“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 approximately 20 others will be recounted in the book. We’ve approached disownment from several angles including religious 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 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.
The hope is that by publishing this work and researching disowned adults, we will be able to shed light on this issue and to help these individuals know that they are not alone.
Although it has become increasingly common, little research has been conducted on this issue, which leaves a gap in support and resources for those who have been abandoned by their families. We hope to change this.
Update: Nathan Phelps of Center for Inquiry- Calgary and estranged son of the controversial preacher Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church has agreed to write the foreword for the book.
To donate: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1433423258/grieving-for-the-living