Reviews for ‘That’s Not My Ending!’
"That's Not My Ending!" is a thought provoking, illustrated book that unashamedly asks some appropriate hard questions of separating parents. It looks at relationship breakdown through eyes of Toni (9) and Seanie (10). It is harrowing and impactful. It is, in my opinion, essential reading for a parent in the unfortunate situation where they cannot or do not wish to stay with the parent of their children. It should make you think twice about how you go about the process to better respect the needs of your children. You may or may not wish to then read it with your children. If you do not, you will at least be left with the searching questions as to what life must be like for them. Questions that could otherwise be clouded by adult grief.
Sharon Morrissey writes this book from a place of hardened "kick in the butt" realism. A toxic high-conflict divorce is horrible on the children. We all understand this in the abstract. In this powerful, illustrated book, Morrissey brings her professional and personal experiences together to slap the reader in the face with the reality of the effect of high-conflict divorce on children. The book does have its own palatable ending, albeit a realistic and grounded one! When one looks at the work Morrissey is doing as a practitioner in the family breakdown sector, it is clear that this book is a weapon designed from her experience. A weapon that she hopes will help jolt those who come in contact with the industry into an appropriate choice of forum for resolving their dispute - a forum that would best place the needs of affected children at the centre of any necessary conversation. If introduced to a separating family, this book could do more for that family than the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
This book conveys a fundamentally important message to separating families and their children: it is OK not to be OK in the wake of relationship breakdown, and it is important to keep talking to each other. Using easily understandable and appropriate language, Sharon conveys the heartbreak and confusion children may feel, and she gives practical, concrete advice while avoiding the platitudes that so often feature in literature on relationship breakdown.
A must for any separating parent and their children.
Sabine Walsh, Mediator, Trainer, and Lecturer
“Parents: read this book—first for yourself and then for your children. You will be glad you did.
Divorce is tough on everyone. And, everyone needs comfort and support. This book does that, and more.
The story of Seanie and Toni is true—this is what happens to children and to their parents. Their story is a comforting and helpful tale of how parents and children can find their way through scary and uncertain times.
Children can get lost in the upheaval of their parents' divorce. They retreat into their own worlds. They have no control over their parents’ decisions; they just have to live with them. So they look for ways to cope with uncertainty and unpredictability. Some may not be able to tell their parents what they need. Others assume their parents are too busy, too angry, too distracted, or too worried.
But, there is a way through these difficult times. This beautifully written and illustrated book gives both parents and children a way to come together, to talk honestly about how divorce is upending their lives. And, by talking, it’s possible to find good, practical solutions.
Please read and use this book!”
Michael D. Lang, Mediator, Trainer, Consultant and Coach
“That's Not My Ending! is quite an inside-out story by Sharon Morrissey. Her artistry applied from personal and professional experience weaves provocative themes, seeking to give children the words and permission to experience and share their own stories. I think she succeeds. I succumbed to the temptation of expropriating the title for use as my mantra. But where I had to struggle decades to experience my loss in order to share it and heal, That's Not My Ending! offers children and parents an opportunity to get right down to business. Which is to say, when I was Seanie's age, it was not my ending either. I especially like the exclamation point.
In addition to the load taken on by Toni and Seanie, the story conveys the regression of the parents and their inability to stay present as loving adults for the children as a result of their own trauma, which is something many of us can identify with. This got me thinking of each parent as the goose who lays the golden egg and how important it is for each to somehow find affirmation, guidance and perspective in healthy triangulation, i.e., healthy intimates, therapy and mediation to get what they need to be present for their children. And of course, none of us gainfully do life alone, even under the best of circumstances. It did seem a stretch to imagine the children coming up with those bottom-line questions to pose to their parents, but they serve a purpose and seem within the realm of possibility, especially when they find life as they know it on the line.
Overall, the book seems to hit the issues that a 7- to 10-year-old going through the losses of divorce could relate to. And what a heads-up for parental collaboration in the service of their children's welfare. Thanks for sharing.”
Dan Murphy, Childcare Centre Manager
I just love the book. It’s brilliant, and I can see it being very helpful to lots of different people: children, parents, grandparents and all those who support them. An enormously useful resource in what can all too often be a life-altering trauma. Compassionate, courageous and told from the heart, That’s Not My Ending! is a crucial beacon for our times.
Orla Tuohy, National Parenting Lead Tusla & Lifestart Foundation
For couples experiencing conflict in relationship breakdown, this book provides extremely useful insight into the child’s perspective and experience. It is a valuable reminder not just of the importance of allowing children to be heard, but also the importance of really listening, and this includes listening not just with your ears, but with your eyes. Through the individual eyes of Toni and Seanie, Sharon also highlights the effect separation can have on the sibling relationship—a fact that is very often overlooked. Most importantly, it’s a message of hope for those struggling with relationship breakdown. You can change your ending!
Deirdre Burke, Solicitor at Burke Legal, The Abbey Centre, St. Patricks Road, Wicklow
"You have created a gentle, simple story that reflects the experience for many children whose parents are in distress when they move apart - and cannot see the impact that their own pain and anger is having on their children"
Dr. Roisin O’ Shea.
“I read your book and I love it. I think it is lovely that you brought it back to basics and that it concentrates on the emotions a lot plus finding ways of getting through something so difficult like a separation in the family. It will definitely be a great help for my work with children”
Anika Sparling- The Green Room Counselling.