Spoiled Children of Divorce


“Being Flynn”

A couple of months ago I saw a really incredible but disturbing movie called Being Flynn.  It’s based on the real life story of a son who works in a homeless shelter and reconnects with his Father who comes in for help.  Robert DeNiro plays the Father and Julianne Moore plays the Mother.  Paul Dano plays the son.   Don’t know what he looks like in other roles but here he actually looks like someone who comes from divorce.  His posture, his attitude.  I stated before that I think that people from divorce generally have much different personalities from people who aren’t from divorce but never really thought that I attribute a certain type of physical look.

The original book on which the movie based is written by Nick Flynn and was originally titled Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.  Sorry, I’m very behind on my reading.  Flynn’s Mother committed suicide so his early life was extremely difficult.  Did I find his birth date?  Probably.  The astrology will be pretty interesting, if not beyond understanding.

Interesting website for the movie here.  Although this is a great movie I don’t recommend seeing it if you’re going through a difficult phase and especially if you’ve ever had to deal with suicide or homelessness or have known anyone who has.

Oh yeah, although I haven’t finished it, I really like the style of Flynn’s writing.



Banning the “D” Word

Okay this is too much.  I thought that New Yorkers were intelligent.   I thought they liked to talk about stuff.  I thought that it was only the Man-Childs and Baby-Womans of the California Dreamin’ crowd who couldn’t put up with the feelings of real live children.

But, no Edna, the New York City Schools have decided to join the herd.  For religious reasons.

CNN reports that the public school systems in New York are planning on banning the word “Divorce” from all school tests.

For one, as any Child of Divorce knows, talking about one’s parents’ divorce is simply not done.  People can’t handle the info.  Shrinks especially. Except when discussing how those kids are so spoiled, they get everything they want, you know, because of the guilt.

For two, and this is because of “For one”, the word Divorce probably doesn’t exist on the tests in the first place because Children of Divorce probably didn’t graduate from College and so did not write the tests.

The kids now have my express permission to write “The Death of my Parents’ Marriage” in stead of Divorce as answers on all of their written tests.  When the teacher wants to discuss your suicidal feelings please write “The Death of my Parents’ Marriage destroyed my desire to live because I now know that the Love that they profess for me is a shallow and transitory thing and could change on a dime if I screw up in any way.  I may even have to pay alimony if I complain.”

Maybe Divorce is more Scorpio than Uranian.  You put it in that clump along with other House 8 social secrets that nobody can talk about.  Namely:  Sex, Death and Taxes.  Rather:  Daddy’s Girlfriends’ Big Boobs; Mommy’s Alcoholism, Depression and Early Death from Destructive Lifestyle choices;  Tax Deduction #1 and Tax Deduction #2; the School Administrators’ deep and darkest desires to silence all feelings except their own. And the biggest of all:  “Power Trips.”

Not only is “Divorce” the big elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about, but, so are the kids.  They’re just kids.  They’ll get over it.  Don’t let them ever, ever talk about it, at least.

The words on the list of 50 banned words are said to be “Loaded.”  Loaded, as in guns?  Read the article and be prepared to drop your jaw wide open in disbelief.  Here’s the paragraph which explains why “Divorce” can’t be allowed.

Halloween may suggest paganism; divorce may conjure up uneasy feelings for children in the midst of a divorce within their family. One phrase that may surprise many, the term “Rock ‘n’ Roll” was on the “avoid” list.



“May die 2day”

Taboo subject here.  Even more forbidden than trying to seek help about how to deal with abusive step-parents.

This article is about a Mother who couldn’t get food stamps to feed her 2 children.  During an almost 7 hour stand off at the Welfare Office in Laredo, Texas, Rachel Grimmer’s 12-year old daughter posted a few frightening messages on her Facebook account about what she was going through as Mommy waves her gun around in despair.  At one point, she says she’s bored.  Guess perhaps she grew up listening to threatening rants.

At around midnight the Mother shot her two children, the 12 year old daughter and the 10 year old son in the head.  They have survived but are both in critical condition.  Ms. Grimmer then shot and killed herself.  I guess the welfare office supervisor wasn’t harmed.

Obviously, the Social Worker could have used some training.  He’s obviously telling lies all over the place about what was done to help.  And there are obviously some racial issues going on here.

The kid in this situation doesn’t ask for help, probably would resist it if it were offered, and it won’t be offered anyway because family, friends, and psychoblabbers  can’t stand the drama or even actually are amused by it.

The article tries to make sense out of the relationship between this family and the welfare system and it can’t.  It’s so unbelievable it sounds like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.

This brings up a lot of issues.  But, for right now,  I pray that those kids will recover.

Here’s a good article from Australia about Filicide.  That’s people who kill their children.  Talks about connection with Divorce.  And the tendency for everyone around, friends, family, therapists, etc., to go into denial, or at least do nothing.   The grandmother wrote back on Facebook to her granddaughter that she was “there for you.”   She could have at least told the kid to take her brother and go hide or to fake a convulsion to distract the adults.

“Mental Health, Filicide, Parental Separation and Divorce:  The need for early intervention and a better coordinated approach.” by Dr. Daniell Tyson and Prof. Thea Brown.

EDIT added December 28, 2011:  Both of Rachel Grimmer’s children died within 2 days of the shooting.  May they Rest in Peace.



Psychopathic Parents

There are no articles for children on learning how to tell if their parents are psychopaths, but most Children of Divorce know that if their parents get divorced they will inevitably hear one or both parents say that the other parent is a psychopath.  That’s just part of the Divorce Party Chit Chat.  And, of course, one doesn’t need coaching from one’s parents to understand that one’s Stepparents are psychopaths…  And, to be honest, it’s really frightening to be told that you are just like the psychopath….

Anyhoo, another great article from Huffington Post written for spouses to understand exactly what are the DSM qualification for Psychopathology.

I forgot already what the qualities of being a sociopath are.  I think there was something about how they appear normal but have Grandiose attitudes and were bullies as children. They appear normal…..  oh man, it gets so complicated.  And they sound a lot like Bipolar Disorder back in the day when Bipolar Disorder sounded like Bipolar Disorder.

A spouse will be very concerned if he or she suspects that his or her spouse has anti-social tendencies.  Of course the spouse will file for Divorce.  Usually, this has no effect on whether or not the child will go hang out with that spouse for week-ends, or even a month over the Summer.  Or maybe it will.  Maybe the child can no longer visit the ousted parent. I bet psychopaths are better in that regard.  Since they don’t care about anything they will be more likely to not continue with a 10 year custody battle.  Or maybe not.

There’s no advice for children on how to survive those fun week-end visits with Mom or Dad who made everything possible because she or he was a psychopath.  Psychopaths are fun and charming and everyone likes them and generally they are not bossy or aggressive.

So I thought up some questions for 20 years down the line when Canadian Researchers fund some programs to look into this because we all know that Americans couldn’t care less:

How do you get over the low self-esteem which comes from being told that one of your parents is a psychopath?  What are the chances that you can rise above your genetics?  According to the geneticists there is only one physical illness which is determined 100 percent by one’s genetics (it’s the one that Woody Guthrie died from, forget the name).  But, to hear a psychologist talk, mental illness is not as flexible and genetics are the driving force behind all that ails mankind.

How do you find the information about how to not act like a psychopath?  After all, the psychopath doesn’t care that he/she is a psychopath so probably isn’t going to steer you in any sort of direction otherwise.  And, obviously, the parent who claims to be the normal one jumped right into a stupid relationship with the psychopath and will probably do so over and over again so has issues of his/her own.

How do you begin to enjoy the company of Normal people who are so boring, after all?

Should you avoid the psychopathic parent?  Should you hate the psychopathic parent?  How is it possible to love the psychopathic parent?  Do you feel lucky if you don’t look or act like the psychopathic parent?  Do you feel scornful of and superior to your siblings who do?

Should you ask your friends to tell you when you’re acting like a psychopath?  Or will they stop being your friends if they think you or your siblings or your parent is a psychopath?

Should you warn your teachers that you are genetically inclined towards psychopathic behaviors and to keep all sharp objects out of reach of your mean little hands?

What are the statistics that your parents won’t jump right into another marriage right away with a psychopath?  This is cause for great anxiety for a child.

If your psychopathic parent is an addict then will he/she stop being a psychopath in the unlikely events that he/she sobers up?  Or is the addiction just an excuse to hide behind?

How do you deal with being blamed for everything that goes wrong in your psychopath parents’ life?  Or the normal parents’ life for that matter.   Of course, step-parents will blame you for anything and everything because they didn’t marry you, they married your parent and you just came along so shut up and be grateful.

How do you know if only one of your parents is a psychopath?  Maybe the normal parent is actually the true psychopath?

What does it do to your personality and character to have to wonder about this crap over and over again when really you should just be doing chores, doing homework and out playing with your friends and not hiding from parents and worrying about money?

Would you rather have a rich psychopathic parent or a poor, exhausted but normal parent?  Divorced parents don’t really have much time for their kids either way so maybe it doesn’t really matter at all.  Parents have their own lives to live.  They both say they love you more than anything else in the world, isn’t that enough?

