Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Drum Roll Still Rolling

Thanks for those who posted or emailed me about my VERY BIG NEWS. I promise, I will post about it soon. Here's a hint. I'm waiting for an image to post with my announcement :-).

In the meantime, I found a great overview of the long-term effects of divorce on Chrysalis' blog that serves as a great reminder for why I do what I do.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Late Review

Thanks to the wonder of Google Alerts, I found a review of my book on In related news, I have some VERY BIG NEWS to share soon. Stay tuned! For now, here's the review:

14 Jul 2006 02:28 PM

Book Review: Generation Ex
by Valerie Nelson

Divorce affects each person differently. In her book called Generation Ex, Jen Abbas explains the effects that divorce has on children and how we tend to carry them through to adulthood. Since the 1970's when no fault divorce laws were adopted, over a million children per year have been affected by divorce. Currently, nearly half of all children's families will experience divorce before that child reaches adulthood.

The author's catchy title "Generation Ex" stems from the understanding that the first generation (or largest up to that time)of children of divorce that grew up in the 70's and 80's are now into adulthood and oftentimes taking with them the emotional scars of divorce.

Jen tells us in her book that she seems to be more affected by her parents divorce each year, not less, and that divorce is not just a bump in the road that is easily overcome. Listed on pages 11 & 12 of the book are some of the effects of divorce that carry into adulthood:

• Fear of falling in love, even with a strong desire to do so.
• Turning into a perfectionist.
• Fear that even if someone says, "I love you," ultimately that person might leave you.
• Trust comes in hard-earned degrees.
• You are not sure where home is, or you aren't so sure you want to accept the home that society has defined for you.
• You have holes in your history.
• You aren't sure what a healthy marriage looks like.

I agree with a lot of what the author said, and found the book intriguing because my parents divorced after I was married. I thought that their divorce did not affect me because I was already an adult living my own married life. The book helped shed some light upon the truth that the divorce, and maybe more so the bad marriage prior to the divorce, did have an effect on me and still does today.

As a woman who has gone through divorce, and still wants the very best for her children, some parts of the book where the author posed tough questions and honest thoughts were difficult for me to read. For example on page 12, Jen writes:

If our parents' decision to divorce were truly a healthy one because it offered the potential for a happier home, then why do so many of us still struggle decades later with issues of abandonment, trust, commitment, and making our own marriages work?

Divorce is often the defining event of our life, and the implications of our parents' choice continue to ripple throughout our life.

Ouch, that hurts. So does divorce. It hurts all parties involved at some level.

Even though some of the book was difficult to read, I stil recommend it because it is written from the viewpoint of an adult who has grown up in a family that experienced two divorces-both her parents, and then her mother and step father's breakups. In addition, Jen Abbas is open and honest about the wide range of emotions due to divorce that she and many others feel throughout their lives. I think the book could be an important communication tool to utilize as our children grow and potentially experience some of the same difficulties discussed in the book.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

I woke up this morning and turned on the TV. MSNBC was airing their original broadcast from five years ago today. For most of the morning, I was glued to my TV, remembering all the emotion and uncertainty of that day.

Five years ago, I worked at Family Christian Stores. A music rep was presenting new titles to us that morning. We had just settled in, enjoyed Panera bagels and were about to get started when someone poked their head into the conference room to tell us a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember some discussion about what kind of plane it might be--probably a Piper Cub or some other small plane. We went back to our business.

A few minutes later, someone else popped in. Just after that, an announcement was made over the loudspeaker--none of us even knew our building had one!--to take a moment to pray for those involved. We then went to the exercise room, joining about 30 others who were already watching the live news on the big screen TV. We were just getting a grip on what was happening when we saw the second plane crash into the other tower.

I remember a conversation with another single friend in the days after 9/11. He told me that the terrorist attack made him rethink his singleness. I think a lot of single thought that day about who they would call if they were in that situation. For many of my friends, 9/11 intensified our longing to belong to someone, to have an assumed emergency contact. After 9/11, I became more willing to take risks in my relationships, to risk loving and being loved.

Today, after learning that proceeds from 9/11 movies are being used to help raise funds for memorials, I decided to catch a matinee of World Trade Center. After a morning of mourning, I was encouraged by this story with a happy ending. Nicolas Cage plays John McLoughlin, one of two Port Authority officers rescued from the rubble. The movie does an engaging job of showing how John reflected on his life, and especially marriage. I imagine 9/11 gave a lot of couples a renewed appreciation for the ones they committed to love for life, at least I hope so.

The theatre was nearly empty. There were only five of us there. One elderly couple. One middle-aged couple. And me. At the end, I swear my nostrils were filled with smoke and debris. With all the change and uncertainty in my life these days, this day, I'm grateful for life.