Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just this morning ...

... on my way to work I was thinking about Heather (Dooce.com). I'd stopped reading her blog posts everyday because she was spending a whole season talking about training for a marathon, running the marathon and recovering from the injuries that resulted from the marathon.

It just didn't interest me, yo?

So, I'd pop by for a visit maybe once a week to catch up/gloss over her postings and pictures, looking for/hoping for some of those transparent, tight, light essays about real life that she is famous for.

Last April she wrote an enlightening four part series called " A Peak Inside Our Day" which gave us a glimpse inside her daily life of being part of a husband/wife team that live and work together from home. Part 4 contains unexpected content, as it deals with the therapy sessions that she and Jon (her husband) had been going to recently. She shares:

Sometimes this hour of the day is
spent sitting with my husband across
the room from our therapist.
She looks at me and tells me to stop
lying to myself. Yes, your parents
handled the divorce as best as 
they could, Heather, you've pointed 
that out how many times now? 
But still, it cut you up and spit you out.
Admit it. Say it out loud. Free that
ten-year-old girl.
Because it wasn't her fault.

She ended up getting 200 comments on that post from other adults who are still struggling from issues stemming from their parent's divorce.

In May, Jon and Heather went to see U2 (a bucket list item for them) and she wrote this:
Then came the encore and they played "One" 
and all of a sudden I am seventeen years old 
and I'm lying on the floor of my bedroom 
wondering what my future will look like. 
And who I'm going share it with.

Considering all the therapy Jon and I have 
been through in the last year and the 
breakthroughs we've achieved, there 
couldn't have been a more transcendental 
moment to signify how much we want 
to be together. 
And be there for our two girls. 
This is my future.

Then, in November, she wrote about her dad's 70th Birthday party and how she hosted it because she had a home large enough to comfortably have all her siblings, their spouses and kids as well as her step siblings, their spouses and their kids over:

My father's turning 70 was not just monumental 
in number, but also because it transpired the 
same year that I realized the way he and my 
mother divorced has profoundly affected every 
relationship I've ever had, more specifically 
that he has affected every relationship.  

...what this most certainly isn't about is forgiveness. 
There is nothing to forgive. Like I said, he did 
the best he could. And if a couple of months in 
my tenth year could have such a lasting effect 
on the rest of my life, who knows what my own 
children will discover in the next thirty to forty 
years about the chords that twist and bind us 
as parent and offspring. 

Again, the comment section was filled with responses from folks totally understanding the confusing pain of a parent's divorce.

Why was I thinking of Heather this morning?
Because Drew came home the other night, saddened about an impending divorce he'd just heard about. We talked about it for a few minutes, but there was nothing I could say to make it seem like it was no big deal. It IS a big deal. Lives will be changed, and the ripple effect of one couple's divorce extends for generations.

I wanted to send a note to this couple, and let them know I'm sad for them, am praying for them, and am available to talk if they want. And I wanted to send them Heather's links... so that they can fully appreciate the impact their divorce will have on their kids. Because, boy howdy, do the kids ever get messed up when their family unit is broken. I know this. I live this reality every day. It is mostly not pretty.

So this morning, on my way to work, I was thinking I hadn't checked out Heather's blog in a week or two and I probably should. Her entries this past month have been 'off' and I wondered if she'd gotten her groove back in the new year.

I was deeply saddened and a little bit shocked to read this:

"Mom?" Leta asks. She doesn't wait for
me to answer. "Why does Dad not
sleep here anymore?"
I swallow. She can probably hear it.
I let go of Marlo's foot to tuck my
hair behind my ear. I hope my voice
doesn't shake.
"You know when you're playing with
Marlo and need to take a break?" I answer.
"You'll go upstairs because you want
to be by yourself.
Because that's what you need."
"Yeah," she says, and it sounds
like a question.
"Well, sometimes adults need that
kind of break, that kind of distance.
Dad and I are taking a break."


The still aching ten-year-old Heather
is screaming at me, angry and raw and
hurt that this is happening. This isn't
fair. Sometimes when I'm in bed at
night I can hear the rapid beating
heart of my ten-year-old self as I sat
in my father's lap listening to Air Supply,
his tears burning my forehead as he
wondered aloud about how things
could go so wrong.
How do things go so wrong?

Oh man.
I so remember the pain. The disbelief. The never-ending raw, hot, blinding tears.
The painful conversations with the kids.
The feeling like a loser. (That consequently never went away.)
The loneliness.
The reliving of those last few years wondering what could have been done differently.
The shame.

And that was nothing compared to what the kids were going through. The confusion. The foundation of their lives crumbling. The anger.

