Spoiled Children of Divorce

Wah-Wah and Exemplary Children of Divorce – Richard E. Grant

Hope to track this one down:  Wah-Wah is an autobiographical/semi-autobiographical movie written and directed by Richart E. Grant.  Haven’t even heard of it in the U.S.  From a review I read it seems that a young boy must suddenly confront all his parent’s problems (Father’s alcoholism, etc.) after their split.  There’s even a Step-Mother loaded into the story, and it’s based on real life events.

Here’s a synopsis from IMBD:

Set at the end of the ’60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents’ traumatic separation, till he’s 14. It is written and directed by Richard E Grant, and based on true events from Richard E Grant’s childhood.

The “Gift” That Keeps On Giving
July 17, 2008, 6:56 pm
Filed under: links to articles

Here’s a link to another article called “Divorce Doesnt’ go Away:  the new Wallerstein-Lewis study traces 25 years of the effects of divorce on children” by Claudia Miller.

“Few parents get divorced without thinking of how it will impact their children.  But what has surprised family researchers is how long the effects of divorce last.  The children in this study are now approaching 30.  Divorce has been a major factor in their experiences growing up, and Wallerstein and Lewis contend that “its impact increases over time.”


Kids Talking
July 17, 2008, 6:49 pm
Filed under: links to articles, Uncategorized

Forgot whether I already linked to this article already.  If I did here it is again.  Divorce as described by the Kids who went through it in an article called “My Life as a Game Piece:  Kids talk about their experiences with parents’ divorce” by Lindsay Spann.  The article was originally published in the Jan-Feb 1998 Children’s Advocate published by Action Alliance for Children.  The writer was in the 8th Grade.


“In the Monopoly Game of Divorce, kids become the game pieces that are moved from square to square by adults dealing with issues of property, control, and money.  Kids interviewed in Los Angeles–from 11 years to 15 years old, of different ethnicities, from bargain Baltic Avenue to expensive Park Place–shared similar feelings:  They don’t like being manipulated game pieces.  Even though the split may have occurred 10 years ago, it has been the biggest single event in their lives and is still painful today.  With the exception of a few who were told never to discuss it, most appreciated the chance to talk about divorce because they had no other place to do that.”

Exemplary Child of Divorce – David Axelrod
July 15, 2008, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Exemplary Children of Divorce, Mentally Ill parents, Suicide

To balance out the last blog entry about conservative political mastermind Karl Rove, I’ve found an example of a liberal political mastermind in the strategist advisor for Barack Obama. David Axelrod is also a Child of Divorce.

Here’s a quote that Axelrod made of Karl Rove:

This, Axelrod says, is what Karl Rove understood about George W. Bush. “One of the reasons Bush has succeeded in two elections,” Axelrod says, “is that in his own rough-hewn way he has conveyed a sense of this is who I am, warts and all.”

The descriptions of Axelrod don’t make sense to me right now. He is said to be very involved and personable with reporters. And he is described as hunched over and exhausted. He describes himself as idealistic. And he is described as “cut-throat”. “He can do it very delicately, to the point that you may not realize he is slicing your head off.” At any rate, nobody has described him as Bubbly.

Axelrod was born in Manhattan, New York to a journalist Mother and a psychologist Father. His parents divorced when he was 8 years old.

Axelrod’s Father killed himself at Age 19. Axelrod didn’t ackowledge this for another 30 years when he is said to have written an article about Depression.

Axelrod graduated from the University of Chicago with some difficulty. Seems he had to spend an extra Semester completing courses he had left incomplete. (described in NY Times article linked to above).

Axelrod has been married since 1979 and has three children.

Although on completely different sides of the political fence both men went through severe traumas concerning their Fathers at Age 19.  They have both become prominent for extreme intelligence and understanding of human nature. And they both work as Advisors in extremely successful political campaigns. Rove is described as extremely competitive and Axelrod is described as extremely aggressive at the political level.  You grow up watching a Divorce, you understand the basics of human nature at a very intense scale.

Bad Children of Divorce – Karl Rove

I regret having starting this category called “Bad Children of Divorce.”  I sound like somebody’s Step-Mother already.  The word “Bad” should be replaced with something like “Notorious” or “Misinformed.”  Once you read what these people go through from their families it’s really difficult to call them “Bad.”  Well, Rove seems to have been born a right-winger which is not necessarily good, but still.

