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August 31, 2017 12:00 pm
Leila Miller talks about her new book, Primal Loss: The Now-Adult Children of Divorce Speak.
Very casually on my Facebook page and in the first day or two. I got out hundred people and wow I mean what I got that shocking this is for policymakers with NC family Pres. John Weston thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters to discuss an issue that I expect almost all of our listeners have been affected by it some point in their lives.
And that's the issue of divorce. It's not difficult to understand the difficulties and impacts divorce has on those who are going through it, but what about the long-term implications of divorce, especially on the children of divorce once they become adults. Our guest today is Layla Miller, a wife of 27 years of mother to eight children and a grandmother who was recently used her writing skills to give a voice to 70 adults, most of whom had parents who divorced when they were young and not surprisingly, these individuals and others like them often feel as though their stories and perspectives are lost in the conversation about marriage and divorce in America. Layla is here today to discuss what we can learn from the stories that she tells in her new book, primal loss, the now adult children of divorce, speak Layla Miller on the welcome you family policy matters is great to have you on the show. Thank you John here you will thank you for your time Nelly let you readily admit that you do not have first-hand experience with divorce so that does beg the question of why did you decide to write a book about divorce, and particularly one that shares a perspective on divorce from the viewpoint of adults who live through divorce, the great question and I have to tell you-writing about talking about marriage and family for probably close to a quarter-century now and while I would maybe press over the issue of divorce and now it's bad or it will like it. I never really was on my radar. So it kind shocking to me that it even became a topic and the reason it did with because I have a close personal friend who over the years on and she's in her 40s, and she's married and and has six kids, but she would start the course of regular family and friendly conversation she'd start to think certain things that II was a little intrigued about things the complications in her life to think that their stepmother things that you never happening with her dad and her mom who is on her third marriage or something like that how it kind of affecting her still affecting the grandkids and then after a while I started to tell her you know Lisa you need to write this down. I don't even understand. I don't even know about that. That's kind of the catalyst that got me into that and so you compiled Belize from quite a few adults who had gone through divorce experiences during their youth or maybe a little bit later in life. Yet I cannot put the word out very casually on my Facebook page. I have a blog and I got a response from people I wanted their feelings and experiences for what they come through and in the first day or two. I got about 100 people and they wanted to talk and so I quickly flipped up off the top of my head like a question that I thought I would be interesting to know about and wow I mean when I got back was just shocking to me and I knew I had to compile it and and put it out there. Somehow we talk about long-term experiences and that's really truly captured a lot in this book is not spoken about talking a bit more about that help us understand some of what you learned or discovered about the long-term effects that divorce has on these children who grew up in households where the parents divorced in the.
Got divorce and the effects of the divorce into adulthood and a number of fronts never won a lot of them carried these insecurities, and this feeling that there's really no nothing stable or that could stay stable.
They carried out into the relationship throughout their young adulthood and anyone into their marriage is the those of him you went ahead and were brave enough to get married and even like some of the some of the people who are very to really wonderful houses they have really tell their spouses that they have almost like a guillotine hanging over their head wondering in fear when this will all and and select one lady said she for years she would squirrel away money in her sock touring the main thing and would never leave but she kept thinking okay what would be likely have to do the custody issues I've gotta make sure I have enough money to get out the back have really hung with her. Several people discussed things like that people discussed that even into their 40s and 50s and one lady there. 60.
There's no real home complications that that they're managing even now train different layers of family there still navigating not even into their 50s and and 50s in the bottom of my mind I realize how I walk around unencumbered, and I don't have a complicated life and in the sense that they do and I never realized that so it's amazing shocking when you touched on some of them explore a little bit.
That's the issue of the impact of divorce and the destruction of the family. All matters related to faith and how individuals who go through a divorce when their young really relate to God and those who did you see that this was a common thread through many of the individuals that you talk with for this book did divorce have an impact on the varying degrees of religiosity of faith in their childhoods and had no worries of any faith in some were raised very very faithfully very Christian household. I will say that a lot of them really got hit with their relationship with God the father.
Specifically, if if the father was the one who broke the family that we have some stories in the book where the mother who abandoned the family ever divorced her, but the image especially for the boys. The image of God the father, you tend to look at your father as a child and and that's how you get your first understanding of who God is and so when I take the hit it's it's huge so a lot of depression, and did a lot of falling away from the faith, we have some some stories of of that whole families where the siblings to this day, a lot of their siblings have not come back to God in all their still wandering have drug addictions and there's a few suicide of the siblings. So a lot of that the people in the book still have or have really rediscovered their faith, but theirs is the collateral damage as far as their faith goes in their siblings and even the parents who divorce it's really devastating so that the real Helio that needs its own healing that once what the marriage falls apart, listening to a resource to listen to our radio show online resources that will place a persuasion in your community to our website and see family. So Archie sure about. I know that those are issues that are fundamental to who we already that image of a human father, fearing an impression on what someone perceives their godly father to be so profound and I think of as a father myself, how I know I speak for many out there who are challenged by the Walter person is good and images we can in order to exemplify God the father to the degree that were humanly possible, were able to do that now.