If you're thinking of divorcing - please consider the ramifications this will have on your children. Amongst other things, this will be your legacy. Kids are not that resilient; they won't simply bounce back in a few months. They take their parent's marital messes with them into every relationship they have; it's the yardstick they use to measure themselves against. Yes, even boys.

There are a few things I'm passionate about. This is one of them.
Please, please, please - don't give up on your marriage or the person you married. Find one tiny thing worth saving and work with that.



Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Oh the snow. So glorious, no?
2. The wisdom in Proverbs. Ageless, timeless, wisdom. For example, today's chapter (the 17th) contains these nuggets:

  • Disregarding another person's faults preserves love; telling others about them separates close friends.
  • Beginning a quarrel us like opening a floodgate, so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
  • It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom.
  • It is painful to be the parent of a fool; there is no joy for the father of a rebel. 
  • A truly wise person uses few words.

3. Internet assistance when I'm dumbfounded by a computer problem:

Are any of Clint's friends online? What should I do if I connect my external hard to my laptop (and yes, the HD has got power) and my laptop doesn't notice? How can I view the contents (5 years of image files)?
 ·  ·  · 23 hours ago

    •  Lynne:Go to your start button and click on the computer. Once it opens it should show the HD and if you click on it, it should open it
      23 hours ago · 

    • Jane:That's what I've always done. But my computer isn't recognizing that I've got it plugged in. When the 'computer' screen opens, there is no HD icon.
      23 hours ago · 

    • Lynne: unplug and then replug?
      23 hours ago · 

    • Jane: Did that. And rebooted twice. The hd is humming and the blue light is on, so I know it's got power. And my laptop is clearly working... I'm on facebook, aren't I? :) And I can plug other things into my laptop (card reader, for example) and it acknowledges that just fine... It's a mystery.
      23 hours ago · 

    • Lynne: Indeed it is....hmm I guess maybe someone 20 years younger may have the answer. : )
      23 hours ago · 

    • Wesley: Idk what laptop you have but try clicking start and going to devices and printers and see if anything pops up there
      21 hours ago · 

    • Clint: plug the HD into the desktop to see if it works on that. restart the laptop but without the HD plugged into it, once it restarts then plug in the HD.
      21 hours ago · 

    • Andrew: have you tried plugging it into a different usb port?
      14 hours ago · 

    • Stephen: Could be a dead HD.
      12 hours ago · 

    • Jane: Hush you,Stephen.
      12 hours ago · 

    • Jane: I plugged, unplugged, turned off, turned on, used different ports, tried it on the desktop at home and at work. The hd itself has power - the blue light is on and it's humming.
      11 hours ago · 

    • Stephen: Have you tried using different cables? The power doesn't seem an issue. But maybe your USB cable is bunk. Also just because it's making sound and power appears like its on, doesn't mean the HD is actually working as it should. I would have Clint take a look and then maybe take it somewhere.
      10 hours ago · 

    • Jane: Trying different cables is my next plan. And then I will take it somewhere. Having Clint look at it is not an option.
      10 hours ago · 

    • Clint: when i get un-sick i'll come out
      10 hours ago · 

    • Trish: you may be infected with malware.
      8 hours ago · 

    • Trish:  http://www.malwarebytes.org/, download and terminate your internet connection (malware spreads and may not be detected if you're connected) then run a full scan and hopefully you're clean. if not follow the instructions and then restart and try plugging in again.
      8 hours ago · 

    • Clint: this has nothing to do with malware whatsoever
      7 hours ago · 

    • Jane:  Sigh. Well I gave the guy who owns the computer repair shop a good laugh this afternoon. Yes, the cable I was using to connect the hd to my laptop was not created for that purpose.
      "How did you even plug it in?" he asked in utter amazement.

      5 hours ago ·  ·  1

    • Jane: ‎"Like this," I demonstrated. "You can see how it's not effective if you slide it in sideways like that, right?" he suggested diplomatically.
      5 hours ago ·  ·  1

    • Jane:  ‎"You are using a cellphone charger; they weren't designed to be used for your purposes here, " he concluded. And then smirked. 
      5 hours ago ·  ·  1


Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much Jane, for the challenge to keep a marrage strong. Divorce is worse then death, and I really pray your blog today will change someones mind. See you at book club tonight ???? Let me know if it is still on. Love Marj

Anonymous said...

I too thank you for posting about thinking twice about divorce.
Also, well wan't mr.computer guy as smart fella! Who woulda thunk that phone chargers are not compatible with computers...

Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree with everything you said. Dooce influences such a wide audience that hopefully good comes of it all.
Sometimes I wonder if people like you and I need to speak up more on this topic. Divorce is terrible and destructive and like you said - generational in it's impact. Sucks all around. And it's a reality that will hit half our marriages, half our children.