What I Wish I’d Been Told After My Parent’s Divorce

Gary Neuman’s book, The Long Way Home: The Powerful 4-Step Plan for Adult Children of Divorce has been a repeat guest on this blog. It’s a strong tool for healing from the impact of our parent’s breakup. Talking with your childhood self is part of his four-step process. Basically, I was to share, with 14-year-old Kent, what I’ve learned regarding the effects of the split

Picnic table meetingSo, as the book instructs, I visited a park. A slightly warped picnic table sufficed for “our” meeting. I visualized sitting across from my teenage self as I walked toward it. Journaling plays a major part of Neuman’s process, so I have notes from the “dialog.”

I began with, “Kent, Star Trek is true. I’m here from your future.” Figured this was a strong conversation starter for Trekkies. Then I shared my heart with that bewildered and scared young man.

  • Though you’re the oldest, it was not your responsibility to keep them together. Nothing you could have done would have stopped the divorce.
  • It’s ok to share how you really feel with “Ms.” (a favorite teacher and lifelong friend). Mom’s belief that no one can be trusted is wrong.
  • Though you don’t feel special anymore, you’re valuable to God. Rejection, particularly by girls, is not because you aren’t special or are unworthy. Everyone is rejected sometime.
  • Don’t look for anyone but God to fill the hole that was created when Dad left. People will fail you, but God never will.

“Our” chat lasted about thirty minutes. My heart longed to reach out to that young me, but Star Trek isn’t real. I can’t change the past, but I can stand on what I’ve learned today.

Now it’s your turn. Are there things you wish you had known then? Write them out. Then share these important items with a trusted spouse, relative or friend.

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