Spoiled Children of Divorce


Children of Divorce and The Great Recession

1.46 million people in the United States are living on $2 a day.  This equals $60 a month.  Or $720 a year.

These numbers are provided by a Survey of Income and Program Participation which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.   This is called “Extreme Poverty” by Financial experts.  Apparently food stamps and housing subsidies are provided by social services for those who can think straight and find the help they need on their own.  At this level there are other problems, like self esteem, which make going through the bureaucratic b.s of getting these things difficult.  And, the social services are pretty much taken over by the illegals at this point anyway.

I can’t exactly understand the details of “extreme poverty.”  Kids from this section make up about 14 percent of all kids who live in normal “poverty.”  I guess those kids are exposed to cash.  I do know that kids who are going through Divorce right now during what is called the Great Recession, are hardest hit.  Parents lose their jobs, their house.  One parent becomes too weak to survive and breaks off from the stronger parent. Who knows where the kids end up?

from http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/pove-f25.shtml:

“Children have been especially hard hit. The brief estimates that “about 2.8 million children lived in extreme poverty at the beginning of 2011.… This was roughly 16 percent of all children in poverty.” The number of households with children in extreme poverty has risen sharply since November 2008. The study dismisses the notion that the American safety net “is strong, or even adequate, when one in five poor households with children are living without meaningful cash income.”

As to the demographics of families living in destitution, the NPC researchers found that 37 percent of the households in extreme poverty in 2011 were headed by a married couple and 51 percent by a single female.

Some 48 percent of these households were headed by white non-Hispanics, 25 percent by African Americans and 22 percent by Hispanics in 2011. “

A USA Today article on the same topic written by Marisol Bello (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-02-23/extreme-poverty-increase/53227386/1).

describes how Children of Divorce are among the worst hit of this sector as it takes into account people who live in poverty over a one month period.
Here’s a blurb:

“Robert Rector, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, says most aid to the poor today is in non-cash assistance. Last year, he says, the federal and state government spent $900 billion on 70 programs that assist the poor, from health care and food stamps to energy assistance and college grants.

“When you look at that type of family, you don’t see the type of deprivation this study suggests,” he says.

Because the study shows households in extreme poverty for a month, it is more reflective of people losing jobs, getting divorced or having short-term crises, he says.

Shaefer says, “We are trying to document the growth in deep poverty. … Even one month living at this level is concerning.'”

Did you see that mention of the Big D?  Go back and look again, it seems to pass by too many people’s eyes.  G-E-T-T-I-N-G D-I-V-O-R-C-E-D.   Cut it out and show it to your shrink.  Oh Yeah, you can’t afford to go to the shrink.

Another USAToday article says that Child Homelessness is up 33% in the last 3 years.

The states where homeless children fare the best are Vermont, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Maine.

It finds the worst states for homeless children are Southern states where poverty is high, including Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, and states decimated by foreclosures and job losses, such as Arizona, California and Nevada.

Kids in these types of households need to be encouraged to find guidance outside the home through books and music and art and by developing adventurous spirits.  I think I wrote about Charlie Chaplin who talks about his childhood with parents with mental illness and a divorce.  He developed a strong bond with his brother in London.  E.O Wilson, one of the greatest sociobiologists of all time, also says in his autobiography that if he hadn’t been allowed to wander around the countryside he wouldn’t have developed any of the ideas which he invented.  Of course, he lost an eye due to neglect, but I guess that’s another story.



“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.  



Malnutrition and Growing Up in Divorce
July 18, 2011, 5:41 pm
Filed under: ADD, Astrology stuff, Guilt, Health, Nutrition, poverty, Uncategorized

The study of Nutrition would probably help children of divorce more than any other. The connection between “meal time” is often the one subject which connects family members more than any other. There are a whole lot of issues which can come up concerning food when there is a divorce. The physical harm that is done to a child by being fed irregular meals of inferior quality is the first issue. There are social issues that crop up as well is a child is not fed and allowed to interact in mealtime. Within the home this will just develop as the usual, but once a child begins to make friends with children who come from normal homes the child might feel neglected or ashamed or lesser than. There are also basic psychological damages that can occur. The stress of having one’s weekly visit with Daddy dominated by his new date while Mommy sits at home feeling left out is probably a typical stress activity for some. It was for me at least.

