Spoiled Children of Divorce

Don’t Jump
December 23, 2010, 2:56 am
Filed under: Suicide, therapy, Uncategorized

Article saying that people going through Divorce are 3 times as likely to become suicidal.  The article says that Divorce is the number 1 reason why people try to commit suicide.  I have no idea if that’s true or when it was written. I don’t know if these people are the ones who actually commit suicide.  So, I suppose it’s useful for both parents and children to understand that this is part of the package for many divorcing families.

Here’s what we, the eternal eye witness children of divorce get to read   (sort of like being talked at while someone’s staring at someone else across the room):

People are at greater risk to commit suicide if they have a close friend or family member who has committed suicide.

And, of course, the article is about the parents.  Not about the kids.  I was one of those kids, and I can tell you it is the source of many nights of panic — still.  I was the one who found my Mother, pulled away the cup of Clorox, pulled her out of the garage,  and had to make the phone calls while my entire body was shaking completely out of control.  I was the one who was yelled at and blamed afterwards.

All the attention goes on the person who has just made the attempt.  It would have been great if the hospitals would have some kind of family therapy session for everyone who was involved, maybe even without the person who just made the attempt, because that person will be too frail to understand what he’s just done to the others.

As I said, the kids aren’t mentioned.  The kids are never mentioned.  I know that no one ever talked about it in my family.  My brother has almost completely no memory of it.  My Father, who was put into a police car during one of the attempts didn’t help out with any of the next attempts.  He became  jealous of all the attention my Mother got.  Much later on he admitted that he had been thinking about Suicide the whole time as well.  And, considering both of their self destructive life styles, they both basically did commit suicide.

So, I think I’ve mentioned this before.  I went through all the years and years of psychotherapy.  It made things worse.  I went to the psychiatrists.  They are an embarrassment to modern civilization.  And absolutely the only time I’ve ever felt any relief from the anxiety I’ve felt over this experience was watching actor Hugh Grant’s reaction to hearing a little boy discuss his Mother’s suicide attempt in the movie About A Boy.  Imagine that, pretty weird to get so much relief from an actor?  The movie is based on a book written by Nick Hornby.  I’ve mentioned it before.

Anyhoo, I know that my Mother was hospitalized around the holidays so that must have been when her last attempts happened.

ZenLizzie to the Rescue
December 17, 2010, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I like this post by ZenLizzie:  “When Your Holidays Are More Transitional than Traditional.”

In the comments section one person said that it made her a little sad.  Have to admit it makes me a little sad as well.

Battered Mothers, Children Who Watch
December 15, 2010, 8:26 am
Filed under: moving, Violence

With public funding cutbacks  for social service I was very alarmed to hear a statistic mentioned on the radio about how 3 out of 4 battered women who leave their abusers end up either severely injured or murdered.  The radio show was on NPR today, sorry I can’t remember the show.  But there was discussion about how most of the abused women also have children who suffer from the same problems.

I found this list of statistics which confirms that unbelievable rate.  The date looks a bit old.  The show was about how the funding for battered womens’ shelters is ending.  One community in California try to find private homes in the area which would act as safe houses.  And, how these can be very dangerous as there is no security to protect against intruders.

Being a Guest In Your “Own Home(s)”
December 14, 2010, 6:20 pm
Filed under: creativity, Happiness, Healing, Health, Mentors, Religion

So, Child of D, you can’t get locked out of your parents’ houses because you learned how to pick the locks long ago.  Carrying around all those keys gets really tiring, after all.

But, Child of D, you feel strange.  They keep telling you they love you, but, for some reason, deep down, you know that they don’t love anyone all that much.  There’s no unconditional love in split homes.  Not really.  Just parents who are told by experts on TV that if they tell their children they love them they can go off and do their own thing.  And those dates they bring home?  Well, you gotta love it.

But, Child of D, what about yourself?  What about the Holidays?  How to deal with this month of overextended horrors of scheduling and hugging and hanging out with strangers who want to love you, they really do.  How do you protect your heart in this time?  Your heart is a very beautiful thing.  Well, hang out at your friends’ houses.  Or turn to books and great thinking.  Realize that what you are feeling in part is grief and grief is what teaches us to have great depth of understanding and empathy towards others.  I remember hearing an interview with Bill Clinton who was discussing how he got through having his last public affair exposed, the one with White House Intern Monica Lewitsky, he said that he spent a year going for counseling and searching for answers in books.  Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford, so not only did he have the best Western Education a person can have, but he was intelligent enough to understand what he was reading.  But, still one can seek answers through philosophy and religion and poetry and art.  That’s why we turn to these things.  I remember hearing the poet W.S. Merwin say that the first poem was about grief.

