I started with this simple post, wondering about the status of my marriage.
As you may know, things got worse, especially with regard to my three girls and how they reacted to the tension in the house. In fact, the effect on the kids at the time was considerable.
Eventually, it came to a head and she decided to move out.
After she moved out, I was careful to tell the kids that they needed to be nice to their mom. One day, she will their friend again, she will be there at their wedding, when their kids are born. They just need to get past the current problems.
I shut down their outlet for anger by doing that. I forced them to avoid and suppress their anger at their mom and her departure. I didn’t realize that at the time. It just seemed like the ‘safe’ way to protect their long-term relationship with her. There are a few other bloggers that have since commented on how one of more of their children have become estranged as a result of a divorce.
Some time ago, a friend mentioned to me a theory that “depression is anger turned inward” and I’ve been thinking about that for a while now.
Two of my girls are now clinically depressed. Only my mild-mannered and ever-sweet middle child, Brigitte, is handling things well (as far as I can tell, unless still waters run deep). She is the only one to be clear with her mother how she feels without being overly furious. She has expressed her anger clearly but not forcefully. Relevant?
Maybe Brigitte has not succumbed to some kind of depression because she’s just the serene type. Maybe it’s because she found an outlet in friends that Amélie and Charlotte did not. Maybe it’s because she didn’t let that anger turn inward.
Last night, I was discussing this issue with the Office Manager for the consulting company I work for. She and her husband divorced many years ago now. When I told her about this theory about depression, she replied with “You know what, that is absolutely right. To this day my son holds a great deal of anger towards his father. I have told him many times to express that to his father and he will feel a lot better about himself.”
It’s a puzzle I need to mull over some more. Any thoughts on this are welcome…