NORMAN — I don’t think people really understand the devastation and pressure that a child is faced with when their parents are having problems. The pain and cries of the children are manifested in many ways both mentally and spiritually.
Divorce is not a kind word. Divorce is in many ways brutal. I do not say this lightly or with malicious intent to miss-characterize people who have been divorced and have moved on. I speak from reality and one that has experienced the effects of divorce as a child.
A child cannot grasp the full meaning of divorce however they do understand when something is broken or better yet when those they love are hurting. Anxiety reaches a boiling point and because we (the children) have no idea what to do or how to fix the problem, we live vicariously on a threshold between a world that will either crush us or lift us to a better place. No one is immune from a broken home especially an innocent child. A child depends on you, whoever is closest to them. The burdens of the sometimes forgotten children are unimaginable and in those difficult life-situations one essential act is what they need to survive.
There was no way I could have verbalized what I knew in my heart and soul at age 5, that my mom and dad were not well. Something was not quite right. No one seemed to know what I knew and who would listen to a 5 year old anyway?
Nighttime was always the worse. This had less to do with how my parents acted but more to do with the fact that the night or the darkness seemed to come alive taunting or reveling in the trouble devastating our family. Lying in bed eventually I would feel a great presence lurking from some point in my bedroom. Strange shadowy shapes would form within my peripheral vision but when I would attempt to look directly at them they would furtively scatter away. Utter blackness as dark as caverns winding deep in the earth would stare back at me with soulless hungry eyes and would seem so sinister and menacing that I would shout out. Many folks would call these night-terrors. I would just call them the cries of children from broken homes.