Spoiled Children of Divorce


Bad Children of Divorce – Rielle Hunter

Rielle Hunter, or the woman who currently goes by the name of, is a real piece of work.  Sad to say, she is also a Child of Divorce.

I’m not saying that this woman’s behavior is in any way typical of a Child of Divorce.  In most cases, I think that this mentality isn’t normal for Children of Divorce and perhaps this is because the divorce came too late in Rielle’s childhood.  Her parents divorced when she was 17 and was recently traumatized by her Father’s awful antics.  Rielle’s Father was a Lawyer who specialized in Insurance.  Her parents bred horses in Florida and her Father became involved in a Fraud scheme in which horses were electrocuted to collect the insurance.  At around the time of the divorce, Rielle was a rider and one of her Father’s buds killed her horse. One sees the shattering of her personality all over her life history.  Wikipedia lists about 5 or 6 names which she has gone by in her life.  I’ve discussed before a few times how there seems to be a pattern where Children of Divorce seem to change their names (for whatever reason, I’m assuming that loss of family = need to break free through disposal of name associated with, but haven’t got a clue).

Can’t tell if Rielle went to college.  If she did, her tenure was short.  Probably wouldn’t have been able to concentrate very well I imagine.  She did move to New York and became a leader influence on the Generation X crowd.  She did drugs.  She had lots of sex.  Her wildness impressed lots of writers and she became sort of a Muse for a couple of different famous writers.  Her boyfriend, writer Jay McInerney,  created a fictional character based on her in a novel called Story of My Life which is said to describe how her behavior is linked to her Father’s treatment of her.  Another writer, Bret Easton Ellis, included a character based on her in his books American Psycho and Glamorama.

Wikipedia lists about six or seven names that she has gone by in her 42 or 43 years of life.

Rielle was married to a lawyer at some point.  She has worked as an actress and a video producer.  And that’s how she met Presidential Candidate John Edwards and became pregnant with his child while he was campaigning for President in 2007.  Right around this time Edwards had discovered that his wife Elizabeth’s Breast Cancer had metastasized and was considered untreatable.

Rielle gave an interview a few months ago to a tabloid and her attitude about her relationship with Edwards was appalling.  Even with the knowledge that his wife Elizabeth was suffering from late stage Breast Cancer, Hunter claimed that she had nothing to do with the break up of their marriage.  This is that weird little statement that I grew up with having to hear.  I called it the Blame Game.  My Step-Mother didn’t break up my parents’ marriage.  It was already waiting for someone like her to come along.

Of course, only a certain type of person can play the blame game.  People with a conscience won’t.  But Divorce is not about getting along with other people.  It’s about get away from them.  Isn’t it interesting how that often that creates a War Zone?

With his estranged wife Elizabeth, John Edwards has had 4 children.  The oldest son died prematurely in a car accident, a very sorrowful experience. The Edwards’ oldest daughter, Cate, is 28 years old and has an established life outside of the home.  The two youngest still live at home, Emma Claire and Jack.

Edwards now has a 2 year old daughter, Frances, with Rielle Hunter, who apparently has turned into her Father.

So, I guess this brings up a couple of questions for me.  First of all, how difficult is it to separate from bad experiences that have happened to you in childhood?  And what are the effects of a divorce on a 17 year old?  I suspect that the general idea is that the kid is already grown and the parenting completely stops.  If anything, the child becomes a substitute spouse who takes on a lot of the household duties and listens to all the problems. A lot of times it seems that everyone lives in the same house together but just goes about their business with the understanding that everyone is in too much pain.

There are no Planetary Return transits for most people (except the Sun-Venus conjunction kids) between the ages of about 14 and 18.9 years old.  It’s as if we are allowed to float on our own for an extended period of time to see how we can deal with life.  At Age 17 we will have completed a Saturn opposition to our natal Saturn.  Saturn represents the Father in the chart, and how we deal with our reputation and our public standing and career status.  Saturn is authoritarian and on an emotional level is cold and can be ruthless and selfish.  Oppositions show literally “opposition” and balance and separation.  We are pulling away from our families in order to build our own personalities.  It takes a certain level of ruthlessness in order to do that.  Saturn rules Boundaries and Barriers and deep Fears and Insecurities.  We use it to say “No” to people and anyone who has trouble saying “No” to people knows how difficult that is for most people to do.  There’s a wisdom in using that power for good.  When it’s used easily and without feeling it becomes a very negative personality trait that can’t interact well with others.  Blame and Guilt are also associated with Saturn.  Saturn is related to the Maturation process and timing.  It represents caution, it understands that slow and steady wins the race.  But, older kids will often have to shift almost instantly from innocence of childhood and of being protected to understanding that their parents can be evil as they observe from their standpoint of being almost adult.  They will have a long memory at this point of what it’s like to be part of a family (for good or bad).

