Filed under: Aging parents, Aging Step-Parents, Blame, Death of a Parent, Denial, Favoritism by Parents, indifferent parents, Inheritance & Wills, Long Term Fallout, self-absorbed parents, separate households, Shrinks, Stepfamilies
Lawyers just do as they are told. If a ten times divorced rich guy shows up at the office and wants to leave all his money to his 3d wife and her hamster, the lawyer will write up the will that way. Rich people tend to love money and power, maybe just money. Often they don’t like their kids as much. Some people are just in denial that they’ll ever die. And, of course, there are hundreds of other stories about why children of divorce don’t receive an inheritance. Love is generally not equated with Loyalty in Divorced families the way it is in intact families.
After a divorced parent dies the grieving process for a Child of Divorce will also be different. A Will is a parent’s last words to his/her child. If there are no possessions or money this won’t be an issue. But, if no inheritance, no love, point blank. So the grieving process will bring up all the old crap from the divorce days/years/decades along with the current grieving process for a parent. Divorce is War. This is one of the many fall-outs from War usually decades after the War. Therapists don’t give a rats ass about the whole process because most therapists are 1) from intact families and 2) divorced themselves and so defensive that they will not worry themselves over this.
So, here is a start. The reviews are mixed and don’t really give much information about whether these books really are friendly to the kids. Different States have different rules and I don’t know if the books cover this. That’s why my Father maintained residency in Washington rather than California even though he had homes in both and had lived in Washington only a few years and had died in California. He wrote his will in Washington and it could have been contested in California.
Estate Planning for the Blended Family by L. Paul Hood Jr. and Emily Bouchard. (2012)
Estate Planning for Blended Families by Richard E. Barnes (NOLO Press, 2009)
Filed under: Addiction - Parents, Astrology stuff, Child of Divorce as Parent, creativity, Custody, Death of a Parent, Exemplary Children of Divorce, multiple households
Yay for today’s USA Weekend Magazine issue (Aug. 10-12-2012)! In an article meant to salute the 35th Anniversary of her Father’s death, the magazine interviewed his only child. Author Alanna Nash asked the Divorce question!
From page 10:
Her childhood after her parents divorced: “In Memphis, my father let me run wild. I’d be up all hours of the night and eat french fries and chocolate cake fro breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then I’d go home to Beverly Hills to a very regimented mother and have a normal schedule. It was very confusing.”
Lisa Marie was born in 1968. Her parents divorced in 1972 so she would have been around 4 years old at the time. Her Father died from his drug addiction in 1977 when he was 42 years old. Lisa Marie would have been 9 years old. It looks like the Nodal Axis and the Asteroids would be a big trigger and influence in her life cycles. Natal North Node is in Aries squaring natal Venus in Capricorn.
Lisa Marie has been married four times and has two children from her first husband and twins from her fourth and current husband. She remains close with her first husband who lives in the guest house of her home and home schools their children.
Filed under: Death of a Parent, Fiction about Divorce, Mentally Ill parents, Movies About Growing Up in Divorce, Physical Abuse, separate households, Uncategorized
After I watched the movie Biutiful last night, all 2.45 hours of it, I was not feeling very good. It’s Spanish movie about a guy who is dying and, all I could really think was that I must have aged out of the European movie market. I figured I just can’t handle the reality anymore. Then, this morning I woke up thinking, “O my God, Uxbal is my Father!”
So, why I’m listing this movie on this blog is because Javier Bardem, as always, gives the most amazing performance of a Father who is divorced. One realizes how much he loves his children and wants to provide for them. He has custody because the children’s Mother is Bipolar and unreliable. There are two children in the story. The oldest daughter has her 10th Birthday during the time that the movie takes place. Her parents do everything they can to make it special for her, but their complicated lives and personal problems turn the celebrations in to one catastrophe after another.
I don’t know who the actress is who plays the wife/ex-wife, but she is brilliant. Society really has come a long way when one sees that children are not expected to live with their Mother when she is that mentally ill. My generation; usually the Father couldn’t handle it, and took off, the way mine did. This character acknowledges that his children will turn out however they will turn out, whether he is around or not in the same way that he and his brother both turned otu, but he also acknowledges the importance of providing for them as a parent. This centers around his obsession with leaving enough money to keep the rent for their apartment.
But, here, what is so incredible is to see the portrayal of this Father from so many different angles. He sees his life through his spiritual side, which is strongly related to death and unresolved grief, as both his parents died when he was very young. He makes a few extra bucks helping newly dead people to pass over.
One sees that he just keeps going, focusing on fixing other people’s problems but perpetually unable to break out of the slums that he is born into. Finally his body just gives out. Incredible scene where he goes to the toilet; looks out the window to see a guy passed out in the street, you can see that he is feeling bad for the guy and meanwhile looks down to see that his urine is full of blood. He himself has waited too long before going to the Doctor.