I’m writing this to compare with the next blog entry about Barack Obama’s Advisor who is also a Child of Divorce.  They are comparable in their understandings of how to work the systems, how to manipulate, depth of understanding of human nature, and also in a really creepy way, their actual stories.  (Pay attention to Age 19 for both men.)

Ex-Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove is a Child of Divorce. He was a Child of a Really Crazy unhappy Divorce too.  Most of Bush’s political successes and failures are attributed to Rove’s strategic planning. His opinions are abnormally right wing and considering the family he grew up in this doesn’t make sense.

According to Wikipedia and other internet sources Karl Rove’s biological Father left his Mother when Rove was still very young. I’m still working on trying to find out what age. At the time Rove had one older brother. The Father was a Geologist.

Rove’s Mother married a second time to another Geologist. Rove grew up thinking this man was his Biological Father which wasn’t really that abnormal for that generation. It was certainly a stressful game for the parents to have to play, though, and the shame resulting from such games and the shock on the child when he/she finds out later is a good reason for keeping Divorce up and running in society.  Best to make it safe for people to admit what they’ve done and move on.

The family had 3 more children; I believe two girls and another boy.

At Age 9 Rove was beaten up by a girl for defending Richard Nixon. In High School he says that he was a totally uncool nerd.

Karl Rove’s adopted Step-Father left his Mother and his family on Dec. 24, 1969 because he was Gay. This would have been the day before Rove’s 19th Birthday.

According to the website “The Carpet Bagger Report” Rove’s Mother took off shortly after and left Rove to fend for himself in College. She contacted him later on when he was in his mid-20’s when she needed money. In 1981 she committed suicide by gassing herself in her car in Reno, NV. If the following link is legitimate you can read Karl Rove’s emotional description of having to deal with this: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/8531.html. It’s pretty sad. Basically he was abandoned and rejected by both of his real parents.

Meanwhile, at some point between the ages of 19 and 21, an Aunt and Uncle had told Karl that his adopted step-father was not his Biological Father. One account I read said that he met his biological father while in his 40s.

Karl Rove did not graduate from College.

Rove’s adopted step-father died in Palm Springs around 2004 from Lung Cancer. It is said they had a loving relationship although Rove is extremely anti-Gay.

Rove married his first wife in 1977. This marriage lasted only until 1979.

He has been married to his 2d wife since 1986. They have one son, Andrew, in 1989.

Richer and Sadder?
July 15, 2008, 5:38 pm
Filed under: money, Possible Personality Traits of Children of D.

A huge leap in Divorce Rates in the 1970s means that people who grew up in that batch are now in their 30s and 40s.

By coincidence, studies have shown that these kids are unhappier than previous generations.

They’re also a lot richer. Financial consultants say that people who come to them looking for advice on how to deal with gobs of money are no longer Trust Fund kids but people who have made the money on their own.

I heard a financial advisor say this on the radio while I was driving (NPR?) and don’t recall whether he said what careers are prominent in these wealthy people’s lives. I assume it was the Tech Industry which means that a lot of the money has gone to Males rather than Females. I’ve also discussed before that I think that High Tech and the rise of the Cool Dork in society could possibly be spawned from the split families.

Are the sad people of this generation the ones who have watched others their age living in the money? Or are they the rich ones? Since money is the major indicator of success in American culture at least this is a huge indicator of social happiness, whether the spiritual types want to admit it or not. They certainly are free at this young age to run off and do as they please with the rest of their lives.

Ease of long distance transportation could be a factor as kids are no longer stuck in their small towns with no opportunity for growth. If they come from Divorce they would also have had no family to hold them back. (They also don’t have family to fall back on).

Children of D are certainly more aware of finances at an early age from watching all the negotiating, and fighting, between their parents. So perhaps it was easy for them to accumulate more at an early age. They have been raised as Tax Deductions whose financial value runs out at Age 18.

So much for wondering. Psychologists don’t recognize unhappiness as a signature for Children of D. because they’re such such malcontents themselves. And most grew up in Intact families, no doubt as the whiners of their families.