Money with which to buy food becomes a problem. Children are exposed to parents who are totaling up how much they need in order to buy food each month.

If there is a loss of income on either parents’ side this can be a source of great stress. In my family the money always went first for alcohol and cigarettes. What was left would go for food. I remember my step-sister opening the empty refrigerator and screaming. Our parents would still be asleep at 11:00 am. Older children will often complain about the problem openly. Younger children will probably feel guilt for having needs which obviously won’t be filled through normal channels. Behaviors have to be developed in order to get fed. I became Anorexic so I stopped needing food. Meal times in my family were so heavily connected with Alcoholism I figure I would have had problems anyway, but the divorce made the situation much worse. I also became the one who went with my Mother to the grocery store and helped her with the budget. Sometimes her hands would shake so much writing the check that I would have to sign for her.

Issues of priorities that have been set within families concerning who is responsible for what duties can become an issue. In conservative families where women do the cooking there will be issues. I remember my older brother going through his bad adolescence screaming at me to stop doing homework in order to cook the dinner because girls do the cooking. In my family now, the women become stressed about cooking that the men do practically all of it, by the way.

I picked up an old collection of essays and lectures from 1981-82 about Nutrition from a library sale. It’s interesting to see all the studies which have been done on child development and nutrition. Researchers found that motor skills are heavily affected in children who suffer malnutrition as babies. This so corresponds with the first astrological cycles it’s just amazing. Mercury represents fine motor skills and it’s first cycles play a huge part in a baby’s development during the first year. Mars represents gross motor skills and Mars’ influence plays a big part in the 2d year (and first year as well). So, I hope to read more from the book in order to connect these two. I wonder if Nutritional Scientists have tried to discover ways to fix nutritional deficiencies that have occurred early on in the physical level. I know they figure that the psychological scars are probably either ADD or Autism. And, certainly, anyone who has been involved in Nutritional Science hasn’t done much of anything considering how what conventional farming has done to the food and how much junk food there is.

I hope to do more research to see if the other astrological cycles/stages of development correspond with physical problems relating to malnutrition issues. I erased the name of the book. The language in most of it is very techniical and too difficult for me to understand.

One thing I can think of in order to create a solution is for parents to try to section off a piece of land in order to get kids involved in growing their own food organically. Maybe they are already doing this. It seems that the benefits would be huge in many different areas. The parents could share babysitting so could have some free time to do their own thing. Kids could connect with the land and with food which could be a good substitude for not having a stable family. Kids could eat more nutritious and flavorful food and could have some positive guidance from adults in learning to grow it. I know this is part of the campaign which First Lady Michelle Obama started. The problem with these types of “cures” is that parenting and scheduling becomes such a stressful part of growing up in Divorce that most people will just stop following any of these activities. The stress of following through on these artificial cures becomes too stressful. Many people just don’t have easy access to land at this point. Of course, there are urban gardening techniques where one can grow some things in just a few pots kept in a window.



Sleep Disorders Related to Divorce

I suffer from sleep disorders.  I know that what I went through with my Mother after the divorce is a major reason for sending the problem over the top.  But, I’ve never had this recognized by a shrink.

I had no problem until after I stopped living with my Mother.  That is, the problem of being kept awake all night and screamed at among other things just stuck with me.  I didn’t notice it until after the other problem was removed from my life.

