Spoiled Children of Divorce


Bullying and Step-Families

With all the mention of Bullying in the news I don’t think I’ve ever heard mention of how this happens in Step-Families. Unlike schoolyard bullying, bullying at home by step-parents is never addressed by the biological parents. They will sit back and watch it happen. The Teachers at school will sit back and watch it happen. Psychologists never do anything for anyone so I suppose I should not have mentioned them in the first place. The options are either for the child to ask to live with the other parent or another relative like a Grandparent or to tell a teacher so that Social Services will remove him/her from the home. All I can say, speaking from experience, is: do it.

If a child is bullied by a family like this he/she will be marked to be bullied later on in life. In family a child can’t escape this type of irrational behavior.



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.



Mr. Rogers Versus Mandated Reporters

Mr. Rogers had a way of talking with little kids that comforted the parents. In Divorce this is essential for the health of the child. Parents of Divorce Children are very busy and preoccupied. They are doing the best they can, but it is essential that they talk with their children about the divorce and about their own behaviors while trying to encourage the child to speak about his/her feelings and observations.

While working around some children I couldn’t help but notice that they will start talking about their parents and the divorce almost immediately if given a chance. It sounded like a cry for help to me. But, I didn’t feel I had the right to get involved. Children want an adult to discuss this stuff with. In one case I happened to tell someone who was a mandated reporter about one of the children. I wasn’t aware of the mandated reporter thing. Without any discussion, the child was removed from the problem parents’ custody within a day or two. I don’t know whether this was already in the works and that I had nothing to do with any of it, but the child stopped talking to me. The child was also crying a lot and the custodial parent became fairly grumpy. It’s surprising to me that most children of divorce will openly discuss what is going on at home and, although they speak about it in simple terms, they sound very stressed out. I guess most adults will hear a child say “My Mother is sick. I don’t see my Father very much. My parents are getting a divorce” and still not understand that an adult going through 3 such stressors would be drinking, yelling, calling in sick to work, going to the shrink, medicating, and who knows what else. For some reason, when a child says this most people ignore it. Maybe they tell the child to hang tight while their parents get their act together. This, of course, can take five years.

That is why I recommend that parents watch Mr. Rogers’ episodes on dealing with divorce. His understanding is kind of stupid. He makes a big point out of assuring the child that he/she is not to blame for the parents’ split. That applies to only a percentage of children, not all. In some cases a parent leaves because he/she can’t handle children, or they can’t handle having children with the ex so they vanish from the life. And the child knows it. And internalizes it because it is taboo to talk about and nobody can do anything to help. It’s amazing how the Blame Thing is the only element that gets through to adults. Obviously it’s a projection which arises from the Divorce because Blame is a huge fighting factor in the courts. It spills over on to the kids either directly or indirectly through observation.

At any rate, it’s best for a parent to talk with one’s children directly unless one wants one’s children discussing their problems with Social Workers. If the parent tell their kids that they are not to blame one can expect that a step-parent will come along who will.

In the end, let’s face it. Things go on behind divorced walls that aren’t good parenting. When the child goes to school they compare themselves to the other kids who are living much simpler lives. Okay, so that’s another stressor in addition to switching parents/home twice a week, having to talk about friends and school twice, having to monitor parents’ feelings about what happened while with the other parent…

Okay, okay, so there is stuff that Mr. Rogers doesn’t talk about…Kids going through divorce need extra parenting, not less. Instead, they get extra parents, which can often lead to even more stress. Would be great if schools would allow a child to talk with an interested third party without fear of mandated reporting.



Humanitarian Jerry Lewis Disinherits His Kids From His First Marriage

Hey, as long as psychologists ignore the fallout of coming from a divorced family and lawyers make their money off of the arrangements, this is a situation that will never be addressed. Sigh, people who grew up in Divorce are so used to being rejected and ignored and poor this really doesn’t matter (too much). The lawyers only take on cases where they know they will get paid. Lawyers do pro bono for politically correct situations which will further their career.

Second/third/fourth/90th wives and their children are never, ever gracious enough to set things right. Best to blame those kids for the shit their Father dished out. The will is the parent’s last message to his/her children. This type, so common, do dear, is as bad as it gets.

