Spoiled Children of Divorce


Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder is an unwanted diagnosis. Therapists dread treating it. If you want to know more about it you can google the endless entries on the web. It’s kind of like being trapped in a kid’s mind as an adult because the personalities swing back and forth between hot and cold feelings very quickly. There is a fear of abandonment, a lot of self injury and suicidality. Sound like Child of Divorce issues?

While looking up well-known people who struggle with this disorder I found that a huge percentage come from divorced families. I also noticed that children who are diagnosed as Borderline have step-parents which could indicate they are victims of stressful homes.

Here’s is an article which says that Children of Divorce are more vulnerable to Borderline Personality Disorder. Here is a quote from the article on research from back in 1996:

JoelParis(1994,1996)suggested that biologicalvulnerabilityis necessarybutnot sufficient to cause BPD. Varying psychological factors can precipitate BPD inthe presence of biological vulnerability. Paris maintained that the impact of socialdisintegration and rapid social change, such as breakdown of the traditional familyand changing social norms, are nonspecific risk factors in the etiology of BPD.Cross-cultural studies reveal the possibility that structured traditional societiesdiminish the emergence of this disorder.

(PDF) Children At-Risk for Borderline…. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257827646_Children_At-Risk_for_Borderline_Personality_Disorder [accessed Jul 22 2018].

I wonder if this is one of those psychological diseases which could be deactivated if the therapist could actually talk about divorce. It really doesn’t take much. If you’ve read about how the ACE study brought remarkable results for adults who had traumatic childhoods, you will understand that often the practitioner just has to mention the problem, maybe fake concern, maybe add a couple of knowledgeable details. But, denial is the reality of growing up with leftover divorce trauma.



Borderline Personality Disorder Among Children of Divorce

Borderline Personality Disorder is an unwanted diagnosis. Therapists dread it because they say it’s not treatable. If you want to know more about it you can google the google. It sounds like being trapped in a kid’s mind as an adult because there is a problem with emotional regulation. The person’s moods swing back and forth between hot and cold feelings very quickly. There is a fear of abandonment, self injury and suicidality. While looking up well-known people who struggle with this disorder I found that a huge percentage come from divorced families.

Here’s is a list of famous people I’ve found who may be Borderline along with whether they are from Divorce:

Amy Winehouse – parents divorced
Pete Doherty –
Britney Spears – parents divorced
Courtney Love – parents divorced
Lindsey Lohan – parents divorced
Princess Diana – parents divorced
Angelina Jolie – parents divorced
Marilyn Monroe – parents divorced, maybe never married
Darrel Hammond –
Scott Levy –
Brand Marshall – parents married Age 3, divorced age 6
Anais Nin – parents divorced Age 2
Ernest Hemingway –
Elon Musk? – parents divorced

This is an interesting list. I’m not sure if these are real diagnoses since they are from off the internet. Borderline Personality Disorder is said to be a predominantly female illness but it looks from this list that it could be a predominantly male illness since the male examples may not come from divorce. That’s interesting because psychological studies have generally commented on how boys suffer the most from Divorce. (Scott Levy only lists his Father in his biography so he may be from divorce.) The Diagnosis isn’t made until after the child turns 18.

PTSD diagnosis can’t be made from Death or Divorce but there is now a trauma from childhood diagnosis which might take over these diagnosis. The ACE study includes loss of a parent through death or divorce.

Therapists seem to agree that childhood trauma is a major influence.

Here’s is an article which says that Children of Divorce are more vulnerable to Borderline Personality Disorder. Here is a quote from the article on research from back in 1996:

JoelParis(1994,1996)suggested that biologicalvulnerabilityis necessarybutnot sufficient to cause BPD. Varying psychological factors can precipitate BPD inthe presence of biological vulnerability. Paris maintained that the impact of socialdisintegration and rapid social change, such as breakdown of the traditional familyand changing social norms, are nonspecific risk factors in the etiology of BPD.Cross-cultural studies reveal the possibility that structured traditional societies diminish the emergence of this disorder.

(PDF) Children At-Risk for Borderline…. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257827646_Children_At-Risk_for_Borderline_Personality_Disorder [accessed Jul 22 2018].

A child going through a divorce can be observing Borderline type of behavior from the parents and so the behavior may be from the stress of coping with that.

Don’t have the link anymore but I think there is a Psychology Today article about the divorce rate and Borderline Personality Disorders. I may not be remembering this correctly so don’t quote me. Borderlines are less likely to marry in the first place, have the same divorce rates, when they do divorce they are less likely to remarry.



Complex PTSD as a result of Divorce

Dealing with parents who are blaming you for everything, probably even dealing with parents who blame each other for everything, can lead to later psychological problems which are now being labelled “Complex PTSD.” A child who regularly experiences this along with alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, mental illness, poverty, neglect, unreliability, blame, suicide, etc. etc. could develop Complex PTSD. Here is an article which discusses Learned Helplessness which is one symptom associated with complex-PTSD. The author does not recognize fallout from divorce. They never do. Get used to it. She connects it to feeling shame. Learned helplessness can result from trying to get your parents to stop arguing, witnessing domestic violence, trying to convince a parent to stop abusing drugs or alcohol, probably even waiting to be picked up from school if the parent is chronically late and the other kids have all left. It seems there are some studies about this for parents who go through divorce, especially the ones who divorce a Narcissist. I guess kids who are left to fend for themselves with a Narcissistic parent. A psychologist will not gloss over the fact that you had a narcissistic parent. A great Huffington Post article explains what this means. The writer Craig Malkin describes 8 problems which children of narcissistic parents face: 1. Chronic self-blame 2. Echoism 3. Insecure attachment 4. Need-panic 5. Fierce independence 6. Parentified child 7. Extreme narcissism 8. PTSD.

Psych researchers are picking through various talked about problems and trying to identify whether struggle s a child of divorce is dealing with is related to the divorce or whether it is related to the actual problem. Don’t have a link, but one study found that certain stress symptoms are related to being a child of an alcoholic rather than a child of divorce. I don’t think the study looked at children who experienced death of a parent or whose parents never married to compare. Maybe they have at the research level.

I’ve discussed the ACE Study before. The Huffington Post wrote a great 4-part article on the ACE Study. If interested try looking there. It’s a huge study of employed, functional people who developed chronic illness later in life. It found a direct link between chronic illness and multiple stressors in the life. There are more stressors than included in the study. All a Doctor has to do is to question the patient about the 9 stressors involved and then patients will have remarkably fewer problems with the illness. Something like a 30 percent reduction of office visits.



Talking About Mental Health

Here’s an interesting discussion. Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps discusses his problems with Depression, Anxiety and Suicidal feelings. He talks with David Axelrod who talks a bit about his Father’s Suicide which he said he never talked about with anyone for 30 years. (In astrobabble terms, that’s a Saturn Return. Saturn rules the Father and also Depression). Neither interviewer or interviewee discusses being Children of Divorce. The stigma is just that strong.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-phelps-helping-others-with-depression-light-years-better-than-olympic-gold/CBSnews. Michael Phelps discusses mental health.



“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.