Better description than what I can provide here.
Filed under: Abandonment, Books, creativity, Death of a Parent, Denial, Exemplary Children of Divorce, Health, Living with Grandparents, Long Term Fallout, Mentally Ill parents, relationship with Mother, Violence
Writer and Artist Mira Bartok is interviewed by Terry Gross on the NPR program Fresh Air about a memoir she has written called The Memory Palace.
I’m assuming that Mira Bartok is a Child of Divorce but the Big D is never mentioned in the interview. Mira’s relationship with her Father is briefly mentioned to say that he left the family when she was 4 years old and Mira moved with her Sister and her Mother into their Grandparents’ house. Her Mother, an accompalished pianist, suffered from schizophrenia and her Grandfather seems to also have some sort of mental illness. Both Mother and Grandfather were violent. Mira and her Sister have both achieved success in life working in the humanities.
The blurb which drew me to the interview said that Mira began to understand her Mother’s illness better after suffering traumatic brain injury when a Truck hit her when she was 40. She suffers from memory problems, both short and long term.
The interview with Terry Gross mostly discusses what it must be like to have a mentally ill family member who ends up homeless because their behavior is impossible to treat. I wish there had been discussion about how it might be different to be the child of a mentally ill parent as I feel that sets up a different relationship dynamic than for a parent to deal with a mentally ill child. It’s much easier to get a child into treatment than it is for a child because the parent is used to giving the commands rather than receiving them.
At one point Bartok says something like (not an exact quote most likely):
“We (she and her sister) needed to be safe and we needed for someone to keep her safe.”
I think that this is what parenting is all about and I think it is a huge problem for Children of Divorce, whether we want to say it or not. The parents think that if they assure the child that he’s loved that this is enough. But, then, the child marries a new partner and does nothing to protect the child from entering into the new relationship at his own emotional speed. Since Bartok is probably around the same age that I am I know that girls of our generation were rarely considered “safe” when left alone. Probably this is less so now but I don’t have a clue.
Bartok’s Grandfather died at some point, not sure what age she was at that point. She placed her Grandmother into an eldercare program in 1989 and her Mother’s situation deteriorated very quickly after that. By 1990 she was homeless. There is great discussion here about how and why Bartok couldn’t take care of her Mother and didn’t talk to her for 17 years. Her Mother lived to be more than 80 years old and the homeless shelter where she had lived for a few years before her death is named after her.
Am really interested to read this book. Guess I’m jumping the gun by writing about it right now. Wonder what it must be like to have memory problems and to be trying patch up such a difficult upbringing at the same time.
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.
Filed under: bi-racial, creativity, Death of a Parent, Exemplary Children of Divorce, Guilt, Half-siblings, Murder, relationship with Mother, separate households, siblings, Uncategorized, Vietnam, Violence
Pulitzer Prizewinning Poetess Natasha Trethewey is a Child of Divorce. I heard her interviewed on the NPR Program Fresh Air yesterday.
I was first attracted to the interview because I couldn’t believe what amazingly long sentences Trethewey can spin. She can assemble more thoughts into a single sentence in a way that still makes sense than anyone I’ve ever heard. So it made sense that she’s a poet. Her personal story is even more amazing.
Trethewey won the Pulitzer for her collection of poems called Native Guard. Some of these poems are about her Mother who was murdered by her Step-Father when Trethewey was 19 years old. Trethewey’s younger brother witnessed the murder when he was 11 (or 12) years old. (Sorry I was listening while driving in the car and I can’t remember the details really well).
Trethewey was born in Mississippi. Her parents divorced at some point before Trethewey started grade school. She lived with her Mother in Georgia and spent Summers in New Orleans with her Father and with her Grandmother in Mississippi.
Her new book is about how her family was affected by Hurricane Katrina. Her Brother was destroyed financially and, out of desperation, turned to dealing drugs. It turns out that he was arrested for possession of Cocaine the same day that Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer. Have to sit down with this astrology chart at some point in the future when I can be very very quiet… This date will be interesting to look at from an astrological point of view as it was 10 days before Trethewey’s 41st Birthday. By coincidence, Trethewey’s Mother was killed 10 days before her (the Mother’s) 41st Birthday as well. It’s amazing to hear a very articulate poet discuss the complicated and confusing feelings and methods of coping with this amount of tragedy. I sure would like to hear her ideas, if any, about her parents’ divorce. I’m a little slow at reading poetry but I’ll be looking for both books. The new book is called Beyond Katrina.
Trethewey is bi-racial. Her Mother was an African American Social Worker and her Father is a White College Professor. Her Step-Father (don’t know race, etc) was a Vietnam Veteran and worked for an Air Conditioning and Heating Company. The story about what Trethewey’s brother had to go through is unbelievable. As I said he was 11 or 12 years old at the time of the murder. His parents had already divorced and I don’t know what age he was at that point.