by Libby DuPont
This year, one million children will experience the divorce of their parents.
Since it has become such a common experience, it is easy to minimize the trauma that such an event causes in the life of a child, no matter how old they are at the time.
Many find themselves struggling with a sense of identity, since the love that created them is gone. This can cause a host of other struggles in faith and relationships, which children of divorce often attempt to navigate alone, since the adults in their lives are also in great distress.
To help break this wound of silence, we are establishing an outreach to children of divorce in our archdiocese. Here are a few experiences of local Catholic adult children of divorce:
• “After the separation, [my mom] was unable to cope and found solace in alcohol. At 15, I had to learn how to take care of my mother.”
• “I had two sets of clothes, two sets of toys. People told me how lucky I was to have double the amount of stuff, but I had two houses and nowhere that really felt like home.”
• “Divorce isn’t something you’re allowed to grieve. There are no funerals when your family dies, when your parents’ love together is lost and taken from you.”
• “I felt invisible, and faded into the recesses of antisocial behavior, drinking and depression. I didn’t talk to anyone about my parents’ divorce. . . . I was left alone to figure it out and get over it.”
• “I was searching for a place where my soul could find rest, so existentially shaken I was in the depths of my soul — I had no one in the world that would just be there for me anymore.”
If you are an adult child of divorce, we invite you to get involved in our local chapter of Life-Giving Wounds. Attend our upcoming retreat on Jan. 12-14 at Savior Pastoral Center, or join us this spring at our support group at: archkck.org/LGW.
If you are struggling in your marriage, please make every effort to reconcile. A great opportunity is the upcoming Retrouvaille retreat. Information can be found online at: retrokc.com.
If you need professional help with healing the wounds of difficult relationships or divorce, you can find a faithfully Catholic counselor in our archdiocese at: archkck.org/catholic-counselors.
If you would like to support the establishment of the Life-Giving Wounds chapter here in our archdiocese with a donation (that will be doubled by a generous donor!), contact Brad DuPont at (913) 647-0301 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the experience of children of divorce, see lifegivingwounds.org/the-need.