Will bigger band-aids help?

One mom’s letter to her daughter’s step-mom went viral in late 2014. It even appeared on NBC News. You may have seen it.

So many people cheered this letter, but to me it smacked of a band-aid, a much bigger band-aid than we normally see, but a band-aid nonetheless.

The letter and all the attention it received forecloses on the possibility of the daughter ever expressing an opinion that contradicts what these people say is true. There are so many incentives to go along with the new program. All the media attention must have felt really great. But there are zero incentives to say something like, “It is still painful that my family was permanently disfigured. If my mom can get along with my step-mom, why couldn’t my mom and dad get along?” Even with this bigger band-aid, each parent has rejected half of who this girl is.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the daughter has literally zero issues. But I remain skeptical. There are just too many cultural buttresses that prop up the wall denial that we kids of divorce (and other non triad arrangements) have to maintain to make our parents happy.

This is also another example of how kids of divorce have had to deal with “two moms” for far longer than kids of gays. Conservatives decry the latter and are utterly silent on the former. Super frustrating.

Having said that…

The circumstance being what it is, it is good that these two women have a good relationship.

But frankly I resent having to yield to the circumstance. Why do I have to say, “At least they are getting along”?

Well, OK, I’ll say it again:

At least they are getting along.

If you find yourself saying this, as I do, consider that it is an admission that this situation is second best for the daughter.

I remain skeptical that bigger band-aids will heal the ontological wounds created by divorce (and other non-triad arrangements).



Author: everybodysdaughter

I'm an adult child of divorce, having been raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations. I'm writing in order to shed light on the problems of divorce from the perspective of the child. I will also discuss problems with other non-triad family structures, since there is a lot of overlap. People often think that better parenting skills will overcome problems in non-triad arrangements. While I agree that parenting skills are important, they cannot overcome the problems I discuss such as fractured ontology and perpetual liminality. I converted to the Catholic faith in 2012, and will discuss Catholic things from time to time as well.

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