During my first year in College I had a kind of funny and loud roommate.  The guy living in the room next door asking me how I could stand it.  Truth is, I didn’t notice it.  I did flunk out of that college almost immediately after entering.  I did notice a huge problems in the next college I went to.  The problem wasn’t so much that I couldn’t sleep, it was because I had been put in to a room that was under a really noisy guy.  At that point, my anorexia had gotten a lot worse.  I had several severe nutritional deficiencies because of it.  One was a Vitamin B deficiency which was noticable because the sides of my mouth were cracked.  Vitamin B is related to nervous disorders.  So that could possibly be a problem.

But I think my problem went back further than the divorce.  If my parent’s problems, and specifically my Mother’s problem, had been handled responsibly (she was the loud one), I probably would have outgrown the problem.  But my Father removed himself from the situation and it became worse for the rest of us because of it.   As a child, I was sick all the time in the era when antibiotics were given away like candy by the doctors.  I was asthmatic and was given a medication which was composed of uppers and downers and some sort of extremely toxic asthma medication which was only effective at the dosage which it became fatal.  Asthma is considered a psychiatric problem by the Medcial Community., At least I know it has been up til pretty recently because I had a roommate, a Nurse, who used to bitch about her difficult asthmatic patients.  (Hang a rope around your neck and dangle for a day and you’ll know the psychology that’s behind asthma).  Another interesting thing is related to an unbelievably obvious environmental situation.   My bedroom was always right next to the kitchen.  And that’s where my parents used to party all night.  I had no choice about sleeping on those nights.  It was loud.  The piano was right up against my bedroom wall.  If I complained my Mother would yell at me, because, she was drunk, and an alcoholic.  And she was fun.  And I wasn’t.  I was grumpy because I couldn’t sleep, for one thing.

So, I found this old book in the library, from 1985.  (1984 is the last time that California counted Divorce Statistics. ) That’s when the “No Fault Parenting Laws” snuck in under the “No Fault Divorce Laws.”  At any rate, when I pick up these self help books I know that there won’t be a whole chapter which discusses “Divorce”.   I go straight to the index.  In this case, probably because parents were still aware that their children existed, there are a large amount of listing: 5 listings (small listings) of the word “Divorce.”  More recent books have completely stopped using the word.  It makes the parents unhappy.

So here we go:  Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.  By Richard Ferber, M.D., Director, Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders, Children’s Hospital, Boston, 1985, this is paperback published 1986, Simon and Schuster.

p.  39 Chapter called “Developing Good Sleep Patterns”  Section called:  Should Your Child Sleep in Your Bed?”

It’s about how sleeping alone helps a child develop independence.  Kids can come between the parents, it can be a power play.  Single parents are lonely and will often want a kid to sleep with them and this creates problems for the child.

Author could have added a comment about how different this situation is for a child with a step-parent.  That child will know early on that he can’t go into his parents’ bed because of well, there’s a stranger in bed with Mommy and/or Daddy and they’re having #$&^%$ and ##%## sex (verbage censored to protect the parents who suffer from hypocrisy and arrogance).  We won’t discuss children of divorce who have to lie awake listening to their parents doing the deed with whomever.

p. 46-47:  Chapter 4 Nighttime Fears:  The Child Who is Anxious.

“At any stage of your child’s development, specific events may intensify certain anxieties.”

  • Separation Anxiety, If you become sick your child may not be able to leave your side because of guilt,
  • Toilet training trauma, that must have been a big ordeal for me thank god I don’t remember it,
  • “worries about ability to control herself” (funny, how the gender thing takes over in this writing because back in 1985 grammar was pretty conservative and writers always used the masculine).
  • Scary movies.
  • Fear of kidnapping.

Oook here it comes:  There’s one paragraph for toilet training anxieties, 6 lines about scary movie anxiety, then:

  • “And significant social stresses of any kind, over which the child has little control — illness, parental fighting, separation, divorce, alcoholism, death — may lead to a great deal of worry, guilt, anxiety, and fear at any age.”
  • Shit, give me a scary movie and a bowl of ice cream any old day.