It’s interesting to see how a deep trauma that is experienced at this age can manifest later in life.  Rielle had her Horse taken away from her in return for her Father’s bad behavior.  Once she moved to New York and started imploding in her social life her parents were probably too self involved with their own problems to deal with her.   One can only imagine what her parents’ divorce must have been like.  Now she has turned around and destroyed Elizabeth Edwards’ and her childrens’ lives.



Wondering
June 28, 2010, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I hear on TV or in other Media sources that new statistics are painting certain pictures of society I always sort of wonder why the Divorce Question is never brought up.

1.  I wonder if the rise of reported Suicide and PTSD in the Military is related to soldiers who grew up in Divorce and have no family to rely on for support back at home.

2.  I wonder if the rise of materialism is related to growing up in Divorce.  I wrote a post a long time ago that talked about how it takes twice as much stuff to raise a child in two different homes as it does to grow up in one.  (I sort of raked the book over the coals, which would have been a mistake.) Children of Divorce have one suitcase but probably two of just about everything else.  I wonder if the extremely materialistic nature of the new wave of immigrants is here because they match the mentality of the Children of Divorce.

3.  I wonder if Children of Divorce are not studied or treated by the Psychology profession because this profession is currently female dominated.  Women don’t admit when they are screwing up in anything domestic.  We see that over and over again by the Step-Mothers.  Women on the whole (not all, but a majority) think they can heal by “smoothing out” the boo-boos and telling everyone to accept the status quo rather than by analyzing the boo-boos and looking for new solutions.



Saying No To Divorced Parents
June 23, 2010, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Astrology stuff, Authority

Along with all the “why is my step-daughter such a manipulative bitch” searches in the WordPress stats section of the blog there was a really interesting search logged in today or yesterday.

Someone wanted to know what age is good for saying “No” to Split parents.  I suspect that many Children of Divorce struggle with this.  Double sets of parents, even when the parents are good and kind and knowing and nice, is just too much to deal with except for maybe a few uber extroverted types.  So, I think this is a great thing to ponder. And, as with all things having to do with divorce, the answers are going to change drastically according to individual circumstances.   This blog doesn’t provide advice, but I just want to make this problem more public.  It looks like someone out there with a real problem is looking for a real answer.  I suspect that both of the divorced parents will have conflicting ideas about what a child can and can’t do.  The idea of all the chit chat that has to go on, the committee parenting, just makes me ill.  Maybe, though, it’s better for the child because it brings up real discussion and argument about what is really best.  On the one hand, it’s very neurotic and on the other hand it could lead to some sort of enlightened childhood.  Mostly I just wonder if there is a real distinct point at which children in divorce really do need to decide to tell their parents that they can’t handle the stuff anymore.  There might be more boundary setting.  In Astrology, Boundary setting is ruled by the planet Saturn.  Saturn is also related to depression and fears and most of the really difficult emotional stunting that goes on due to bad parenting (Saturn rules Fathers and Discipline).  So this is a very difficult topic to handle.  It has been determined by experts that absentee Fathers are one of the biggest problems for kids who are growing up.  Literally, kids in Divorce often grow up without the “No” factor existing in their lives in a healthy way.

Saturn also rules Guilt.  We all know about the guilt that Divorced parents feel.  But, we never discuss the extreme levels of guilt that divorced kids feel.

In the Astrological Return Cycle phases kids would probably go through a few different types of saying “No” phases according to how they react to their parents’ divorces.  I’ve been theorizing that they react to their parents’ divorces most strongly according to what age they were at when the divorce first occurred.  They will forever see themselves as this age in a way because this was how they behaved back in the days when they had a family.  Often, parents and siblings impressions of them will freeze at this age as well because this is also when they stopped interacting with each other.

