Spoiled Children of Divorce

Bullying and Step-Families

With all the mention of Bullying in the news I don’t think I’ve ever heard mention of how this happens in Step-Families. Unlike schoolyard bullying, bullying at home by step-parents is never addressed by the biological parents. They will sit back and watch it happen. The Teachers at school will sit back and watch it happen. Psychologists never do anything for anyone so I suppose I should not have mentioned them in the first place. The options are either for the child to ask to live with the other parent or another relative like a Grandparent or to tell a teacher so that Social Services will remove him/her from the home. All I can say, speaking from experience, is: do it.

If a child is bullied by a family like this he/she will be marked to be bullied later on in life. In family a child can’t escape this type of irrational behavior.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler is a 20th Century detective novel writer written in a “hard-boiled style.” Some of the titles were The Big Sleep, Farewell My Lovely, and The Long Good-Bye. One might expect that a writer would discuss his childhood a bit but in the book Raymond Chandler Speaking (Gardner and Walker, p.20) he gives two liners to each parent.

His father: “My father was a graduate of Penn, a civil engineer. Divorced when I was seven…Never saw my father again.”

His Mother: “My Mother soon after returned to England to live with her mother and manage the house, and of course I went with her.”

Chandler grew up in Chicago until he was 7 years old. His Father worked for the railroads and was drunk most of the time. Chandler wrote that he was “found drunk if he was found at all.” (Hiney, Tom. Raymond Chandler: A Biography, p. 4).

Chandler’s Mother was born in Ireland and they moved to Ireland to live with family after his Father disappeared for the last time. They had lost their house and were living in a hotel where the boy caught Scarlett Fever. Chandler’s Mother never talked about his Father again.

Chandler said that he had wished his Mother had remarried in London. “I know that my mother had affairs — she wa a very beautiful woman– and the only thing that I felt to be wrong was that she refused to marry again for fear a step-father would not treat me kindly, since my father was such a swine.” (Honey, Tom. Raymond Chandler: A Biography, p. 10)

Chandler had generous relatives and grew up in Britain. He and his Mother returned to the United States. He worked at several professions, getting fired for drinking himself. He didn’t write his first story until 1933 at Age 45. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published when he was 51.

Chandler fell in love with the step-mother of a friend who was 18 years his senior. His Mother forbade the relationship so Chandler didn’t marry Cissy until after her death. When his wife died in 1954 Chandler attempted suicide.

Chandler died in 1959 of pneumonia which was brought on by alcoholism.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Raymond Chandler

One of the great old time masters of detective mystery writing, Raymond Chandler, was a Child of D.  Chandler’s Mother was an Irish Immigrant.  His Father was a civil engineer who was alcoholic.  The family moved around quite a bit because the father worked for the railroad.  Dad was absent a great deal of the time and eventually abandoned the family.  Chandler was raised by his Mother.  His uncle supported the pair financially.

I’m not sure when the divorce actually occurred.  Chandler’s Mother took him to Europe for awhile when he was around 11 or 12. Supposedly they took a boat in June, 1900.  Chandler was going through his Jupiter Return at that time.

Since I’ve found multiple examples of kids who go through their parents’ split during or around the time of their Jupiter Return who tend to become successful in Jupiterian Professions like Law, Publishing, Higher Education, Religion, etc. I’m pretty excited to find this prominence in Chandler’s chart.  I’m finding a lot of published writers whose parents split apart during this Return phase at any rate.

Success doesn’t guarantee happiness, of course.  Chandler suffered his own struggle with alcoholism just like his Father.  His Jupiter was in Scorpio (murder, crime, the dark side, detective work) opposing Neptune (escapism, addiction).  The Wikipedia biography on Chandler is really interesting.  He married a woman who was 18 years his senior (Venus c. Saturn-Sun-NN) and it seems that when she died he became despondent and tried to commit suicide.  It sounds like he suffered from serious depression his whole life.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner is author of the book The Art of Happyness which was made into an excellent movie starring Will Smith.

Gardner is an extremely successful Stockbroker and Motivational Speaker. He has written about his troubled childhood, his failed marriage, his bout with homelessness while holding onto his son. Everything was working against him. But he was accepted into a prestigious training program in a stockbroker program which led to his eventual incredible success owning his own Stock Brokerage firm. His story is pretty unbelievable and Gardner is now working to share his attitudes and survival skills with others in order to inspire them.

I’m listening to the audiobook version of his book which I highly recommend. It’s really interesting how these super successful people’s attitudes towards their experiences are just slightly different from the rest of us.

Gardner was the product of a relationship that his Mother had with a married man. He rarely saw his own Father growing up. His Mother married a highly abusive man so the entire family was subjected to an abusive step-father. This man reported Gardner’s Mother for defrauding Welfare when she threatened to leave him. This landed her in jail and Gardner and his older sister into Foster Homes for about 3 years. I’m not clear about his age (listening to audiobook so details fly on by) at this point; I think he was around 2 or 3 years old. His Mother still didn’t Divorce his step-father but had two more kids with the guy. He hit her once with a 2×4 which landed her in the hospital. Gardner witnessed this. Then his Mother tried to kill the stepfather by burning the house down with him in it. She went to jail again.

