So this morning I took time to watch a disturbing, deeply saddening car crash of 57 mins of TV. It was indeed a shocking demonstration... how parents can spectacularly screw up their child/children during a divorce. Simply in this particular divorce, as can happen in others, the fight had really become all about the parents. We parents try very hard, when we are going through tough life events, to avoid opening up our life bags. You know the ones we hide inside of us, the ones most likely to be stuffed full of raw emotions, deepest fears and experiences or may be not... Then one day, when we are in hurtsville proper, the residue of the most painful of human emotions then seeks to find its way out in other ways. It no longer gently knocks on our conscious mind's door, but instead spills out into our lives and creates proper life carnage along the way for all involved.
|Photo by Annie Spratt|
Divorce is a separation, and really, if you have children this means that until the two of you have sorted your stuff out, it is no longer about you. We all know those ageing parents who still continue to harbour anger, bitterness and unpleasantness towards their Ex, my god, all those years holding all that toxicity inside...
So what can we do? We can get healthier emotionally, mentally and physically. We can be kind to ourselves first so we are able to extend kindness to our Ex's, and begin as grown ups, to build a firmer, albeit different foundation for our children. They are managing what is happening as they see it, do we really think they can handle dealing with the back log of everything that we parents have been carrying around for years too?
|Photo by Caleb Woods|
Holding onto pain, shame, guilt and anger is our emotional appendix of our life. When it bursts it is dangerous, it damages our health, our bodies and our emotional well-being. The fall out is our children carrying a whole load more than they need to.
Here are my thoughts on not screwing up your children in divorce:
|Photo by Carolina Sanchez B|
Your children are not equipped to deal with the level of emotions flying around between you, and really do you as a loving parent want them to? Find a place - go for a walk, preferably up a big hill to take some energy out of your conversation to start with. Have someone be with your children so you can talk elsewhere. Go to meditation if you can afford it - we dug deep, borrowed and found the money to go to meditation. Wherever you go to talk, go with a positive intention to listen, talk kindly, gently and chunk it down so the topics are manageable.
Children Have Spot on Radars - do not underestimate the obvious negative energy mass swirling between two people that your children pick up on. They know before you do that there is trouble brewing. They know how you are feeling before you've even seen your Ex for a meeting. Be mindful of how you are feeling in front of them before a drop off or pick up. Take deep breaths, check in with yourself, if you need to try this mini-meditation. As parents we are in the thick of our thoughts and we do not always see clearly, but children do, they know. They have a mighty fine 6th sense.
Sit on Those Emails - so back in the day my grandmother used to say simply "Sleep on it". If you have big emails, communications to have, write the email or text, put it into draft and sleep on it, sit on it for an hour, distance yourself from the emotion of it for a while. AND do not be thinking that drinking wine is going to make you a divorce wordsmith - because it just isn't - is it? Entering into a communication battle is not going to help the situation, and ultimately is going to impact on your children's, yours and your Ex's mental health.
No Talking About Your Ex - no matter how mind exploding, anger inducing and frustrating our Ex's can be, just try not to talk about them in front of your children. I grew up in a household where this happened. It was just a whole load of stuff that I didn't want to know about, carry or hear. I am pretty sure that children in this day and age are still feeling the same. If you really feel the need to vent about your Ex - and why add more negative energy to the divorce pot? Then go do it - a good shout out at the top of a hill worked for me, go for a walk and chunter away to your heart's content, try if you can not to spread it about, it makes people feel bad.
Even better pay to speak to a good counsellor, coach or me about your Ex, just not to your gorgeous children. If they are your Ex's children, they are half of him or her - does that make them all those things you hate about your Ex? Here's a thought
|Photo by Gianandrea Villa on Unsplash|
So back to Dr Foster. I had to go out for a walk, put my face in the sunshine and properly hold back tears of utter sadness of this episode. What this has given me is more confidence that my book about changing the way we look after our own well being through a divorce, cannot come soon enough.
Be the light for your children
I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I have LITERALLY just created a private FB Group How to be a Divorce Goddess. If you want to be part of a positive, supportive and new divorce community, it would be lovely if you can join us.
My mission is to change the way society looks at divorce by creating a community of 'empowered, good and kind' divorce trail blazers, the showers, the way seers and goddesses and to do divorce differently! This is where I will be spending time during the week to answer any questions, share with you thoughts and tips to help you along your journey, post my FB lives and have some fun - laughter is the best medicine!
My wish for this group is to support each other, share experiences of the breakthroughs, tips to help keep your emotional, physical and mental well-being in a good place through your divorce and meet like minded lovely people all going through big stuff.
Join me here: How to be a Divorce Goddess Community
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