Here’s what happens after you have been tucked in during your munchkin years with regards to dealing with anxiety in your life:

“During the day it is much easier to keep worries under control.  Most children keep pretty busy and don’t have time to brood over their problems.  But at night as your child gets into bed, turns out the light, and prepares for sleep, she may begin to worry.  If she lies quietly in bed, there is little to do but think, and her fantaises may run free.  As your child gets sleepy, her ability to avoid certain thoughts diminishes.  She has less control over her feelings, urges, and fears.  In this state she begins to feel, and may even act, more childish.   In this “regressed” state at night, a four-or five-year-old may need the same reassurance that a two- or three-year-old needs during the day.

Today, they just say it’s genetics and they gork the kid out on psych drugs.  Notice once again the referral to the female gender.  Today we know that boys suffer more because of divorce overall and are 3 times more likely to grow up suicidal.  So, maybe sexism is protective is some way.  Dash out their dreams young and they won’t grow up to disappoint.

Thank God that this last year tons of oil was spewed in to the Gulf Coast and radiactive Plutonium is spewing into the Pacific Ocean from Japan.  People at this time last year were worrying about how all the psych drugs were killing off the fish.  Pharmaceutical Industry is let off the hook for what people have been urinating into the oceans.

After this there is a long pause concering sleep problems existing as a result of parental divorce.  We don’t find another mention until page 154.  There are chapters about parental behavior, scheduling situations, medical causes.  Then the Big D again comes up under the “Interruptions during Sleep” Chapter (Mommy having Sex with b.ff in room next door?)  in a Chapter called “Sudden Partial Wakings.”  That’s funny because the planet Uranus is associated with Sudden Shocking Events, Divorce, Hopes, Wishes and on rare occassions, Spiritual Awakenings.  The spiritual astrologers calm their clients fears about what Uranus is doing to wreck their lives by telling them that these events are happening in order to give them great spiritual insights that they otherwise would have not been able to learn.  We are all in this ucky muck together, if we have control and order we can’t have chaos and chaos is what creates a happy society.  Stuff like that.  I don’t doubt that some of it is true.  I also fear Uranus transits like the plague.  Nothing says “We Love You but in a Distant, Irresponsible type of way because there’s just too much going on in our own lives” quite like a Uranus transit.  Uranus rules rebellious behaviors against Status quo.  So, it’s great for rebelling against things like the Catholic Church and starting a new business that looks to improve society through innovation., The problem is that Uranus is one of the last rulers of the Astrological Wheel.  It is a very adult energy which looks at communities as a whole and its placement on the chart sort of shows the trigger energy that makes the whole world just keep rolling around.  He’s the energy that says that nothing is permanent or lasts because permanence, in itself, is evil and keeps things from getting better.  He lets Aquarius Sun Dick Cheney stand in front of the World and promote anti-Gay propaganda all the while campaigning with his daughter who is Gay.  Weirdness.  I told you, it’s an adult energy.

At any rate, p. 154 begins talking about a boy named Christopher whose Father has recently died.  So, it’s not about Divorce, it’s about Death of a Parent.  Christopher would wake up an hour after falling asleep and scream out and wouldn’t respond to his Mother.  Then he would sleepwalker around the house until 4:00 am.  Mom got sick and was gone for two weeks, then she remarried and had a new baby.  Christopher got a lot worse and was doing his thing multiple times a night.  How to get Christopher to calm down?   So here’s what the Doctor found:

“When I saw Christopher he was a nice quiet youngster, but despite his calm exterior he seemed very tense and anxious.  I learned that his father and stepfather were alcoholics and there was some violence within his home.  He had many angry feelings toward people around him but was afraid to express them.  He was quite frightened at his lack of control of the world about him and was surely distraught that his parents could not seem to control themselves.  He devoted much of his own energy toward rigid self-control.  He worried that if he did not control his feelings, there would be dire consequences.”