Why would you experience any situations when divorce was actually a positive thing suspected in circumstances where there may have been physical abuse work or infidelity or constant fighting in the home. Things like, you know. Certainly there are circumstances where divorces is necessary wanted to see with respect to the folks she spoke with about I never cherry picked any of the answers so we do have quite a few who came from abusive situations and the Senate.
There is there there. A few of the participants said that it was they were very grateful. First of all to get out of the abuse you. For example, you think you that I want to thank my mom for getting me safe and getting attributes in one case it was the mother who was the abusive one and the father with the one who needed to get the kids out. I would never characterize mounting any that would characterize it as that that divorce is positive, but they would say is that it was a relief and I think that when you determine eyes.
The term at the relief valve note when you can get out of that type of of abuse and and suffering.
There is a feeling of obviously a relief valve I need to and you need to get out.
You need to get away from that. What's interesting is that a lot of them describe this and and also privately to me to because I've been in contact with them since the book's publication, but it's still like an amputation. You know, in a sense that yet you you may have had to several limb by your still walking around with you know there's still it's it's never what it what it should have been what God intended it to be right so there's always wound of some sort. Now sometimes again sometimes amputation is necessary. What I discovered to again to the front of my issue before but what I discovered is even though this you, we have to acknowledge for those kids that there's still a lot that there's still pain, and applicable to call prime a lot because truly giving how God created it is every child is born to the union of his mother and his father and when that is broken apart, for whatever reason it either death or sin tragedy for the child no matter what, even if it's necessary. Get that child out so that's really important just to the acknowledgment that yes no way I did have kind of an issue with the celebration of hay divorced parties and I know know it's never great, always a tragedy of some sort. One of the following chapters in the book contained stories of success of hope and redemption of marriages boot really went to the brink of divorce and somehow survived. Give us an example of one of the stories that really gives you hope and that may give hope to some of our listeners who may themselves be facing a divorce situation or are trying to counsel and reach out and love a family member or a loved one who is going through divorce and so many people actually said that their favorite chapter the book. The stories of hope and there really dire situations where the parents persevered. The people who wrote to me anything up to 70. This is a whole different bunch of people had success stories or hope about on the edge of marriages and when Ellie sticks out to me. I don't know why is a woman who is an adult who talked about how for the majority of her parents marriage. It was rough.
It was very rocky was an alcoholic. He had left the practice of his faith for 35 years he was. Not a good role modeling is not a great father.
She even thought growing up. They should be divorce. This is ridiculous. Towards the end of his life, and her mother just was very faithful.
You know, this is my husband, my family, I made about the children watch this and at the very end of his life he got sick. He came back to God.
At the end and at the end of it literally the last hours they spent the just the immediate family. They spent those hours together and she said it was the most sacred holy kind of time and she remembers just being overwhelmed with the feeling I shall never forget of gratitude of having her family together at that her father's last breath or heat. They got to tell each other they loved each other and and she just was so grateful that it was a I GG envision what could have been with that mother's and step brothers and sisters in all the different people fighting over you know who is supposed to be there. He is not in what she was just so grateful and as you paint the most beautiful scene that you know why with all worth it because our family in that little holy space when he went back to God. You know it was it was a beautiful moment and she just had serious crying and that there are a few of those types of stories in the town just really stuck out to me that the kind the preciousness of those of the last years and in the last hours that we go along the long view of things. Very beautiful will, and we deftly need to take a long view of things because that's what really matters nothing to chronicle that so well in this book, good to divorces not just between two individuals that may be going through a rough patch in a relationship, but it has profound implications on many, and probably fall beyond what is readily evident that unfortunately we were just about out of time for the show but I want to give you an opportunity before we leave to let our listeners know where they can go to get a copy of your new book, lost but now adult children of divorce, speak sure yet they can go to Amazon.com and it's available they're both in paperback in the e-book, Kindle format. I think barnesandnoble.com also has that great will encourage your listeners, especially if you may be dealing with a divorce situation yourself or have a loved one who does avail yourself of this book and be encouraged by learn from it and just take advantage of the resource that it is certainly expected it can help you and help those that you love and without labor Norma thank you so much for being with us on family policy matters and for bringing greater attention to the impact of divorce has on our culture. Thank you John family policy matters production of NZ Bentley to listen to our radio show online resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook