Spoiled Children of Divorce


Parents as Sex Traders

When your parents divorce, often your relationship with both of them changes.  Whereas, previously, you may have been closest to your Father, you may become closer to your Mother after the divorce.  Then there are the stories of the child who becomes so difficult and unmanageable under care of one parent, he/she has to change households and has to go live with the other parent.  And then there’s the story which I just saw last night on TV…

Saw a very frightening show last night on Sex Trafficking.  The United States has grown one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Sex Trafficking capital of the World.  Sorry I can’t remember the name of the show, was wanting to link to it.  I think it was on MSNBC.  Am certain I will repeat some inaccurate details here in trying to describe the situation.

A young girl in the Bay Area was repeatedly raped by her Father from the age of 3 onwards.  At the Age of 8 years old her Father began to pimp her in order to make enough money for the family to buy a house.  The parents divorced when she was a teen and at that time the Mother, needing money, began to pimp the girl.

So, there you go, horror stories beyond anything most of us can imagine.  Her parents are immigrants who follow beliefs that daughters can be treated this way.  I grew up with what I think are pretty conservative values for women’s place in the world.  I’ve discussed my own situation, no sexual abuse, so I’m not saying that this happens only in Asian families.  This is a problem for female children overall in dysfunctional families.

The whole time growing up, this girl maintained a straight A average in school and played on her Soccer team.  She was very close to a teacher, I believe her old Soccer coach.  This young woman then managed to get in to UC Berkeley where she began therapy in order to try to make sense out of her life.  I believe she said that she is now around 25 years old and has stopped talking with her parents since she was around 20 years old.  Her strength is incredible.  She is speaking out in order to help others who might be in this same situation.

The parents were interviewed on the show and didn’t admit to anything.



Brazil Feeds Girls From Broken Homes to Men Being Held in Jail

Read an article in USAToday which said that child abuse tends to go up when the country is in recession.  The article says that most of the abuse is aimed against babies and very young children as their parents can’t handle the stress of financial problems and caring for a child.  Why don’t pediatricians ever talk out about this type of problem as it is connected with Divorce.  Doesn’t matter I suppose.  My parents divorced during a recession so maybe the excuse is that I was abused because of the financial problems and not because of the divorce.  The type of mentality that can separate this stuff is called “Denial.”  Nobody practices “denial” more than folks connected with the medical profession — that’s only my opinion.

Really scary stories coming out of Brazil.  A 14 year old girl was released from a jail on Saturday night after being held in prison for 4 days.  She was gang raped the entire time by a group of men who were also in her cell.  Apparently this is typical.  The police capture young women on minor or even false charges in order to feed the men who are being kept in the jails.  A 15 year old girl was arrested (I originally wrote “captured” in stead of arrested because that’s a more accurate description) on Oct. 21, 2007 and held for weeks in a cell with 21 men.

Another time a 23 year old prostitute was held for a month as well.

This article describes how both the 15 year old and 23 year old victims were naturals for being victims of this type of crime because they come from “Broken Homes” and had been molested by step-fathers.

In the U.S., of course, nothing like this could possibly happen.  Nah, never.

I’ve discussed before the relationship I’ve noticed how the news of women who are murdered by Husbands/Boyfriends often seem to come from Broken Homes.  Even without the molestation from the step-father this seems to be a trend.  There’s  a statistic floating around on the internet which backs up my theory but haven’t got a clue if it’s accurate.

What’s fascinating about all the articles which discuss child abuse is that they never seem to come with information that will help the victims.  It seems that if a kid is reading that type of thing he/she should be given some advice.  Guess they can’t do that because the kids from intact homes will hog up all the services.  Kids with healthy self-esteem scream loudest.

 



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Oliver Stone

It’s amazing how many Children of Divorce, the guys at any rate, grew up to become famous movie Directors.

This morning I was listening to the NPR radio station in my area and heard a very interesting interview with Oliver Stone.  He was talking about his life as well as his movies.  And Michael Krasney, the interviewer actually asked him to speak about his parents’ divorce. (awesome!, and of course Stone couldn’t really find the words to discuss it.)

Stone was born into comfort in New York and Connecticut. His Father was a stockbroker.  Wikipedia says that his parents divorced when Stone was 15 because his Father tended to end up having affairs with family friends.  Stone had a strong relationship with his  father, but his Mother was absent much of the time.  In the interview Stone says that he was sent to boarding school when he was 14 and this in connection with the divorce was a time of great loss.  Can’t remember his exact words because I was driving while listening to the interview.

I suppose that growing up in divorce trauma not only gives one a heightened of how to tell a story emotionally but to have an extra layer of understanding about human motivations.  One also has the freedom, in a sense, to devote one’s time to something outside of family and relationships.  Movie sets probably become like little families that disperse quickly.

Stone graduated from the boarding school and was accepted at Yale but dropped out after a year.  According to one article he decided to reinvent himself and went to Asia.  Religion appears to have played a big part in Stone’s life.  His Father was Jewish, his Mother was Catholic and they decided to raise him Episcopalian.  That’s nuts of course.  Stone has studied Buddhism for most of his adult life.

