Friday, January 25, 2008
Today on Oprah, adults whinge about their parents' divorces....30 years ago!
(actually it was yesterday, but whatev)
Yes, yes, it's awful and horrible and messes children up, but who knew it would still do all that 3 decades later!
Okay, incredible snark aside, I was vaguely curious about this episode of Oprah. Apparently she did a show about children of divorce a little while ago, and got a ton of mail from adults whose lives are still all messed up.
Some "divorce expert" was on, helping people deal and talk to their families. The thing is, though, it was presented as this new concept, that adult children of divorce all have difficulty.
I watched the introduction wondering whether I'm some freak for not feeling at all bad about my parents' divorce. Then I heard one woman say that 20 years later she still cries herself to sleep and I just burst out laughing. I'm not the one with the problem, clearly.
I know that sounds harsh. What I should say, I suppose, is that rather than giving good examples of how divorce affects families forever, we saw bad examples of how being a crappy parent affects kids forever. The moms all had dumb-shit things to say like "I wanted my kids to hate him as much as I did" or "When he left, I just wanted the kids to go away."
.....uh....these people are responsible for raising offspring??? Goddess help us.....
I really wished that Oprah had shown counter-examples of parents who separated but did right by their kids, because now the unthinking masses have fuel for the "oh, poor dysfunctional child from a broken home" line of thinking, which pisses me off. I think my parents not being together helped me become strong and independent.
My last snarky thing (I hope): When one 20-something woman said "it was like the death of the family and it was all my fault" I kind of threw up a little in my mouth.
Here's a news flash, Oprah watchers: lots of parents get divorced and manage not to f#$% up their kids in the process. I know that sounds shocking, but it's true.
I think that one of the big dis-services that these parents gave their kids was that belief that there's only one way to have a family, only one definition of happiness. The women (because no men were featured sharing their childhood pain) all seemed to hang on to that Disney-fied fairytale BS. That happiness comes from marriage, and without marriage you're incomplete or miserable or something. Oh yeah, and having to get a job is terrible and awful. That woman wasn't at all insulting to working class folks, no not at all....
This is just my observation, but it seems like friends of mine who grew up in families where the parents provide everything and create this fairy tale image are having a harder time being productive grown-ups than those of us who had more realistic expectations...
Okay, one last snark: It was all upper class looking white women.....I don't have a point to make there, but it did seem interesting....
You can file this post under "incoherent rant"
Continuing the clumsy streak: Boyfriend went to hug me last night and managed to accidentally stick his thumb in my eye.....