Tag Archives: What I Was

The Reality: What was actually lost

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Image by Carolyn_Sewell via Flickr

So, it’s been 621 days, or, 1 year 8 months and 12 days since my children and my world came to a crashing halt.

I keep wondering why I havent healed yet. Why am I still so profoundly damaged and why can I not integrate back into the world with even a minute amount of success. What is wrong with me. I was diagnosed with PTSD  which made me ask myself, does this mean I will never heal. And if I can recover, WHEN?

After beating myself up for failing to get on with life, I figure it might be time to assess the gravity, the magnitude, the reality of what was actually lost.

Before I go on, Please understand, I would have it no other way. The relief I feel knowing that my daughter had the guts to stand up and protect herself by telling her secret is remarkable. I am grateful for her bravery. I’m also relieved that her suffering has come to an end. However, I’m writing this blog post to get a better understanding of why I am having such a hard time healing from what was lost.

During some of my darkest, most painful days I recall describing what I was experiencing like this…

My husband was murdered, my daughter was raped, my home was set on fire, my job was terminated, my bank account was robbed.

And all of this occurred in one day, in the blink of an eye. I went to bed one night and life was normal. I woke up to find everything I knew and loved had changed. Life from this moment forward would never be the same.

It’s funny because the above description is not exact, but for me, it’s the closest way I can describe how I feel and for the most part it’s the equivalent of the reality.

The Breakdown of what was lost

My husband was murdered

Everyone knows someone who has lost a spouse way to early. About ten years ago my husbands best friend died in a car accident.  Of course we were devastated. After all, our friends had recently married, which we celebrated as a new and exciting beginning of two friends sharing a wonderful life together. In his death, he was buried and honored with a funeral where all of his loved ones were able to pay their respects to the deceased. There was closure. Sure, it was painful to say goodbye to a friend. There was peace in knowing we could visit his grave, place flowers on such a good friends final resting space should we desire.

The bottom line is, I have spent every day since midsummer of the year 2000 with my husband. I truly loved this man with every part of me. I was still in love with him, which is quite remarkable. heck, I’ve been in relationships where the flame is snuffed out, and pretty quickly to. But this wasnt the case with us. I still looked at him with passion, still thought he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever laid eyes on.

No, in reality my husband was not actually murdered. trust me, there is a weird part of me (the part that has never actually experienced what that might be like) that feels like this would be a less painful scenario. Had he been murdered I would have been able to bury the man I loved so deeply. I could still look at him with love. Me and my children could visit his grave and place flowers. A gravestone for me has recently become something tangible that you can go to when the person you held so dear is no longer there. My husband, my children’s father is no longer there. There’s nothing. THERES NOTHING. Just an empty space in my home and in my heart. I feel his absence in the depth of my guts. There’s nothing left but the good memories that swirl around the new and bad memories. I still can’t think of him, talk about him, look at his things, go to sleep next to the spot he occupied, and yes, survive every holiday without feeling the tremendous sense of loss of this person in my life. I miss the man I thought he was. I miss my best friend. I feel like it was my husband who murdered the man I loved.

My daughter was raped

This is such a painful thought that I still have a hard time thinking about it, much less writing candidly about the feeling and emotions that are buried in my mind and heart. And for that reason I’ll simply say… this is self explanatory…and move on to the next item.

My home was set on fire

I see news stories all the time about families displaced by fire. Families that are homeless in the matter of moments. Nothing left of the comforts of home but a heap of smouldering ash. This is tragic and reported as such on the news, usually with a cry for help and where good citizens can send donations to help out the newly homeless.

For my family, our home is on fire, burning just under the surface. It feels like the Alzheimer’s disease for the exiled. without an income, saving my home, my children’s home is useless. we’re just watching it smoke, waiting for the day that it’s all gone. The saddest part is, there aren’t any nor will there ever be any distress calls from the local news media for my family. We will lose our home. My children will lose the last bit of normalcy they have left. Childhood friends, classmates, routines that provide comfort will all be gone. I cannot explain what its like to walk into your house and know that the very sights, smells, and personal space that brings peace and shelters you from the cold hard world, just outside your door will be gone. I don’t know the date but I know its coming.  My husband was ordered to pay the mortgage but he never has and my lawyer didnt push the issue. Because I was and still am absolutely broke, I’m unable to pay my lawyer. The last payment that was made on our family home was april 2010. I’m still in my home but its in foreclosure. I’m not sure how much longer before we are completely homeless.

My job was terminated

My husband and I started our own business in 2006. I took pride in working both with him outside of the home and as the accountant in the home. I wont lie, ive never loved doing receipts. I kinda despised getting all the paperwork prepared for taxes. But I did it, for years I did it. I did love the physical work though. It wasnt to difficult and I really loved going to work with my husband everyday. We were a team. We were business partners. We were best friends who got to hang out every day. I look back on these times fondly and unfortunately so. If I hated the daily grind than maybe that’d be one less good memory to grieve the loss of. Now my everyday is a struggle just to get to the end. Our business was and is a fairly profitable business. We did well for ourselves, making enough to live on and have a bit left over for the fun things in life. We enjoyed entertaining friends at our house, hosting the occasional get-together. He took the business. He was the only one we listed on the LLC. We never paid ourselves paychecks so I couldn’t file for unemployment. It’s as if I havent had a job since 2006. I miss enjoying my day-to-day life. I miss working and I miss the motivation I once enjoyed as a small business owner.

My bank account was robbed

Within the first week after the discovery and while I was still in shock at my mothers house, my husband cleared out our bank account. I had not a dollar to my name and three kids to support. This has not changed and I don’t expect that it will. He took every dime that we together made and saved and left me with nothing. I went to sleep one night with a certain degree of financial security and woke up to find I couldn’t even buy toilet paper. “I couldn’t even buy toilet paper” it’s what everyone who is running low on cash says…I had to steal toilet paper from a gas station bathroom. It’s not an exaggeration, it was our reality and it was humiliating. As something ive kept a secret from everyone I know including my children, its something I still cringe privately over.

So, what’s next

When I look at the list above it reads like the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, seriously. How much stress can one person suffer before they break? I’ll paste a link I found to a site where you can do a quick assessment. I don’t need to do the assessment to know that I’ve had a multitude of stressful life changing events happen in a short amount of time but after reading over it ive decided I need to get myself back into therapy. Heres the list:

Choose Life Events In the last 2 years, did any of the following happen in your life?

  • Minor violations of the law
  • Major holidays
  • Vacation
  • Major change in number of family get-togethers
  • Change in eating habits
  • Major change in sleeping habits (a lot more or a lot less than usual)
  • Taking on a loan (car,etc.,)
  • Major change in social activities (clubs,movies,visiting,etc.)
  • Major change in usual type and/or amount of recreation
  • Major change in church or temple activity (i.e.. a lot more or less than usual)
  • Major changes in working hours or conditions
  • Changes in residence
  • Changing to a new school
  • Trouble with boss
  • Revision of personal habits (dress manners, associations, quitting smoking)
  • Major change in living condition
  • Spouse beginning or ceasing work outside the home
  • Beginning or ceasing formal schooling
  • Outstanding personal achievement
  • Major change in responsibilities at work
  • Son or daughter leaving home
  • Trouble with in-laws
  • Foreclosure on a mortgage or loan
  • Taking on a mortgage (for home, business, etc.)
  • Change in number of arguments with spouse
  • Change to a different line of work
  • Death of close friend
  • Change in financial state
  • Sexual Difficulties
  • Gaining a new family member(ie.,birth,adoption)
  • Major business readjustment
  • Older adult moving in
  • Pregnancy
  • Change in the health/behavior of a family member
  • Marital reconciliation with mate
  • Retirement from work
  • Being fired at work
  • Marriage
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Detention in jail or other institution
  • Death of close family member
  • Marital Separation from mate
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse

Read more: Life Stressors Chart http://www.medindia.net/patients/calculators/life_stressor.asp#ixzz1gZweOThD

I don’t know how long my pain will be so raw but I pray that it wont be forever.

Nobody said it was easy. But no one ever said it would be this hard.

I’m going back to the start

Parents Helping Parents

http://parentsupportforchildsexualabuse.com/default.aspx

Omg, if only I had known of this websites existence a year ago, six months ago, yesterday. My God. I don’t feel completely alone in my tortured feelings and emotions. One of the first threads I came across had a response that was written on the page as though it was my own personal dialogue downloaded directly from my brain and displayed in in black and white, my language, a font that my browser can understand. This is the post I read from someones brain that has heard my thought.

I find that CSA is the “gift that keeps on giving”. It ruins you emotionally, psychologically, physically, financially. We are approaching the 1 year mark since my daughter’s disclosure. It is “easier” than last year. It is “easier” than 6 months ago. I still feel the sadness, rage, disillusionment and every other feeling I’ve had, but it is not every day. There are good days, lots of them and often many in a row. Then there are the bad days. While I don’t believe it will ever go away, I do see that it gets better. Hang in there, you are in my thoughts.

Omg, I’m not alone!

She just dont know what else to do about it.

She gets mad And she starts to cry, She takes a swing man She cant hit! She don’t mean no harm, She just dont know What else to do about it.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO CHANGE?

Laying in my bed, not doing anything except watching an episode of House and trying to figure out how to get outta work tonight. I hear this little nugget of wisdom:

Time changes everything. That’s what people say. It’s not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves them exactly as they were. -House

http://www.holliesquotes.com/life/page39.htm

Ok, I’ve been a subscriber to the time changes theory. Its been a year and nothing is changing in a hurry. So….what shall I DO?