The first biggee Return Cycle I can think of connected with saying “No” is going to be the Mars Return type of “No.”  This is related to the Terrible Two’s and is based on impulse.  Kids have 9 Mars Returns by the time they reach Age 18 when they are officially considered adults.

There are other phases which might be related to saying “No.”  These are the Saturn phases.  The first is a square aspect (square means challenges) which happens around Age 7 or 8.  Children will want to make some decisions for themselves I suppose.  The second is the first Saturn opposition.  This occurs between Age 14.  The Opposition aspect is a way of relating to others by opposing them.  Saturn rules the Father and Authority figures.  These phases are related to a child’s development in using his own Authority which come to a complete rotation at around Age 29.   Saturn also rules Guilt, Bitterness, Resentment, Burdens, and Exhaustion.  So people at this age who are heavily influenced by their parents’ divorce in a Saturnian way will probably have to deal with saying No to their parents during these phases.  Strong Saturn types generally have less of a problem with saying No to other people.  Often they will, instead, struggle with saying “Yes.”  This is due to insecurities and fears.  Saturn literally rules Boundaries and Borders and Walls.

Age 8 and Age 16 are interesting Ages for children who struggle with learning how to say “No” to their parents.  Children who have a natal conjunction of Sun to Venus will experience a big return at these times.  These people seem to follow interesting 8 year cycles during their entire lives.  Venus is the ruler of relationships so these people will struggle especially in early life with feeling like they have to learn how to put up boundaries and borders with other people in order to not be used.  Venus types will often struggle to make up their mind about how much they ought to be relating to others.  Later on in life they often are very clever with politics because they will know more about how to relate to others.  The Sweet 16 Birthday is really significant for a girl.  It describes the Venusian type of personality very well.  A girl begins to date and saying “No” becomes a big part of her relationship awareness.  Or, at least it used to.

Interesting that kids begin to drive at this Age.  That seems to exist outside of anything astrological.

There are no new major planetary Return cycles of phases of cycles between the Saturn Opposition and the first Nodal Return which occurs a little before Age 19.  The kids are I suppose allowed to take off on their own whims and see how things go for them.  They still have to deal with transits, progressions and other problems.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Eminem, Usher, and Justin Bieber

I was looking through today’s USA Today and saw articles about two popular male singers.  One is Eminem who I know grew up in Divorce because I saw the movie 8 Mile.  The other singer who was profiled is Justin Bieber who I don’t even know.  The article said that Bieber is from Divorce as well.

If I’m using accurate Ages for when these two singers, Rap Singer Eminem and Pop Singer Justin Bieber, I think that through these singers’ charts I can show a bit about the influence of Astrological Return Cycles which become prominent in children after their parents divorce and how they can be used creatively in an individual’s life.

To add to things, while doing this research, I began to notice that R&B Singer Usher always seemed to be in the background in pictures of both of these other singers.  So I decided to take a brief look at his chart as well to see if I could see the strong style characteristic differences of the 3 singers including him as well.  I suppose this would be a fun project for someone to do who has more knowledge of the musical styles.

Eminem’s Father left before his son was 2 years old. I’m going to include Eminem in the Mars Return crowd because he truly does reflect the Mars type of personality.  Eminem’s first Venus Return occurred very early, 2 1/2 months before his first Birthday.  Perhaps this shows that he is first and foremost a Venusian.  Venus rules the Voice and Singing so I suppose one can see this emphasis.  He is a Libra so Venus rules his Sun Sign.  And I suppose there may be a huge conflict within his personality in understanding why as a Venusian he expresses himself so strongly as a Mars type.

Eminem’s first Mercury Return would have occurred about a week before his first Birthday.  Mercury went through a Retrograde Period just after his Birthday and I suspect that this would have been an extremely stressful time for finalizing a phase of development in one’s communication skills.  Mercury in Scorpio can be quite sarcastic and secretive and paranoid.  On the other hand it can show a great ability to hold back one’s thoughts and to share them in a very discerning and focused way.  As I’ve said about Mercury, I think it is the Child’s version of perception of a parent’s divorce because 1) it is the lower octave of Uranus which is typically thought to be the major ruler of divorce for adults 2) it is associated with duplicates, split thinking and behaviors 3) it rules Virgo which I’ve discussed before as probably being a major descriptor in Astrology of Children and Divorce.  (Back in the post on how a major Astrology magazine gave rulership of growing up in Divorce to Neptune.  Neptune and its sign Pisces rule Orphans, not children of Divorce.  However, I suggest that the sign opposite Pisces, which is Virgo, is probably very much related to growing up in divorce.  The generation that was created while Pluto was transiting through Virgo experienced the big Divorce boom.

Eminem was born on Oct. 17, 1972.  His first Mars Return was roughly on Sept. 28, 1974 so occurred about a month before his 2d birthday.  So this may line up with when his parents split.

I can’t be positive with Eminem, granted this is all a work in progress, but he certainly seems to represent what a person who lives under strong Mars influence will act and do in life.  Obviously, he is first born and a son.  I believe he is an only child.  As I described, or tried to describe, is that Mars brings early success, it rules the first sign in the Zodiac and typically represents people who will be first in their field in some way.  These are children who in divorce will be sensitive to being demoted by step-families.  Mars is the Warrior and because of that one might expect some impulsiveness in their behavior and times in life when they must deal with rage and anger.  Eminem’s music represents that.  I believe this speaks to the Rapper generation which was based on making one’s statement and stating one’s feelings openly.  Eminem’s had many #1 albums, which shows his #1 vibe.  This is true of the other two singers I’m talking about here as well, though, along with the ability to have success at an early age.

Eminem’s greatest hit is called “Lose Yourself.”  The lyrics certianly show the Mars struggle within relationships.   http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eminem/loseyourself.html.  As I said in my post about Age 2 / Mars kids, these seem to be the ones who blame themselves for their parents’ break-up.  Eminem talks about poverty and with his Mother and with wanting to deal with fame and with wanting to get out of the trailer park.  Mars speaks from its gut, openly and will face the problem head-on.

The beginning lyrics of “Lose Yourself:”

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

So then there’s 16 year teen heart throb Justin Bieber who has only been in the business for 2 or 3 years.  He doesn’t really come across as an angry teenager.  His style is completely different from Eminem’s but he seems heavily influenced by Eminem’s openness and confrontation of problems.  Both Bieber and Eminem share similar stories.  They were oldest sons who moved around a lot with their Mothers during childhood.  They’ve both written songs about wanting to buy their Mothers real homes.  They began to sing at about the same age.

I’m not sure about the timing of Bieber’s parents divorce.  It seems that he is a first born son.  His Mother became pregnant very early on at Age 18.  One source said that Bieber has two younger siblings, a brother and a sister, who live with his Father.  There are differences between Bieber’s childhood and Eminem’s.  Bieber is Canadian, for one.  But he has positive contact with his Father.  And he and his Mother are also very Religious.

If my astrology stuff pans out, I doubt that Bieber’s parents would have divorced when he was Age 2.  One source on the Internet said that Bieber was 2.  Others say that he was 3 and one says that he was 10 years old.  The influence of Jupiter (Age 3, Jupiter square) seems to be strong.  One can see the reliance on Religion, the social wholesomeness of a pop star rather than a rapper.  The Jupiterian sound of Joy in his voice rather than Anger.  These are both very strong topics in Music and the Arts in general so I don’t judge whether one is more important than the other.

In the USA Today article there is even discussion of how Bieber has taken on a Mentor.  This is yet another positive influence for a Jupiterian type.  Bieber also was a “Hockey Geek.” Jupiterian kids will often deal with trauma by becoming obsessed with sports.  And his career began around the time of his Jupiter Return at age 12.  Bieber is also known for his haircut, a sort of bowl style cut that many kids are now getting.  This style influence is Jupiterian, not Mars.  While Mars energy will express itself from the gut and from life experience, Jupiter naturally tends to express itself through Joy and through Higher Education and Religion.  The music of Beethoven is also the extremely passionate side of Jupiter.

So, at any rate, I hope to know at some point what his age really was.

Bieber has written a song about going through his parent’s divorce called “Down to Earth.

From metrolyrics.com:

Mommy, you were always somewhere,
And Daddy, I live out of town,
So tell me how could I ever be, normal somehow?
You tell me this is for the best,
So tell me why am I in tears?
(Woo) so far away and now I just need you here,

He has written another song called “Where are you now” which is supposed to be about his Father.  One can certainly feel the feelings of rejection and abandonment and sorrow of not having a Father around.

If you click on the links you will notice that the kid’s got an incredible voice.  Bieber says this about his parents’ divorce:

“My parents weren’t the type to talk trash about each other,” he says. “Some parents, when they split up, the mom will say, “Your dad’s a jerk,” but mine were never like that. So that definitely made it easier for me. I knew they loved me, and they split up because of them, not because of me.”

Usher’s parents split when their son was one year old. Usher was born 6 years after Eminem but both men are Libras.  Eminem’s birthdate is October 17 and Usher’s is October 14.  (Justin Bieber is a Pisces, born Mar. 1, 1994).

Since Usher was Age 1 when his parents split, he would have been influenced by his Solar Return and also possibly his Mercury and Venus Returns because the Returns for these three tend to occur around the same time as the first Birthday (i.e. Solar Return).  His music does seem to reflect a more Romantic vibe than Eminem’s music.

Turns out that Usher’s first Mercury Return occurred about a week before his first Birthday and his first Venus Return occurred about a week after his first Birthday.  So the energies of these 3 planets sort of “jelled” very close in time to each other.  In a way, Usher is sort of a Poster Boy for representing what I was talking about for this age group.  Unfortunately, I’m having trouble finding much biographical information about his childhood.  Usher was raised by his Mother and has one younger brother.  His Mother has been his Manager and I’m not sure if she still is. Usher began in show business at Age 14.

These Sun-Mercury-Venus types would be very good at understanding popular vibe and they are most comfortable working with others rather than as “lone wolfs”.  The energy is light and plays with relationships.  There is a great romantic spirit through Venus.  And with both Mercury and Venus in the sign of Scorpio there’s a very sexy vibe in Usher’s chart as well. This, of course, shows the Rap roots.  Pluto adds depth to whatever it touches.  And there is an understanding of power and how power works.  These types could have a great idea of what “sells.”

Usher might not have the conflict in his self-expression that Eminem does because he is a Libra type and has this early Venusian trauma experience that sets that influence in his being.

Usher’s chart is interesting to compare for similarities with Eminem’s chart.  Both are Libra Suns, both have Mercury in Scorpio, both have Bucket Shaped Charts.  The Moon is the handle planet in Usher’s chart and Saturn is the handle planet in Eminem’s chart.  Both of these planets represent the parents.  I suspect that Usher wants to Mother everyone around him, or at least wants to turn everyone into his family.  Women are probably very important influences in his life.  And it looks like he has a strong bond with his Mother as she is his business manager.  And Eminem might want to act more as a serious influence who deals with the ideas of Authority through the Saturn handle of his chart.  He may feel that he has a serious message to convey.  There will be ambition and a need to climb over walls to get what he wants. Of course, there will be some sort of issue around parenting, fathering, providing for. And perhaps insecurities surrounding give and take and needing to be in control.

As I said, I’m not very familiar with any of their music.  I think these charts will be interesting to study in the future.  I wonder if it is not easier to become famous at an early age if one is from divorce.  One simply focuses on things outside the family. It seems that the Mothers of all 3 did not remarry. 



Be Happy, Don’t Worry: Study on How Stress of Divorce Makes Kids Stupid (Or at least I think that’s what it’s about)
June 21, 2010, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Link to a study abstract published in 2005 in Cognitive therapy and something or other.  The article is called “Cognition and adjustment among children of separated or divorced parents.”

I think what the study is saying is that children who think that the divorce is a bad experience tend to suffer cognitive impairment.  The kids who couldn’t care less tend to not suffer from cognitive impairment.  Having grown up in divorce, obviously I’m dumb as a board and therefore I can’t understand the lingo in the abstract, so maybe they’re talking about something else.  Mostly it appears that they want to participate in the blame section of the divorce and say that it’s the kids’ fault if they are stressed out.

52 children were tested.  That’s not enough.  The children were between ages 8.5 and 12.  Interesting how the researchers picked kids who are in between the major planetary return cycle phases of Saturn and Jupiter.  The 10 and 11 year olds are going through a much better phase than the 9 year olds, that’s for sure.

So, perk up Children of D.  Your parents love you.  They just can’t get up out of the bed right now to figure out whether or not you’ve eaten in the last 6 months because they’ve been dumped.

Why don’t the researchers study actual life style changes like sleeping patterns, nutrition, and noise levels at home after the divorce?  I mean those are things you can actually do something about.  They could just ask the kids how much junk food they eat as compared with before the divorce.   Try concentrating after eating nothing but Cheetos and Snickers for a year.  Better yet, ask the kids to tell them stuff that goes on at home that they aren’t really supposed to tell anyone …  hehehe, now that would give you an answer….

Or maybe just give them a bunch of Shirley Temple movies and call it a day.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was a Child of Divorce.  Her biography is on Wikipedia and here.  Her Father was a Stockbroker who had many affairs and her parents split when Jacqueline was 10 years old.  Jacqueline had one younger sister, Lee, with whom she had both a very close relationship and intense rivalry.  The sisters lived with both parents.   The Mother remarried to an heir to the Standard Oil fortune two years later and had two more children who became Jacqui’s half sister and half brother.

The link given above says this about how the Divorce possibly affected Jackie:

Her parents’ angry quarrels developed Jacqueline’s ability to tune out unpleasant things—a skill she would employ in her own marriages—and her penchant to escape into literature, art, fantasy, and horses. Her parents’ divorce left her with deep insecurities and a gnawing emptiness that haunted her, fueling her needs to purchase extravagantly and to marry men of wealth.

Jacqueline Bouvier graduated college and then met John Kennedy in 1951 or 52.  They married a year and half later.  The couple had a miscarriage and a still-birth before daughter Caroline and son John were born in 1957 and 1960.  Another son was born in 1963 but unfortunately died a couple of days later.

Jacqueline Kennedy became the First Lady of the United States  in 1961 when her Husband took office.  She was a great Hostess and was very popular.

President Kennedy was tragically assassinated on Nov. 22, 1964 in Texas.

Jackie remarried to Greek  Shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis in October, 1968.  The couple eventually separated but never divorced.  Onassis died in 1975.

Jackie went on to have a successful publishing career.  She found a solid relationship after the age of 50.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis passed away on May 19, 1994 from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.



Parents Meet Through Kids’ Friends
June 10, 2010, 9:51 pm
Filed under: self-absorbed parents, step-siblings, Stepfamilies

Since my Father met my Step-Mother through my friend and I when were about 12, I sort of wonder how common it is for parents to meet through their children.  I’ve met 3 other people whose parents met, divorced, and married through the child’s relationships with a friend.  (That’s a difficult relationship to describe).  All of us were female and I wonder if that’s a coincidence.  Do parents ever want to screw and marry with their son’s friends’ parents, or is it only the girls who to enjoy this aspect of their parents’ marital discord?

Either way, I don’t think this is a very common experience for most Children of Divorce.  It certainly isn’t talked about.  Whenever I hear a Step-parent talk about how “manipulative” the step-daughter is, how difficult “Step Families” are, I pretty much “know” that this is as close to admission of guilt as most step-parents can get.

For me it added an element of further betrayal to the divorce which my brother didn’t have to go through.  I also had to spend the rest of my relationship with my friend/step-sister watching her slowly benefit and thrive from the stability that my Father’s existence in her life gave her.  She also inherited a shit load of money.  There was constant competition, sniping and blaming.  My Step-Mother’s behavior in other areas was just too rotten.  She would have had to spend the rest of her life writing apologies to people.  And, frankly, I don’t think she was that well bred to figure she would have too bother with such things.

My Father and Step-Mother, of course, took no responsibility for what they had done.  I always keep thinking that all they would have had to do was to come clean and say they were sorry.  This is just such a stupid little hook I guess for a parent, but for me as the kid it was really huge to think that my Father would have used me in such a way.  But they never did.  Both my step-sister and I had been very docile kids and we grew up to have terrible problems with rage.

My parents were chronically burdened and went to a therapist eventually.  The therapist gave my Father some anti-depressants.  I suspect that not even the Wizard of Oz could have given my Step-Mother a heart or a soul.  The therapist, I suspect, absolved them of ever having to deal with their children.  At that point it was too late anyway.