Healing After Divorce

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2015 at 9:18 am

divorce painKristen Jan Cannon

Forgive me for sounding a bit dramatic, but last year my life literally flipped upside down. After months of deliberation, professional help, and spiritual consideration, I made the decision to get divorced.

We didn’t have children. We didn’t have to go to court. It was, as divorces go, pretty “smooth sailing.” It was fairly inexpensive. And not overly complicated as far as legalities were concerned.

And while it was absolutely the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make, it was inevitably the most right one.

In fact, I’d never felt more confident about anything in my life.

I remember at the time initially following my divorce, everyone around me kept showing surprise at how “put together” I was. Never had I been more “fit”, more “glowing”, more “myself”. Never had I been more “comfortable”, more “happy”, more “at peace.”

And I think many spectators of the ordeal probably wondered if I really was put together or if I just went home every night and cried in my pillow.

Most nights, I did not actually cry in my pillow because I truly was at peace. I was not thrilled by any means with what I had experienced, but I knew I made the right decision. And it showed to the people around me.

One of those people, a good friend who had also been through a very exasperating divorce told me: “You seem great and all. I’m happy for you. But you need to realize something. You need to mourn your marriage like a death. And you might feel fine now, but one of these days, it’s going to hit you. And it’s going to hit you hard. And when that happens, you need to let yourself mourn it.”

I did not know what she meant by that, because at the time I was still experiencing relief from my less than ideal, marital circumstances.

Now several months later, post-divorce, I am starting to understand the vitality of my friend’s advice.

Helpguide.org offers some great insight into several topics related to relationships and family life. They remind all of us, that even if the relationship was becoming dangerous, dysfunctional, or miserable, breakups or divorces are still going to be extremely painful! But why?

Because, not only are you mourning the loss of the relationship itself, but you are disappointed in unmet expectations. You are let down by very serious and deep commitments. You might even feel like your belief system failed you in a very real, and a very personal way.

Divorce is also traumatic because it completely disrupts your life. And again, even if your life is better because of the decision to get a divorce, disruption is disruption. Chaos is difficult to manage. Stress is bound to increase, maybe even exponentially for a period of time. Your routine, responsibilities, expectations, goals, and priorities are suddenly tossed around every which way. Divorce promotes uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety about the future. Your life plan is abruptly erased and you have to rebuild yourself.

So where do you start?

First, realize that it is completely okay to feel a wide spectrum of intense emotions. It is okay to be mad, to be sad, confused, bitter, hurt, scared, disappointed. Let yourself be these things. Validate your own emotions and don’t criticize yourself for having them.

Second, you should give yourself a break! Allow yourself time to “not be on top of your game.” You might not function as optimally as you feel that you should. Your productivity level might be down. Don’t sweat it. You’re not a superhero. And you don’t have to be. You can struggle, and you probably should.

Finally, don’t even think about enduring this process alone! Surround yourself with a network of people who love you. Share your feelings with them. Seek professional help as needed. Maybe join a support group! But don’t isolate yourself. Don’t be ashamed with the decision you know you needed to make.

Divorce is not for everybody. I certainly never thought it would be for me. And I’m still figuring out how to navigate a very new, and overwhelmingly scary post-divorce life.

So for all of you who are going through the same thing, hang in there. You’re definitely stronger than you think you are.

3 Ways Gay Marriage Has Changed Canada

In Uncategorized on April 15, 2015 at 7:02 am

gay rights in canadaDiane Robertson

In 2005, Canada quietly legalized gay marriage. Unlike the United States, there was never a fight or a court case, or really much ado about it. It just happened. And since then, we haven’t heard if gay marriage changed anything about Canada. Until now…

Canadian citizen and daughter of a gay man, Dawn Stefanowicz, has begun to discuss not only her life as a child of a gay man, but what gay marriage has done to Canada. These are 3 ways gay marriage has changed all of Canadian society.