Why isn’t anyone protecting you from this shit?



Mother Drives Her Children Into the Hudson River
April 16, 2011, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Abandonment, filicide, Mentally Ill parents, Murder, Suicide, Violence

A 25-year old mother of 4 in New York drove herself and her children into the Hudson River.  Her 10-year old son escaped his Mother’s clutches, but she drowned along with his 3 younger siblings.  According to the surviving son his Mother was expressing regrets as the van she was driving sank into the water and was wishing that she could be saved.  In the article which is linked to it sounds as if the Mother was upset about the relationship with the children’s father.  I’m unclear about her relationship with the Father.  There was a story about how he allowed one of the children to run around in the street naked in the middle of the night.  She had had locks changed on the doors twice in the last 6 months.

There’s an interesting article about how common it is for Mothers to kill their children called “Moms killing kids not nearly as rare as we think.”  The article talks about the role of mental illness in the situation but also the fact that the mothers are simply isolated emotionally and socially.  “So often there is an impending death or divorce or breakup.”  This is a really great article and I thank the person who wrote it.  Since statistics don’t distinguish between Mothers, Fathers and Step-fathers (no mention of Step-Mothers?), an expert is quoted as saying that it is thought that a Mother kills her own child ever 3 days (in the U.S.? I know this is accepted practice in traditional Asian cultures).

The thing is to remember that this Mother was over stressed and that at the last minute she was showing regrets about the choice she had made.

For the first year of my parent’s divorce my Mother tried to commit suicide 3 times and at times she was threatening to kill me as well.  She never actually did try to kill me, but I became anorexic as a way of trying not to have any needs which would upset her. And I have gone through serious suicidal phases ever since. So, I tend to notice when one of these stories hits the news.

The information is often repressed because of society’s needs to think that Mothers never fail in their duties to love their children.  The article explains how often Mothers think that they are doing what’s best for their children by killing them.

I have sort of forgotten the exact reasons why my Mother said that she would have to kill me.  I sometimes think that it was because she knew that I would never be able to trust anyone after having been betrayed by both my Father and my best friend.  But, I think the real reason was financial and just the fact that she didn’t want to be burdened by having a kid around since the marriage was over.  She had been raised by a single woman as her Father had died.  I don’t think in all her rants that she ever discussed how perhaps it would be difficult for me to function after being kept awake all night listening to this stuff.  In the morning she would claim that she didn’t remember a thing (unless it was one of the nights when I lost it and started screaming).

Needless to say I feel so sorry for the young boy and hope that he can find a safe environment to grow up in where he will find love and support.  It sounds like he has great survival skills and hopefully he will be able to trust people.

I hope that this woman’s soul and those of her children will rest in peace.  And I hope that social networks can be formed for single mothers to gain the support and help they need.  There are so many concerns in these cases.  Financial, Legal, Self Esteem, Retraining regarding partnership mistakes, Help with Career, Help with Housework and raising children.  And, of course, lack of time to devote to improving all these areas of life.  I’m pretty certain that women can’t expect other married women to help them.

Mothers who have to take care of their children really need so much help.  In the end the “help” my Mother received were 2 1-week stints in mental hospitals.  She received a diagnosis and some pills and was taught a new career choice which proved adequate income. A Call Girl taught her how to go into a bar and turn tricks on those days when money was coming up a bit short.   Mental Hospitals expose vulnerable people not only to pills that only help to sedate and humiliate them but also to connections with even sicker people who share survival skills are a bit lacking.  I sort of wonder what goes on in the nurses and doctors’ minds.  Don’t they see that this stuff goes on?  Hospitals for mental illness are just as infectious for disease as hospitals for physical illness.



Depressed Fathers Spank Their Babies More
March 16, 2011, 12:14 am
Filed under: Mentally Ill parents, Relationship with Father, Violence

Article which explains that up to 25 percent of new Mothers suffer from Post-Partum Depression and up to about 7 percent of new Fathers suffer from it as well.  A study has found that Depressed Fathers are much more likely to spank their 1-year old babies.  This is a behavior that a one year old isn’t going to understand at all.  I assume that a Mother won’t understand what is going on either.  Violent physical behavior in men was considered “normal” while I was growing up and I really appreciate this kind of research.  But … sure wish they could hook in some questions on parental harmony/discord/divorce and the children.

Am not going to link to it but there was also an article about how spoiled children are more intelligent.  Maybe I’ll quit griping about Children of Divorce are always accused of being spoiled.  I know we are more intelligent, for sure, dude.

http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/14/dads-dark-side-new-fathers-with-depression-spank-their-babies-more/



Biutiful

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biutiful