Welcome to Motherhood Voices
WHAT GROWING UP IN A BROKEN HOME LOOKS LIKE AND THE EFFECTS ON THE CHILD
Oneinspiredmum: Good day ma’am. We are so excited to have you here.
Guest: Thank you. I am glad to be here.
Oneinspiredmum: Firstly, we have some quick questions we will like to ask you. Here we go.
Quick fire questions
1. What book are you currently reading?
Guest: The book I am currently reading is titled ‘Maximising Destiny’ By Bishop Oyedepo
2. Who or What inspires you?
Guest: This is a deep question for me but I would try to be direct in answering it. (lol) My number one inspiration is the Holy Spirit. Also Bishop TD Jakes, Myles Munroe of blessed memory, Joyce Meyer, Bishop Oyedepo.
In fact a whole lot of people in my life also inspire me. Situations and circumstances inspire me. I draw inspiration from everything and everywhere.
3. What does motherhood mean to you?
Guest: Motherhood for me meant an awakening. It opened up a channel of inspiration for me. It made me extremely vulnerable which was so uncomfortable. (lol).
It is a journey of love, of service, of nurturing. It is an extremely spiritual journey. Your spirituality as a mother becomes extremely high. You begin to pick up things in the spirit because you are responsible for the lives God has entrusted into your hands.
Recently I woke up from sleep and I started praying for my children from the depth of my soul, only for something horrible to be averted that day regarding one of my children. Motherhood is deep, a very deep journey for me.
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you ma’am for taking out time to answer these quick questions. Once again, I am glad to have you here and I appreciate you for taking out time to share your story with us.
So over to our Main Questions.
1. Can you tell us who you are?
Guest: I am Oluwatosin Olajumoke Arodudu and I am a woman who wears many hats. However I would describe myself as a daughter, a wife to a loving husband, a mom to two adorable children, a blogger, a writer, an author, a Publisher and an Identity Coach at a Publishing and Brand Development company named Hadar Creations. I also have a full-time day job at an International Organisation.
( For confidential reasons, we sometimes take out our guest’s name as requested by her. I stated to my interviewees when I contacted them, that you can choose to be seen or remain anonymous and I will surely respect that choice.)
2. Can you share with us the background of your story?
Guest: I really don’t know how to answer this question, so I would go to the next question (lol), sorry.
3. How old were you when your parents separated?
Guest: I was just two years old when my parents separated.
4. Did you take sides with any parent after their separation? If yes, Why?
Guest: Yes, I took sides with my mom for a better part of my growing up years. And that is because of what I saw, and the stress I had to deal with as a result of being tossed between two parents who wanted nothing to do with one another.
I lived with my mom and I saw some of the things we had to deal with as a result of the separation of my parents. So naturally in such a situation, a child would tilt towards the vulnerable parent and the one whom they are in close proximity with.
5. In what ways did your parent’s separation affect you while growing up.
Guest: It affected me in diverse ways. I feel a part of my childhood was disrupted. I became withdrawn and internalized things a lot. I embraced fear and also erected a wall in my heart against pain. I didn’t want to be vulnerable to the noise and chaos around me.
It affected me deeply because I was always trying to get away from the noise and strife I was exposed to which was against my nature. Fear became my close ally because nothing was predictable. And this fear limited me for a larger part of my life till I decided to go on a journey of self-discovery.
6. Do you think divorce and separation affects a child mentally and emotionally?
Guest: Yes, from the account I gave above, it affects a child mentally and emotionally. It can also affect a large part of your future if not checked. It is only God that can help you from allowing that fear to cripple your future.
For a larger part of my single years I was afraid of not being able to keep a marriage. I even resigned to this thought. Thank God for His love and mercy, I am grateful to Him for the kind of husband He gave me, I have been able to conquer the fear of not being able to keep a marriage.
There are so many examples of how divorce affects a child mentally and emotionally. But I can say that it is not a good experience for children, especially if there is so much strife and tussle involved.
7. How were you able to navigate your growing-up and adult years between both parents?
Guest: Ah! It is not an experience I love to relive. I am naturally the serene, gentle, enjoy my life in solitude and calmness kind of person (chuckles). But I was tossed in the deep blue sea of life when I had to move from dad to mom weekly. I had to go to dad to get my needs met and I never looked forward to this part, because I always felt like a stranger in his home anytime my brother and I visited.
It was a very tough season of life. It disrupted me internally. I was that child who wanted to grow up in a good and serene home, however I still return all the glory to God. The lessons garnered from my experience are gold. It has made me a better woman today. We turn lemon to lemon squash. ( chuckles)
8. Share with us a vivid memory from that turbulent season of your life.
Guest: There are so many memories, but God has helped me to wipe them off my mind one after the other. There was a time I could reel out diverse memories of those events in my life, and I would be boiling with so much anger, but God has been so faithful. I honestly cannot remember any right now, I guess I have totally forgiven and also forgotten everything that happened. Glory be to God.
9. Were you angry and bitter with your parents for their decision to go their separate ways?
Guest: Yes, I was bitter and to be sincere, I was extremely bitter. I saw the life I could have had right in front of me, but I could not access it fully. So I was angry and bitter for a long time that they separated.
10. From a child’s perspective, what is life like growing up and living in a dysfunctional family setting.
Guest: It is tough!!! I wrote a book on this, anyone who wants to get a vivid picture and draw strength can get my book, ‘From the Perspective of the Child‘. It is available in paper back on Amazon, and the e-version is available in my publishing company, Hadar Creations.
