Spoiled Children of Divorce


Exemplary Children of Divorce – Elon Musk

The numbers of Children of Divorce who are included on Time Magazine’s 100 People of the Year Lists has gone up. I forgot the exact count, maybe 11 to 13. Plus about 5 more people who grew up in a single parent family where the parents never married. I couldn’t find out information on about 20 of the people on the list so I’m not taking these numbers too seriously. What I’m really happy about is the quality of the Children of Divorce on this list because many included are probably not really very impressive leaders in my opinion.

Elon Musk is one of the super impressive ones. Musk is a visionary who takes big risks like creating car company Tesla and turning space travel into a tourist industry. He must have watched a lot of “The Jetsons” when he was a kid. Actually I think he was busy doing other stuff. According to Wikipedia Musk read a lot. Became interested in computing at at 10. That’s just a year after his parents’ divorce so maybe have a lot of time to himself contributed to this. Must taught himself programming at Age 12.

According to this article from BusinessInsider, Musk describes his childhood as “excruciating.” He grew up in South Africa. His Mother was a Model from Canada and his Father was an Electromechanical engineer. His parents divorced in 1980 so Musk would have been around 9 at that time. After two years he lived exclusively with his Father. He says that this was a mistake and that his Father was emotionally abusive. They are currently estranged. According to People Magazine Musk’s Father had a child with his step-daughter who is, of course, his step-daughter, but is also 40 years younger. His Father calls Elon a spoiled child…..ah, hahahahahahahahahaha. How appropriate for a Child of Divorce. What a lovely man, and how many of these idiots are out there?

Musk’s Mother is the covergirl of a company. She talks about how she created the entrepreneurial spirit in her children in this Businessinsider article.

Musk is the oldest of 3 children in his first family, a brother and sister. He also has a half-brother and half-sister.

Musk was also deeply affected by bullying at school. During one episode he had to be hospitalized. He was knocked unconscious when some boys threw him down a concrete stairwell.

The Month that Musk turned 18 he got out of dodge and moved to Canada where he was able to get a passport because his Mother was Canadian. He finished two Bachelors degrees in Physics and Economics and then moved to California to get a Ph.d at Stanford. But dropped out after 2 days in order to start businesses. He partnered with his brother for his first business (funded at least in part by hs Mother) and has since started a series of successful companies such as PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, the space rocket company.

According to Wikipedia Musk has been married and divorced three times, but the last two were to the same woman. He had 6 children with his first wife, but the first baby died of SIDs after 10 weeks.

According to this article in SiliconBeat someone got onto Musk’s Twitter account and asked him if he is Bipolar so he may have some issues. Musk answered “yeah” but qualifies that as not clinical.



Borderline Personality Disorder Among Children of Divorce

Borderline Personality Disorder is an unwanted diagnosis. Therapists dread it because they say it’s not treatable. If you want to know more about it you can google the google. It sounds like being trapped in a kid’s mind as an adult because there is a problem with emotional regulation. The person’s moods swing back and forth between hot and cold feelings very quickly. There is a fear of abandonment, self injury and suicidality. While looking up well-known people who struggle with this disorder I found that a huge percentage come from divorced families.

Here’s is a list of famous people I’ve found who may be Borderline along with whether they are from Divorce:

Amy Winehouse – parents divorced
Pete Doherty –
Britney Spears – parents divorced
Courtney Love – parents divorced
Lindsey Lohan – parents divorced
Princess Diana – parents divorced
Angelina Jolie – parents divorced
Marilyn Monroe – parents divorced, maybe never married
Darrel Hammond –
Scott Levy –
Brand Marshall – parents married Age 3, divorced age 6
Anais Nin – parents divorced Age 2
Ernest Hemingway –
Elon Musk? – parents divorced

This is an interesting list. I’m not sure if these are real diagnoses since they are from off the internet. Borderline Personality Disorder is said to be a predominantly female illness but it looks from this list that it could be a predominantly male illness since the male examples may not come from divorce. That’s interesting because psychological studies have generally commented on how boys suffer the most from Divorce. (Scott Levy only lists his Father in his biography so he may be from divorce.) The Diagnosis isn’t made until after the child turns 18.

PTSD diagnosis can’t be made from Death or Divorce but there is now a trauma from childhood diagnosis which might take over these diagnosis. The ACE study includes loss of a parent through death or divorce.

Therapists seem to agree that childhood trauma is a major influence.

Here’s is an article which says that Children of Divorce are more vulnerable to Borderline Personality Disorder. Here is a quote from the article on research from back in 1996:

JoelParis(1994,1996)suggested that biologicalvulnerabilityis necessarybutnot sufficient to cause BPD. Varying psychological factors can precipitate BPD inthe presence of biological vulnerability. Paris maintained that the impact of socialdisintegration and rapid social change, such as breakdown of the traditional familyand changing social norms, are nonspecific risk factors in the etiology of BPD.Cross-cultural studies reveal the possibility that structured traditional societies diminish the emergence of this disorder.

