Change

This is my first year to celebrate Father’s Day as a member of a broken family, not the easiest or most celebratory thing to ponder on, but why?
My Dad is still my Dad. He’s still alive, he still loves me, and we have a great relationship, so why is this Father’s Day uncomfortable?

I had to change.

Change accompanies just about everything. Travel, you have to adapt to your surroundings. Job, you have to get to know the ropes. Relationships, you have to train your brain to be mindful of the other person. Divorce, you have to change your way of thinking, and how you classify things.

Classifying? What on earth does that mean? Yep, classifying. For 27.5 years the word Father was synonymous with “husband to my mother”, “Mom&Dad” (said as one word), and “my parents.” “Father” was defined as the other half of the two people who greeted me when I visited, was in attendance at family holidays, and was sitting with my  mother during a Facetime session.

I can’t classify him like that anymore. No longer can I say, ” Hey, Mom&Dad!” and this saddens me.

Change has to happen for healing to happen. I can cling to my nomenclature and become bitter, or I can adapt.

I choose to adapt because life is to short to grow old and bitter.

“Father” means something different to me now, I am not sure what that is yet, but I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Perspective Part 2: focus

“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want”. – Zig Ziglar

So how do you get perspective? Focus on someone else.

They say the best way to study/learn is to teach someone what you are learning.

Find someone who is going or has gone through the same thing and compare notes.

Don’t just focus on survival, but rescue other survivors along the way.

Today, focus on being there for others.

 

 

Perspective

The following are definitions of the word “Perspective”:

- Frame of mind/frame of reference
-True understanding of the relative importance of things
- to look closely

Yes you are hurting,
yes you are bitter,
yes this might be the center of your world, or at least it crumbled the center of your world.

No matter how you spin it, there is much hurt. After you have mourned, I challenge you to really look at the situation.

Your perspective might change when you count your blessings.

I don’t know your situation, but the sooner you realize this is not your battle, the sooner you can move on. You are only responsible for you and how you respond to this hurt.

The beautiful part is your parents are still alive and they still love you.

Division

So your parents just divorced. You’re hurt, angry, sad, and even afraid. But afraid of what?

I feared this new classification for family. We were now “One of THOSE families.” This paradigm is scary. Families, extended families, family friends and others with an opinion, immediately take sides and it becomes a war zone. Blame, shame and hate are hurled into the opposing camps “He said” and “She did.”

The ones that are injured and hurt are the innocent bystanders. The kids.

I feared that my aunts, grandparents, and cousins, on both sides, would drop all communication and my sister and I would be alone. I feared, not just division, but the obliteration that comes with destruction… an unrepairable division.

This was a silly fear, though it took awhile for me to realize the folly in my thinking. I am an aunt and I would never abandon my niece. My uncles, and aunts didn’t abandon us either.

Aunts, uncles, or family members of ones who are going through this, PLEASE reach out to them. Let them know that no matter what, you are still their family and that you love them. They NEED to hear those words, they need to know that you aren’t going to abandon them. You are a major part of the healing process.

Call your nephew and/or niece and tell them that you love them.

 

 

 

Accept

Spouses, Significant Others and Friends, you play a vital role in the healing process. Accept it.

My favorite definition of “accept” is to “agree to undertake.” You are an outsider. This tragedy is happening outside of your nuclear family. You may not have any idea how your loved one feels. In my case, my husband’s parent’s are still married and he had no idea what I was going through. Did that make him any less capable of helping? No.

Help your loved one carry this load. You may not fully understand it and hate seeing him/her in pain, but don’t give up on them.

Be there. Every day.

Tell them that you are there for them. Check up on them, don’t rely on them to initiate. Sometimes the hurting forget about others outside of the immediate realm of pain.

Offer lots of hugs, and helping with the chores is nice too.

Be willing to listen even if you’ve heard it over and over again.

If you can’t accept this responsibility, find someone who can.

Click here for a great video on the difference between empathy and sympathy and how to help. Please watch.

Music

Sometimes music gives words to that which we cannot describe.

A good friend of mine made a mix CD of songs to help through the hard times. 2 songs stuck out and I thought I’d post the lyrics here. They are pretty powerful and I felt that they conveyed the emotions I feel.

(Side note: It’s been 7 months and 1 day since my parents told me about their divorce. I still break down and cry. My heart still hurts. I still mourn. This is all of the healing process. Just because you’ve had your cry doesn’t mean you won’t cry again…it’s ok. I was a sobbing mess not two weeks ago. Luckily, I have some great friends who didn’t mind and understand. More on my  7 month check up later)

Back to the music. The first song is “Pompeii” by Bastille (the title of the song already applies! ) Click on the song title to watch the lyrics with the music, no weird music video just the music playing and the lyrics.

Here is the part of the song that really gave words to my emotions ( I don’t know what the song is really referencing, but I am going to be selfish and claim it for my situation! :) There is definitely some sort of destruction and then the emotional fallout.

And the walls kept tumbling down

In the city that we love

Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

I love that question, ” How am I gonna be an optimist about this?” It’s honest and I still find myself asking myself that. Listen to the song and let me know your thoughts!

Song 2 “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap (this one is linked too! Click it! )

Where are we? What the hell is going on? <—– YUP!
The dust has only just begun to fall,
Crop circles in the carpet, sinking, feeling.
Spin me ’round again and rub my eyes.
This can’t be happening.
When busy streets amass with people
Would stop to hold their heads heavy.

Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines.
All those years they were here first.

Oily marks appear on walls
Where pleasure moments hung before.
The takeover, the sweeping insensitivity of this still life.

Hide and seek.
Trains and sewing machines. (Oh, you won’t catch me around here)
Blood and tears,
They were here first.

Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that you only meant well? Well, of course you did.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it’s all for the best? Of course it is.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it’s just what we need? And you decided this.
What you say?
Mmm, what did you say?

Ransom notes keep falling out your mouth.
Mid-sweet talk, newspaper word cut-outs.
Speak no feeling, no I don’t believe you.
You don’t care a bit. You don’t care a bit.

This one is a bit more bitter, but it’s ok to be angry. The song is amazing, you can feel the emotion and passion behind it, plus it’s all done in a capella.

PLEASE, listen to them both! You’ve probably heard “Pompeii” on the radio, it’s pretty popular. I am sure there are other songs that could apply. I apologize for the downer post, but this is all part of the process. Don’t forget about music. It can be very cathartic, just don’t let it fuel your anger too much. Need a pick-me-up? “Happy” by Pherrell Williams will do just the trick, especially this video (if you didn’t click on either of the other two…click this one..it’s the best)  :)