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Category: Divorce

How children see their family

How children see their family

Reticulated Giraffe Family

“Once you bring kids into this world, its not about you anymore.” ~Tony Gaskins

One of the harshest outcomes of separation of a married couple is its inevitable impact on their children. As adults, most of us have already faced disappointments and changes, losses and challenges, at different stages in life. We have been in stressful situations in one-way or another, and we have developed our own coping mechanisms to deal with them and learn from them. But for small children, their parents’ separation and the disintegration of the family unit would perhaps be their first apparent life crisis! When as adults the situation can be excruciatingly painful, it is unimaginable to fathom the agony children can go through.

The way small children see it – family means the entire world to them. In the eyes of toddlers, their parents are truly their universe and there isn’t anything else, literally. Even older children, however detached and rebellious they can be, continue to define themselves in terms of their family. Their family is an intrinsic part of who they are. Their parents are the two most important people who mean everything to them. They perceive both mom and dad as a single entity, rather than seeing them differently as a mom and a dad. It is from this single unit that their family was created. No wonder then that children view their parents’ breakup as the end of something fundamentally significant.

When children see and absorb that their family is not what it used to be, that alone can shake them. It can evoke emotions of being unsure, anxious and insecure. Separation can seem like a catastrophe and be a devastating feeling!

We all feel a need to belong and there is no better sense of belonging than that which comes from being a part of a loving family. It becomes extremely crucial for a parent or both the parents, given different circumstances of separation, to help these children navigate through the painful process in a reassuring and healthy way.

Face-to-Face with FEAR

Face-to-Face with FEAR

Clouds

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown.” H.P.Lovecraft

Every time I used to hear of real-life divorce tales, I would feel sorry for the couple in question and my heart would reach out for the kids in the messy situation. I used to think how hard is life for them, so sad and so not fair. And then I would instantly thank my stars for blessing me with a wonderful family – a loving husband and two adorable kids. After all, divorce is something that only happens to others. It can surely not happen to me.

Alas! How often we take our precious possessions for granted! How often do we take ‘life’ for granted!!

When it was time to face the fact that ‘Divorce’ was indeed happening to me, I was in complete disbelief. There I was, so beautifully entrenched in my so-called ‘settled’ domestic abode. A wonderful world that I had selflessly built over the years and tended to with all my energy. And now life was throwing me in front of a completely new situation, compelling me to leave all that belonged to me in my comfort zone. Catching me totally unarmed with a new set of fears to face a brutal reality.

As I stepped into the mental state of being ‘unsettled’, a plethora of dreadful questions quickly raced my mind-

‘Is my marriage really ending?’
‘Isn’t there a better way out?’
‘What will happen to my kids?’
‘Will they be depressed?’
‘We will be a broken family!’
‘My parents would be heart-broken.’
‘How will we break the news?’
‘I will be the first one in my family.’
‘How will I support us financially?’
‘Is this really happening to us?’
‘I never thought I would be here some day’
‘Why do my kids have to go through this pain?’
‘What have I done to deserve this?’
‘Why us?’
..and they continued to cloud my thoughts.

From living on a firm ground of certainty, I was suddenly thrown into a dark abyss of the unknown. From having a sense of what tomorrow may bring, I was now facing every day with indefinite possibilities. For there could be good outcomes or bad, isn’t it? Who knows? I surely did not.

The days and months leading up to this instant were agonising and the moment of truth itself was excruciatingly painful. It was time to brace myself for what lay ahead!

What I was gradually to learn about Fear:

1. Fear takes on many forms – anxiety, insecurity, misery, jealousy, anger, inaction, anticipation, etc.
2. Fear can hold us back from healing and letting go of the pain
3. Fear can be felt with certain signals our body sends
4. Fear can reinstate our weaknesses and what we cannot do
5. Fear deprives us of strong self-esteem and self-confidence
6. Fear can keep us stuck in ways we do not recognize
7. Fear can keep us oscillating between the past and the future
8. Fear is a state of mind and not a fact
9. Fear can lead you out of your comfort zone
10. Fear can be overcome

Then and Now

Then and Now

ThennNow

It happened to be India’s Independence Day celebrations and the nation was rejoicing the sense of freedom. But ironically that day, someone was feeling trapped in a marriage and wishing for his own independence.

Between then and now, as I reminisce the years gone by, I wonder how I survived it all. Days and nights of agonising pain, as I witnessed my world fall apart. The brutal realisation that most of my dreams will never be realised. The impending status of a divorcee and worse – the scary thought of raising my small children in a broken family.

But survive I did. And ever since, my journey has been one where I am continuously striving to thrive….

Back then, I wanted to create a platform of women in a similar situation that I was in and build a community for sharing and caring. But I was vulnerable and my state of mind was too fragile to take the initiative. I was not willing to open up. Now I am in a relatively stronger space of mind and more determined to reach out. We learn a lot from people who have been there, done that. And when you know you are not alone facing a challenging situation, it is very reassuring. Thus has evolved this deep urge to reach out and connect.

Between then and now, it has been one hell of a roller coaster of emotions…

Hurting & Healing

Fear & Faith

Insecurities & Inspirations….

Empathy & Empowerment….

….and the journey continues….

Introduction to this blog

Introduction to this blog

Temple bell-6

Welcome to this space!

Separation. Divorce. Single Parent. These can be scary words and even scarier situations to be in. Life-altering events that break hearts and shatter dreams. Makes you wonder if this truly is your destiny. You question your faith and ask ‘why me’? Hold your breath – you are not alone.

This blog encompasses varied experiences during my journey through divorce, single parenting and my tryst with spirituality. It is a bold attempt to surface from my shell, to speak out and to share. It shares the learning and growing that has emerged from my  influences and inspirations. It is a sincere effort to inspire and instil hope in times of distress.

This blog is a humble approach to reach out and connect with women and men alike across the world, each on their own unique journey. For we empathise with people who have had similar life experiences and together heal in the process. It is comforting to know that you are not alone in your situation and others like you have been there.

SoulMom is an acknowledgement and appreciation that we are all in this together in the bigger scheme of the universe. This blog endeavours to be a recognition and celebration of the incessant human spirit!

 

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