Spoiled Children of Divorce


“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.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Mark Whitaker

Mark Whitaker is Managing Editor of CNN Worldwide.  I don’t know what that means exactly, except for the fact that it means that he’s intelligent and successful.

Whitaker has written his memoir.  I’ve only read a couple of blurbs about it.  Whitaker is bi-racial. His Father was a Scholar who specialized in African Studies.  His Mother was also an academic who taught French (I think).  His parents met when his Father signed up for his Mother’s class. They had two sons together.

His parents had a “Bad Divorce”  when Whitaker was 8 years old.  This means, according to my research, that Whitaker would have been heavily influenced by his first Saturn Square. Saturn rules the Father and Career Ambitions and Discipline.   On an emotional level Saturn can relate to depression and guilt and bitterness. In Whitaker’s case it’s in the sign of Sagittarius which rules Journalism, Law, Religion, International Affairs, Opinions, Free Spirits, Higher Education.  That certainly fits with becoming a journalist so one can see how being “stuck” in a phase such as this can blossom into good things down the line.  The Saturn in Sagittarius fits most of his descriptions about the divorce which is what I’m always looking for.  His parents were both academics.  They were brought together through an interest in foreign affairs.  His Father’s philandering was a main reason for the divorce and probably his drinking and irresponsible behavior was a major source of pain for Whitaker.  The Mother moved her sons across country where Whitaker found a positive outlet in journalism.  Sagittarius is often related to overdoing and excess and Whitaker began to eat excessively in reaction to the stress and pain.  Fortunately he is a Virgo so probably interest in diet and healthy lifestyle took over because he’s not overweight now.

I think that children who are going through a Saturn cycle transit will often hold their parents accountable for their behaviors later on more than some of the other age groups.   So parents should be prepared for that.  Children at that age are hitting a level of maturation which needs a sense of order as support.  They may develop a problem with overwork later on in life.

If this is true, then the Ages roughly for this particular need are around Age8 and Age 14.  Saturn transits are often connected with progressed Moon transits (Mother, emotional, interior life) and these two represent parenting and family and tradition.

As an off note it is interesting to see that Whitaker found his calling after moving across country after the divorce.  He developed an interest in journalism in his new school.  It’s interesting that his natal Mercury (writing, communications, co-ruler for Journalism along with Jupiter/Sagittarius)  is Retrograde in Virgo and stationed direct in 1969-70 which could have explained a release for communications.

CNN’s currently posting a video of Whitaker in which he talks about how he succeeded in spite of growing up in a difficult divorce situation.  



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.



Battered Mothers, Children Who Watch
December 15, 2010, 8:26 am
Filed under: moving, Violence

With public funding cutbacks  for social service I was very alarmed to hear a statistic mentioned on the radio about how 3 out of 4 battered women who leave their abusers end up either severely injured or murdered.  The radio show was on NPR today, sorry I can’t remember the show.  But there was discussion about how most of the abused women also have children who suffer from the same problems.

I found this list of statistics which confirms that unbelievable rate.  The date looks a bit old.  The show was about how the funding for battered womens’ shelters is ending.  One community in California try to find private homes in the area which would act as safe houses.  And, how these can be very dangerous as there is no security to protect against intruders.



Kids Who Move Around A Lot

I’m trying to read what is considered a classic book on child rearing, the name of which I can’t really remember, something on Nurturing?  It’s written by a woman who says that kids will turn out the way they turn out whether they have good parenting or not.  It tests the Nature v. Nurture theories in order to let the parents off the hook.  Needless to say it’s been a bestseller.

The book is highly praised by Malcolm Gladwell and Stephen Pinker so it has to be good.  And it’s fun to read, the writer lists all kinds of interesting studies and has a strong voice/attitude.  And then I start to get hot-headed about the stupid Children of D comments.  Watching the dance around talking about growing up in a split household is so unbelievably unbelievable.  The writer, can’t remember her name, will get it at some point, talks about a lot of the same studies that Paul Ekman talked about in his book, but from the point of view of the modern woman who is free to do as she pleases in life in order to pursue her happiness.  She does discuss Divorce, about maybe 30 pages worth in a book that’s about 400 pages long.  In those pages there is the stupid argument about the study that says that kids who grow up in Divorce are more screwed up than the kids who suffer the death of a parent.  She, the writer, rebutts that idea saying  it would surely be a whole lot worse to have had a parent who died of AIDS than to have have divorced parents.  What is the ratio of kids who had a parent who died of AIDS to the kids who are growing up in Divorce?  I’ve never met someone whose parent died of AIDS so I really can’t say.  So, a lot of the arguments are unbelievably immature and silly. A kid from a divorced family whose parent dies of AIDS has to go through the whole process by himself without the support of a healthy family to share the experience with.  Now, there’s something to feel bad about.

The writer says these things sort of in the same obnoxious tone that I say stupid things so it doesn’t bother me all that much (but I will point out that they are stupid arguments).

What does bother me is that all the arguments about how Divorce isn’t a difficult situation for a kid to grow up are stuck in the Chapter on Dysfunctional Families.

For one, when you are growing up in Divorce you are not necessarily growing up in a dysfunctional family. You might be growing up in two dysfunctional families.  You might be growing up in two functional families but you are strangers with half of the members in each and don’t really feel like you belong anywhere.  It is highly likely that you are growing up in one normal family and one dysfunctional family, depending on which parent enters a 12 step program (or not, their preference).  And the members of the normal family will constantly discuss how abnormal the member of your dysfunctional family are, but they acknowledge that they can do nothing to help you with that problem which makes you totally hate functional people who are generally very self-involved and concerned about their own self-preservation.  And, anyway, the only people who really view themselves as being functional are the shrinks, of course, and we all know how far from reality that is.

So, at any rate, the writer of the book on nurturing, or how we don’t need nurturing, says that one of the real problems for children, the thing that really does cause stress for a child is moving around a lot.  It turns out that the writer’s family moved around a lot and she’s set up the entire tone of the book around her own experience and needs.  She doesn’t discuss packing suitcases or traveling on airplanes alone so I don’t know how much she really did move around as a child.  I mean, by some kids’ standards, she probably had a pretty stable environment.  I mean,  a lot can happen inside the silverware drawer in one parent’s house during the week that you are at the other parent’s house.

So, folks, there are studies out there that say that kids who move around a lot during childhood are more stressed out than kids who don’t move around a lot.  Does this sound like something that many kids from divorce go through?  Why can’t the writer and her buds make this mental leap?  How difficult is it really to connect the dots here?  I know, I know, talking about how divorce wrecks the kids is a marketer’s nightmare.

You know, it really doesn’t matter as long as the CDC refuses to add California to their Divorce Statistics.  How can you claim to have any statistics at all about Divorce in the U.S. if you don’t include the most populated state, the State where everyone moves to and divorces a year later in order to find themselves?  The housing in California is so expensive and tight that many kids from Divorce live in the closet in their Mothers’ apartments for the first two years after the divorce.  Is this cozy?  Why yes, it must be.  That’s why Mommy’s going to school to become a shrink.  So she can help others to not feel guilty about making their kids live in the closet too and then if everyone’s doing it it must be right.  Right?