This wasn’t supposed to be babbly.  Of course, Bill was married to Hillary, and Hillary went to Yale which is the second best education in the Western World that one can have and so Hillary has more brains than most of us as well.  And Hillary decided to stick with Bill because, well, for one, they are rich and can afford to own two houses and probably only see each other at tax time, and also I remember hearing Hillary talk about the affair and say that she was aware that Bill had suffered much abuse during his childhood.  She understood how difficult this is to deal with as an adult.  When you read about Bills’ childhood you sort of get it that his childhood was really bad.  His Father was a womanizer as well.  He was on his 4th marriage at age 32 (or something like that) when he died in a car crash along with some other woman.

So, if this ramble doesn’t make you feel better about being a Child of D during the Holidays, assuming that you are unhappy, that’s certainly not a requirement, but if you’re happy you’re not going to be reading this blog because it’s focused more on the downers.

I found this awesome poem by Rumi called “The Guest House.” Translated by Coleman Barks.  It’s about how we need to treat all of our feelings, the good ones and the bad ones as guests within our beings.  We need to show them our best hospitality.  I think that’s what it means.  If not, correct me.  Thing is, if you study what you are feeling you can gain distance from it and learn from it.  (You don’t need to live in denial of it the way your Mommy’s shrink is, although that looks like a very lucrative business.)

When Parents Meet Their New Loves Over the Internet
December 13, 2010, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Alcoholism, Death of a Parent, Murder, Parents and their Dates, Violence

Guess there’s an extra special problem when one’s parent meets a new relationship online.  Lately the news is carrying some pretty ugly stories.  The most publicized so far has been the story of Zahra Baker, the 10 year old Cancer survivor who was reported missing by her Father and Step-Mother.  Zahra’s Father met Zahra’s Mother online.  They met and married.  I’ve written the details in a previous posts.  I don’t think that either Step-Mother or Father has been charged with murder yet.

Then there’s another problem.  Something which I’m sure that parents will be more concerned about if not for the safety of their children than for the fact that they don’t want their children stealing their boyfriends and girlfriends.  This is a story which was written about in the novel Mildred Pierce where Mildred’s daughter steals her husband.  I don’t think in those days that child molestation was ever considered.  The daughter was a spoiled brat which fits right in with the Children of Divorce imagery from the Intact Family’s point of view.

The news now carries a story about Brittany Mae Smith, a 12-year old girl who went missing after her Mother, Tina’s, body was found in their home.  Brittany and the Mother’s live in boyfriend, Jeffrey Scott, were identified all the way across country from where they had lived.  There are no details about whether Brittany was abducted or went willingly.  And there is discussion about how Jeffrey Scott is a Child Molester who could have used Brittany’s Mother to get to Brittany.  The Mother met her boyfriend online over the Summer and he had moved in with the women last October.  Article discussing the case here along with some nice warnings to parents to be a little more careful. At least the warnings aren’t coming from me.  They certainly won’t be coming from the parent’s shrinks.

Wow, single parents are better off meeting their lovers in bars than over the internet.  Things change, yet things still manage to stay the same.

Children of Divorce and Stroke Risk
December 1, 2010, 11:11 pm
Filed under: Health, links to articles, Long Term Fallout, Uncategorized

A study out of Canada has shown that Children of Divorce are twice as likely to suffer from stroke as adults.  The study was compiled from 2005 statistics of 13,000 people who live in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  The researchers also found that Children of Divorce are more likely to suffer from abuse in general.

Half of the article is spent trying to sooth the panicking divorced Mothers of the world by making excuses for the results.  As usual the panicky feeling of the grown-up kids who are at twice the risk for stroke is ignored.

The people studied were apparently all born in the 1950s and it is thought that Divorce today is much easier on the child.  Hahahahaha.  Kids from Divorced families these days tend to come from poor families.  How does that make things easier?

But, hey, thanks Maple Leafs.  At least you are bothering to do the study in the first place.  The Researchers asked the participants if they were from Divorce while researching for abuse.  That would never happen in the U.S.

University of Toronto gerontologist Esme Fuller-Thompson, PhD, and colleagues ….

“We can only say there is an association between parental divorce and adult stroke, and that a lot of the pathways we considered key mediators of stroke are not correct,” Fuller-Thompson tells WebMD. “Neither health behaviors nor depression nor adult socioeconomic status can explain the stroke risk we saw.”

The Canadian researchers took advantage of data from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey of more than 13,000 residents of the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Fuller-Thompson’s team was investigating the link between childhood physical abuse and health outcomes. They included parental divorce as one of the childhood stresses they wanted to evaluate. Indeed, they found that divorce was more common in families in which there was abuse.

“When we looked at adult risk of stroke, we found the association was not with abuse but parental divorce during childhood,” Fuller-Thompson says. “We guessed, this association would go away if we controlled for healthy behavior — there is some evidence that children of divorced parents are more likely to smoke and to drink.”

Instead of making the association go away, controlling for health behavior and other factors only strengthened the link between childhood experience of divorce and adult stroke.

Despite the increased risk, the vast majority of adults whose parents divorced did not have strokes.

“Children of Divorce face Higher Stroke Risk:  As Adults, Kid Whose Parents Divorce Have Twofild Higher Stroke Risk.”  by Daniel J. DeNoon.