It’s funny how we process and create things. For some time now, I have been doing pieces of art work that to me represent what children go through in a divorce.
How would I know what children go through? I live with two such children 1/2 of the time.
How much do the say about what it is like to be a child in a divorce? Very little, if anything at all.
You see, they are too busy and committed to living the fantasy of every divorced parent- the children are “fine”. Finer than fine, actually.
There has never been a group doing more “fine”, from what I observe, than children living through a divorce.
It’s not that I disagree with divorce. I don’t.
I think there are significant and profound reasons to divorce.
The divorce, itself, may not be the problem at all. The problem is that the children live through the divorce the rest of their lives, often symbolically (and sometimes literally) alone.
The parents move on. They remain single, or not. They remarry, or not. They cohabitate, or not.
The parents, in whatever way they choose, begin to FILL IN the space after the divorce, put it behind themselves, and look afresh and anew creating a different “after” when “happily ever after” falls apart.
The children do not have this luxury. Shifting between homes, shifting between loyalties, shifting belongings, shifting as the “belonging” between the parties, as mandated by the court.
Shifting, shifting, shifting, but really never filling.
When I created this piece, I did it because I see how my stepchildren get worn down. That, in and of itself, is a part of their life, but what disheartens me is neither parent really asks them how they are doing or acknowledges how hard all of this may be on a child- year after year after year.
I was not going to post these images or my thoughts, but I read a blog by the runner I had posted about earlier, Jenny Labaw.
She posted her final blog about running across the state of Colorado. And within that amazing journey I read her words about her parents.
I don’t know Jenny that well and I don’t know her complete story, yet, on the final day of her run, she wrote about what it was like seeing her parents in the same vehicle, something she had not witnessed for 22 years. She hadn’t known the desire to see her parents together was still buried deep inside of her (her words).
And, I thought, I will write what I observe today. Divorce with a children is a legacy, a legacy of a lifetime. How nice it would be if the children living this legacy had a space to be understood.