Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Scott Weiland's ex wife's rant...

Before I begin with today's commentary, I will admit that I don't know much at all about Scott Weiland, lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots, who recently died in his sleep.  Bill likes Stone Temple Pilots and has often told much how much he admires their sound.  I confess that despite being a music lover, until today, I didn't know jack shit about Scott Weiland or his career.  I did, however, hear about his recent death at age 48.  I know that he left behind two children, Noah and Lucy.  How do I know?  I read his ex wife Mary's open letter on Rolling Stone magazine's Web site.

I want to also confess that I don't know anything about Mary Forsberg Weiland, other than that she is Scott Weiland's second ex wife and mother of his kids...  And she's also apparently pretty angry with her ex.

To be honest, I'm not sure it was such a wise idea for Mary Forsberg Weiland to write her letter, although a number of my friends who are mothers think she "hit the nail on the head".  No doubt, these women are relating to Mary's comments about her kids feeling "abandoned" by their father.  Some of them may also relate to her comments about his rampant drug abuse and addiction and apparent narcissism.

At the same time, these kinds of open letters are always polarizing.  Mary has two kids with the man she pretty much smeared on Rolling Stone.  They are still young teens and they will be able to revisit that letter and the comments left on it for years to come.  I'm not sure posting something like this publicly about a very famous man, especially when his death was so recent, does much more than give uninvolved people like me something to talk about.

As I mentioned before, I don't know much about Scott Weiland, other than a few things I've read.  I do see that, according to Wikipedia, his original surname was Kline and he was adopted by his stepfather.  I take that to mean that Weiland's bio dad was out of the picture.  Why was he out of the picture?  Did he have an addiction problem too?  Addiction often runs in families.  Was he a narcissistic jerk?  Maybe Scott's mother was the one with the problem and Mr. Kline was pushed out of his son's life.  Who knows?  I would guess that Scott Weiland missed his bio father on some level, though, regardless of the reason why he wasn't there.  That's a wound that runs deep and often causes a lot of feelings of abandonment.  It can lead to depression and anxiety and exacerbate other mental health problems.

Weiland clearly had a lot of talent and charisma.  Unfortunately, he also had a drug problem.  Why did he take drugs?  Did he do it because he was bored?  Did he feel like he had to take drugs in order to fit in with other celebrities?  Maybe he took drugs because he was overwhelmed by the experience of being famous.  Or maybe he was just biologically predisposed to substance abuse.  Wikipedia also tells us that Weiland was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Knowing what I do about bipolar disorder, my guess is that even without drugs, he was probably hell to live with.  The highs likely made him brilliant, yet irresponsible, while the lows probably made him suicidal.  Marry that with a crack cocaine habit and the pressures of fame and what do you get?

I have to wonder if Weiland had demons that made him seek out something to lessen the pain.  Or was he just a selfish person who used drugs because he wanted to be high?  I don't know for sure.  I do think that based on what I've read about him, his issues were very complex and existed long before Mary came into his life.  She probably thought she could fix him or "straighten him out".  Maybe he initially made her feel needed and she mistook that for love.  I hope she's wiser now.

Many rock stars are narcissists, just like most politicians are narcissists.  Unfortunately, it seems that to make a career in the public eye, being narcissistic appears to be a job requisite.  It takes a big ego to keep putting yourself out there in the public eye, to be judged and criticized.  Add that to drug use and you are likely to have a very unpleasant person on your hands...  probably not the best person to marry and make kids with, if you know what I mean.  I don't know if Scott Weiland was truly narcissistic or if the drugs just made him that way.  In the end, it doesn't matter.  The end result was still tragically the same.

It seems to me that Mary Forsberg Weiland may have been expecting more than Scott Weiland was able to deliver in terms of his family.  He clearly had issues long before they married and had children.  She chose to marry him and have kids anyway.  So, while I can appreciate the pain she and her children have dealt with, I also think that she made a poor choice.  But she's like a lot of people who make bad choices in partners.  Bill did with his first wife.  When it comes to love, many people choose not to use their heads.  They pay for it later and, oftentimes, so do their kids.

It's very easy to blame someone for abusing drugs.  It's very simple to say that using drugs is a choice.  When something disastrous happens in the wake of drug abuse, it's easy to place all the blame on the person with the addiction.  The truth is, in any relationship, there's always a shared responsibility for success or failure.  Addictions are often symptoms of a systemic problem within a family, although they can also be biological in origin.  I certainly empathize with people who have partners who have addictions.  At the same time, if you are an adult, you are capable of making choices.  If you choose to be with an addict, you have to deal with their illness.  If you have kids with someone who has an untreated addiction or mental illness, then you force innocent people to have to deal with that, too.  Kids are often resilient, but there's always the risk that the stress of dealing with a fucked up parent will later lead them to their own problems... which may one day involve their own innocent kids.

I have written a lot about my husband's ex wife and kids on this blog.  I don't identify them by name, though if they were to stumble across what I've written, I am sure they would recognize themselves.  Moreover, none of us are famous and this blog doesn't get that much exposure.  What I've written here is the truth as I've experienced it, though I'm sure they have their own truths.  The same is probably true in the case of Scott Weiland, his ex wife, Mary, and their kids.

As someone who likes to write, I can appreciate that Mary needed to write down her thoughts and feelings.  I can see that what she wrote resonated with a lot of people.  I'm not sure it was wisest to put it on Rolling Stone, though it does at least get people thinking and talking about the problem of addiction and mental illness.  I do think Scott Weiland was a very sick person.  Addiction is as much of an illness as bipolar disorder is.  I understand Mary's disappointment and anger, but I think it would have been smart to wait a bit longer before she shared these feelings with the public.  But then, that's not what sells ads, is it?

I hope Mr. Weiland is at peace now.  And I hope the children he left behind will eventually be okay.


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