Stone fought in the Vietnam War and has made 3 movies about this experience.  The most famous is Platoon.

It seems to be a very positive survival step when Children of Divorce decide to completely reinvent themselves soon after leaving home around Age 18 or 19.  Changing one’s name, throwing one’s self into a career (one that doesn’t require College), seeking out a new religion and a better way of life than one has been brought up in is a big potential gift that one can take from this upbringing. Uranus rules Divorce so those who can enjoy Uranian lifestyles perhaps do better than those who don’t.

In the interview, Stone talks about his problems with addiction and his mental health issues as an adult.

He discusses the motives behind choosing many of the themes for his movies.  One can sense that being a witness to the reality behind one’s parents’ wedded bliss can really trigger the seeker in all of us.   Stone  seeks to find the real truth.  Political fraud.  Violence.  What really happens in history outside what one reads from textbooks and news reports.  Okay, okay, and there’s a lot of dramatization, exaggeration, and conspiracy theory there.  And those last reasons are what sell his movies.

Stone is on his third marriage.  He has two sons from his second marriage and has a daughter with his third and current wife.  Stone himself was an only child.



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.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Arianna Huffington

I’ve noticed that the Huffington Post publishes a lot of articles about Divorce, sometimes even about the children, and finally found this article written by Arianna herself.  It’s the introductory post about a whole special section in the Huffington Post centered around the topic of Divorce.  Huffington has experienced Divorce from both sides in her life.  Her parents split when she was 9 years old.  And she is divorced and Mother of children. She has two daughters and says in the article that the oldest was 8 years old at the time of the split.

As always it’s interesting to compare how people discuss their parents’ divorce in order to compare which planetary return transit or phase they were going through.  Seems to always leave an impression that relates directly to the planet which relates to the child’s age.

Huffington, according to my theory, ought to have been influenced very strongly by her first Lilith Return and her first Nodal Opposition because her parents divorced when she was 9.  Lilith is sort of the “First Wife” syndrome.  In mythology she was Adam’s first wife and he dumped her because she demanded equality.  Lilith is not a planet, but a recently used abstract point in astrology.  She is related to the dark side of the Moon, the apogee point, or farthest point away from the earth (as opposed to SuperMoons which are the closest of the closest points in the orbit). This is expressed in a sort of a dark way which is a lot like the female version of Pluto ruler of Scorpio.  Lilith can be often related to behavior relating to sexual abandon.  So, it’s interesting that Huffington’s summary of her parents is to say that her Father was a philanderer.    It’s also interesting to see how the Lilith influence is postively influencing Huffington’s power as a media mogul.

I’m not real clear yet on how to interpret the partial Nodal Axis transits except to say that the difficult ones coincide in the Gessell Institute studies with very positive stages of personality development  in children.  The ages of around 5 and 10 years point to a time where kids’ personalities seem to harmonize for a while as observed by those researchers.  All the planets have a Nodal Axis, the biggee is generally considered the Moon’s Nodal Axis and that’s what I’m talking about here.  Interesting how at this age there are two abstract points in the sky which I’ve pinned down as major influences in how a child reacts to divorce.  Moon rules the family and the Mother, so maybe there’s something to it.

I’m observing that traumatized Nodal Axis emphasis from childhood seems to develop in adults as people who can succeed in life through their personalities.  They also may tend to repeat their parents’ mistakes in some sort of weird unconscious behaviors and then, in some cases, use that information to slightly modify the mistakes.  The Nodes are related to a subconscious life path which must always be balanced in some way.   I’d need a lot more examples to see if this is true for sure.  And, as with all of these, there are a lot of particular influences, signs, house placements, transits, etc. which will make each individual’s experience different.

Ariana discusses how her daughter at Age 8 really struggled with the loss of parenting.  Funny the difference a year makes.  This shows a completely different influence.  This age relates strongly to the first Saturn square.  Saturn rules the Father in the chart.  Often kids who experience divorce under Saturn and Prog. Moon influences will swing back and forth between compatibility with each parent during childhood, will even play around with gender preferences sexually for a while.  This is supposed to be related to a time in a child’s life when he plateaus at a level of maturity and begins to express his own social skills and self management, Saturn stuff.  When traumatized it will revert back to parenting problems, control, guilt, repressed anger, abnormal self-reliance, fear of failure, among other things.

Age 7-8 and Age 13-14 are really bad ages for kids to go through their parents’ divorces, it appears.   This relates to prog. Moon and Saturn which share difficult aspects of relating to the Axis in the chart that rules Parents, Home, Social standing, Goal Setting.  Because of the hard aspects, kids need the backdrop of the solid, traditional family foundation to have something to grow away from.  Divorce knocks that out from under their feet and they really do hold on to the trauma (these are already difficult transits).   It’s interesting that Huffington and her husband intuitively played that out for this daughter by continuing to celebrate holidays together as a family.  It definitely looks like there are ways to work around the problem.  In Stephanie Staal’s book one boy said that he felt his Mother saved him by always making sure that the family continued to have dinner together every night.   Moon and Saturn need to feel safe and that’s what traditions are for, essentially.

