Spoiled Children of Divorce

Movie – Divorce Corp

Just saw a great movie which portrays Divorce as a huge industry. It’s called Divorce Corp. The movie says that Divorce is a 50 Billion dollar industry in the United States. The way Divorce is handled in Scandinavia is compared. People rarely bring in a lawyer. Custody problems are rarely an issue, at least for the parents. Some information is given about how children who don’t have Fathers have a much more difficult time in life, 200 percent higher suicide rates, for example. It’s really interesting that a movie like this doesn’t interview a single child victim of a custody battle. That 50 Billion $ would grow massively if one calculated financial loss of children from divorce both through career, divorces of their own, health problems, etc.

Humanitarian Jerry Lewis Disinherits His Kids From His First Marriage

Hey, as long as psychologists ignore the fallout of coming from a divorced family and lawyers make their money off of the arrangements, this is a situation that will never be addressed. Sigh, people who grew up in Divorce are so used to being rejected and ignored and poor this really doesn’t matter (too much). The lawyers only take on cases where they know they will get paid. Lawyers do pro bono for politically correct situations which will further their career.

Second/third/fourth/90th wives and their children are never, ever gracious enough to set things right. Best to blame those kids for the shit their Father dished out. The will is the parent’s last message to his/her children. This type, so common, do dear, is as bad as it gets.

Comedian/Actor Jerry Lewis died in August at age 91. The news says that he was surrounded by family but doesn’t indicate which family. The news always also make a point out of saying that the one child, a grown daughter, from Lewis’ second marriage will inherit everything, even though she’s “only” adopted. That’s really rude and I’m very sorry she has to read that. The first marriage lasted 36 years and the second marriage lasted 34 years.

So here we go. Kids from divorce are disinherited by their parents. Same old, same old. This time it’s a super successful rich guy who is known for his humanitarian work. That’s an extra twist. Don’t know what Divorce rates are of parents of kids with muscular dystrophy but it might be high. Here’s an article about high divorce rates among parents of children with special needs. Hopefully, being from a “first family” has never disqualified any of Jerry’s kids from receiving some of his charitable contributions.

Lewis died of heart disease which is associated with mental illness like depression which can make an old guy even grumpier so I suppose the kids have a lawsuit in there somewhere, especially since their Father made almost all of his money while he was married to their Mother and not the Step-Mother. You would think.

I’m not making much sense here. This kind of thing makes me so angry. But here it is, over and over and over. And the shrinks stay silent……

Estate Planning Help for Families of Divorce

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)

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.

Warren Buffett’s Advice for Success in Life

A Yahoo/Huffington Post article and video of Warren Buffett giving advice for his success in life.

This is a great introduction to my next phase of development post which, in my opinion, represents the most difficult age/phase for a child going through a traumatic event like a divorce because it mixes up the idea of what the Moon and Saturn represent in Astrology.  In a very basic phrasing, the Moon represents Unconditional Love and Saturn represents Condtional Love.  Both are essential for well being in the world, of course.  Kids who receive nothing but unconditional love from their parents without the setting of boundaries and conditions often have problems with drugs/alcohol/crime, etc.

But, Buffett says here that he feels the greatest gift his Father gave him was Unconditional Love, the feeling that he could always have something to come back to.  The way that these two elements blend in a person’s life is very important to watch.  Saturn represents setting Goals and achievement.  But, Saturn is often called the Taskmaster and the Devil because the lessons he sets for us are often to difficult for us to succeed in.  There is often a lack of feeling or tolerance which turns into a fear of failure.  A child who has to try to deal with Saturn without also having use of the riches of the Moon won’t be able to pick himself up and move on in life after a failure.  There has to be that sense of trust which occurs deep down in the unconscious.  And the Moon is the unconscious (Saturn calls it insanity, but that’s because Saturn is a jerk).

So, Divorce represents the ideas of Venus, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune in a person’s life.  Obviously not represented by the Moon and Saturn which are the basic building blocks of what an individual needs to get ahead in the world.  If the parents don’t function the way they ought to, then the step-parents are going to be extra evil.  If the child doesn’t develop that feeling deep down in his soul that he can have something to fall back on that will catch him, he will probably never take risks needed to get ahead. The “Happy” that is associated with Venus, the Sun and Uranus, doesn’t happen unless the Moon and Saturn are deeply secure within a person.  That’s where the parents who divorce are screwing up.

Buffett’s advice is also highly hypocritical when matched against his life.  He never divorced his first wife but lived apart from her since the middle 1970s.  He lived with another woman since that time and married her after his first wife died in 2004.  He has disowned one of his son’s children.

So, there you go, we’re stuck in the middle of a bunch of big experiments where nobody in the end really knows what is right and what is wrong. And, it’s important to pay attention to the fact that people who mess up by marrying the wrong person the first time around don’t repeat the same mistakes the second and third times around.  The hypocrisy that some parents show in their family lives doesn’t go away just because they divorce.  It’s important to state that because I know a lot of people out there who justify their own divorces by saying that they don’t want to be unhappy like their parents.  Generally we fall back into the same stupid traps the second time around in relationships.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Isabella Blow

English fashion icon Isabella Blow was a Child of Divorce.  Blow was a magazine editor, muse and stylist for major fashion designers.  She became famous for wearing eccentric hats.  She said it was “to keep everyone away from me.”  How Child of D’ ish.

Blow related much of her personal problems to problems from childhood.  When she was 4 years old her younger brother drowned in a swimming pool.  Her parents’ marriage slowly fell apart after that.  They separated in 1972 when Blow was 14 years old.  The parents divorced 2 years later when she would have been around 16 years old.

