Divorce is a bloody business

Divorce, according to Alexandra Roussou, «is an avalanche that has swept us away, and whose consequences are still not known. You have a sense of dissolution, of hemorrhage.» She pointed out that most parents, not coming from broken homes themselves, are unprepared for divorce. As a result, there is no tradition of how to handle a divorce, with the result that there is «terrible conflict, hatred, hostility. Divorces are a bloody business.» Each parent retains only a small part of themselves for their child because the rest is associated with the other parent. «You never get that part back, ever.» With what has been salvaged, the parent has to take care of the child, themselves, work, and another relationship. «In many cases, children have to bring themselves up. Nowhere in the world today is there a family model in which a child is raised by half an adult. At this moment, we have unprotected and uncared-for children, because the parent who has left is rebuilding his or her life, and the parent that has remained is not enough.» Social experiment «It’s a social experiment, whose consequences we do not yet know,» said Roussou. The lack of an extended family means that parents do not have anyone to leave their children with. Even if it exists, the grandchildren may turn into weapons in the battle between grandparents and their own children. The extended family «is finished,» said Roussou. «Grandfathers and grandmothers continue to work and can’t help out. Raising children has become a private matter. Before, it used to be the business of the whole community. As well as grandpa, grandma and uncle, fathers used to discuss problems among themselves in the local cafes.» She points out that if a parent has to raise a child alone, he or she is not likely to make a good job of it. In any case, young children have needs, «to go out, have fun, to play, to devote time to things that interest them. And they are very deprived, because they are being forced to do things which are not suitable for their developmental stage. There has never been the kind of family that is being formed today.» Alienation That women work can be a problem, she admits, but that in itself is not responsible for all problems. «We see a lot of mothers who don’t work. They aren’t in better shape, because they are trapped inside the house.» Work can save the family because the parents are satisfied with what they do, «while at other times it causes tremendous problems.» But Athens, like other cities, causes a great degree of alienation. «You are alone, you don’t have someone to turn to. I think that’s a major cause of anxiety and depression.»

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