Spoiled Children of Divorce

Two New Movies: “Twilight” and “Rachel Getting Married”

I haven’t been going to many movies lately but this week-end I’ve gone to two.  Both were about Children of Divorce.

First was Twilight.  It’s a teeny bopper Vampire movie.  The heroine, Bella, a high school Junior, moves to the Pacific Northwest to live with her Father who she hasn’t really spent much time with.  Her Mother has just remarried a baseball player who travels around the country a lot so she can’t keep Bella around.   Relations with Dad are awkward and there are a lot of telephone calls with Mom.  Nobody, absolutely nobody, is angry.

However, the Pacific Northwest being what it is, everyone is pretty much depressed and pale, very pale.  What a great situation for meeting and falling in love with a Vampire in Chemistry class.  Vampires like the sunless landscape because they can hang around during the day.  Anyhoo, all kinds of trauma erupts out of from this awkward, romantic, very steamy and innocent relationship.  The Vampire is sort of a Vegetarian vampire who doesn’t kill people but he sure does lust after their blood.  Bella throws herself right after him because she has some sort of compulsive need to prove that she can trust a guy with such intense instincts to hurt her.  Is that Child of D stuff, or what?  At any rate, I guess Vampire psychology involves all things that can wrong with … Blood Ties, ah hem…

I didn’t know what I was going to see and I liked the movie okay.  The kids who read the books seem to universally think the movie is awful.

Out of curiosity I tried to see if the writer, Stephenie Meyer is a child of D.  Apparently not; she just really worshipped the Brady Bunch as a kid.  That’s so annoying.

The other movie I saw is called “Rachel Getting Married.”  It’s a psychological drama about being psycho in a family setting.  Kym is the psycho, very well performed by Anne Hathaway.  She is an addict who is getting out of rehab to attend her Sister’s Wedding. The tensions of adjusting to real life in such an intense week-end sort of brings out her whole story.  At 16 Kym committed an unpardonable sin while high and has to confront all of her family members over this for the first time sober.  All the while preparing for the festivities.  By the time she puts on the Brides Maid’s dress she is covered with scratches and has a Black Eye.

The relationship with the parents is well portrayed from a Child of D point of View.  The Father is the dominant care taker. He’s loving and caring and completely forgiving.  The Mother is the negative character who is left out and can’t deal with her sub-par role in the whole hierarchy.  The Step Mother is totally cool and never complains about a thing.  She also doesn’t leave the Father alone for a minute with the kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if these filmmakers really do come from Divorce. One of them certainly must be a step-parent.

Both movies portray positive images of Step Parents.  That’s good for the Step-Parents.  It might be good for the kids as well as they might get a piece of their inheritance down the road if they maintain a low profile in the family.

As a matter of fact I’m seeing nothing but positive images of Step-parents in the media.  The new Coke commercial has a joyous jingle for the Season about the joys of Coca-Cola and Step-Families.  Since all kinds of new scientific evidence is coming out about the toxicity of carbonated beverages I guess this makes sense.  Plus, we all know who is in charge of Daddy’s money — Step-Mothers are a great target for the marketers.  (Reminder:  I’m not talking about all step-parents here, only the ones to whom it applies.  Unfortunately, these people don’t know, or care, who they are).

I’m beginning to notice the way that Step-Mothers are very critical of Biological mothers.  This happens in the movies and it happens more in real life.  (Miaow, the cat fight never ends.)  It certainly happened in my family.  Women are still treating each other like poo.  Liberation has a ways to go.

Neither movie showed Step-Sibling relations.  The relationship between Rachel and Kym in “Rachel Getting Married” is very strong.  Sibling relationships that go through this extra stress, of course, are going to be different from those in Intact families.  Either the bonds are stronger or they are considered as ridiculous and expendable as the parents’ marriage.  I don’t know if studies have been done.  Probably not.

Article Asking Kids What They Think About Parents’ Dates
November 21, 2008, 4:58 pm
Filed under: links to articles, Mentally Ill parents, Parents and their Dates | Tags:

Link to article called “8 Rules for Dating My Parent” by Nina Malkin.  These rules are pretty good.  The article avoids talking about how to remain in kid mode while Mom and Dad exploit their Peter Pan mentality and relive datingin High School over and over again. That’s what this is really all about, isn’t it?  (Peter Pan parents are fun and open and youthful but often sort of competitive with their kids, aren’t they?)  The author doesn’t ask the kids how they actually feel about having a Parent who dates.  It wouldn’t be safe for the kid to respond I suppose.  But, does the child compare himself with his friends’ families who are intact?  Does the kid feel like his life is more special because his homelife is more changeable (I was going to say volatile…) and kid-like?  Parents who date are often much more “cool” and up to date on current trends.  That might be a plus, or it might just be a shallow, immature lifestyle.

