Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 1, 2013.

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"Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood", is a book focusing on adult children who have been abandoned by family.

UPDATE! (March 18, 2013): 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.

Ashley F. Miller of Freethought Blogs, disowned for having an interracial partnership, will also be telling her story.

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UPDATE!! (February 26, 2013): Thank you for funding our book!

We are overwhelmed by your outpouring of support for this project. We can't say thank you enough!

Reaching our goal early means we still have time to make this an even better product than we imagined!

Have you been disowned by family members because of your sexual orientation? Interracial relationship? Religious conversion? Or other reasons? If so, you are not alone.

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.

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.

Excerpt:

"I had a very strange realization recently: I don’t know what it’s like to be someone’s adult child. My parents didn’t have the privilege of seeing me come of age. When I was married, my father wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle. When I struggled with infertility, my mother wasn’t there to comfort me. I missed out on seeing the pride in their eyes when I received my degrees. I wasn’t able to discuss politics or philosophy or any other complex subject matter with them. No, my parents aren’t dead, but I grieve for them just the same.

I’ve been estranged from my parents for nearly ten years. It doesn’t impress them that I live a pretty decent life. I’ve never been arrested, don’t do illicit drugs, I have a graduate degree, I’ve been married for 12 years, I volunteer dozens of hours a month. Still, I am a disappointment. They have one reason for rejecting me: I do not share their religious beliefs. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I am an Atheist…"

For more information and updates, please visit www.GrievingForTheLiving.com.

How your donation will be used:

$1000- graphic design, marketing, formatting

$500- printing

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We are still gathering personal stories therefore there may be delays with printing.

We will work with all of our supporters to ensure that you are satisfied.

Visit www.GrievingForTheLiving.com for updates and to submit your story.

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