(PDF) Children At-Risk for Borderline…. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257827646_Children_At-Risk_for_Borderline_Personality_Disorder [accessed Jul 22 2018].

A child going through a divorce can be observing Borderline type of behavior from the parents and so the behavior may be from the stress of coping with that.

Don’t have the link anymore but I think there is a Psychology Today article about the divorce rate and Borderline Personality Disorders. I may not be remembering this correctly so don’t quote me. Borderlines are less likely to marry in the first place, have the same divorce rates, when they do divorce they are less likely to remarry.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Carol Knuth

Just watched this video of ex-Foster Child, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victim Carol Knuth describing her childhood. I’m feeling a little queasy. I had no idea that a huge portion of trafficking victims grow up in Foster Homes but I guess it makes sense. Like everyone else I thought this is something that immigrants go through.

People like Carol are coming out to try to educate the rest of us about the Foster Care System along with Trafficking and Sexual Assault. Her survival is totaling amazing. She has since married, had children, has received two degrees, and has held powerful jobs.

The complaint about growing up as a “Child of Divorce” seems to be overpowered by the rest of the story but I feel that it might be the seed. Knuth’s parents divorced when she was two. She was the youngest of three girls who her Father sexually assaulted. He had told his daughters that their Mother had died. He remarried and divorced her Step-Mother when Carol was around 6th grade. Sorry I didn’t write very good notes so can’t provide the exact age. Carol and her sisters went to their first Foster home when she was three. When she was in her early teens she had to testify that her Father molested her. His daughters were taken away from him but he was never charged with any crime. Carol bounced in and out of around 21 homes. At one point her Foster Mother was dating her Father. The lack of concern for her feelings is such a major theme in her childhood. She tells the story so stoically. There seems to have been no end to the amount that people would not stand up for Carol until she was a working adult. Knuth tells how a co-worker assaulted her while they were in the break room. She just figured “same old, same old” and went back to her seat. But, this time another male co-worker had seen the assault and reported it. The offender was fired. This seems to be the first time in her life that anyone stood up for her.

Wow. That’s all I can say right now. She looks so straight. I would never have known from looking at her that she could be a survivor of this type of history.



Mr. Rogers Versus Mandated Reporters

Mr. Rogers had a way of talking with little kids that comforted the parents. In Divorce this is essential for the health of the child. Parents of Divorce Children are very busy and preoccupied. They are doing the best they can, but it is essential that they talk with their children about the divorce and about their own behaviors while trying to encourage the child to speak about his/her feelings and observations.

While working around some children I couldn’t help but notice that they will start talking about their parents and the divorce almost immediately if given a chance. It sounded like a cry for help to me. But, I didn’t feel I had the right to get involved. Children want an adult to discuss this stuff with. In one case I happened to tell someone who was a mandated reporter about one of the children. I wasn’t aware of the mandated reporter thing. Without any discussion, the child was removed from the problem parents’ custody within a day or two. I don’t know whether this was already in the works and that I had nothing to do with any of it, but the child stopped talking to me. The child was also crying a lot and the custodial parent became fairly grumpy. It’s surprising to me that most children of divorce will openly discuss what is going on at home and, although they speak about it in simple terms, they sound very stressed out. I guess most adults will hear a child say “My Mother is sick. I don’t see my Father very much. My parents are getting a divorce” and still not understand that an adult going through 3 such stressors would be drinking, yelling, calling in sick to work, going to the shrink, medicating, and who knows what else. For some reason, when a child says this most people ignore it. Maybe they tell the child to hang tight while their parents get their act together. This, of course, can take five years.

That is why I recommend that parents watch Mr. Rogers’ episodes on dealing with divorce. His understanding is kind of stupid. He makes a big point out of assuring the child that he/she is not to blame for the parents’ split. That applies to only a percentage of children, not all. In some cases a parent leaves because he/she can’t handle children, or they can’t handle having children with the ex so they vanish from the life. And the child knows it. And internalizes it because it is taboo to talk about and nobody can do anything to help. It’s amazing how the Blame Thing is the only element that gets through to adults. Obviously it’s a projection which arises from the Divorce because Blame is a huge fighting factor in the courts. It spills over on to the kids either directly or indirectly through observation.

At any rate, it’s best for a parent to talk with one’s children directly unless one wants one’s children discussing their problems with Social Workers. If the parent tell their kids that they are not to blame one can expect that a step-parent will come along who will.

