Spoiled Children of Divorce

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Isabella Blow

English fashion icon Isabella Blow was a Child of Divorce.  Blow was a magazine editor, muse and stylist for major fashion designers.  She became famous for wearing eccentric hats.  She said it was “to keep everyone away from me.”  How Child of D’ ish.

Blow related much of her personal problems to problems from childhood.  When she was 4 years old her younger brother drowned in a swimming pool.  Her parents’ marriage slowly fell apart after that.  They separated in 1972 when Blow was 14 years old.  The parents divorced 2 years later when she would have been around 16 years old.

She said that her Mother, a Lawyer, left her with her 2 younger sisters by  “shaking each daughter by the hand.”  Children of Divorce learn early on that it’s difficult to say Good-Bye.

I believe that both parents remarried.  Blow didn’t get along with her Father’s new wife and daughters and worked for years at low wage jobs to support herself.

Blow’s life shows several other difficult rejections, possibly due to her struggle with Bipolar illness.  Alexander McQueen was one of the designers whose careers she built up. He ignored her after he became successful.  Isabella’s Father disinherited her.  She found out that she couldn’t have children and then was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Blow’s first marriage ended in divorce.  Her second marriage was difficult.

Blow was severely depressed during her last years and tried to kill herself at least a couple of times.  In 2006 she told her friends that she was going shopping, but instead drank a bottle of weedkiller and ended her life.   Her husband’s Father had also committed suicide in this way.

3 Comments so far
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I found your blog through a link from The Grown-Up Child, and I’ve been reading through the archives. I’m really glad I found it. My parents divorced when I was in my 20’s, but mainly I was looking for more information about what it’s like for kids who are still minors when their parents divorce and remarry. I’m a stepmom, and I’m trying to understand more about where my stepkids are coming from. I know this blog isn’t for me, but reading it has helped me, I think.

Comment by Jill

Hi Jill, just want to make sure you understand this — sometimes I say negative things about step-parents. I don’t do that to be mean but because abusive step-parents are a problem for many kids who have them and I’d rather address the needs of an abused kid than the needs of a greedy and repressive adult.

Even if the step-parents aren’t abusive the situation can be very uncomfortable and not “family-like.” I get a lot of heat from the step-parents, mostly the step-mothers, which aggravates the situation. So, this blog is probably going to be difficult for you to read. Hope you have read Elizabeth Marquardt’s book as she has published findings from a real study and has asked some important questions. Stephanie Staal has also written a great book in which she quotes a lot of grown up kids.

Either way, this does not mean that I think that step-parents are evil. (Although Statistics might prove a very high percentage). I am tending to believe these days that the situation in step-families creates a hostile and unfair environment for kids to grow up in even if nobody is directly abusive. I don’t have answers here but I do have opinions. I’m trying to take a look at what the kids are going through just because the “experts” won’t and that absolutely disgusts me.

People can only experiment with trying new solutions if they will face the reality of a situation. The Golden Rule is the best place to start. For some reason people don’t apply that rule to their own kids…

Comment by toothless

I think I get where you’re coming from and I’m just glad to have found this blog. I think one of my stepkids might be feeling a lot of the feelings that you’re writing about. My stepkid doesn’t communicate very much, and it just helps to get a sense of what the anger feels like for this person and what they might be thinking. I don’t know for sure, but what you write feels like it might fit what this child has going on inside. It’s okay if it’s hard to read. I would much rather face the reality of the situation, like you wrote… It helps to have the feelings explained and expressed. Of course, this child might be feeling different things — I can’t know for sure. I just feel like I’ve been sailing in the dark, and like maybe I’m seeing a few stars I can start to navigate by. (Even if that just means backing off and respecting the child’s pain.) I’m glad to have found your blog.

Comment by Jill

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