Comedian/Actor Jerry Lewis died in August at age 91. The news says that he was surrounded by family but doesn’t indicate which family. The news always also make a point out of saying that the one child, a grown daughter, from Lewis’ second marriage will inherit everything, even though she’s “only” adopted. That’s really rude and I’m very sorry she has to read that. The first marriage lasted 36 years and the second marriage lasted 34 years.

So here we go. Kids from divorce are disinherited by their parents. Same old, same old. This time it’s a super successful rich guy who is known for his humanitarian work. That’s an extra twist. Don’t know what Divorce rates are of parents of kids with muscular dystrophy but it might be high. Here’s an article about high divorce rates among parents of children with special needs. Hopefully, being from a “first family” has never disqualified any of Jerry’s kids from receiving some of his charitable contributions.

Lewis died of heart disease which is associated with mental illness like depression which can make an old guy even grumpier so I suppose the kids have a lawsuit in there somewhere, especially since their Father made almost all of his money while he was married to their Mother and not the Step-Mother. You would think.

I’m not making much sense here. This kind of thing makes me so angry. But here it is, over and over and over. And the shrinks stay silent……



Estate Planning Help for Families of Divorce

Lawyers just do as they are told. If a ten times divorced rich guy shows up at the office and wants to leave all his money to his 3d wife and her hamster, the lawyer will write up the will that way. Rich people tend to love money and power, maybe just money. Often they don’t like their kids as much. Some people are just in denial that they’ll ever die. And, of course, there are hundreds of other stories about why children of divorce don’t receive an inheritance. Love is generally not equated with Loyalty in Divorced families the way it is in intact families.

After a divorced parent dies the grieving process for a Child of Divorce will also be different. A Will is a parent’s last words to his/her child. If there are no possessions or money this won’t be an issue. But, if no inheritance, no love, point blank. So the grieving process will bring up all the old crap from the divorce days/years/decades along with the current grieving process for a parent. Divorce is War. This is one of the many fall-outs from War usually decades after the War. Therapists don’t give a rats ass about the whole process because most therapists are 1) from intact families and 2) divorced themselves and so defensive that they will not worry themselves over this.

So, here is a start. The reviews are mixed and don’t really give much information about whether these books really are friendly to the kids. Different States have different rules and I don’t know if the books cover this. That’s why my Father maintained residency in Washington rather than California even though he had homes in both and had lived in Washington only a few years and had died in California. He wrote his will in Washington and it could have been contested in California.

Estate Planning for the Blended Family by L. Paul Hood Jr. and Emily Bouchard. (2012)

and

Estate Planning for Blended Families by Richard E. Barnes (NOLO Press, 2009)



