The Jigsaw Aftermath

Did you know that depression affects fewer during war than in peacetime?  I know this because I read a study about it.  During war, you rub the sleep from your eyes with a sense of purpose.  You know what you have to do and why.  The larger picture may be frightening, but your day-to-day struggle empowers direction and drive.  You don't have the time to think about what you are worth, or what to do with your life, your focus is keeping alive.  Amid chaos, every single move you make is loaded with meaning.

I survived the hardest year of my life, thus far.  It wasn't the hours I put in at the office, or finding that tiny lump in my chest, it was internalizing my parents’ separation and the self-loathing I experienced as Captain Lieutenant of the ACOD ranks like a General shouting silently but proud about generalizing "adult child of divorce" in some way, one soldier at a time.

Almost immediately after hearing the information and before it was news, I entered into some sort of crisis mode and nothing mattered but the well being of my immediate family.  My job came second, my social life disappeared (I am a hermit), my life-long aspirations were put on hold, and my only goal was to work through the devastation and come out alive. 

My life was drowning in unknowns.I was at war with myself and the background racket echoed like a broken record, not a deafening noise but one could go nuts.  I was confused, I was scared, I began conversing with my loony self and I had no clue what my future would look like.  

Since, I have made some form of peace with the idea.  I stopped fighting reality.  My world was torn apart and I know I have to piece it back together.  I'm ready to pick up the pieces, find my rhythm again.  I am prepared for my transformation back to normal, but I've been at war for so long that I don't remember what normal is supposed to look like.  Surrounded by pieces of what used to be my life, what were my dreams, what made me happy, I am not sure whether those remnants of my past truly belong to me. 

Everything has changed.  But really, nothing has changed.  The cold and ugly reality of it all is that the only thing that has actually changed is me.

I am an ACOD vet without a war to fight.  Left with the aftermath of divorce, I am still drowning in unknowns.  I came out alive, but my survival produced a different person.  Without an emergency to rise to, you have to create goals that have meaning.  The problem being, those things that used to have meaning now seem like insignificant rubble.  I used to question what do to with my life, but now I’m left asking, who am I?


  1. I can't tell you how happy I am to hear from you again. I check your blog every now and then and I am so happy to know you are ok. To be honest, I have been worried about you and prayed for you for quite sometime. SOOOO happy to hear from your pen again!!!

    That said, I understand what you are saying about during the war of a parents initial seperation or pending divorce, you kind of go into a certain mode and know what you have to do each day to keep going and to make it through.

    But once you are "through", the reality of the new normal creates more anxiety and questions.

    I will continue to pray for you internal struggle to find meaning and purpose amidst your parents divorce and what that has meant to your sense of self. It is a battle worth fighting every inch of the way.

    I feel it is possible to find peace amidst pain and joy amidst trial. That does come from a inner contentment that is not tied to our circumstances. I have found that in my faith. Not religion, but a personal faith . May you not give up on your search.

    As Thanksgiving approaches, I truly am thankful to have heard from your heart again!!!!
    I am thankful we ACODS can share with each other about our struggles. They are profound and on-going and we need each other. So glad to hear from you!

  2. Technically not an ACOD (my parents have gone into an open marriage, after my dad does not want to divorce while my mom does), I can relate to what you write so much. I have been feeling so alone. Your blog has made me feel less lonely. Thank you.

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