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subject = Psychology

title = Kurt Cobain

papers =

Psychology 41G Report


Washington, a small town southeast of Seattle is 108 miles long, and outlined

by an endless amount of trailer parks; past them are many acres of timberland,

blemished by stubbly scars, where loggers have been clear cutting. From

east the first thing seen is the unattractive Weyerhauser lumberyard leading

to the Wishkah River.

These days, the streets of Aberdeen, Washington are

looking like empty or boarded up storefronts. Business is booming for only

local pawnshops. One of the biggest growth industries in the country presently


the cultivation of Marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms, which people grow

in order to boost their meager or nonexistent incomes. It wasn?t always this

bad. Aberdeen used to once be a bustling seaport where

sailors used to stop

off at. Truth is, the town used to be one big prostitution centre.


is where on February.20th 1967 Kurt Donald Cobain was born. To homemaker

Wendy Cobain(nee Fradenburg) and mechanic Donald Cobain. His early influences

who soon became mentors to him were,

his mothers siblings Chuck and Mary.


the day of his birth to the day of his death Kurt Cobain

had problems, psychological

and otherwise. The problems just could not leave him alone. The Cobain?s

didn?t live in the best part of Aberdeen and

were not wealthy. They were

basically ?white trash posing as middle class? according to Kurt when asked

about his early childhood upbringing. Kurt?s major problems began at the

age of 8 in 1975. This was when his parents divorced. His mother admits

that both she and Don used the kids(sister Kim 5 at the time of divorce)

in the divorce and fought for custody. It?s been described as that a ?light

went out? in him, a light that he tried to recapture, but couldn?t.


became angered at his parents for not being able to sort out their problems.

Throughout most of his childhood he was ashamed of his parents After the

divorce Kurt continued to live on with his mom in Aberdeen, for a year, but

his mom soon decided that she could not handle him. To cope, she shipped

him off to his dad in Montesano a smaller logging community 20 miles east

of Aberdeen. Even with his dad Kurt was unhappy. They didn?t get along

to well because Don pushed Kurt into sports which Kurt was not good at, which

caused more pressure on Kurt because Don was a jock. Don did not let Kurt

be a kid, he wanted him to be a little adult. He?d get irritated quickly,

and would whack Kurt over the head. One time when Kurt was 6, he threw Kurt

across the room Basically, Kurt had no father figure to look up upon. Despite

all of this Kurt was spoiled by Don and showered with material things that

Don could offer.

Kurt was then shattered again when Don got remarried

in February of 1978. Kurt and his step-mom did not get along. The longer


lived with Don the worse things got. Don was determined to make Kurt


the new family, so he got legal custody in attempt to make him

part of the

family. Don then gave up on Kurt because he was convinced

that his mom brainwashed

him. Eventually, Don couldn?t deal with Kurt.

Kurt was passed between 3

different sets of Aunts and Uncles and his

Grandparents on his dad?s side.

In school Kurt did not do well. He was seen as an outcast, being


around between 4 schools in Aberdeen and Montesano. While still in school,

Kurt was friends with Myer Loftin, an openly gay student. He enjoyed the

conflict he caused. He thinks it was then, that he almost found his identity

true identity. Around Grade.11; the moving around a lot was only a small

part of the problems What led to his eventual drop out of school in May of

graduating year, was his intense hate of the teachers.

He would fantasise

killing them in front of the class.

Wendy seeing all of this decided

that her traumas were worse than Kurts, because she had just dumped an abusive

boyfriend. She was still focused on doing good by her son. So, she simply

passed her son

on to live with her brother Chuck. Kurt by then was distraught


moving from relative to relative. In May of 1984, when Kurt was 17,


was remarried to Pat O?Connor. Wendy once again decided

that she was worse

off than Kurt, because Pat was an alcoholic. She

again she felt incapable

of taking Kurt . After months of emotional phone calls and crying, Wendy

took Kurt back. Kurt rebelled at home when back with his mom. Wendy?s patience

with Kurt wore thin with Kurt because she was mad at Pat for drinking. She

often used her anger at Pat towards the kids One morning while living with

Wendy and Pat, Pat came in smelling like a girl. With Pat being an avid gun

collector Wendy attempted to load one of the guns, but found she couldn?t.

She had Kim gather up all the guns and bullets and dump them in the Wishkah

River. Kurt witnessing all of this from his room, recruited some friends

to dig out as many guns as they could out of the river and then he sold them.

Wendy abandoned Kurt again. She sent him to live with his friend Jesse

Reed, whose parents were born again Christians. The Reeds weren?t too fond

of Kurt. He was considered a bad influence on their son. The final straw

with the Reeds came when they locked Kurt out of their house, and Kurt kicked

in the door. Mr. Reed told Kurt in no uncertain terms that he was a lost

cause. That was the end of life at the Reed house.

After this incident Wendy

decided to try ?tough love?, which

was just becoming recognized. Kurt moved

into an apartment in Aberdeen with Jesse Reed. In 1985 Kurt was evicted

from his apartment. Wendy keeping up with the tough love had nothing to

do with Kurt. With nowhere to sleep Kurt would sleep on a cardboard box

on his friend

Dale Crovers porch, or under the North Aberdeen Bridge.

