I’ve been avoiding my blog for the last few days. If I’m honest, I’ll say avoiding, and if I’m not, I’ll say I was just too busy. There’s this post I have to write. It’s been nagging at me, and I don’t want to write it. But I have to or I can’t move on to anything else because it will seep into every other blog post coming. Or I’ll avoid writing, and I can’t have that. So I’m writing it.
The ex left 3 years and 2 months ago. Since then, Tornado E has had accidents. Nearly every day. I didn’t mention it because I couldn’t stop it. After confirming with the doctor it wasn’t physical, I took Tornado E to a counselor. Last summer, the accidents stopped for a few weeks, but then soccer started and so did the accidents. They still continue, but at least they aren’t every day. It’s still not normal. I know the kid is having issues. How could he not? His father just took some custody a few months ago, and the kid is adjusting to a new custody schedule, a new house, a new adult, and a new little sister. It was all just dropped on him. Unfortunately due to the financial issues, I’m unable to send him to counseling. Not since before he was tossed into this new living situation.
And it gets worse. Tornado S is stuttering. He did it when he was younger, but it stopped in kindergarten. It’s back. It’s also getting worse. I’m doing what I did when he had it before. When he talks to me, I stop what I’m doing and get down to eye-level and listen. His teacher and his school therapist are doing what they can.
Then there’s Tornado A. That first night back from his dad’s house, he was angry with me. He didn’t want me to hug him or hold him. He didn’t want to hug his nana. But the next day, all he wanted to do was snuggle. Since then he has demanded to see his nana every day. He has to snuggle with me. He calls himself the baby. He’s picked up screaming to be cute. And he’s also regressed with potty training.
All three boys seemed to be more aggressive with each other and more whiny with me. While that could be a phase, finding them all in my bed every morning is new and different. If one of the boys failed to make it into my bed at night, he demands to snuggle with me before he gets dressed.
I know divorce is tough on kids. I was expecting issues and regression. I call them every night they are with their dad. I bought them a phone so they could call their dad or any adult they want without asking. I let them use my phone to call their dad when they ask. I’ve never said anything negative about their dad or his girlfriend in front of the kids. I had conversations with everyone to make sure they never did the same. I listen and engage in conversations with them when they talk about their dad, his girlfriend, their little sister, and the times they have at the other house. I make time for each of them. I make sure our routine is normal and that we get work done and still have fun. I stick to the rules. I surround them with loving adults and good examples of men and women. I just feel frustrated that I can’t do more to help them. I don’t have the money to take them to counseling, and the ex believes the boys are just fine. (Everyone say hi to the paralegal.)
Here’s the thing. I know what divorce can do to kids. I’ve done my research. I did research when I was taking psych classes. I did my research throughout the separation. I did my research as I take education classes. Children of divorce are more likely to suffer depression and commit suicide. They are more likely to participate in risky behavior and not finish high school. They are more likely not to go to college and more likely to have issues with commitment. (Though recent research on commitment issues show a much smaller effect than earlier research saw.) I know these kids need extra help. I just wish I knew what else to do for them.