Children with Mentally Ill or Addicted Parents

So, it’s Friday again.  As I was reading through all of my news feeds I feel like I’m having deja vu.  They are talking about war in the middle east a la Iraq and the combat troops finally going home, they are discussing doping in baseball and Roger Clemens’ possible sentence for lying to congress, they are discussing the oil spill and how BP is probably going to get off easy by settling out of court, and in entertainment I stumbled upon a gem about Courtney Love and Francis Bean.

Apparently, now that Francis Bean is 18 (OMG- I remember when this kid was born and now officially feel old) she can exert more control over her life and her interactions with her mother.  I truly feel for this kid.  Not only have you had to live your entire life wondering why your father left you and dealing with a mother who obviously suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder if not Bi-Polar Disorder, but I’m sure that Kurt’s mother and sister haven’t been peaches by telling this girl what a nut bag her mother is- so not classy.

We’ve all watched this drama unfold in the headlines over the past decade.  At what point will one of these people stop and realize that they are not really helping anyone?  The sad part is that this is a tragically common story for all of us normal people in the world.  Every day there are families being ripped apart by mental illness and addiction and it is an insidious demon to face, especially when there are children involved.  Mental Disease and addiction are by their very nature selfish diseases.  The person suffering these does not reason or feel like a “normal” person, yet we expect them to be just like the rest of the world.

I’ve watched the families of my friends and relatives suffer from both of these afflictions and the one constant is that there’s a whole lot of hurting happening.  The children feel lost and abandoned and insecure, the adults feel like they’ve got no control over the situation and also that they are failing their children.  Each side of the debate is so wrapped up in their own feelings and traumas, understandably so, that they forget the good old adage it takes two to tango.  If people could lose their minds in a vacuum, then I think the world would be fine, but since you can’t, they take those who are trying to help them down right along with them.  This isn’t always the case, in fact, some of the people whom I love the most in the world have stood by their families for better or worse and dragged them out of the pit of their despair whether they liked it or not.

Seeking professional help is absolutely a great option.  I myself have had a few sessions with a councilor, thought I have to admit I wouldn’t pay someone for their services- Most of my issues can’t be helped.  For me it’s a very big question of perspective and purpose- I could absolutely be in a MUCH worse place than I am now and I understand that very well.  But, back to what started this rant- Courtney Love’s Tweets to her daughter on their 18th birthday.  How dare you do that to this girl so publicly!  I would equate this to the public airing of the voicemail that Alec Baldwin left for his daughter.  What gives you the right to lash out at your child like a hurt little puppy?  I fully believe that Courtney Love love’s her daughter and was genuinely shocked and hurt by the restraining order, the loss of custody, and the loss of the money, but having been a hurt and confused teenager- I can promise you that the two of them have both said some pretty mean things to each other.  The reason why I’m cutting Francis a break, well, SHE’S A CHILD!  Kids say mean things and it’s up to their parents and the adults around them to make sure that they understand why their behavior is unacceptable.

The other tragedy in all of this is that this kid is the product of her parents, both of whom are/were visibly unstable.  I didn’t mourn when Kurt died, I did feel a great sense of loss, but I didn’t know the man.  Now his daughter has probably spent the last 18 years wondering if she was going to be like him or like her and neither of these options are very pretty from that perspective.  There is a good chance that she will be able to get out of the spot light- go to college- change her name- have a real life, but just like all of the other children out there who have addicted/ill parents, there will always be that question mark of whether she will get sick as well.

I think that I’m done ranting now.  I wish Francis Bean Cobain the best of luck.  I really hope that Courtney Love seriously seeks therapy and withdraws from the spotlight.  I truly hope that this kid can drop all of the money-grubbing d-bags currently in her life and find some peace.

Please take a look at the like below for a definition of Borderline Personality Disorder from the National Association for Mental Illness’ web site.


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