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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Divorce deepens loneliness

Each day my mom asks me how my day went. I tell her it was fine. Then I go off into my room by myself. Although nothing bad happened, I cannot help but feel kind of empty, like something is missing.

According to Peter Jennings, approximately 40% of all children grow up without a father in the home. I am just one of these estimated 25 million kids.

My parents divorced when I was two-years-old, so I do not remember ever living in the same house with both of them.

While living with my mom always seemed normal, I never quite understood why I was not with both of my parents when mom and I went to the park.

Wade F. Horn, Ph.D. and Tom Sylvester say, ?About 40% of children in father-absent homes have not seen their father at all during the past year; 26% of absent fathers live in a different state than their children; while 50% of children living without their father have never set foot in their father’s home.?

One of the most difficult and obvious hardships of having my parents divorced is that I do not get to see my dad very often. With my dad living in Orange County, five hours away, I only get to see him about four months out of the year, mostly during the summer and Christmas breaks.

Unlike most, I do not get those big bear hugs that dads give every morning. I also cannot ask my dad for advice. When I do see him, it has become awkward, as issues at school have been more personal as I get older. It is kind of hard talking to him about boys, because I want him to think that I will always be his little girl.

According to Neil Kalter, Ph.D, Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children: A Developmental Vulnerability Model, University of Michigan, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Oct. 1987, without the daily experience of a father being ?attentive, caring and loving,? the girl?s sense of value ?does not seem to thrive.? Also without male interaction, daughters may develop lower self-esteem and often try to look for this male affection somewhere else.

For some odd reason I seem to ?fall? for boys faster than I should. Even though I know that relationships usually cause consequences and drama, it does not make it any easier.

Another hardship I have to deal with is my mom dating. For as long as I can remember, my mom has had different boyfriends. I never thought it was weird until I realized none of my friends? parents ?dated? because they were married.

Children living without a father in the home, according to Frequency of Visitation by Stanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, are five times more likely to commit suicide, 32 times more likely to run away, nine times more likely to drop out of school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

Living in a single parent home I can understand why these statistics are so overwhelming. I would be lying if I said I had never thought about rebelling.

With the pressure of trying to live up to my mom?s expectations and taking care of my younger brother while my mom is at work, life can get stressful. I feel like I have been forced to grow up faster than all my friends, like I never got the chance to be a teenager.

Even though I do not see my dad very often, when I do get to see him, it is the best feeling in the world. I get butterflies in my stomach and when I hug him, I just want time to stop. When I take in the familiar scent of his “Groom and Clean” hair gel, I feel like that part of me that was missing is filled again.

Do not get me wrong; I love my mom with all my heart. I do not know what I would do without her. But after my visit with my dad, no matter how long or short it may be, leaving is always so unbelievably difficult. I have to fight the tears back every time I am forced to leave because school is starting back up again.

I have often been asked, ?If you miss your dad so much why don?t you just call him?? Well, that is my struggle. I want to talk to my dad everyday, just to say “hi”, but it is way too difficult saying goodbye. You might say that I am in denial and I probably am, but for me it is easier not to think about him because then I do not have to feel like I am alone.

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