Spoiled Children of Divorce


Exemplary Children of Divorce – Mark Manson

Here’s an except blogger Mark Manson wrote about his parents’ divorce in The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. Completely different from my own experience. Manson writes a blog giving dating advice and has published an article called “It’s not our parents’ fault” which doesn’t discuss Divorce at all.

from pp. 52-55

“And just when I had finally cleaned up my act and turned in my assignments and learned the value of good clerical responsibility, my parents decided to get divorced.

“I tell you all of this only to point out that my adolescence sucked donkey balls. I lost all of my friends, my community, my legal rights, and my family within the span of about nine months. My Therapist in my twenties would later call this ‘some real traumatic shit,’ and I would spend the next decade-and- change working on unraveling it and becoming less of a self-absorbed, entitled little prick.

“The problem with my home life back then was not all of the horrible things that were said or done; rather, it was all of the horrible things that needed to be said and done but weren’t. My family stonewalls the way Warren Buffet makes money or Janna Jameson fucks: we’re champions at it. The house could have been burning down around us and it would have been met with, ‘Oh no, everything’s fine. A tad warm in here, perhaps–but really, everything’s fine.’

“When my parents got divorced, there were no broken dishes, no slammed doors, no screaming arguments about who fucked whom. Once they had reassured my brother and me that it wasn’t our fault, we had a Q&A session — yes you read that right — about the logistics of the new living arrangement. Not a tear was shed. Not a voice was raised. The closest peek my brother and I got into our parents’ unraveling emotional lives was hearing, ‘Nobody cheated on anybody.’ Oh, that’s nice. It was a tad warm in the room, but really, everything was fine.

….

“When ‘real traumatic shit’ like this happens in our lives, we begin to unconsciously feel as though we have problems that we’re incapable of ever solving. And this assume inability to solve our problems causes us to feel miserable and helpless.

“But it also causes something else to happen. If we have problems that are unsolvable, our unconscious figures that we’re either uniquely special or uniquely defective in some way. That we’re somehow unlike everyone else and that the rules must be different for us.

“Put simply: we become entitled.

“The pain from my adolescence led me down a road of entitlement that lasted through much of my early adulthood.

….

“My trauma had revolved around intimacy and acceptance, so I felt a constant need to overcompensate, to proe to myself that I was loved and accepted at all times. And as a result, I soon took to chasing women the same way a cocaine addict takes to a snowman made out of cocaine: I made sweet love to it, and then promptly suffocated myself in it.

“I became a player–an immature, selfish, albeit sometimes charming player. And I strung up a long series of superficial and unhealthy relationships for the better part of a decade.

“I was often unemployed, living on friends’ couches or with my mom, drinking way more than I should have been, alienating a number of friends–and when I did meet a woman I really like, my self-absorption quickly torpedoed everything.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Tom Arnold

Tom Arnold maybe isn’t considered the most successful entertainer in Hollywood but he is to be commended for speaking out about his personal life. I saw him in an interview this past week talking about his childhood. His parents divorced when he was 4 years old and his Mother married and divorced 7 times. He has begun performing in a new show in which he looks at these parts of his life through humor.

Arnold’s first marriage was to Roseanne Barr and was highly publicized as probably the most dysfunctional relationship in Hollywood in the 1990s. He has since married 3 times and is still married to his 4th wife. I became interested in seeing if I could notice anything in particular related to his astrological cycles which would play out in his successive marriages and found some pretty interesting stuff.

In the interview, Arnold discussed seeing the influence of a 4 year cycle in his relationships. He was 4 years old when his parents split and his first 3 marriages lasted 4 years each. He’s been married to his 4th wife for what looks like 2 years so far so hopefully he will have broken this cycle. I wonder if he likes to play golf, I think they shout out the word “Four” a lot although I don’t know what it means.