I would love some feedback on this post. Anyone with a suggestion is much appreciated.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO CHANGE?

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List of personality traits

List of Personality Traits

Personality Traits List of Personality Traits

List of Personality Traits
Positive Negative
accepts authority, loyal, devoted rebellious
accepts what’s given ignores, rejects what’s given
affectionate distant, cold, aloof
Ambitious, motivated self-satisfied, unmotivated
aspiring self-satisfied
candid closed, guarded, secretive
caring uncaring, unfeeling, callous
change; accepts, embraces it rejects change
cheerful cheerless, gloomy, sour, grumpy
considerate, thoughtful inconsiderate, thoughtless
cooperative uncooperative, unhelpful, combative
courageous cowering, fearful
courteous rude, impolite
decisive indecisive
devoted uncommitted, uncaring, hostile
determined indecisive, unsure
does what is necessary, right does what is convenient
perseveres, endures relents, gives up
enthusiastic unenthusiastic, apathetic, indifferent
expansive kept back, tight, constricting
faith in life life can’t be trusted
faith in oneself lack of faith in self
faith in others others can’t be relied on
flexible inflexible, rigid, unbending, stubborn
forgiving unforgiving, resentful, spiteful
focused unfocused, scattered
freedom given to others authoritarian, controlling
friendly unfriendly, distant, aloof, hostile
frugal, thrifty Wasteful, spendthrift
generous stingy, miserly, selfish
goodwill ill-will, malice, hatred
grateful ungrateful, unappreciative
hard-working lazy
honest dishonest, deceiving, lying
humble arrogant, conceited, ego-centric
interested indifferent, uncaring
involved complacent, indifferent
jealous, not jealous, envious, covetous
kind unkind, uncaring, cruel, mean
mature immature
modest vain
open-minded, tolerant narrow, close, small-minded, intolerant
optimistic pessimistic
perfects allows imperfection
persistent, sustaining flagging, fleeting, unsustaining
practical impractical, not viable
punctual late, not on time
realistic naïve, impractical
reliable unreliable, undependable
respectful disrespectful, rude, impolite
responsibility, takes blames others
responsible unreliable, undependable
responsive unresponsive, unreceptive
self-confident lack of self confidence, insecure
self-directed directed by externals
self-disciplined undisciplined, unrestrained, indulgent
self-esteem, high self-esteem, confidence – low
self-giving self-centered
self-reliant dependent
selfless selfish
sensitive Insensitive, indifferent
serious silly, trivial, petty
sincere insincere, dishonest
social independence social approval required
sympathetic unsympathetic, unfeeling
systematic unsystematic, disorganized, disorderly, random
takes others point of view insists on own view
thoughtful towards others thoughtless, inconsiderate, callous
trusting suspicious, mistrusting
unpretentious pretentious, affected, ostentatious
unselfish selfish
willing does, willingness stubborn, unwilling, reluctant
work comes first convenience first

I Am – The Human Condition

I found this article interesting enough to shamelessly copy and paste it word for word. I will of course highlight some of my favorite quotes from Mr. Benzel’s article and will be searching for the documentary I AM by Mr. Shadyac. It looks like it’s worth watching. 

 ξ( ″• ∫ •)³

 

The Theme Beneath the Themes

Quin Benzel
For The Vancouver Voice

In Tom Shadyac’s new documentary, I AM, he begins every interview by asking eminent scholars like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Desmond Tutu if they have ever seen Ave Ventura: Pet Detective. They haven’t. “These are people who helped change me,” Shadyac said during a recent Portland visit. If you didn’t know the person but only his movies, it’d be easy to call bullshit. No way the man who made Evan Almighty could make something with actual meaning and intent. Could he? Has he all along?

Turns out Shadyac has more on his mind than an animal sleuth with social issues. “I’d been questioning things in my life for years,” Shadyac says. “As success came my way I started to notice a hypocrisy in my life.” At the film’s end, he gives his wealth to worthy causes, buys a bike and moves into a mobile home in Malibu. Now a teacher of screenwriting at Pepperdine University in California, Shadyac lives a much more deliberate life. But I Am is a tricky movie to describe, and most attempts to do so do not give it justice. It really is as simple as this: It’s about feeling and compassion and how we’re biologically engineered to cooperate and not compete with each other.

But it could also be a sense of closure for Shadyac, who made the movie after a bike accident brought life violently into perspective. “ I thought I was literally going to die. I had post concussion syndrome, and it’s quite torturous. I thought, ‘if I am going to die, is there anything I want to explore or say before I go,’ and that’s how I Am was born.”

