt that my parents’ divorce didn’t affect me all that much. When I read “Generation Ex” by Jen Abbas, I realized that wasn’t true. In the process of reading that book, my feelings of confusion and loss were validated and I was able to find a lot of healing.

Since then I have thought a great deal about the lack of support for children of divorce. Do a google search for divorce counseling for children and you’ll find a slew of websites, but all of them are written for the parents. We need some child advocates here. Parents can do a lot to help support their children through a divorce, but very often its not enough. One reason is simply because the parents are going through a heart-wrenching time. Divorce ain’t easy. A second reason is because these kids need someone to talk to about what they are going through, and they don’t always feel comfortable talking to Mom and Dad because it hits too close to home. How do you be completely honest about your pain and anger with the people who are causing it? I was 6 when my parents divorced, and it hurt like hell. I was mad at them both, but I never told them because they were already hurting so much and I didn’t want to add to their pain and guilt. Add to that the pressure from society. When I was a child I felt like I just needed to act normal. Everyone seemed to turn the other way, pretend it didn’t really happen or that it wasn’t a big deal. I was so afraid of expressing my feelings because I didn’t want people to think I was overreacting. Yet even with that restraint I still cried a lot. (One of the best things my mom taught me is that it’s okay to cry.)

It’s so different the way children are treated if a loved one dies. Their pain is acknowledged for what it is, they are embraced. Children of divorce are grieving just as well, but because divorce has become so common I think we underestimate what they are going through. They experience pain, anger, confusion, denial, frustration, sadness, and they need to know that it’s okay to feel the way they feel. In essence they are grieving the loss of their family. We need to let them grieve.

I want to start an advocacy center for children of divorce. I know it’s needed. Convincing people it’s needed may be a challenge. Funding it will definitely be a challenge. I need to network, I need to make a plan. This blog is the first step.