Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

May I ask you a personal question….

Dear friends,

When I got married, I got loads of advice. I received beautiful wedding showers with little cards filled with wisdom and well wishes. I felt so supported and guided. I knew I had places to turn.

When I had the first child–another album of wisdom. Just before the birth I was told to go out more, see a movie, take advantage of every minute I didn’t have to carry a diaper bag with me or snacks. When baby #1 was born, I was shown how to swaddle, advised how to nurse, consoled through sleepless nights and weaning. Baby#2 I was given books to help me navigate sibling love and sibling rivalry, ways to strap one child to my front and one on my back. So many other people were able to show me how it was done, openly even if exhausted. When I got my first dog–what an abundance of good advice I received!!

But now, when one by one, my friends seem to tear apart from one another, I have so little to say. The silence and taboo that surrounds the big “D” (shhhh…divorce) means that when we talk about it, it’s in hushed tones. My friends ask me to keep things confidential for obvious reasons, open new social media and/or bank accounts, slowly seek out the help they need, the new silverware, bedsets and addresses.

What do you tell a friend, a dear friend, in pain and uncertainty? What wisdom from your own D experience might you share with me and thus me with others about what to do?

I am examining my own ablism, racism, westernism, capitalism. But now I wonder about “couplism” (I think it’s a thing)–a blindness one has when in a relationship in relation to those who are not or who need to individualize again. What should a person know going through this? What should his or her community know to be a better support system? Is there anyone I know who’d be willing to email me privately some reflections or would you be willing to post something here?

Please don’t try to guess who this is or where or think this is a coded message about me. This is really just a request to those who are brave enough to share: how did you get through a divorce? What were your most important tools?

So far I learned:

  1. Get a good therapist to help YOU
  2. Get a good lawyer
  3. Get a good mediator (is that the same as 2)
  4. Know you will survive and be better for it (do all feel this way?)

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