Brain on Fire – Susannah Cahalan
In her recently released book Brain on Fire, Susannah Callahan describes her battle with a rarely diagnosed autoimmune illness which attacked her brain.  I heard an interview with her on NPR’s radio program Fresh Air.
Callahan became very sick very quickly in February 2009 when she was 24 years old.  At first she figured she was suffering from the stress of her new job as a reporter at The New York Post but as her symptoms became worse she went through diagnosis after diagnosis and eventually chewed up 1 million dollars worth of scans and tests. A doctor could correctly figure out her illness by the simple test of  having her draw a picture of the face of a clock.
Calahan had been living with a boyfriend for 6 months.  Her parents were divorced and she had become estranged from her father after the divorce.  Both parents sound like they were great caretakers and cooperated with each other throughout the long month when Susannah was in the hospital.  Much of this time she doesn’t remember.
Callahan also describes how her relationships changed throughout her illness.  I suspect that this is probably more important for Children of Divorce because we often can’t expect our parents to help because they don’t have the support of a family unit, or can’t stand being around the other parent which causes even more stress.  Then again, each case is different and parents are hopefully more savvy now than they used to be.
 Just before her hospitalization Susannah had moved back in with her Mother and her Mother’s husband/boyfriend.  The night before the hospitalization she spent with her Father and his Wife/Girlfriend.  Since both parents had significant others for support this might actually be an improved circumstance as there were 4 adults doing the caretaking.  (Also, sorry, but I seem to have forgotten the exact relationship that the parents had with their significant others.)
From a Child of D standpoint there’s an interesting comment about how during this night with Father and Stepmother Susannah hallucinates that her Stepmother is complaining about how spoiled she is.  Since I named this blog after a woman who had said that kids from divorce are disgusting because we are all spoiled I like that little quirk in Cahalan’s mind, in particular.  In the Fresh Air interview Susannah says that she figures that most people at the early part of her illness figured that she was just acting arrogant because she was a spoiled rich kid (didn’t mention divorce).  The interviewees of one her interviews with the Post ended the interview because they thought she was drunk.  The first therapist declared that she simply needed to stop drinking, something which she says she doesn’t normally do.  One can see how many extra prejudices a Child from Divorce has to deal with in trying to get diagnosed with a mental or, in this case, neurological, disorder.  Many divorced parents are probably very quick to have their children institutionalized.  I just remember the coworker of an old friend of mine whose Mother had had him put into a mental hospital so she could go to Medical School.  These things do happen.
Susannah develops a new wonderful bond with her father where previously they had been estranged.  He keeps a detailed diary of her illness which is a great resource for her book.
Cahalan had to write the book about herself from the point of view of a journalist, piecing together what everyone else said had happened because she doesn’t remember much of it.
The astrology is possibly unbelievably interesting.  I don’t have Cahalan’s birth info so this is all probably really stupid to mention.  I’m mentioning it anyway because there is possibly a really incredible connection between planetary cycles which hook the divorce with the illness.  Cahalan keeps describing her illness and recovery in terms of divorce and marriage in many ways and that so hooks into one of the significant planetary cycles that she may have been going through.
Cahalan was 24 during the time of her illness.  This hooks her into 2 possible planetary cycles.
The first would be her second Jupiter Return which occurs roughly Age 23-24.  The first Jupiter Return would have occurred when she was roughly 11-12.  Since Jupiter is connected with publishing and writing and getting lucky it makes sense that this cycle would find her gainly employed at a new stressful job with a newspaper.  Her Jupiter is possibly in Gemini which makes this even more sense as Gemini also rules writing and communication.  Gemini is connected with the nerves in the body so, if this is Susannah’s placement it would show some sort of overwhelming load on her nerves.  Jupiter rules the liver and the hips.  So, it actually is pretty interesting that the initial reactions to her behavior were to assume that she was drunk — the liver is heavily affected by alcohol.
Another cycle which I’m particularly interesting in is the 8-year Sun-Venus Rx cycle.  This is one of the most precise cycles in the planets and was used by the Mayans for measuring time.  The Sun is in conjunction with Venus Retrograde every 8 years.  Within this period there are 5 Sun-Venus Rx conjunctions which occur very close to the same degrees of the Zodiac.
In her book, Susannah says that her parents divorce had occurred 8 years previously which is why I can’t control myself here. Venus, through the sign of Libra, rules Marriage and one on one relationships.
A person whose natal chart is affected in some way by this conjunction would receive a lot of attention from these 2 planets and things that they rule during his/her lifetime.  That can be a very good thing for anything connected with social life or the arts, and can bring issues involving relationships.  Age 16 is considered the Sweet 16 party for girls so is very much connected with the Sun-VenusRx cycle.  (The part where kids start to drive, which is Mars and Mercury is maybe not such a great idea at this age.)
The person would internalize events that occur at this age very strongly and would act out on them through life and would possibly connect with an 8 year cycle through out their lives.
(I did find a birth date for Cahalan that doesn’t have a Sun-Venus Rx conjunction but still receives significant hits and I have no idea if it is a correct date.  My research is saying that divorce possibly will hook kids into these cycles and provide extra information to use for interpretation beyond the natal chart.)
Venus goes Retrograde about once a year and is never farther than 2 signs away from the Sun.  The Retrograde transit is an illusion which is seen from the earth because Venus spins around the Sun and not around the Earth.   Because of the elliptical orbits, Venus appears to stay at a standstill and to move backward in the sky during the Retrograde periods.
And Venus during the 8-year cycles that Susannah Cahalan may be hooked into is in the sign of Aries.  Aries is ruled by Mars and Mars rules the Head and Inflammation in the chart because it is a fiery planet.  It also rules Male energy and is a symbol for the Fighter and Warrior in people.
Venus is said to rule two signs.  She always is said to rule Female Energy.  The first is Taurus which rules the neck and lower part of the head, possibly the brain stem.  The second sign Venus rules is Libra which rules the Kidneys.  Venus is very strongly connected with the 8th cranial nerve because she rules the voice, hearing to some extent, Harmony, and sense of balance.  Venus, of course, is the ruler of marriage and relationships and connected with the Sun (vitality, creativity, ego expression) is very connected with social life.
Mercury and Uranus would also be interesting to look at in Susannah’s chart as they rule the nerves.  Mercury rules nerves themselves and the hands and communication skills.  Uranus rules any circulatory system and in particular the electrical system in a person.  Anything that happens suddenly is ruled by Uranus.
I’m not sure what rules rare diseases or autoimmune disorders.  I suspect that the sign of Libra is connected just because AIDS occurred during a transit of Pluto passing through Libra.  Libra is the female end of relationships which has to learn to set boundaries. Mars is impulsive and sort of thoughtless and reckless and has to learn Venusian traits.
Neptune often indicates an illness which is difficult to diagnose or treat.  Uranus and probably Jupiter generally can rule situations in which truth and enlightenment  come about so I would assume that this planet figures strongly in Susannah’s chart as she was lucky enough to receive a diagnosis and treatment.
Autoimmune encephalitis inflammation of brain
Here are dates of the Venus Rx’s and conjunctions with the Sun on 8 year cycles.  Again, I have no idea if this has anything to do with Cahalan’s chart.  Hopefully she’ll soon write more books and her birth date will be available because I’m dying of curiosity.
1985
  Venus Rx mar. 14, 1985 23 Aries
  Venus sd apr. 25, 1985 7 Aries
  Sun con. Venus Rx apr. 4, 1985. 4 Aries
Parents divorce Age 16?
  Venus Rx mar. 9, 2001. Venus 18 Aries
  Venus sd April, 20, 2001. 2 Aries
  Sun con. Venus Rx. Mar.30, 2001 10 Aries
Illness onset February, 2009, hospital march, 2009  Feb. 17?
  Sun con. Venus Rx march, 28, 2009. 8 Aries
  Venus Rx mar. 7, 2009 16 Aries
  Venus sd April. 18, 2009. 30 Pisces
Imagines stepmother telling father she’s a spoiled brat. Chapter called Buddha
Oldest daughter
Couldn’t remember metropolian museum visit Madame x postcard, Feb 17, 2009