At Age 4 there are multiple cyclic influences. I’ve mentioned before that it seems that were more children from this age group whose charts I have studied than any other. Since I still have such a small selection of charts to look at this may not mean anything. But, it sort of does seem that whatever age of development, psychologically or astrologically that children are at helps them to become successful later in life if they go through their parents’ divorce at this age. I seldom see charts of successful people who come from such disruptive childhoods. Often multiple marriages by a parent guarantees that the child will not become famous for whatever reason.

Between the Ages of 3 and 4 children go through the first returns of many of the asteroids which are held between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. The ones I’m looking are the bigger ones. Then also we look at the first return of Ceres. These generally describe various female energies in a person. Ceres is the nurturer. Pallas represents Divine Wisdom. Juno represents the First Wife. Vesta represents the Home Fires. I think that happens earliest in the 3d year. Should look it up but I’m too lazy. Tom Arnold has a conjunction of Pallas to Juno in Libra, the sign of Marriage. So the asteroids show that he could possibly spend a lot of time looking at the institution of marriage in some way. Juno was Zeus’ wife and Zeus was a philanderer. And Pallas Athene was born out of her Father’s head and never had a Mother and never married because she was very, very, very, very smart. So one can see that viewing the Institution of marriage can often bring up complex thought processes regarding such issues.

The only major planetary return that occurs at Age 4 is the second Mars Return. That shows completion of a second cycle of mastery in all things Marsian which basically means that Mom and Dad made it through the toddler phase without killing the child.

I focused on the partial Jupiter cycle phase at this age when studying this age group. This is just after the time of the first Jupiter trine to itself. You can try to read what I wrote wherever it is. Someone hacked into all that stuff and changed everything because I’m being gang stalked by illegal aliens who are learning how to use computers. So, in addition to my laziness about editing and inability to express myself, someone else edited according to however people in India and Mexico lingo. Jupiter represents international relations so I guess it’s all relevant in this case. The trine phase is a time of ease. Children at Age 3 when the first Jupiter square occurs are learning vocabulary words at a very rapid pace (Jupiter rules abundance, fast growth, law, religion, publishing, and opinions) and by the time they are turning 4 they are feeling accomplished in these areas and are talking trash out of their little potties mouths. This is why Jupiter is often connected with humor and openmindedness which makes sense that a comedian would have strong Jupiter influence in his chart.

In Tom Arnold’s case he’s got a very strong Jupiter influence. Jupiter rules his first chart which means that it rules his entire chart. It is also in conjunction with his Ascendant. It is also opposing Mars in the 7th House of Relationships. So one can see that age 4 a huge part of Arnold’s personality was forming just as he was experiencing the trauma of his parents’ relationship falling apart. 4 year cycles would be a huge influence in his life no matter what, but in this case they are hooked in with emotional trauma which relates his own relationships (H1 and H7) with his parents’ divorce. Mars and Jupiter literally describe the freedom and happiness and playfulness and lack of self consciousness of childhood. They are related to overdoing things and not knowing when to stop.

Oh yeah, and Jupiter is in conjunction with Ceres (Demeter) in Arnold’s chart. Ceres describes one’s ability to nurture. She also represents farming. Pretty interesting that Arnold is from Iowa and worked on a pig farm. He describes how he was very good at killing pigs, was even given a nickname, can’t remember what it was. That’s the Mars-Jupiter influence. And he describes how psychically damaging it was to have to do his job. That’s the Ceres in empathetic H12 influence. The rest of Arnold’s chart shows a lot of insecurities that conflict but also balance out this energy. He has Saturn in the first house which squares Mercury and Venus. That puts a damper on some impulsiveness.

I looked at Arnold’s Divorces to see if they hooked in at all with his Jupiter Cycles in order to see if this works for predictive purposes. The Jupiter Cycle is roughly 11-12 years long. Jupiter takes about one year to pass through one sign. Wikipedia gives the date by year of the divorces so I looked at the charts of Arnold’s Solar Returns. In other words I don’t have correct placements for Jupiter during those years but perhaps see what was working for Arnold’s ego (i.e. Sun) during that year). There does often seem to be some sort of hook up, but, again, I don’t have a lot to go on.

