Spoiled Children of Divorce


Getting To Know the Missing Parent

Many kids experience the loss of one of the parents.  The double relationships are too complicated for day to day life.  The manipulations and fighting are miserable.  The transferring back and forth and constant planning and arranging for meeting times.  The awkward hellos and good-byes that aren’t supposed to exist in a family.

One parent leaves.  Usually this is the Father.  Sometimes its the Mother. Abandonment by Father is acceptable by society, abandonment by Mother is not.  This generally leads to a feeling of confusion and anger for the kid, especially as an adult.  There’s a subtle coldness in the eyes of these people if you talk about your parents to them.  The parent is out there somewhere, irresponsible and indifferent, maybe dead, maybe not.  Fathers will often summon their daughters back once they find out they are dying.  I remember this happening to a friend of mine.  The Father had left the family destitute and on welfare long ago.  He remarried and lived in wealth with his new family, very rarely paying attention to his first three children who were left with a mother who sort of went insane.  Suddenly he offered to let the girl live with the family.  Turns out they needed a nurse.

The new Mickey Rourke movie Warrior shows this situation.  Rourke is an aging professional Wrestler who has a heart attack and can’t wrestle anymore.  He suddenly remembers that he has a daughter and he messes up with her one last time. She, of course, gets screwed one last time.

I have no idea what happens when the Mother tries to reconnect.  I’ve actually never known anyone in that situation. I do remember a Meryl Streep movie about this.  The Son is Gay and dying from AIDS.  His Mother has abandonned him years before.  Meryl makes you sympathize with her, of course.  These situations always require so much sympathy, that’s the problem.  There’s a grim, levelled off sense of completion if you can sympathize with a person’s guilt.

Often Divorce can make the situation work so that a relationship can develop between the missing parent and the child.  This happened for me.  My Father said in part he wanted to be able to connect with his kids.  This was partly true and mostly a stupid manipulative thing to say. He shouldn’t have married my friend’s mother if I meant anything to him.  But he used it as an excuse.  And I did get to know him.  And if you get to know your parent you get to know your gene pool.  Sometimes that’s not desireable, sometimes it’s very useful.

I can say after the fact that I would have been better off if I hadn’t taken all that extra time to get to know him because it led ultimately to more hurt.  I had to watch what he did to my mother, then I had to have it done to me, then I had to have it done to me through his wife.  Once is enough.  Best to cut the cord.  That’s only my opinion, but my opinion comes from experience.  But, I did get to know him.  I do know that he really did try.  I probably lost a big part of my self-respect helping him to be a parent.  My feelings for him are still one of shock and indifference.  I don’t think a human soul can open up that kind of a box.


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: