Usually the one who has disappeared is found at some point in time ~ dead. So what happens to the children?
I don't mean who gets custody, whether it be the spouse or the in-laws. What happens to them mentally? In this case I'm reflecting on the Susan Powell case which began shortly before Christmas two years ago. Her boys were two and four.
It seems husband Josh had an urge to go camping at 12:30 a.m. in December, took the boys with him and returned to find his wife missing. This is so ludicrous I have trouble getting my head around it but the police have not yet been able to connect husband with wife's disappearance.
But what about the boys? There must have been strife in the household. This affects kids. They often blame themselves when their parents split. How must they feel when one disappears? Gone. Out of their lives. How does a a 2 and 4 year old absorb this?
Life goes on. Husband takes the boys and moves in with his father. Two years later old Dad is arrested himself for having taken secret videos of women and girls, including the boys' mother, doing what they do in a bathroom. Grandpa has been arrested! The boys, now 4 and 6, are removed from the home until child welfare decides who should have custody. Again, how do a now four and six year old process this?
I remember the strangest things from my childhood even now. How accurate those recollections are I have no idea, but I can remember things from way before school age. As these boys grow up, what will be embedded in their psyche?
I would suppose studies are made of such children. To see how they process the events and what effect it has on them. It seems to me it would be a terrible burden on a child's mind. Will they roll with it? Will they be bitter and rebellious? Only time will tell what sort of citizens they will grow up to be.
It's sad. They've had a horrendously traumatic start to their lives. I hope there will be appropriate guidance available to them as they begin to mature and have a better grasp as to what has happened to them. It's there. If only in the subconscious or a state they have yet to fully grasp.
It brings to mind a comment made in a F. Scott Fitzgerald novel about the mental decline of a friend:
The change came a long way back-but at first it didn't show. The manner remains intact for some time after the morale cracks.You just never know if or when someone will crack from something long in their past. So what will happen to these kids?