A few months ago I wrote a blog here, “Grieving for the Living“, about the pain and loss I felt after my parents disowned me. Something I didn’t expected happened: I received a dozens upon dozens of emails and messages from people stating that they were in the same situation. An unfortunate and common theme was that there hadn’t been much research or discussion about the effects disownment has as people go through adulthood. So I, along with a friend I met because of have decided to do something about it. Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood is a work in progress by authors Bridget R. Gaudette and Emma S. Phillips. Our stories, along with about 20 others will be recounted in the book. We’ve approached disownment from several angles including religious (de)conversion, gender identity, interracial partnerships and sexual orientation just to name a few.
In addition, to demonstrate the need for such a book, we are conducting a large scale survey meant to assess the impact disownment has on mood and mental health. We will be assisted by individuals that have PhD’s in psychology and social work along with medical doctors and counselors.
Disownment is the formal act or condition of forcibly renouncing or no longer accepting one’s child as a member of one’s family or kin. We are pursuing knowledge in the hopes of helping others. We are confident that by conducting research about this population and by publishing this work, people who are experiencing this alienation, like ourselves, will be able to find comfort in the knowledge that they are not alone. Further, the results we find with our research will aid in bringing attention to this issue, which is more prevalent than one might think.
If you have been disowned, please take this survey. Also, although we have a publisher that has looked favorably on the project no contract has been signed so we are raising money to self-publish here: donate.
For more information on the book and the authors, visit our website at www.GrievingForTheLiving.com.