I did it!
I began a book club on Facebook primarily for the purpose of holding myself accountable for finishing a book. And it worked! I finished Evelyn Waugh's Helena ahead of schedule, and I had a blast with the folks who joined me!
And since the next book on the schedule is one that regular readers have heard me rave about, I'm now letting my blog readers know about the book club, in case any of you want to join in.
The book we will begin in December, great for Advent, is Fr. Wilfred Stinissen's book, Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us, which I wrote about here and here.
The Little Catholic Bubble Book Club is private, but if you request to join (you must have a Facebook page), I'll ascertain your non-trollness and let you in. This book is life-changing; if you've ever wanted to read it, now's the time.
I'm working on my next book, which will give voice to the (now-adult) children of divorce. If that's you, I want to hear from you, primarily so those adults contemplating divorce today might have the perspective of the children -- things that adult children of divorce have rarely been able to say, for fear of hurting their parents or being dismissed.
If you are an adult child of divorce who would like your voice heard, please answer the following questions and send your responses to email@example.com, with the subject DIVORCE. All answers will be confidential, unless you let me know that you are comfortable with your first name being used.
Please answer any/all of the questions you feel comfortable answering. I will not know until the compilation of the book how much or how many of your answers will be included.
I am not worried about style; I am grateful for your heartfelt, thoughtful answers, even off-the-cuff. This is not a scientific survey, as you will quickly see. Here ya go:
1. Basic info: Are you male or female, and please give your age at the time of your parents’ separation and/or divorce and the age you are today. Are you married? Do you have children? (Give your name if you want to be identified.)
2. Were your parents Catholic? Married in the Church? Received subsequent annulment? Remarried?
3. If you wish to remain anonymous, please tell us why.
4. A very broad question, but what affect has your parents’ divorce had on you?
5. What is the difference between how you felt about the divorce as a child and how you feel about it as an adult?
6. Has your parents’ divorce affected your own marriage or view of marriage?
7. What do you want to say to people who say that “children are resilient” and “kids are happy when their parents are happy” and “kids of divorce will be just fine and will go on to live successful lives”? (Note: I know that many kids of divorce do go on to live happy, healthy lives and have good marriages. So, rest assured the book won’t be about how “wrecked” you all are; we can’t gloss over the pain and consequences, though, even if kids of divorce have gone on to live lives of virtue and goodness.)
8. What would you want to say directly to your parents about the divorce and how it affected your life then and now? Would you advise them to do things differently, and if so, what? (For the record, one or more young divorced parent has told me that adult children of divorce only want to speak to me because of “unconscious revenge” against their parents, and that they simply have not “forgiven” their parents, which is the only way to heal. Thoughts on that?)
9. What do you most want adults in our society to know about how divorce affects the children?
10. What role has your faith (if you have a faith) played in your healing?
11. What would you want to say to any children facing their parents‘ divorce today? What would you want to say to those parents now considering divorce (absent cases of danger and abuse where separation is necessary)?
12. Any other thoughts you have or anything you’d like to share that I have missed, please feel free to include. I want all your thoughts!
When I asked for participants on Facebook, I was overwhelmed. I had at least a hundred willing people by the end of two days. Since that time, have received about 35 responses from that group. Many of the original group have let me know that attempting to answer has been too painful/emotional/difficult, and they have not been able to follow through. That's why I am taking my appeal to the blog, to get a bigger pool of participants, so that you all have a bigger voice.
If you decide to answer the questions, please have them back to me by the end of the year. Better yet, by mid-December. I truly appreciate it. By January, I have to go forward and assemble the responses.
Please note, again: Your answers do not have to be polished or well-articulated. I am fine with your stream-of-consciousness responses, and I will fix any grammar/syntax issues.
And just a heads-up: In a day or two, I hope to have a post up (God willing!) that links to many great Christmas ideas from Catholic vendors, authors, crafters, etc. So, hold off on your online shopping until you see what your fellow Catholics are selling!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And to my fellow Mayflower descendants -- mine are John Howland (The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune), and Elizabeth Tilley -- let's be extra thankful that we even exist!