Wendy, then dropped the ?tough love?, and allowed Kurt to stop by her house

and she?d make him lunch.

In fall of 1986 Kurt hurt his hand while making

french fries, and

severely burnt his hand on the grease. Kurt was told by

the doctor

that he?d never play the guitar again. In 1987 Kurt developed

a piercing pain in his stomach. The condition plagued Kurt for the rest

of his life. It baffled even the best specialists.

From 1987 on Kurt

was heavy into the music and drug scene. He was plagued by psychological

problems, and stomach pain as well as drug addiction. These problems persisted

on through to 1992 and then through to his death while he and his constantly

changing band were frustrated by the setback of trying to make it big in

music, and then coping with fame. Kurt being naive about drugs, started

taking percodan, not being aware of the addiction factor involved. Eventually

percodan led to heroin. Then, very unexpectedly in 1992 Nirvana finally

made it big. Nirvana skyrocketed to fame at a quick pace. Kurt never fully

recovered from this fame. He didn?t like and couldn?t cope with the fame

and public limelight.

February. 24th, 1992 in Waikiki, Hawaii Kurt was

married to Courtney Love. Like Kurt, Courtney was also from a broken home.

6 Months after their marriage their first and only child was born. A girl,

Francis Bean Cobain. Kurt struggled with parenthood, and with the fact that

the Seattle branch of Child and Family services was trying to take away Francis

with charges of unfit parenting. With the onset of a new child and marriage,

Kurt became severely depressed. The depression lasted up until his death.

In March of 1994 Kurt collapsed in Rome. A near fatal combination of champagne

and tranquillisers. On April.8th 1994 at the young age of 27, Kurt Donald

Cobain was found dead in the greenhouse on top of the house he shared with

Courtney. His death

has never, despite media coverage, been proved as

a suicide.

Kurt?s main outlet for his pain was music. If you analyse his


you can read the pain that he?s trying to express. Music helped Kurt communicate

the pain that he was going through. A less noble outlet

was drugs. Not to

sensationalise or condemn drug use, but in your teens

it?s confusing enough

without the added on troubles of both parents

abandoning you. In some ways

Kurt did try to stop his downward spiral of destruction. When Kurt was nearing

18 his father feared his could loose Kurt forever, he made an ultimatum of

music or living with his dad rent free. So Kurt sold his guitar, and tried

the Navy test. He ended up

getting one of the highest scores Aberdeen had

ever seen. However Kurt never did enlist in the Navy.

Kurt tried many

times to stop his drug abuse. Shortly before he was

found dead Courtney

tried an intervention. Successfully, Kurt enrolled in the Exodus Rehabilitation

Centre. One of the finest and established

places in Seattle. Unfortunately,

Kurt left before his treatment could really

start to help.

My evaluation

of Kurt Cobain is that he was an almost over comer. His life was worth a

lot to many people. If he had not died when he did, he would have been an

over comer. In Kurt’s short life he matured a lot. He stopped taking his

anger out on society in every way he could. He

found love in his wife and

child. He was determined to be there

for Francis the way his parents were

not there for him. The effect of

Kurt?s music was tremendous. He managed

without a lot of a lot of words to touch his fans, in a way no other rock

star had before. He was

different than the average star. Not everything

to him was a greedy

money game to him. He tried as hard as possible when

he was famous,

to lead a modest life. Kurt?s brutally honest approach to

life will never

be forgotten. He was not only a songwriter, but a


My thoughts on Psychological nature are that sometimes your


that you grow up in, does not have to dictate the rest

of your life. Kurt

had bad surroundings and role models but, he

made a lot out of his short


Freud was somewhat right with his theory of your childhood.


had a very bad childhood, and it stayed with him right up until

the end.

He was always afraid of abandonment, and desertion. Yet, in the

same breath

you can say that he almost broke the cycle of abandonment, by

being a good

father to Francis and not abandoning her in the same

way his parents abandoned

him. Kurt did not fully break the cycle of

abandonment, because now Francis

will only have memories of her

departed father, although at least they will

be mainly good memories.

It?s important to remember, that when you idealise

and put rock stars up

on pedestals as much as Kurt was you also have to give

them space

and privacy, like so many stars want to have. Kurt should be

an example

to all that rock stars are not superhuman beings. People may

say if you don?t like public attention, then quit music. It?s a catch 22,

easy to say but not to do. Even if Kurt did quit music, he would always be

?that guy from Nirvana?. If Kurt did in fact commit suicide, he should not

be a hero or selfish but a lost soul, wondering amongst the dead, who should

not be forgotten.

In closing my theory is that; yes, your childhood can

ruin you

but only if you let it.

In the words and memory of Kurt Cobain


The above line quoted from the ?alleged? suicide

note found by his body.

My main question and confusion about human behaviour

is why was Kurt so deeply affected, and his sister Kim not?

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