Spoiled Children of Divorce


Parasite v. Host

Bad mood. Walking through library. Books on carts that need to be shelved. I see the word “Parasite” and immediately think of my step-family.

The Art of Being a Parasite by Claude Combes.

Reading on I find that this is probably the best study on understanding the politics of blended families. Within these families there are Winners and Losers. You win not by working hard and building a following and doing chores and finishing homework and setting the table, but by discerning where the richness is and just moving in on it with a fantasitic degree of ruthlessness. Whichever bloodline can gang up on and humiliate the other one wins. There’s the Conqueror family and the Conquered family. The Step-Mother always knows she’s right

(isn’t that just so bizarre how they all say that? It must be how women get their rocks off, maybe the battle for the husband is the lure, destroying another woman’s kids is the ultimate sexual turn-on)

Wondrous. Remember, your family loves you and will always be there for you? Stranger Danger applies to everyone except Mommy and Daddy’s dates? Here’s another crap fact about growing up in Divorce.

Chapter 8 Parasites in Time and Space

The Art of Being a Parasite by Claude Combes

From this same Chapter is an explanation of what types of hosts are most likely to attract parasites. The author reminds us that these do not always apply, so you still have to watch your back even if you’re all clear in these departments. The author is using Fish and Sealife as an example but I think the ideas can pretty easily transfer over to Host and Parasite Family Structures.

So, you may be more likely to attract and have your blood/home/parent/security/inheritance siphoned if:

1. You spend a lot of time in many different places (large area range v. small area range).

2. You are extroverted and spend a lot of time within a large community. Writer calls this “gregarious.” Parasites are less likely to cling to solitary fish.

3. You live in the depths like a mollusc. Don’t cling to rocks. Rolling stones gather no moss.

4. You are migrating. I see this a lot in California which has a Divorce rate so high the CDC doesn’t bother to include it in its statistics. People come out to California as a couple and almost always split up.

5. Writer calls this one: “Species richness of the phylum.” Wow, can’t say I understand the jargon. I guess this means that you are more likely to attract a parasite from someone you are similar to because parasites enjoy a particular diet. If you hang out with people who you are like you are more likely to pick up a parasite because parasites like to feed off of hosts which are similar. If you are wealthy and you hang out with wealthy people you already know that you will attract parasites. Makes sense.

6. Size. Large hosts attract more parasites because there is more area to attach to. Well, I became anorexic, so don’t know if this is very true on a physical level. The parasitic step-host family kept siphoning. I did learn that it’s not worth being successful because you have to always be on guard about the crap that shows up on your doorstep looking for dinner.

From pages 209-210, Aging Anorexias from Divorce know that even if you stopped eating as a result of your parents’ divorce that the Host family with keep right on chomping away. There’s gristle on your bones, after all, marrow inside for making soup, and compost to be made with what is left. Since food becomes scarce growing up in divorce, everyone for himself. And regular meals become an emotional burden of trying not to ask each other how they’re doing because that’s going to lead to long stories about greed, betrayal, rejection, lawyer and shrink visits, money and asshole boyfriends who disappear at Christmas. Plus, all those “I have it worse than you ever will” comments.

“Parasites “circulate” in the ecosystem. Some follow simple routes and others complex ones through life cycles in which unrelated hosts follow one another. One interesting and still poorly studied aspect of parasitology consists of reconstructing such routes in order to acquire key knowledge about the functioning of the ecosystem itself. The strategy is, if you tell me who parasitizes you, I will tell you whom you eat.”

Haven’t read the entire book, of course. But, it looks as if the author, Claude Combes, likes parasites. They keep the whole eco-system moving. They toss your half baked family into your step-mother’s complaining arms. Is this really how the human species evolves? Sounds a little bit like the bubonic plague to me.


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