Talking With the Parents About their Wills
July 14, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: indifferent parents, Inheritance & Wills, money

The Sunday San Jose Mercury News was just brimming today with interesting articles to link to. The link below discusses talking with parents about their finances and last wishes.  People who grew up in split homes are likely to have grown up observing really intense negotiations over finances so this is either easier to do with their parents because it’s familiar behavior, or it will bring up long lost stress over having watched the fighting.

Just wait until the parents get old, sick and infirm.  You’ve got two sets of them to care for.  Each set doesn’t acknowledge that the other set exists.  Talk about a lonely existence and feelings of being used.  After all, if you grew up in a divorced family you already know that you received less parenting than people who didn’t.

Now you’ve also got their Spouses to fight with over who gets what.  This is already a taboo subject, very difficult to discuss.  People don’t want to discuss their Death. The don’t want to discuss their stuff and their money. They’ve already spent an entire Divorce or two fighting over that.  The step-parents will accuse the kids of being selfish if they bring the subject up.  And just try having to face doing it twice!!!  If the parents are remarried the kids at least will have less responsibility for their care.

Parents don’t understand that how they write their Wills and what they leave to their Children is their last statement to them and ultimately to the world. The kids won’t talk about being disinherited but it is an extremely humiliating and cold statement for a parent to make to his/her kid.

Someone called up my brother and I to ask about our Father.  My brother’s response was “I don’t have anything to share about him.  He didn’t even leave me a pencil. Forget about him.” (And then he gave a very nice statement).  My Father’s career will be almost forgotten.  His papers, which have probably become collectible, were all left to his wife who no doubt threw everything out that she couldn’t get some money out of.

The article is called:  “Talk with parents about their finances, last wishes.”  by Pamela Yip.  http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9868273

Advice Columnist Tells Dad’s Girlfriend Where to Stick It
July 14, 2008, 1:40 am
Filed under: Authority, links to articles, separate households, Stepfamilies

The Sunday Paper today carries a column written by Carolyn Hax titled: “Dad worries merging homes will upset kids.” The Girlfriend wants to merge the teenage kids into one house and the Dad is concerned his kids will hate him forever if he does this. The Girlfriend figures it will all just work out and doesn’t show any concern for the kids’ situation. There’s nothing unusual about this except that Hax actually rips into her for being a selfish jerk. This is certainly a refreshing attitude which I don’t remember seeing before.  Thank you Carolyn Hax!

Link to the article: http://www.mercurynews.com/style/ci_9868244

Here’s the column:

DEAR CAROLYN: I am almost 50 and have been dating by all accounts (especially mine) one of the finest men on the planet for three years. Our relationship is to the point that we do virtually all things together, maintain a mutual calendar, have daily interaction via phone and face to face, kid celebrations, family events, etc.We each have three high school/college-age kids. For the most part we all get along. He’s a churchgoing Catholic, very successful, thrifty, a doormat for his kids and an over-thinker. I am feeling it is time to merge our lives, as “dating” at this point is quite costly in time and in maintaining two expensive households, while living essentially the same life. He says his kids will not react positively to this “merger” and he will “lose” them.

While I respect there will be a learning curve for all of us, if he really can’t begin to plan on our life together, I am ready to move on. Can you glean any considerations to manage this situation? We love and enjoy one another tremendously, are loyal, compassionate confidants . . . but we have reached a stalemate, and I am growing restless with the situation and skeptical about my life’s path being decided by his children’s contrivances.


DEAR S.G.: If you used the word “contrivance” to describe my desire not to have my world upended when I’m, what, three years from leaving the house? Not even that? Then I’d be angry at my dad for marrying you, too.

Home is a very, very big deal. You may be the adults of these homes, you and your boyfriend. You may be in a position to exercise your will over the will of your children. You may have legitimate reservations about kids who have this much say over their father’s life.But as one of the two adults here, you also have the ability, I hope, both to take the long view and to delay gratification.

You and this man have the rest of your lives to be together, but these kids have just a few years left in the nest. Why should at least three kids have to give up their home – bedrooms, hangouts, neighborhood, touchstones – and the others have to shuffle theirs, to tackle a “learning curve” they don’t need to tackle? To accommodate a situation where, so far, they get along “for the most part”?

I don’t advocate coddling children. When change is necessary for the greater good, then the kids will have to adjust.