  1. Parenting: The laws surrounding parenthood and parental rights immediately changed.The bill that legalized gay marriage (Bill C-38) included a provision to redefine parenthood from “natural parents” to “legal parents”. Children no longer have a legal right to both their biological parents. And biological parents no longer have a legal right to their children.Additionally, same sex marriage has infringed upon important parental rights for all parents. The Human Rights Commission began regulating parents’ ability to teach their children their beliefs, opinions, and faith if the parents’ beliefs are different from what the schools teach and promote.

    Stefanowicz explains:

    “If you teach your children that same-sex sexual relationships are wrong and that every child has a father and a mother, and that only man-woman sex in marriage is allowed, you run the risk of thought police questioning your beliefs, especially if your children discuss these subjects in the classroom.

Consequently, parents experience state interference when it comes to moral values and teachings about family, parenting and sex education in schools.”

  1. Speech: Hate speech became a crime in 2004. Hate speech can be defined as anyone disagreeing with homosexual behavior. Though the hate speech section of the law was repealed for 2014, most provinces have additional hate speech laws that have the same effect. Before the repeal, the Human Rights Commissions of Canada had a 100% conviction rate. If someone filed a “hate speech” complaint against someone, that person had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The Human Rights Commission still has power to enter private residences and remove anything pertinent to an investigation involving speech. This has essentially nullified the ability for Canadians to speak and write freely including on the internet.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has censored all media. Broadcasting licenses can be revoked if a television or radio station airs anything that can be considered anti-lgbt.
  2. Religious Freedom: Employers, business owners and all alike whether large, small, in home, or family owned do not have the freedom to deny any service to LGBT for religious reasons. There has been no wedding cake battle in Canada. It’s just illegal. In fact, what is preached in churches can be brought before the Human Rights Commission.Again, Stefanowicz explains:“Freedom to assemble and speak freely about man-woman marriage, family and sexuality are restricted. Activists often sit in on religious assemblies, listening for anything discriminatory towards GLBT, so a complaint can be made to the Human Rights Commission. Most faith communities have become politically correct to avoid fines and loss of charitable status.”

It has been ten years since gay marriage became legal in Canada. Since that time laws that offered freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and religious freedom have essentially been overturned in favor of protecting the feelings of a very small part of the Canadian population. The rights of parents and children have been trampled. A change in marriage laws affects all in a nation. A nation cannot redefine family, the basic unit of society, without serious consequences for everyone.

Adult children Need Support Too!!!

In Child Development, Families, father, Grandparents, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on April 14, 2015 at 7:32 am

father comforting adult daughterRachel Allison

It has been over nine years since my father passed away. Over the past couple of days I have been thinking of him a lot.

My Dad was a man of few words, but life’s lessons had given him a wisdom that enriched each of our lives. When he spoke, “we listened.”

My youngest sister tells of an endearing experience she had with Dad. She had been having some very discouraging setbacks in life. One morning she received a phone call from him. The first thing she heard after she picked up the receiver was dad singing, “I just called to say I love you. I just called to say how much I care,” (“I Just Called to Say I Love you” by Stevie Wonder.) My sister started to cry, but the ensuing conversation comforted and gave her hope and courage to tackle the future.

I have been surprised in recent years to hear friends admit that now that their adult children are out of the house, “they’re on their own.” In other words, these mothers and fathers with years of wisdom have chosen to let their children make mistakes without a word of advise. I am so much better because my parents stayed involved. Granted, they lived six hundred miles away, so it’s not as if they were at my door every day, but they were always just a phone call away and they always took the time to offer advise when I needed it.

The advice I specifically remember came at a time when I was a newlywed.   Looking back I see a very immature (dare I admit even spoiled?) young woman who called her parents often to express her frustrations with her new husband. My parents would always listen, but our conversations always ended with my mom and dad telling me how much they loved and appreciated my husband. They NEVER EVER badmouthed him. As the months and years passed, my tirades subsided, but when I did need to vent, my parent’s positive expressions were always a reminder of just why I married my husband.

Now that I have three adult married children I am determined to be as good a listener and advisor. I try to NEVER EVER badmouth my son-in-law or daughters-in-law. The few times my children have called with relationship issues I listen and I give them advice as to how THEY could make the situation better. We learn from an accumulation of generations of wisdom. And when the wisdom is shared each generation tends to get better and better.



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