Friday, June 4, 2010

Of Psychology and Divorce

My friend and I once had a conversation about divorce and parenthood, chiefly from the perspective of the child. As it stands, the parents of pretty much everyone I was friends with before the age of twelve have gotten divorced. Mine did it when I wasn't even three yet, so I like to think that once again I'm just ahead of the curve when it comes to certain things.

In talking, we noted that a late divorce probably causes more anger on the part of the child but is short-lived. A mature child can eventually deal with it and as an adult even be relatively unscathed. An early divorce, meanwhile, likely has a greater impact on the formation of the child's personality, for example, the way I can't stand loud, angry arguing or baseball.

And somehow, I'm not exactly sure how, we got to talking about the children born to parents who shouldn't have been together in the first place. Granted, my parents were like that, but at least I was planned. Also, I came out awesome.

Some of our friends, however, have already had babies. Others are the product of similar "Oops!" moments for their young parents. Let me say here and now, I have no doubt in my mind that every single one of these individuals has been the light of their parents' lives. These children are the definition of "happy accident." Despite all the possible disadvantages, I have never seen children more loved by their parents.

Still, I wondered what that could do to a child's personality, knowing that, while you are absolutely loved and supported by both parents unconditionally, it is a fact that you were not a planned pregnancy and for at least a few months before and after popping your head into the world (so to speak) were a pretty big inconvenience overall.

I postulated that one of our friends, a child conceived by accident would care very much about people liking them, would go to great lengths to please others and often go quiet as to how much those same actions negatively impacted him/herself. He would be a people-pleaser, but soft spoken. She would be as unobtrusive as possible, willing to stand up for herself when need be but low-key in her self-reliance. There might be resentment towards how the parents interact with each other, and perhaps at an earlier age than most such a child would realize her parents are human and prone to error just as she is. A child could learn from his parent's mistakes and not repeat the behaviors which years later led to their own wonderful birth, achieving great things.
And that's when my friend and I realized we were describing the exact person we had set out to mentally dissect.

Basically, what I'm saying is
a) we conducted a proof by independent verification, and
b) we conducted a colossal waste of time before going into an A&P to buy juice.

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