Her book Dear Divorce, Thank You (even though I HATE you) Sincerely, My Parents’ Grown Kid: a journey of hate, healing and understanding delves into a conversation about all the questions kids wish they could ask about divorce and don't know how.
Lauren Alicia's book explores her journeys through being a child of divorcem now grown in a series of personal letters designed to confront, cope, learn, decide and apply, providing space for readers to write their own entries.
DEAR DIVORCE, THANK YOU (EVEN THOUGH I HATE YOU) is an intimate conversation about what it feels and looks like to no longer be permitted to live the normal you always knew and positively moving forward from our experiences.
Below is my interview with Lauren Alicia.
JA: What is it like to be your parents’ grown kid of divorce?
LA: Honestly, at times it was/still is difficult and other times, freeing. It was difficult because I was rebuilding in a new space/environment with my parents. I was 16 years old by the time everything was signed and a new address for my father was in place. I had to adjust to being in a single-parent home with my mom, which is something I never gave thought to, since my parents were always married (a little over 21 years). Then, having to visit another location just to attempt to continue a relationship with my father, and not always feeling welcomed, as if signatures changed my DNA. Difficult at times became confusing. But It was freeing because divorce allowed for expectations from others to not have to be met. My mother being the only 24/7 parent, she allowed me to be who I wanted to be, and trusted that what she taught me, I would apply. I discontinued a sport after getting on my high school’s “wall of fame” that some may have thought I needed (i.e. college admittance and scholarships) and/or was dedicated to but I stayed because honestly, I didn’t have a choice…until divorce! I applied only to colleges that I wanted to attend, which is where I attended and graduated, specifically Parsons The New School for Design. Overall, being a grown kid of divorce has taught me more lessons about life than it hasn’t such as value, self-worth, morals, people/relationships, expectations, and the list goes on!
JA: If you hate divorce, why “thank” it?
LA: I can’t deny my circumstances. The title of my book attempts to get straight to point of let’s be honest about our journey. Regardless of how we really feel about our parents being divorced (some of us will admit that we don’t), we took on some good and bad that we need to process. Personally, in writing my book, I had to confront the past and honestly admit my circumstances…I come from a broken home, my parents are divorced. I say it now candidly, but that wasn’t always true. The hate for divorce was part of ignoring the past, and honestly admitting what it did to my family, relationships and thoughts. Now, after processing its influence, it’s become something that I hope my future never knows. Without saying thank you, I wouldn’t be able to fully understand and accept where I am today, and where I want to go. It’s in the “thank you” that I was honestly able to rebuild, have a fresh perspective, and fully take steps in a forward direction. Like I said before, divorce has taught me more lessons about life than it hasn’t and I am sincerely thankful.
From “Thank You Divorce, I Mean That Sincerely” on KokoaMag.com:
“If I allowed the events of the past (my circumstances) to limit me, I would be denying the make of me. So, because my parents are divorced, I see things differently than how someone with parents who are still married, and I am thankful, sincerely.”
JA: Why/how did you decide to write about your parents’ divorce 8 years later?
LA: It was time to tell my story, even if it was just to myself, first. When hardships first happen, it is hard to process what you’ve actually been through because mentally you feel like you’re still going through it. I can only wish that I could have dusted my shoulders off and written this book right away but I wasn’t ready to admit this part of my journey, be honest with myself about what I’ve been through and decide what I want to continue. I truly believe the quote I wrote that’s located on the back of my book, “The power of our story could be the key to someone’s healing.”
JA: What was the toughest part to write?
LA: My book is a journey that you experience through writing letters to your experiences: past, present and future. The past was the toughest to write because it meant opening up old wounds and being completely honest about why I was hurt by something that at the time happened 7-8 years ago. I was sitting in my childhood room, writing in a sketchbook and crying about things that I truly felt like I wasn’t influenced by at the time. It was in going through the past that I questioned whether or not I would finish writing my book and/or release it to the world. Sometimes we fear the future because we have yet to process the past.
JA: What advice do you wish someone gave you during your parents’ divorce?
LA: Be honest with yourself, don’t attempt to let something go and you don’t know what you’re letting go of. It’s okay to admit that you were hurt by something you agreed with, you don’t have to be so strong. Your healing and growth are more important than temporarily bruised egos.
JA: What is the best perspective that your parents' divorce has taught you?
LA: My best perspective is to love on my own terms, and remember that what I don’t fight to keep, I can easily lose.
JA: What one sentence advice do you have for parents going through divorce, and their kids?
Don’t forget that both you and your children (at any age) are rebuilding at the same time.