Arnold began stand up comedy at Age 23. This would have been around the time of his 2d Jupiter Return.

First divorce from Roseanne Barr was in 1994. This would have been around the time of his 3d Jupiter Return.

Second divorce was in 1999. This would have been the 3d Jupiter Return of where Jupiter was when Arnold turned 4, right around the time of his parents’ divorce.

Third divorce was in 2008. This might not be accurate as Wikipedia says that he was married in 2002 and that would mean that his 3d marriage lasted 6 years. This could possibly correspond with a Jupiter Opposition, but don’t know so won’t say much about it.

The asteroids also show some interesting correspondences but this post would be ten times longer and I’m worried about what the Mexicans are sticking in the air vents of my car right now.



Birth Order Changes Not Mentioned Again

It’s as if the past 40 years of Divorce Boom haven’t happened among Birth Order aficionados.  Article “How Birth Order Affects Your Love Life” by Lisa Lombardi sounds straight out of Psychology Today c. 1978.

The article doesn’t mention Divorce.  It doesn’t mention Step- and Blended Families.  Of course it doesn’t mention children of unmarried parents, children who have had a parent who died, children who have grown up Foster Families or children who are adopted.   Those are the people who need the information.  Kids from these backgrounds all experience shifts of birth order.  I suppose that it’s most likely that an oldest child will be least likely to experience change of birth order.  I suppose that they might be most hurt by loss of being first.  Middle children probably won’t experience the greatest upheaval but they might be most upset because they are naturally least noticed and demanding and most accommodating.

If we live in an open minded community where people bob in and out of relationships like it’s Halloween, then why are we so close minded about what we are forcing the babies to go through?

It’s just so weird that nobody even thinks to update this b.s.  It would be a big seller probably.  Maybe it would be too complicated to contain within one of those slim self help books, though.  DSM-9,000,000.

Anyway, read the article.   Think about who you are most likely to get involved with and see if it lines up.

Geez, I’m getting way too negative even for me.  Have run out of exemplary children of divorce to write about.



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.)



“Please Give”

Movie time.  I saw some really interesting female Children of Divorce characters in an indie movie this week-end.  The movie is called Please Give.  The plot centers around a New York family of fairly contented well-adjusted people who still manage to crack good jokes.  It actually seems to be a movie about people to whom nothing ever happens.  The Children of D are part of a side story.  They are the ones who the family watches and says, “At least we don’t have it that bad.”

The couple is played by Catherine Keener and I’m sorry I don’t know the Actors’ name who played the husband . I don’t know the names of any of the other actors, basically, the whole cast is great and Keener was the reason why I went to see the movie.  At any rate, Keener and her Husband are sort of hitting midlife and are trying to figure out where to go from now.  Keener’s having some ethics problems from working as a “Dealer.”  Her husband is having some problems with why he doesn’t have a problem with the ethics problem.  They own a business, a home, have a daughter, have built their lives well and now are ready to make some mistakes in order to open their hearts once again. Throughout the movie the characters struggle with the ideas of give and take in what is generally pretty funny New Yorker openness. In the end they learn some valuable lessons and make some great changes in their outlooks.

But, basically, the movie would be really dopey without the additional drama from “the catastrophic family” who exists on the sideline. These are the neighbors in the apartment next door.

The “catastrophic family” is basically a shell of what’s left over from a nuclear family.  The parent generation is gone and the Grandparent and Children are left.  The “couple to whom nothing ever happens” has bought an apartment from the Grandmother of the Catastrophic Family next door.  The old woman is really mean and really old and everybody is basically waiting for her to die.  The couple plans to renovate and expand their apartment into hers which is a cold-blooded thing to be lording over your next door neighbor.