You would get a vivid picture of what it is like to come from a dysfunctional home, and the impact it has on children. The things I cannot remember now can be found in that book. I did not know how those events reeked havoc in me, not until I wrote that book.
It is a terrible experience for children and we should discourage it. And if adults would separate, it is good for civility to reign supreme to avoid strife, and to avoid children being caught in the middle.
11. Did you at any time confront your parents about your feelings and discontentment with their decisions and actions?
Guest: Yes, I did. I confronted both parents at least once, and let them know the impact their separation had on us.
12. How did you overcome all the feelings of pain, anger and bitterness at the parent who you felt had failed you?
Guest: Hmm!! I think God helped me. And all the pain and bitterness disappeared last year when there were two major events in the family and a reunion happened. There were talks, there were prayers, and there was forgiveness and healing. To God be the glory.
13. Do you at anytime today find yourself recreating or projecting your childhood experiences with your own children?
Guest: No way!!! I guard against this consciously. I would make any decision to always safe guard my children from such toxicity. Children are tender, we must protect their childhood so we don’t dent their future.
14. What are those things that helped you heal emotionally from the pain and trauma of growing up in a broken home?
Guest: Writing helped me a lot. The more I wrote, the more I poured out. I didn’t know how wounded I was, until I began to bleed through my pen. The more I wrote, the more I healed. Writing helped me deeply, it did a larger part of my healing and overcoming the trauma from that season of my life.
15. Who or what was your greatest support system during those turbulent years of your life?
Guest: God was my greatest support system. The more turbulent it was, the greater he showed up. His love covered and enveloped me. He always showed up in diverse miraculous ways. It was as if a mark was on me to prevent me from being swallowed up by the turbulence. I return all the glory to God.
16. How has your experience shaped your life today as a wife and mother?
Guest: Hmmm! It has helped me become very responsible. It is my duty to care for and ensure my children grow up in a healthy and safe surrounding and home. And as a wife who is still learning and unlearning (chuckles), I would say those experiences have shaped me a whole lot.
18. Have you been able to truly forgive your parents?
Guest: Yes, I have truly and deeply forgiven them. Most especially my dad, I have truly and totally forgiven him. Sometimes parents separate because the situation is beyond their control, and staying together because of societal pressures and standards could be fatal.
I understood this better as an adult. And even though they might have had a chance of making it work, the situation might have been beyond their control, if I wanted to be fair on them.
As for my mom, she is my best friend. It is hard for you to harbor resentment in your heart against your best friend (chuckles). So, I never really had any grudge against my mom, aside some petty fights of mother and daughter here and there – which of course we would always settle afterwards.
19. What is your relationship like with your parents today?
Guest: Peaceful and beautiful. I finally got rid of the pain, stress and anxiety in my relationship with my dad. Though we are still bridging the gap, but we would get there. As for my mom she is my paddy of life.(chuckles)
20. What words do you have for parents about divorce and separation?
Guest: Hmm! I would say if possible, let us make our marriages work please. Love can be rekindled if we can communicate and let go of control and power tussles.
Many of us adults are control freaks, that is why our marriages crumble.
Just be a little less controlling and see how your home would thrive.
Remember, the devil is a silent creeper, don’t give him a chance to creep into your life and your home. He would ruin generations if care is not taken.
And if the marriage fails against all odds, then please for the sake of the children, let go of the power tussle. This is especially for men, it is not a time to flex muscles and punish your wife through your children. Please be responsible and carry out your duty towards your children lovingly and not scathingly.
Be available for your children. Befriend them, give them a sense of belonging in your new home and family. Do not see them as a disruption in your new life. They didn’t ask to be brought into the situation.
Let us avoid strife because of the children. Please tuck in your ego and just parent the children lovingly and diligently. God will see us through in Jesus name, Amen!!!
21. Can you share with us three life lessons from that season of my life?
Guest: Here are the lessons I learnt.
1. Parents who are separated or divorced must try to put their ego aside for the sake of the children. They must make the children a priority and consider their mental health in every decision they want to take.
Parents should make sure that the children are not caught in between them or being punished in order to hurt the vulnerable parent. This is very vital for the overall development of the children caught up in such settings.
2. I learnt that no matter the situation, do not run away from your troubles. As a child, I remember my brother and I having to take a longer route to dad’s house, just because we were so afraid of what the outcome of our visit would be on getting there. (chuckling).
He does not bite, but we were so afraid and uncomfortable around our dad. So we always took a longer route to delay getting there on time. My mom eventually found out and she broke down at the stress we had to deal with without her knowledge. She sat us down to encourage and counsel us. That episode really helped me to stand up to my troubles quickly rather than prolonging or keep running away from them.
3. I learnt that God is the ultimate provider and a very present help in times of need. There were times when my mom was cash strapped and I saw how God sent strangers to her, just to show her that he is still God.
I also saw how God came through for us in diverse ways as against the thoughts of men. And that is why I am a staunch believer in the fact that what no man can do, God will do it noiselessly and easily. That season really built my trust in God.
22. Your final word for everyone.
Guest: As an Identity Coach, my final word would be this, Have you discovered who you are? Do you know that you are created for a purpose?
Your situation and circumstances should never determine who you are. You are created by God for a purpose. And you can ask God to reveal to you what that purpose is, so that you can begin to take your appropriate place in life. You are blessed in Jesus name.
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you ma’am for sharing your story with us. We appreciate you.
Guest: Thank you for having me on board here. I do not take it for granted.
Did you get a lesson or two from our guest’s story?
Or perhaps you are strengthened and encouraged by her story.
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Until next time.
Love and light.