Famous child of divorce: Kurt Cobain

From his Wikipedia entry:

Nirvana was labeled “the flagship band” of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as “the spokesman of a generation”…

When Cobain was nine years old, his parents divorced. He later said that the divorce had a profound effect on his life, while his mother noted that his personality changed dramatically; Cobain became defiant and withdrawn. In a 1993 interview, he elaborated:

I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn’t face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that.

Cobain’s parents both found new partners after the divorce. Although his father had promised not to remarry, after meeting Jenny Westeby, he did, to Kurt’s dismay. Cobain, his father, Westeby, and her two children, Mindy and James, moved into a new household together. Cobain liked Westeby at first, as she gave him the maternal attention he desired. In January 1979, Westeby gave birth to a boy, Chad Cobain. This new family, which Cobain insisted was not his real one, was in stark contrast to the attention Cobain was used to receiving as an only boy, and he soon began to express resentment toward his stepmother. Cobain’s mother began dating a man who was abusive. Cobain witnessed the domestic violence inflicted upon her, with one incident resulting in her being hospitalized with a broken arm.Wendy steadfastly refused to press charges, remaining completely committed to the relationship.

Cobain behaved insolently toward adults during this period of his youth, and began bullying another boy at school. These behaviors eventually caused his father and Westeby to take him to a therapist, who concluded that he would benefit from a single family environment. Both sides of the family attempted to bring his parents back together, but to no avail. On June 28, 1979, Cobain’s mother granted full custody to his father. Cobain’s teenage rebellion quickly became overwhelming for his father, who placed his son in the care of family and friends. While living with the born-again Christian family of his friend Jesse Reed, he became a devout Christian and regularly attended church services. He later renounced Christianity, engaging in what would be described as “anti-God” rants. The song “Lithium” is about his experience while living with the Reed family. Religion would remain an important part of his personal life and beliefs…

The article describes his ongoing depression, bronchitis, chronic undiagnosed stomach pain, and heroine addiction that he deliberately cultivated in order to self-medicate his stomach pain. Then we read about his death:

On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.

His suicide note is available to read here.

Lord, may your light shine upon Kurt Cobain, and may he rest in peace. Amen.

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Author: everybodysdaughter

I'm an adult child of divorce, having been raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations. I'm writing in order to shed light on the problems of divorce from the perspective of the child. I will also discuss problems with other non-triad family structures, since there is a lot of overlap. People often think that better parenting skills will overcome problems in non-triad arrangements. While I agree that parenting skills are important, they cannot overcome the problems I discuss such as fractured ontology and perpetual liminality. I converted to the Catholic faith in 2012, and will discuss Catholic things from time to time as well.

6 thoughts on “Famous child of divorce: Kurt Cobain”

  1. I remember when he died. I was 16. My brother loved his music and a year later, my brother took his life. Although my parents never divorced, my dad had left my mom to go run around with other women and get drunk. He eventually died of cancer. That loss of my dad and not having him to help raise us, I think was a contributing factor to my brother’s suicide. Parents just don’t realize how much damage they can do to a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear about ur father and brother. On the not I agree with ur point about perinatal affects on their youth. Look at my life IV dun a lot of Rong off the wall shit yet still have a positive out look tho the Rong I have dun has bin dun to me in some way tho. Still not OK for my past action s but I will say this it met have shortens my life extremely but it’s bin an experience that’s more important to some.

      Like

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