Monday, September 14, 2009

Divorce—Denial, Ashamed, Embarrassed

If your parents have recently separated or divorced, you may be experiencing a wide range of strong emotions. At different times you may feel angry, embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, bitter, afraid, confused, depressed or alone. It may seem a little silly to say it, but how you feel is how you feel. You can't really do much to control your emotions. But you can better understand how you feel and deal with those feelings appropri­ately. One of the most helpful things you can do to get through this time in your life is to share your feelings and concerns with a trusted Christian friend. It will also be helpful to seek the comfort, sup­port and encouragement of a youth leader, min­ister or other adult at your church. How are you responding to the news that your parents are separating or getting a divorce? See if one or more of the following statements accurately represent your feelings:.

I can’t believe it. I don't want to talk about it. It is perfectly natural to respond to your par­ents' breakup as if it isn't happening or by telling yourself that they won't go through with it. Another form of denial is to idealize the absent parent or brag loudly and frequently about the breakup in order to cover your own anxiety. Or you may respond by refusing to talk about it. Denial is a normal way of coping with difficult situations, but, in the long run, denial is not healthy.

I'm ashamed and embarrassed. Shame and embarrassment are common responses to par­ents' separation or divorce. You may be too embarrassed to tell some of your closest friends about what is happening in your family. You may feel that the breakup proves that there is something wrong with your family. You may be embarrassed by your parents' behavior toward one another. Abrupt changes in their lifestyle, such as one parent living away from you or dat­ing, may bother you. You may also feel that your church or minister disapproves of you and your family. As tragic as divorce is, try to remember that it is not a reflection of your worth or your family's worth. (To be continued).

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