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My Life And My Parents' Divorce

by Ashok
(Navi Mumbai, Mumbai, India)

I was very young at that time, probably five years old. I remember very little details, but to make the long story short, my father abandoned our family and left abroad without giving any information about his departure to my mother. Our family shifted to my grandparent’s house. Later my parents divorced and both of them remarried. My father went abroad afterwards to pursue his professional career. My mother continued her studies from a working women’s hostel.

My brothers and I studied from my grandparent’s house and later were transferred to a hostel. Though I loved my father, I could not visit him since he went abroad and his family, which included my father’s parents and uncle, were under pressure from my mother’s side relatives who prohibited our meeting. If, by chance, they talked to me then would be a big uproar in my house which proved traumatic.

Later, anger simply grew with me and I became very adamant. For sometime, I refused to get married and jumped between various jobs since I was not satisfied with anything. Then after twenty years, my uncle took me to my father. At that time, I was looking after my grandfather who was admitted in the hospital. Though I was happy to meet my father, something made me so afraid that I told everything to my step-father.

All these events, at a later stage, created so many problems that still are yet to be resolved. My mother simply hates my divorced father and she thinks that he is coercing me into creating problems within the family. But though I love my father, nobody is planning anything and I simply try to educate my children well. The facilities are limited in my town, which is a small place, with very limited infrastructure. I feel grossly misunderstood but since nobody talks about the matter, I am unable to communicate my feelings.

But I feel miserable when I know that I unintentionally hurt my parents and even brothers. Whenever I am put under pressure regarding any decisions I make or something I do, I get violent but instead of shouting, I hide away in a shell. I don’t talk about the matter at all (I was terrorized whenever I met my father’s side relatives) and the complications that I face due to this matter are endless. I am guilty about exposing both my uncle and grandmother as responsible for my parent’s separation though I know that it is my parents who were to blame.

A family is separated due to the husband and wife’s lack of co-operation and misunderstanding. Though I know that there is no use in blaming anybody for the problems, whenever I think about it, I am upset.

I have managed my problems quite well, lead a normal life and in spite of all this, there is the persisting guilty feeling that I should not have blamed my grandmother and uncle for my parent’s divorce. My mother is also sensitive about her divorce. Well, there doesn’t seem to be any solution, since I find it difficult to talk about the matter to my parents.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

You might find it helpful to read the book, Opening Up by Dr. James Pennebaker. He recommends writing about painful experiences for 15 minute periods, on a daily basis, until the feelings start to subside. This can be very helpful and might be worth the effort for you.

I wish you all the best in your healing process.

Dr. DeFoore

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