I don’t care how friendly you claim to be, going through a divorce is comparable to a 3-5 year root canal. Yup, I’ve had a root canal… I happen to crack one of my teeth on the post of my tongue piercing and the entire process sucked! And so does this!
Today. Yet another day spent in divorce court where we are just another statistic and people who could care less about you get to make decisions that may affect the rest of your life and your child’s life…
Yup, I went in armed and ready… Forgiveness blend in one hand, Balance in the other… Anthony Robbins and Wayne Dyer on my phone, journal in my bag, happy thoughts and a photo of my kid.
Money, The Root of all Evil
So this pretty much comes down to money… He has it and I don’t… And he doesn’t want to part with his. 17%. That’s what his prize is… Everything comes down to that… Funny how people change so much when they only are able to focus on their needs, wants, tantrums…
When my son was born, he begged me to quit my job to stay at home with Speedy. I wanted to but I felt guilty for being “selfish.” Then I was laid off as soon as I got into the office and it was a blessing. We mutually agreed that I would stay home and he would support us because it was the best thing for our son.
The problem is that I never, ever expected to be dependent on anyone. Up until this time, I had clearly taken care of myself. I earned enough money to live on my own, pay my bills, get out of debt, travel and so forth… So at first, I was uncomfortable with this, despite my maternal pull to hug my kid forever and never let go. However, once my son was diagnosed with Autism, my job became helping him develop lifelong skills. I didn’t even give it a second thought.
That’s Not Fine
Yeah, yeah, divorce happens… I know. But it’s terrible when you look at the studies done on the negative effects of divorce… Separation anxiety. Yes. Check. Lower academic achievement. Yes. Check. More behavioral problems. Yes. Check. Signs of depression and anxiety. Yes. Check. Regressive behaviors. Yes. Check. It affects their social skills. Well that’s always been a problem so yes. Check. Insecurity and confusion. Yes and check.
The last 2 consistent things in Speedy’s life… his home since birth and Mom always being there when he needs me… As of today, papers were signed so the house is going on the market and the Judge said I need to find a full-time job. Wait, I’m sorry… I have a full-time job! But you’re right, it doesn’t pay the bills. Yeah, I know… She can’t force me to leave my son with daycare to work a job that may possibly leave me an hour with Speedy each day, if I’m lucky… But what wasn’t cool was the slight smile and the smallest nod he gave when she said it. I know how it benefits your pocket, but how does that benefit our son?
They say that during labor, your body dumps huge amounts of oxytocin into your system to help facilitate childbirth. It also helps your milk flow for breast feeding. But a study found that the large amounts of oxytocin also help the mom form a stong bond with her child to ensure his survival. Remember the saying, so ugly only a mother could love? Well the oxytocin is what makes that face a beautiful face to the mom!
Yeah, so back to my 17 percenter… At one point he decided he would do whatever it took to provide the best for our son, which included me staying home and taking care of Speedy. Why should divorce change that? Ok, maybe we can’t support it 100% but shouldn’t we do everything in our power to support our son as closely to what he is used to? Especially when so many things are already changing around him? I don’t know… I’m stumped. Do you think if I gave him a shot of oxytocin in the ass, he might reestablish that unconditional need to provide and protect, and reconsider the emotional significance these decisions have on our son?
Wallerstein did a study on the effects of divorce on children. Even after 6 years, he found that the children continued to be lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure. (Wallerstein – The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children -Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1991). This study was done on neurotypical children. Imagine the effects on children with ASD?
Change the way you see things and the things you see will change.
-Dr. Wayne Dyer
Mental reframe. I have decided it doesn’t matter what the judge says I am entitled to or what our son is entitled to. I will gratefully and graciously accept whatever is assigned to us. It will provide at least something for Speedy… And something is better than nothing. I was blessed with the most amazing gift the moment he chose me for his mom. I will always do my best to give him what he really needs. Right now he needs a constant. He needs an anchor. What he really needs is his mom.
So we may not wear designer clothes for a while. No new Timberland boots for us. No new NorthFace jackets for us. No new Apple anything for us. No new smart touch TV for us. We will continue not having a Netflix account of our own. We will have to find a substantially smaller place to live in a less prominent neighborhood. And we may have to get creative with the other things we won’t afford for a while. But, none of that really matters…
I promise to make Speedy laugh and smile every single day, tell him I love him so many times he asks me to stop, and to be present for as many “moments” as possible, the moments I would miss if I let a stranger dictate my path and another raise my son.
Plus, in the end, I know this is temporary, for there is abundance in the world…