It’s interesting to focus on Gardner’s descriptions of these scenes to see what kind of a mindset can survive this. You can see this in how he describes his stepfather.

For one, he’s open and honest about the behavior. (In my family everyone literally “forget” what had happened. Well, alcohol helps with that. I “survived” by keeping a clear idea of what was going on and then, later on, I couldn’t handle my rage.) For example, instead of describing his Step-Father as a Monster like I probably would have, Gardner describes him as a Turbulent Weather System who would storm in and out of the house aiming his rifle at whatever he was angry with. I like how much more impersonal it is to think of a Weather System rather than a Being. You can kill a Monster, or subdue it, or at least think you can imagine that you can. A weather system must be allowed to exist. Another example, Gardner says that his step-father was actually “His University” on how not to behave. Gardner knew by living with this man that he must learn to be literate, must never abuse anyone, must never drink to excess. So, at a very young age, he was able to find guidance from this “Reverse Role Model.” And it appears that he held onto those goals. (I think that I just developed other unhealthy obsessions and traits. They were like my parents’, but different. Instead of Alcohol, Drugs, and Sex I became Anorexic.)

When Gardner’s Mother “disappeared” again when he was 8 years old (went to jail for burning the house down); he and his older sister lived with an Aunt and Uncle. He was never told what was going on and gives an excellent description of how he never knew what to expect from life from minute to minute. His closest relative was his Sister and his Aunt and Uncle put her in Detention when she was 12 years old. Gardner didn’t have a clue why.

Another thing, Gardner is a real stickler for proper writing and grammar.  “Happyness” in the title is from an episode where he became angry about the mispelling.  As I’m pretty sloppy in this area it’s really difficult to actually write this.  I just hate to edit.

Exemplary Comedians From Divorced Families

I expected a longer list here but I suppose Quality counts over Quantity.

As far as I can tell there are 5 Comedians on Entertainment Weekly’s 25 Funniest People list. I think it’s from 2006. This doesn’t mean that the other 20 people didn’t have crappy childhoods and have nothing to whine about, it just means that these 5 get to be featured on my blog.  20 percent.  That’s slightly lower than the 25-30 percent who grow up to have psych problems.  I do remember that the famous psychologist R.D. Laing based his career on the trauma he experienced at Age 5 in discovering that Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  That’s actually funnier than anything I’ve ever heard Jon Stewart say.

Jon Stewart – Age 9. Lived with Mom.

Dave Chappelle – Age 2. Winters with Mom. Summers with Dad.

Ellen Degeneres – Age 13?. Lived with Mom.

Jack Black – Age 10. Lived with Father.

Bernie Mac – Raised by Single Mother who died at Age 16.

That’s that list.

Here are some other Comedians I can think of. Will have to add to the list.

George Carlin – Age 2. Mother left Father.

Jonathan Winters – Age 7. Raised by Maternal Grandmother.

Lenny Bruce – Age 5. Shuffled around. Lived with Relatives.

Rodney Dangerfield – Age Young.  Father left.

I wrote about Richard Pryor and a couple of the others.

Who else?

Are Worldbeaters from Divorced Families?

This is a really quick survey on something I started to wonder about while browsing through the Biography Section in the Public Library for Children of D. I noticed that a whole lot of successful people come from families where the Father was an abusive Tyrant. I suppose this is useful exposure to have for behaviors that will ensure success in the World. But, and I don’t know if I’m going to be able to explain this clearly, I think also that often Divorce comes as a reaction to one parent trying to get away from Tyranical behaviors of the other parent. So, this is the good side of Divorce. Not accepting Tyrannical behaviors in society. Neither George Bush nor Dick Cheney are Child of D, perhaps a good reason why they don’t understand the wonders of habeus corpus.

I’ve used 3 websites to come up with lists of Tyrants and Dictators and kept the lists to 20th Century and current dictators because Divorce wasn’t common before then. There isn’t much discussion about childhood matters for some of these guys so more research is needed. The kids from the big Divorce Boom in the 70s and 80s still aren’t in power so it’s difficult to know how they will lead. It certainly is nice to think that possibly one of the good products of Divorce is the eradication of Tyranny from the World. Low self-esteem can work wonders in deflating the more willful and big-ego’ed of us. (I know all about that, let me tell ya). Astrologically speaking, there is a big transit coming up which is associated with Tyrannical behaviors and will be the first test for this generation.