In the end, let’s face it. Things go on behind divorced walls that aren’t good parenting. When the child goes to school they compare themselves to the other kids who are living much simpler lives. Okay, so that’s another stressor in addition to switching parents/home twice a week, having to talk about friends and school twice, having to monitor parents’ feelings about what happened while with the other parent…

Okay, okay, so there is stuff that Mr. Rogers doesn’t talk about…Kids going through divorce need extra parenting, not less. Instead, they get extra parents, which can often lead to even more stress. Would be great if schools would allow a child to talk with an interested third party without fear of mandated reporting.



Abducted Children of Divorce

Have never seen an interview on a TV show of the massive quantities of children who are abducted by a parent during a custody battle but always wanted know what their experiences were like. Guess they might do everything to avoid receiving anymore drama in life so would make for a boring interview? We used to read the “Have You Seen Me?” posts on the sides of the milk cartons. I remember feeling really jerked around when I discovered that most of the kids are custody abductions. Makes me wonder if abducted children tend to be lactose intolerant.

The FBI calls this phenomenon “Domestic Custodial-Motivated Child Abductions” and talks about it here: https://leb.fbi.gov/2013/august/domestic-custodial-motivated-child-abductions. It seems the children learn early on about retaliation and threats in relationships. The FBI gives examples of actual abductions and law enforcement’s heroic role in fetching them. The children in the examples are all babies so they don’t remember it. (Astrology-wise, that gives super power to the Moon in a natal chart — nobody wants to hear the astrology. So what. Means that they probably love milk, though)

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says that 6 percent of the 20,500 missing children cases in 2016 were domestic abductions. 90 percent of the missing children cases were endangered runaways. They don’t say how many runaways are from single parent families. Of the runaways, one in six were probably abducted into the sex trafficking trade. 86 percent of those were in the care of Social Services. There is no mention of whether they were from single parent households. The link for this info is here: https://leb.fbi.gov/2013/august/domestic-custodial-motivated-child-abductions.

Much of the Statistics I want are supplied on the blog The Fatherless Generation. Don’t know if this information is accurate. It’s absolutely terrifying though.
https://thefatherlessgeneration.wordpress.com/statistics/.

Okay, so you know that you are loved and wanted. Many Children of Divorce are just in the way or grow up knowing that they are a burden. And, yes, some have it all figured out and are spoiled rotten.

In the end, most Children of Divorce are not from either of these situations. Nobody knows what they are feeling because nobody ever asks and in order to survive they have had to suppress their own feelings about the situation. This keeps the pharmaceutical industry in business and is probably why there is no good art anymore. Just my opinion, of course.



Children of Divorce, Stalking, CyberSex

I don’t know if Children of Divorce are more likely to become Stalkers, but according to the book How To Stop a Stalker by Detective Mike Proctor they are more likely to be victimized by stalkers.   I’ve already discussed Stranger Danger and Divorce.  I’ve already stated that I think that grown Children of Divorce become victims more often than Children of Intact families.

Here is a quote from the chapter “Limiting Your Stalking Exposure”:

“…dealing with cyberpredators has shown that children in the following categories seem to be more at risk for being stalked than others on the Internet:  those who are shy, withdrawn, and/or who have low self-esteem; those with a weight problem; and those who have divorced parents.  We in law enforcement continually encounter such youths, who become victims not only of stalking but also of other crimes associated with being bullied and harassed, usually by their peers.  They are continually searching for acceptance.”

This information is paraphrased by the author from a meeting he had with Investigator Mike Harris who, along with his wife Cassandra, specializes in law enforcement investigations on cyberstalking of children.  This couple was interviewed by Oprah.  This was 10 years ago so I imagine that there is now more awareness of cyberstalking.

Sexual solicitations can be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline (703) 274-3900.  I haven’t called to check if that number is still valid.  I wish that Psychology Schools would aggressively recruit burnt out cops because they could bring invaluable insight and skills into that profession.

I’ve said before that I think that introverted children might suffer from their parents’ divorces much more than extroverted children. I am certainly not an expert on this and am just giving my opinion but since no one else dares to have an opinion I might as well give mine.

I suspect that Divorce is a more comfortable experience for Extroverts than for Introverts.  I tend to suspect that Psychologists tend to be extroverts which is why they personally don’t think that there’s anything wrong with growing up in Divorced homes.  They also may have lower iq’s than the normal college graduate, and in most cases that average taxi driver, trash collector, electrician and plumber, but I suppose that will never be tested.

With all the media attention on bullying lately I wonder if any studies have focused on Children of Divorce to see if they are more or less likely to bully others.   I know that the folks from Intact Families who always have to state that they wished their parents had divorced are in a way bullying the Children of Divorce not to speak.  I mean, if it’s something that you always wanted, wouldn’t you be interested in what others who have actually experienced want to say about it rather than immediately butting in on their territory (so to speak) and whining with your grass is always greener problems?