The Dr. then sends Christopher and his Mom to counseling.  As I said the Father is dead.  The step-father, an alcoholic, doesn’t need counseling?  The Dr. gives the kid some drugs because the Mother is so angry about being kept up all night.  There’s nothing about divorce in this one, I don’t know why I tagged it.  I guess to just study about how the step-parenting thing isn’t discussed.  This is between the subset relationship within Christopher’s family, him and his Mom.

The next mention of the Big D is on p. 196-7 in a Chapter called “Headbanging, Body Rocking, and Head Rolling.

Kind of interesting that kids generally start headbanging around Age18 months.  That’s right before the first Mars Return. Mars rules the head.  And banging.  If a child stops doing this around Age 3 or 4 there’s nothing to worry about. The second Mars Return occurs right before Age 4.  Kids do these “rhythmic behaviors.”  Those ages are under the influence of Jupiter and Jupiter rules abstract thought.  Maybe there’s a connection between giving one’s self a concussion and being capable of abstract thought?  Weird.  Teething begins around the same time as headbanging and rocking so the kid might just be in physical pain or discomfort.  Interesting.

There’s discussion about an 8-year-old girl named Jessica who began Head Thumping after her parents’ divorce.  She would lie on her stomach and thump her head on the bed repeatedly.

“She was afraid she might cause her mother more unhappiness, and , if this happened, she would suffer even more loss of love.  It was clear that the recurrence of Jessica’s headbanging was in response to her current emotional struggles.”

Yeah, she just want to feel the pain on a physical level.  But, I wonder if Jessica is one of the Adult Children of Divorce who has gone on to become twice as likely as Children from Intact Families to suffer a stroke later on in adult life.  The Dr. says to ignore it and let the child outgrow it.  He says that concussions don’t happen from this.  This was written in 1985, so maybe things have changed.



Children of Divorce Twice As Likely to be Prescribed Meds for ADD

An ADD Therapist, Jennifer Korestky, gives a link to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal which found that medications prescribed for ADD is twice as likely to be given to kids whose parents are recently divorced.

Koretsky tries to downplay the stress that kids go through in Divorce by promoting theories that ADD is genetic.  But loss of nutrition, reliable schedules, emotional security, finances, loss of time spent splitting up between two families, loss of friends, chugging way too much wisdom concerning relationships and money and betrayal and loss that are well beyond those of peers, in addition to stress of having to watch Mommy and Daddy fight, could also play a part.  That list is a string of irregular grammatical mistakes.  Oh well.

Blogged here:  http://www.experiencingaddvantages.com/2007/06/new_research_on.html.

Journal cited: CMAJ • June 5, 2007; 176 (12). doi:10.1503/cmaj.061458 Author:   Lisa A. Strohschein.



What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Exemplary Children of D – Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp gave an incredible performance of an oldest Son growing up while living with a helpless, obese, single mother and younger brother  in the movie:  What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

Probably not really good Holiday Viewing, though.  Just happened to think of it right now.

Johnny Depp is a Child of D.  His parents would have divorced around the time that Depp was 15.  Here’s an except from his biography on Wikipedia.

Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, the son of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, Sr., a civil engineer.[3] He has one brother, Danny, and two sisters, Christie (now his personal manager) and Debbie. … The family moved frequently during Depp’s childhood, and he and his siblings lived in more than 20 different locations, settling in Miramar, Florida, in 1970. In 1978, Depp’s parents divorced. He engaged in self-harm as a child, due to the stress of dealing with family problems and his own insecurity. He has seven or eight scars from practicing self-harm. In a 1993 interview, he explained his self-injury by saying, “My body is a journal in a way. It’s like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist”.[8]

1980s

Depp’s mother bought her son a guitar when he was 12, and Depp began playing in various garage bands. His first band was in honor of his girlfriend, Meredith. A year after his parents’ divorce, Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. As he once explained on Inside the Actors Studio, he attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. …