This is the list along with the ones who I can determine experienced Divorce from the list at http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/tyrants.htm):

  • Mao Zedong
  • Adolf Hitler – illegitimate, bad childhood, parents together
  • Josif Stalin – Mother promiscuous, Paternity questionable, Father abusive and rarely around
  • Chiang Kai-shek (China) – Father died Age 2
  • Enver Pasha (Turkey) – Father died
  • Hirohito (Japan)
  • Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnam)
  • Kim Il Sung (North Vietnam) – Father was Ho Chi Minh
  • Vladimir Lenin (USSR) – Father died Age 16
  • Leopold II (Belgium)
  • Nicholas II (Russia)
  • Pol Pot (Cambodia)
  • Saddam Hussein (Iraq) – Father abandoned family 6 months before Saddam was born, 13 year old brother died around time of birth also; sent to live with Uncle until Age 3; Mother remarried and stepfather abusive, 3 half brothers; ran away Age 10 and lived with Uncle and relatives for rest of childhood.
  • Tojo Hideki (Japan)
  • Wilhelm II (Germany)
  • Yahya Khan (Pakistan)

Here also is Parade Magazine’s list of Dictators of the Current World from 2006:


  • Omar al-Bashir (Darfur)
  • Kim Jong-Il (North Korea)
  • Than Shwe (Burma)
  • Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) – Father abandonned family 1934, Age 10
  • Islan Karimov (Uzbekistan) – grew up in orphanage
  • Hu Jintao (China) – Mother died Age 7, raised by Aunt
  • King Abdullah (Saudi Arabia) – Father multiple wives
  • Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenistan) – grew up in orphanage, Father killed WWII, rest of family killed in earthquake
  • Seyed Ali Khamane’i (Iran)
  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Equatorial New Guinea)

This list adds 10 more names (http://www.lkwdpl.org/schools/horacemann/dictators/).

Among these are:

  • Aleksandr Lukashenko (Belarus) – Mother was unmarried
  • Fidel Castro (Cuba) – illegitimate child of Father’s maid

Exemplary Children of Divorce – The Beatles

I remember once an Interview with Paul McCartney where the Interviewer asked Paul what he thought about current Rock music. Paul said he liked it but that he was proud that the Beatles sent out a message of Love rather than some of the darker messages of the current times. This made me particularly curious to check into the childhoods of the Beatles. Were they from loving homes themselves?

John Lennon’s parents were split. His Father was a Merchant Marine and was gone most of the time when John was very young. John’s Mother was left alone with severe money problems. When John’s Father returned 1944 his Mother didn’t want him around anymore. Lennon was around 4 years old at the time. His Mother’s Sister called social services and basically took John from his Mother so John lived with his Aunt and Uncle through most of his childhood.

In July, 1946 John’s Father abducted his Son with the intention of taking him to New Zealand. (John Lennon would have been on the side of a Milk Carton, Age 6!!!!). When the Mother wanted to come along also John was given the choice of deciding which parent he wanted to go with. Well, I think this is a wise thing on the part of the parents in some cases but astrologically it can be seen as child abuse in this case. The reason being John Lennon was a Libra Sun. Libras don’t like to make decisions, they don’t like to chose, they can’t because they can always see both sides of an issue. (This is a quote of Lennon’s in which you can see this kind of thing going on:  “I remember a time when everybody I love hated me because I hate them.”)  At any rate, this event must have completely traumatized him. He chose his Father twice but ran after his Mother as she walked away. He never saw his Father again until much later on when he was an adult. Lennon was raised by his Aunt and Uncle in Liverpool and led a Middle Class life after that. His Mother stayed in his life and taught him to play the banjo. He got his first guitar in 1957. He met Paul McCartney at Age 15 on July 6, 1957.

Tragically, Lennon’s Mother was hit by a car and killed on July 15, 1958. The deaths of their Mothers is said to have been a strong bonding element between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Dropped out of Art School.

Paul McCartney’s parents did not Divorce, but his Mother died of Breast Cancer when McCartney was 13 years old (Oct. 31, 1956). As I just said McCartney met Lennon in 1957. He had met with George Harrison on the Bus in 1954 when he was 11. Dropped out of school.

Ringo Starr. Child of Divorce. His parents split when he was 3 years old. His Mother remarried and Starr liked his Step-father. He was a sickly child and dropped out of school when he was 13.

George Harrison came from a “Intact” Family.

What also fascinated me, was that, considering they were Rock Stars, the Beatles all enjoyed long-term marriage in their own right. Well, there were some nasty power plays. Yoko Ono broke up Lennon’s first marriage. And Patti Boyd left Harrison for his friend, Eric Clapton. Ouch.

I took a quick look at the family situation of the women involved in these relationships to see what kind of a family household they grew up in. Most of them grew up in the War so there were real problems but the families were intact.

From what I can gleam from their histories, Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Barbara Bach, Pattie Boyd and Harrison’s last wife, Olivia Trinidad Avias were all from Intact Families. Cynthia Lennon, John’s first wife, suffered the loss of her Father at Age 17.  So, little groupie girls who want to strike it rich, take heed. Beware of this fact amongst your competition. If you hesitate in your relationships or give things a second glance or act in any way befuddled by Romance’s ability to fail or doubt your loveability, you are probably capable of you’ll miss out on some powerfully, fun times. In other words, I don’t think you can’t compete with these girls.  You’re gonna have to make your own (and probably) better life.

Heather Mills McCartney is from a really nasty Divorced family situation, by the way. She’s got some good qualities but also some really nasty unresolved problems.