As usual, the children of parents who don’t wonder about how the child is reacting to their Dates must repress their experiences.  There’s no therapy for this down the road once the child get older.  There is only a superficial diagnosis of Depression, Anxiety, Anger and Lack of Trust which is mostly seen as a result of Chemical Imbalance and Bad Habits that can be reframed through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Since people who divorce a lot probably have addictions and mental illness, wouldn’t it be more to the point to help the kids who have to grow up in that situation?  Why do the “Helper/Healers” in the world always seem to avoid the people who really need help?  Why doesn’t this article tell the parents to start looking deeply at themselves and their own problems so that at least they won’t repeat their mistakes?  The article could address how one’s Narcissicism, Instability, and Mistakes affects one’s child.   Or it could address How to help little Junior whose Mom is drinking a 1/5 of Vodka or a Carton of Gallo?  Just think what kinds of Dates she brings home.  Just imagine what contortions go through her brain as she reads this article while in hangover mode and screaming at the kids just because her swollen head can’t handle anything but Diet Coke and Tylenol.  Mostly she’s concerned with trying to remember what that strange man is doing in the house. Those are the kids who need the help.

On the plus side, most people who Mom brings home in this case probably grew up in bad situations themselves and are naturally sensitive enough to understand these principles.

This was just supposed to be a link to a reasonable blog entry about Parents of Children of D and it turned into the usual questioning of how the real problems always manage to slip by.  So sorry, but this is so frustrating.  Hopefully time to get back on track.  Note to self:  figure out how to turn off comments sections of Step-Parenting threads so as not to get distracted by said crazy situations.

Sorry I ended up butchering this article.  I really did think it was good, just avoided the real problems involved in order to provide quick solutions.  The parents who read this honestly will think they’ve done absolutetly everything in their powers to make things right for their kids.  It’s a real trick to try to balance developing as an individual and developing as a part of a relationship.  This is going to be a real distraction from the kids.  In Intact families the kids don’t have to deal with their parents going through this (often they wish for it, though) and live a much more carefree inner existence.


Living With Strangers; Step-Families
November 14, 2008, 6:16 pm
Filed under: separate households, Stepfamilies, Uncategorized

It’s interesting in how acceptable it is to recognize that one does not get along with one’s In-Laws but that one must “Love” one’s step-parents.  In trying to get people from Intact Families to understand Step-Families I suppose I would describe the In-Law relationship as being most similar to Step-Families.  Same blending of dissimilar tribal habits, same blending of different styles of care and lifestyle, same trying to understand different senses of humor and same God-awful phoney grins as everyone tries to get along.

The Difference is that the Children are only kids and have no say whatsoever in what happens unless they act out.  The Parents are supposedly joining in Love, or at least faking Love in order to get stability and financial security.  The Children are being towed along and are probably being subjected to their parents’ blind eye to their partner.  The Children have no control over the situation whereas Mothers and Fathers in Law have been preparing to marry their children off to someone that they will probably loathe since the children are born.  Plus, the Children must be dependent on the Step-Parent.  And must live in close contact with Step-Parent.  In many countries it’s not uncommon for In-Laws to move in with In-Laws so people might be more accepting of living with strangers.  Divorce is also much less common in these societies I think but am not sure.  In the U.S. there is no societal precedent for living with strangers; a person’s family is supposed to be a special private and intimate affair.  A Child who lives in two families has two sets of these private, personal, often hostile environments to join together.  Tossing an overbearing, know-it-all step-parent into the mix would be overwhelming for anybody.  The kid knows two sets of secrets.

As I’ve said before, if an adult was thrown into the experience that a child must go through during a Divorce, he/she would leave the situation.  It’s simply too stressful.

Noel Tyl Article
November 3, 2008, 9:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a link to an article written by Astrologer Noel Tyl giving some ideas on how to help one’s children.


“Supporting and Inspiring Our Young.”  October 30, 2008

Noel Tyl is a Child of D.  He’s honed down about 12 points in a person’s astrological chart in which to look for developmental problems that stick around after childhood.  It’s fascinating work.