But this is change for your good. And these are kids who have already been through one major nest-upending. Maybe your over-thinking doormat is overestimating your patience, or underestimating his kids. But maybe you’re underestimating the goodwill you could demonstrate by holding off on the merger till it displaces the fewest people possible – and by not resenting the kids for it. I wonder what effect it would have on the stalemate if you were to propose this: You and he plan on merging your lives officially when the nests empty out on their own.

Contact Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com.

Psychic Kids

Was channel surfing on TV the other night and stopped at Larry King Live for a show on Psychic Kids.  There’s a therapist who has put together an actual TV show that documents Children who exhibit exceptional psychic talents.  One girl who is 14 now said that she began to have psychic abilities right after her parents’ divorce when she was 6.  I was so proud of her for stating this outright.  Larry King asked her if she thought that the divorce had something to do with this and she said Yes.  I do know that Children of D are much more sensitive than kids from intact families.  It makes sense that one has to develop greater abilities to understand human nature and at such a young age the extra stress and fear can open one up to all levels of existence.

I’ve never heard of this TV show and don’t know what channel it’s shown on.  It would be interesting to see if an abnormally large quantity of the children on it are from Divorce.

Someday hopefully Scientific research will show that extreme stress such as going through one’s parents’ divorce or living in blended families can bring out these traits.  The child might have gifts but I suspect that within a family, especially within a step-family any personality trait of this kind would not be considered ina positive light overall.  These children would be considered manipulative or psychotic and the kids would be tortured extra hard.  Could explain especially why Step-Mothers are so hard on their Step-Daughters.  Women play on these psychic battlefields all the time as it is.

The therapist was pretty good about saying that the kids don’t exhibit symptoms of psychosis and that she thinks they really are having spiritual experiences of some type.  Being a therapist, of course, she couldn’t let the “D” word come out of her mouth.  It is, however, a positive thing that she’s open to developing the childrens’ abilities.  Since Divorce is so common it is best for society to be open to the new forms of thinking that will come from it.  The parents are trying to develop an improved lifestyle for themselves but they expect the children to act as if they live in a normal family.  The whole idea is to improve society, isn’t it?

The young girl said that because of the spirits who were haunting her in her Mother’s house, the family had to move.  That seems stress related and I hope she doesn’t grow up with a continual theme of housing hell. I know that that’s been a major problem in my life and have met others with the same problem.

Sorry I don’t remember the young girl’s name on the show.  But I certainly appreciate her courage to speak openly and honestly.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Ingrid Betancourt
July 10, 2008, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Books, Custody, Exemplary Children of Divorce

Ingrid Betancourt is a Colombian-French Politician who has just recently been released after being held prisoner in the jungles of Colombia by FARC Colombian Terrorists for 6 1/2 years. She was kidnapped while campaigning to become President of Colombia on February 23, 2002. She was the only woman held in the camp and was rescued along with many others being held in the camp (I believe 3 Americans were released as well).

Betancourt just gave an interview on Larry King Live.  What an unbelievably strong and beautiful woman.  The astrologers have been guffawing over the transits on the day of her rescue which are pretty heavy duty and while reading about her I noticed that she is also from a divorced family.

Betancourt’s parents, also involved in Politics, divorced in 1975 when she would have been around 14 years old. They were living in France and Ingrid’s father was granted custody of her and her older sister. Her Mother returned to Colombia.

Ingrid married a fellow student in 1983 and through that marriage received a dual French-Colombian citizenship. The couple had two children, Melanie and Lorenzo, and then divorced around 1990 (?). The children lived with their Father in New Zealand after the Divorce. Betancourt remarried in 1997 and seems to have entered Politics around that time.  I believe she was elected into the Senate.

Betancourt began her campaign for Presidency for the Green Party in 2001 and was kidnapped on Feb. 23, 2002 for campaigning in areas that she had been warned were dangerous.  She was rescued on July 2, 2008.

Her Father passed away a month after she was kidnapped but her Mother is alive.

A book called Letter to My Mother was published a year or two ago that included a letter she wrote while imprisoned. It was apparently released along with a video of her. Her children wrote letters back to her which is included in the book. Betancourt has also written a memoir of her life called Until Death Do Us Part: My Struggle to Reclaim Colombia which was a bestseller in France and Colombia so she has a strong International following.