Apr 25, 2007

Ok, I listened to the whole Alec Baldwin message he left for his daughter Ireland. The most troubling things I heard was the reference he made to her mother. Trashing the mom doesn't help the situation, and ultimately puts a child in the position of defending the parent being accused of whatever. Trust me, I know.

The divorce in this case has to be causing major problems for this young lady. That fact that the details are so public, the fact that the parents seem bent on destroying each other, is shameful. It makes me wonder who is nurturing this child. When my ex and I divorced, we made an unspoken pact that we would not come between our children's need to be with each of us. Which means, since I had custody, albeit they were 14 and 15 at the time of our separation, we didn't try to keep them away from each other. Many other couples are able to do the same thing. It boils down to maintaining a civil relationship with the ex-spouse for the benefit of your children. In other words, telling your kids their mother or father is an asshole, doesn't help anybody. Even saying something like "all men are jerks, or all women are jerks" is not good. Look at the message and labels you are giving those kids.

The long-term effect of all this name-calling, and divorced couples sharing their adult concerns with their children can be devastating. We won't get into the problems with trust, or abandonment the child might feel. Or the confusion over who to believe and not believe. Let's just look at the aspect where either parent expects the child to understand their point of view. It's a tremendous burden, one no child is capable of carrying. If you see a child acting out, in self-destructive ways, I will promise you there is something going on in their home that is causing it. There is some aspect, whether spoken or not, of their home life that has driven them to seek comfort or acknowledgement from somewhere, and being a child, that somewhere might not be the best place for them. They do not have the information yet to make those decisions. And when the child becomes an adult, what do you think will happen? They will become what they know.

If they grew up in household where trust was absent, then they will have problems with trust. If they grew up where verbal abuse was common, then they will seek the same in other's because that is what they know.

I have to admit listening to the whole message, and hearing the anger in Alec Baldwin's voice, is intimidating, which may very well be why the young lady chooses not to talk to him. I wouldn't want to either if I had to listen to all that crap. This is a time in her life where so many things are going on biologically that it is stressful for her to cope with that alone. With two warring parents, who fight their wars in the public arena, the stress and shame must be enormous. And she will feel shame. I just hope there is someone in her life that she can reach out to for unconditional love, who doesn't expect her to take sides.

Now, about pigs. I worked one of favorite jobs at a swine production farm, where I was the midwife and nursemaid to 160 sows and up to 1600 pigs. I was with them through birth until weaning, and then had to check on the little buggers until after they moved to the big house. I love pigs, which is why I quit my job. I collect pigs, I used to have a pet pig. I know pigs. And a pig is biologically very close to humans anatomically. They are extremely intelligent, and will not lie around in their own shit and mud, if they have a choice. The only reason pigs wallow in dirt or mud is to keep themselves cool. Without a pond or some other source of water for cooling purposes they will die, because they do not sweat. A pig left to its own resources does not shit where they eat. So I admire pigs. Always will. The cutest thing you will ever see is two baby pigs chasing and playing with each other. So, I would much rather be called a pig than a bitch.

Or a nappy-headed "ho".

But that's me. An eleven year old girl would be very hurt by such words. Even is she did call her dad a loser-creep-stupid-fuck. It may sound like I'm back-pedaling, and maybe I am. But hearing the whole message, the rage in this man's voice, was scary. The one time I got that mad at my oldest son, he flicked a booger in my hair and I chased him for a good half hour around our yard, until I was exhausted. Travis said it was the funniest thing he ever saw.

Maybe it just boils down to these two talented people just taking a chill pill and learning how to laugh at themselves.


dawn said...

You know I've thought about this situation and I think Kim had to leak the message because who else would have access to her childs messages. If not her then one of her employees. They should be fired. It wasn't nice his tone and words but it is not court punishable. This is between father and daughter and the skany nappy headed ho who released the tape (whoever that may be). I know baby pig must be adorable I loved charlottes web as a kid. Well now I'm rambling but I would never call you a nappy headed ho

Mary said...

I still think it didn't happen to us. We weren't the PARENT being dissed or with the disobeying kid. Parents get mad. I can't judge him.
I tagged you. Sorry.

phaseoutgirl said...

Well, if people killed their kids each time they yelled and said they'd kill them when they were disobedient, then our population would have reduced by a lot now.

I have always believed that as parents we need to set examples for our kids, but we are human too, and we get annoyed, irriated and lost our patience. It is such a pity that this whole thing is being played out in the press, it must not be easy for the daughter.


Anne said...

When my kids heard that tape on the news, they were shocked and felt so sorry for that girl. My teenage son was really upset at Alec Baldwin. Kids take things like that to heart more than adults. If it seemed bad to us, it must seem much worse to a kid, especially the kid who all the anger is directed at. There's something really wrong with that poor child's parents. Yes adults can get upset, but being hurtful and vindictive is uncalled-for. Those parents need to grow up.

I like piggies too, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean "pig" in a cute way.

betmo said...

i nominated you for a thinkers blog award. hope you don't mind.