Huffington has recently sold her online paper so I don’t know if this section will continue.

As she says in the post, the idea for the Divorce section was Nora Ephron’s.  Ephron is currently married to her third husband.  I don’t think she grew up in divorce.  She has published a nice piece about her own divorces in which she sort of pistol whips herself every time she mentions what a bad effect the divorce will have on her children.  I’m sorry, but I tend to feel so emotionally unhooked and relieved when I hear divorced parents admit that divorce isn’t good for the children.



“Safari” by Jennifer Egan

Heard a partial short story reading on NPR while driving tonight.  “Safari” by Jennifer Egan.  As happens while driving the car I usually haven’t got a clue what I’m listening to and for some reason it’s always really interesting that way.  Egan was interviewed after the reading and explained parts of the story which have to do with “unstable family situations.”  She discussed her own childhood and her parents’ divorce.  So I had to come home to see if the story is available on the Internet.  Turns out there’s an editor at The New Yorker who doesn’t mind publishing stories about Children of Divorce:

Safari.

The story is about a “family” going on a Safari vacation together for three weeks.  Dad is twice divorced and has brought along his new girlfriend.  Two of his children are there.   All the characters are weaving in and out of understanding of what their relationships with each other are.  The story is told from the fractured points of view of each character and with a fractured sense of timing, a sort of whirlwind of who, what, when, why where, which expresses the unstable situation.  Relationships, Sex, self understanding, grief, boredom are all told by characters at completely different places in their lives and without any cohesive tribal understanding of the events.  In the background, meanwhile, there is the structured scheduling of the trip and on another level the lives of each character past, present and future is told with a sort of innocent but frightening frankness.   I think that this is sort of the attitude that Children of Divorce take on in life in order to try to make sense of it all.  There was no sense of emotion, the characters continue with their lives trying to follow along the way they have followed the scheduling of this trip.  Event after event is told with a sort of inability to really feel what is going on.  In the end there is this matter of factness about how life unfolds along with a great sense of emotional loss.  (Sorry went on a little too long here, but I really liked the story)

Jennifer Egan’s parents divorced when she was around 2 years old.  Her Father was an alcoholic who rehabed in his 40s.  She was her parents’ only child together and was the oldest in her new family that her Mother created with her Step Father.  Egan was born in the Midwest.  Moved to San Francisco when she was 7 years old.  She is married and I believe has two sons and lives on the East Coast.  I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of these details.



Exemplary Children of Divorce – Rick Moody

Interesting NPR radio show (http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201009021000)  that I again heard only a portion of while driving in the car.  Writer Rick Moody is promoting his new book and discusses his other books.  The Ice Storm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ice_Storm_%28film%29) was made into a movie so there was a humorous chat about that.  He says that he wrote the book in response to the “Rabbit” series of books written by John Cheever.  I haven’t read the books myself because I read a couple of short stories by Cheever and I didn’t like his tone.  He comes across as the over-privileged, superiority-complex-ed White Guy standing in the room at parties very smug in his attitudes about everyone else, and especially the daughters.

And it’s interesting that Moody says that The Ice Storm is written as a sort of kids’ revenge story on the parents because they reflect that awful 1960s and 70s disregard that parents had for their children.  That’s exactly what I remembered from the stories.  Growing up,  I know that most kids were afraid of their parents.  Certainly these are the parents who created the Divorce Boom.  This was the beginning of the great experiments in relationships.  Families got thrown in as an afterthought and I think that new families moving into the divorce and step-family thing sort of think these were happy times.

So, I had to look up The Ice Storm.  As usual, haven’t read it.  I saw the movie and I do remember being stressed out by it, but all I can really remember is the theater I saw it in.  No offense to Rick Moody.  I sort of stop reading novels after my Father died for some reason.  I really enjoyed listening to the NPR show today and highly recommend it.

So, of course, I was curious to see if Rick Moody is a Child of Divorce.  Found this in an interview on a blog about him (The Black Veil which is referred to is a memoir that Moody wrote – a reviewer called him something like the worst writer alive, probably just got offended because he said that the divorce hurt him):

Moody’s biography can seem a little conventional. Born in 1961, he lived in a scatter plot of Connecticut towns until, at 15, he headed off to boarding school. Amid this, Moody’s parents divorced — ”We were the first in the neighborhood to achieve that milestone,” he would write in The Black Veil — and his problems began in earnest.

Those problems included marijuana, hash, quaaludes, PCP, LSD, cocaine, speed and heroin, in addition to copious amounts of alcohol and “bad jags of promiscuity” (The Black Veil, again). Moody still managed to get into Brown University (he studied with John Hawkes and Angela Carter) and to get closer to his dream of becoming a writer (he attempted his first novel at 11). He earned an M.F.A. from Columbia University and got a job at a prestigious New York publisher, but his life, physically and emotionally, was no longer on a sustainable track.