It’s the last of our seven and for good reason. It’s near impossible to predict when regret could strike or when it might leave after it does. There are several reasons for this.
Not long ago I went through a season of life, nine months give or take, where I was convinced tragedy was waiting to gobble up my eight-year-old son. My belief had been that in a matter of time I would get a panic stricken call from his mother about some accident, the next door kids would rush over screaming hysterically to ‘come quick!’, or the school principle would call in the early morning with horrific news. This conviction was at times so intense I would even wake in the dead of night, heart racing, in a state of shear terror that the unspeakable was near.
There are few other events which punctuate the sting of divorce more savagely than the holiday season. No matter when the marriage ended be it last month, last year, or in the last decade the force and weight of marital separation rushes back during this time like a tidal wave against the shores of the soul. Feelings of sentimentality are rather easy to shelve for the other eleven months of the year, but during the holiday season when every blurb, commercial, and advertisement speaks to the significance of family it’s almost impossible for divorced parents not to remember what’s now missing and ultimately slide into a stupor of loneliness and longing.
All my favorite movies have one thing in common. Whether the likes of Gladiator or Man on Fire each has an appetite for revenge. The kind of biblical eye for an eye that sends you out of the theater feeling satisfied, like Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s. I can’t pinpoint where this attraction came from or what it might say about my mental state but in all likelihood neither answer is good.
If anger is the root of divorce, guilt is its Oleander.
I’ve yet to meet a single parent, not a solitary one, who hasn’t at times found themselves sinking in a cesspool of guilt. Not prosaic guilt like an extra piece of pie or too many drinks. I’m referring to a guilt that hangs like vampires on your soul; a guilt that often weighs so heavily you think you’re going to die. Guilt is the one emotion common to all of us no matter how that title of ‘single parent’ was bestowed.
If the root of evil is money, the root of divorce is anger. – Me
Marriages end for a plethora of reasons; often the grounds are understandable while others appear petty and narcissistic. But no matter the hidden or obvious motivation, underneath the numerous rationalizations there lies a solid bedrock of anger. And while the firebrand of that anger may be a cornucopia of circumstances ranging from adultery to mere incompatibility; the outcome always finds its way to scorching hostility.
The Kübler-Ross model or as it’s commonly known The Five Stages of Grief says that individuals go through five distinct emotional states when faced with the reality of tragedy, most notably loss from death. These stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance can occur in a predictable and logical order, randomly, or in other cases, though rarely, not at all. Anyone who has dealt with the loss of a loved one or family member can appreciate the painful truth behind this theory.