The two granddaughters take care of the Grandmother.  These are the Children of Divorce characters.  They are two sisters in their 20s or early 30s.  Warning: I’m putting in some spoilers here but am not giving the ending.  The girls’ Father abandonned the family long ago.  The Mother committed suicide when the oldest daughter was 20 and the youngest daughter was 15.  It’s very clear to everyone in the story why the Mother committed suicide after watching the Grandmother complain and insult people. It’s not real clear why the younger daughter takes such good care of her aside from the fact that there must still be some angels living in Manhattan.  Go figure.  Oh yeah, and the big “D”?  It’s never mentioned.  That’s right, the word “Divorce” never comes up.  The Father has abandoned the family.  The Mother commits suicide and the reason that’s discussed in her bad Mommy situation.  If “D” were mentioned, there would have been no funding.  Divorced parents and even kids aren’t going to pay good money to see that crap.  (So negative.)

The two daughters live together in a cruddy apartment and bicker about how to cook food in the microwave.  Both work in girly caretaker vocations.  They are probably Community College educated.  At the beginning of the movie they are both single.  The oldest has just been dumped.  The youngest seems fated to become an old spinster.  Otherwise, they seem trapped in the cocoon of a childhood which was taken away from them bit by bit.

The youngest is a Medical Tech who takes Mammograms all day.  That seems to be a great metaphor for the fact that she is extremely loving and caring and visits her Bitchy Grandmother almost every day after work without complaining.  Through her depressing work she seems to be facing her Mother’s death everyday and has no interest in going out to view the changing autumn leaves the way everyone else in the city seems to.  Beauty?  What Beauty?

The oldest daughter gives facials in a salon.  She’s a Bitch but everyone seems to like her because she is pretty.  She maintains a very phoney looking tan.  She can’t stand her Grandmother, stays away from her and argues very coldly with her meanness. Because of that resistance she seems to be in danger of becoming just like the old woman.

In the end, the Grandmother dies, and the two families sort of merge emotionally through a couple of moments of true giving.  All the Characters enjoy the best possible ending and that’s all that really matters to me these days.

~The End~



New Book on Adult Children of Divorce in Relationships

Amazon.com is taking pre-orders for a new book that’s coming out concerning Adult Children of D and relationships.  I haven’t looked at it but the synopses and reviews looks interesting.  It’s pretty pricey at $40.00 so I guess it might be marketed to and written for Mental Health Professionals.

Adult Children of Divorce:  Confused Love Seekers by Geraldine K. Piorkowski

An Astrological Note:  The word “Confusion” indicates a link between Neptune and growing up in Divorce.  “Romantic Love” in a chivalrous way is ruled by Sun/Leo.  “Romantic Love” in an idealistic way is ruled by Neptune.  Libra/Venus rules Marriage.

The Following Reviews and Synopsis are taken from Amazon.com:

Review
“Piorkowski demonstrates her masterful understanding of the developmental experiences that facilitate and those that interfere with intimate relationships.”–Alice Bernstein, PhD,, Past President, Chicago Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology

“Piorkowski’s unique contribution is to help us understand why adult children of divorce find it so difficult to develop true intimacy. They frequently lack the blueprint that would enable them to move from an idealistic picture of romantic love to the more realistic one of commitment and skills needed to develop true long term sustaining relationships. Her penetrating analyis clearly indicates the urgent need to guide and support these confused love seekers.”–Michele Baldwin, PhD., Chicago Center for Family Health

“What is love? Our parents’ divorce undermined the idea that love is forever. The media feeds us the myth that love appears instantly and magically heals all our wounds. Today’s grown children of divorce are confused in the realm of love. Dr. Piorkowski brings a wealth of compassion, over twenty years of clinical experience, and a discerning eye on current research to help grown children of divorce to find the love they are looking for and to form the stable relationships they hope to give to their own children.”–Elizabeth Marquardt, Author, Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce

“Dr. Piorkowski’s book defines in depth the concept of love from a philosophical, cultural and artistic perspective providing the reader with a foundation by which they can reach their own determination as to the true meaning and feeling of love. Aided with this knowledge, the reader can better understand an interpersonal relationship. Then the book focuses on the viable by-product of failed “love,” as most strongly illustrated by children of divorce. Piorkowski examines how they react and how they can manage their own relationships to avoid the pitfalls of the past.”–Floyd N. Nadler, P.C., Nadler, Pritikin & Mirabelli LLC

Product Description
Romantic love is often an elusive, fragile, and tenuous state, difficult to maintain across years. The rates of divorce, re-divorce, relationship violence, and abuse today attest to the fact that Americans are failing at romantic love. For teenaged and adult children of divorce, romantic love is especially elusive. Because they have no road map of a satisfying, stable romantic relationship derived from their own parents, they are confused about what love is and tend to make poor partner choices. Borrowing heavily from popular culture for their unrealistic standards regarding love, they become disillusioned when their all-too-ordinary lovers don’t measure up. Especially vulnerable to the problems their parents had, they tend to overreact in a similar negative fashion and are all too ready to consider divorce when unhappiness strikes. In trying to halt intergenerational transmission of divorce, Psychologist Piorkowski points out how American popular culture presents an over-sexualized, explosive, and superficial version of romantic love that can’t last. With this book, adult children of divorce can begin to recognize how they have been affected by familial experiences and develop a new, realistic map to provide directions for more fulfilling and enduring romantic relationships. Piorkowski, in an extensive review of literature, also looks at cultural factors and how they impact romantic love and marriage. In contrast to American popular culture’s shallow rendition of romantic love, many cultures elsewhere in the world emphasize compatibility, religion, and family allegiance. As a result, says the author, such marriages appear more stable than American unions built upon the shifting sands of emotion.



Hercules
June 16, 2008, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Birth Order, Exemplary Children of Divorce, Healing, Myths, Stepfamilies

The Greek Myths are a great resource for learning about Children of D and Step-Family Hell. The Myth of Hercules is a great example.

This is a story about philandering Fathers, Jealous & Powerful Step-Mothers, Loss of Birthright, Dealing with Enemies, and finding Redemption. The story of Hercules’ 12 Labors, or 10 Labors, is often told. The evils that Hercules had to conquer are often retold, the Nemean Lion, the Apples of Hesperides, the Hound of Hades, these are common stories. The motive behind the story is not talked about. That would upset the parents and the therapists.

Hercules, in a fit of madness induced by his jealous step-mother, killed his wife and children and withdrew from the world. In order to redeem himself he had to defeat a list of demons that were decided for him by his worst enemy, the step-brother who usurped his birthright to be King. This was Hera’s son.

Here’s part of the Wikipedia article:

The framing narrative

Zeus, having made Alcmene pregnant with Hercules, proclaimed that the next son born of the house of Perseus would become king. Hera, Zeus’ wife, hearing this, caused Eurystheus to be born two months early as he was of the house of Perseus, while Hercules, also of the house, was three months overdue. When he found out what had been done, Zeus was furious; however, his rash proclamation still stood.

In a fit of madness, induced by Hera, Hercules slew his wife, Megara, and their three children. The fit then receded. Realizing what he had done, he isolated himself, going into the wilderness and living alone. He was found (by his cousin Theseus) and convinced to visit the Oracle at Delphi to regain his honor. The Oracle told him that as a penance he would have to perform a series of ten tasks, or labors, set by King Eurystheus, the man who had taken Hercules’ birthright and the man he hated the most.

Hercules never became King but according to some of the myths he did become immortal for being such a hero.  This is a great story to study and to gain wisdom and inspiration from in order to survive how lousy family life can be.

Here’s another summary of his story, slightly different from the Wikipedia entry:

http://ezinearticles.com/?Greek-Mythology-Hercules:-The-Mortal-Who-Became-A-God&id=37435