Ask Amy
November 21, 2011, 8:59 pm
Filed under: biological, Blame, Living with Grandparents, Long Term Fallout, Stepfamilies

The advice columnist Ask Amy tries to tackle the issues of how to deal with kids and divorce.  Her advice isn’t great because she doesn’t take a stand but at least she publishes articles from all sides, from the point of view of the parents that is.

The Biological Mother who resents the ex-StepMother calling the kids “her own:” 

The StepMother who resents not being able to call her stepdaughter’s kids her “Grand children.”  This one is interesting because the blame is placed on the daughter. No mention of how overwhelming it would feel to have to take car of your first child, your Mother’s resentment of the overbearing and needy step-mother, as well as the overbearing and needy step-mother.  Oh and there’s the noncomittal father who doesn’t give a shit but mostly blames his daughter for his wife’s b.s.  The message is written as if the Father had written it.  Which never happens because Father’s never intervene, so obviously the column is bogus.  Amy says that he can’t expect anyone to “reason” things out.  I think the daughter is being extremely reasonable about how much she really owes her parents.  She is probably trying to not repeat their mistakes, after all, and in that case, the girl-child can’t give into everyone else’s selfish needs all the time or she will end up hating her husband just the same way her Mother probably hates her Father.

Anyway, Amy does actually publish this stuff, so at least she’s not in denial that the issues exist.  Advice columnists, like Psychologists, are like large corporations.  They know where the bread is buttered and they side with the money.  Amy could tell the parents that their situation is simply way too stressful for most children to handle and to back off.  I guess that would get boring to read week after week.  And who wants to confront an overbearing woman who has taken on the role of “Stepmother?”