I’m fine, Nick’s fine.  A divorce was just announced in his family, is all.  I don’t know how I feel.  No, I do.  I feel. . . sick.  I feel so heartsick that it’s having a physical effect.  I want to fix it, I want to make it better.  I want to wave a wand and heal the wife, wave that same wand and repair the husband, swish and flick that wand and protect the children.  And then I just want to be nearby, watching, and not interfering.  It’s not my life but it’s close by.  I’m terrified of what this will do to my Nikolai.  He’s never lived through trauma this close before – as the youngest of his generation, most of the grandparents, great-aunts and uncles were gone before he noticed or weren’t close enough for him to feel it.  I have a tendency to exaggerate my own importance and abilities and responsibilities, and therefore I feel like it’s my job to protect this family from the worst of it.  I feel like it’s my job, as the only one in the mix who’s lived through this before, to maintain communication with the wife and husband, respectively, help Nick talk through what he’s experiencing so he can process it and deal, and coach the other adults through proper grieving channels and habits to minimize the damage that is sure to go down.  I don’t want years of bad blood.  I don’t want severed connections because of judgments and misinformation and hurt.  I don’t want these people, my new family, to know what I knew, growing up.  Being shunned by extended family on the other side, not mentioning his name, her name, pity in their eyes, and satisfaction too.  Satisfaction that it was difficult to survive, that we were all damaged by it.  Studiously not mentioning a two or three year span of time, because that’s when it was worst.  Charity from school and church, whispered conversations with glances in our direction, and ostracism so delicate it was almost imperceptible, except it was right there, because my parents had failed.  They couldn’t hack it.  They weren’t strong enough, didn’t pray enough, didn’t try hard enough.  If they had really tried, surely they’d still be married and happily prosperous, and touting God’s miracles.  If my mother had been a good wife, she’d have submitted.  Ew.  Okay sorry for the rant, I just . . . I’ve lived through a divorce and I want the second time to not be as bad as the first.  And there are all these people I care about, who will have to live through this too, and they don’t know what comes next or what to expect.
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