She said that her Mother, a Lawyer, left her with her 2 younger sisters by  “shaking each daughter by the hand.”  Children of Divorce learn early on that it’s difficult to say Good-Bye.

I believe that both parents remarried.  Blow didn’t get along with her Father’s new wife and daughters and worked for years at low wage jobs to support herself.

Blow’s life shows several other difficult rejections, possibly due to her struggle with Bipolar illness.  Alexander McQueen was one of the designers whose careers she built up. He ignored her after he became successful.  Isabella’s Father disinherited her.  She found out that she couldn’t have children and then was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Blow’s first marriage ended in divorce.  Her second marriage was difficult.

Blow was severely depressed during her last years and tried to kill herself at least a couple of times.  In 2006 she told her friends that she was going shopping, but instead drank a bottle of weedkiller and ended her life.   Her husband’s Father had also committed suicide in this way.

Inheritance from Divorced Parents
November 12, 2009, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Death of a Parent, Inheritance & Wills, money

Fighting over the Will of a dead parent is a big deal in any family.  It often tears people apart.  At any rate, death of a parent can bring out an interesting side of siblings that one never knew was there.  Grief counselors will explain that a death can rearrange entire family relationships all over again.

I’ve written some posts about dealing with sick and dying parents who are divorced but haven’t published them.  My parents were both dying from Lung Cancer at the same time.  That was hell.  Two completely different households.  When a parent is single the kids have to take over.  The other parent is off having a good time.  In my case my Mother got sick first.  My Father got sick a couple of years after.  They died within a year of each other.

But the classic awful story of inheritance is of the Step-Parent who takes all the money.  I know this because it happened to me.  It was clear that this would happen so I never fought.  My Step-Mother had been kicked out of a Country Club by the wives who were tired of watching her go after their husbands.  Then she kept coming over to my house, supposedly to pick up her daughter who was my friend.  Money was pretty much the only thing that this woman wanted.  My Father’s extremely successful business failed after he got involved with her.

Because this happened to me I always hear stories the greedy step-parent stories.  They are told quickly and efficiently.  Having a step-parent in the family always seems to add that detached, efficiency thing to all emotional relationships.  Step-parents can take advantage of this situation very easily and in my experience they generally do.  The biological parent gets tired of hearing about how manipulative his kids are and how they never call for anything but money and eventually sides with the Step-Parent.  So, this is a very common story.  The illness and death of the parent can be devastating.  And the strange and unusual loyalties within the family and of feeling loved become even stranger through the intense feelings of the grieving process.  I suppose if a child is used to being batted around back and forth through court proceedings and alimony and child support trauma another fight in this regard may not affect some kids.

My advice is:  do it.  Fight.   The parents’ possessions are their last message to you.  The Lawyers like to watch this stuff happen.  They wil fight in the Divorce Courts for years, but they like to let the kids know that they don’t deserve any possessions of their parents.  They bring up the Spoiled Child image.  Call a zillion lawyers if you have to to find one that will find the loophole in the law.  Don’t worry about the lawyers who humiliate you into meekness.

Inheritance actually gets more complicated than that.  My Father had been prominent in his field and I googled his name one day a few years ago to see if anything had been written about him.  I found a website asking for information about him.  I could only add a bit of information.  All of his papers had gone to his wife and had probably been used as fuel for a bonfire at a beach party.  Most of his work is now lost.  Since most of my childhood experience of him was as the workaholic father who never came home this is strongly embedded in my love for him.  His wife only wanted the money and the prestige and the long trips around Europe.  I assume that his work failure after his involvement with her was an embarassment to her.  Actually, I don’t think she probably gave any thought to it one way or another because she was so selfish.  I’ve also found that my ex-step-brother runs a pawn shop.  No doubt the jewelry that was left for me by my ancestors in a safety deposit box were his first sales.

Talking With the Parents About their Wills
July 14, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: indifferent parents, Inheritance & Wills, money

The Sunday San Jose Mercury News was just brimming today with interesting articles to link to. The link below discusses talking with parents about their finances and last wishes.  People who grew up in split homes are likely to have grown up observing really intense negotiations over finances so this is either easier to do with their parents because it’s familiar behavior, or it will bring up long lost stress over having watched the fighting.

Just wait until the parents get old, sick and infirm.  You’ve got two sets of them to care for.  Each set doesn’t acknowledge that the other set exists.  Talk about a lonely existence and feelings of being used.  After all, if you grew up in a divorced family you already know that you received less parenting than people who didn’t.

Now you’ve also got their Spouses to fight with over who gets what.  This is already a taboo subject, very difficult to discuss.  People don’t want to discuss their Death. The don’t want to discuss their stuff and their money. They’ve already spent an entire Divorce or two fighting over that.  The step-parents will accuse the kids of being selfish if they bring the subject up.  And just try having to face doing it twice!!!  If the parents are remarried the kids at least will have less responsibility for their care.

Parents don’t understand that how they write their Wills and what they leave to their Children is their last statement to them and ultimately to the world. The kids won’t talk about being disinherited but it is an extremely humiliating and cold statement for a parent to make to his/her kid.

Someone called up my brother and I to ask about our Father.  My brother’s response was “I don’t have anything to share about him.  He didn’t even leave me a pencil. Forget about him.” (And then he gave a very nice statement).  My Father’s career will be almost forgotten.  His papers, which have probably become collectible, were all left to his wife who no doubt threw everything out that she couldn’t get some money out of.

The article is called:  “Talk with parents about their finances, last wishes.”  by Pamela Yip.  http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9868273