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The Effects of Divorce

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Submitted By tigge1r
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Ronald Anderson
Composition 2
Professor
November 12, 2012

The Effects of Divorce
In his essay, “Did I Miss Something?” Lowell Putnam writes of the dissension in his home and the effects of life in a broken home. His parents’ separation occurred when he was at the tender age of three years old. His recollection of the chaotic environment prior to his parents’ separation is vague. He writes of almost no memory of the family unit. But he does recall happiness in his youth and little disadvantage coming from a broken home. He believes that his childhood was sound and contrasts his youth with a child in a family where the union only continues for the sake of the child. His parents love him and found happiness apart, while a child in a dysfunctional home is the target of blame for the failing union and his parents’ unhappiness. He rejoices in having the best of both parents and two of everything. He debates each parent separately and finds leverage in the single parent argument than arguing against two parents. He has two sets of friends and two houses each in a different type of neighborhood. He feels the center of his parents' attention when he is with each one of them. No one has an ideal life. We all have problems, but we have blessings within those scenarios. He feels blessed to have all he has.
I believe that Putnam uses optimism to support his position that his home was not broken as he had two homes and neither was broken. He relates to this scenario as his normalcy as normal is relative. He uses his experience as a knowledgeable authority on divorce; however he does not analyze the effects on others or include any expert opinions or statistics to reinforce his position. I blamed myself for my parents’ divorce as I was old enough to remember. Putnam could not have developed the bond in a family unit as he was too young. Children who blame themselves may not receive the counseling or grief therapy needed to help them cycle through the gamut of emotions children experience at the onset of divorce. More importantly, separated parents are dealing with their own issues and stressors which may cause them to overlook the suffering child.
Putnam did not experience the bitter feud between parents fight for custody of the child. These feuds can leave a child feeling like a possession. Moreover, a child may be required by a court to decide which parent they want live with. A child loves both parents and being forced to choose between parents may leave a child feeling laden with guilt. Putnam wrote of his personal experience without few contrasting scenarios or examples. He generalized the issue and failed to expand on the fact all children experience different scenarios during divorce. His situation is unique and his view is unique. He trivializes the catastrophe of divorce and focuses on his ability to manipulate both parents and the ability to have more than others. He fails to realize the pain and suffering that almost always result in divorce.…...

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