However, just wanting to say something is easier than actually saying it. The movie could have easily turned into another hour-and-a-half exploration of why the world is so corrupt, but I Am has magnanimity on its mind. “I love documentaries, but I think for myself I’d moved beyond documentaries pointing out the problem. I wanted to know what we do. This film is very different because it’s very hopeful,” Shadyac says.

And through all the egalitarian themes and good vibrations the movie emits, Shadyac never once forgets who he is. “I’m the guy who directed Ace Ventura, and my sensibilities are in this film, so I think it makes it very accessible. There’s a humor and pace to it.” I Am doesn’t resort to such crude humor as having someone grab their ass cheeks and mimic talking through their butt, but it does display a sly comic tone—all while attempting to relate how we are meaningfully connected to the world around us.

It’s poetry blended with scientific fact. At one point we’re told that the chemical element argon is inert, and that when we breathe it, we’re taking a breath that could have once been inside the lungs of Joan of Arc. This may not be as important to understand as helping your fellow-man, but collectively it works as a means to help come to terms with the most essential parts of life. “Very few people will say ‘it’s [what’s most important in life] because my IRA matured.’ They all tell a very similar story. ‘I was apart of something creative, loving, a family, I grew,’”says Shadyac.

But the man credited for cramming more fart jokes into a dinner scene (The Nutty Professor) than anyone before him is by no means a distant memory. “I look back on all those movies with an incredible fondness. Making someone laugh is a way we connect with each other, and I would do it again,” Shadyac says. “The difference is I would do it differently. I would be much more efficient with the resources. I would do it with a simplified crew, and I wouldn’t be amassing all the wealth myself.”

And even upon a close look, I Am shares uniquely similar traits of the human condition that films like Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor or Patch Adams also did. I Am is the theme below those themes. It’s why we may lie to each other; it’s why we may put another person down. [It] looks at the root cause of the society we’ve built.” And even of his past projects, he says, “I think if somebody’s suffering in the hospital and they see Ave Ventura and it removes them from their pain, that’s a pretty important movie.”

Shadyac tells us that “nothing in nature takes more than it needs.”As humans, we’re the only species really capable of greed or unprovoked, malicious intent.But we’re also very susceptible to change. We can empathize, reason and understand. Shadyac says, “I Am presents a point of view; I’m welcome to other points of view. I just want to start the conversation.”

I Am is now playing at the Fox Tower in Portland

3 words that encompass a future…

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Different than today.

Sometimes… I Cry Until I Can’t BREATHE!

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Sometimes… I Cry Until I Can’t BREATHE!

Bittersweet

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Today was absolutely a Bittersweet day. It was a DSS court day so going in I already knew I would walk out in a funk regardless of what the court had to say. There really is nothing about this process that gives me peace. It has, since day 1, felt like a no win situation. Even if the small victories offer a bit of relief, that relief is always accompanied by sorrow. I guess you could say it was a good day in hell. Dss has stepped out of the picture and the court ordered that I have full custody of the my children and that my husband remain under the restraining order and is to have no contact. This was all based on the sex offender assessment and therapy plan he had to do. The court also ordered that he would have to seek custody privately and only after the doctor who is overseeing his therapy and treatment plan has determined that he is no longer a risk to the children. They said that it was not the doctors/therapist recommendation at this time to reunite him and the children. Its my understanding that he has to continue therapy and has been required to complete it before he can seek any kind of reunification. Bittersweet…my youngest child is not a direct victim of his crime but she is indeed a victim of his actions, this will be painful for her.

The good news: it may be a turning point for me. For the first time since april 2, 2010 I can honestly say that I’m starting to look forward with guarded hope (but hope none the less) as opposed to viewing my life in rewind. I can’t say that I won’t be looking back anymore, but maybe not as much as I’ve become accustomed to.

You’ve changed so much I almost don’t recognize you anymore.

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My repsonse to him, after I realized he would never take responsibility for the pain and destruction he caused… also when I realized I was talking to a complete stranger. My husband of 10 years exists only in my memory.

Me: You denying the truth is expected but is also the worst thing you could ever do. It invalidates the pain you’ve caused to the people who loved you the most. I’m aware that the man I married and loved is no longer part of you, your being, your soul. You’re merely an empty, cold shell of the heart and soul that used to reside there. I will no longer seek an apology from you because you (my husband) are gone. Unfortunately, it also leaves you without the one chance to heal a wound in someone you once called your best friend and love. Your continued denial is hurtful as much as it is alarming. We (the victims) will get a form of justice but we will never get the one thing we long for…. ourselves back.

He failed to reply to this. This is very likely the last conversation of our relationship. How sad things end that started out so beautifully.

The picture is one taken of my husband after “April” and serves as a reminder of how different (to me) he looks. Its almost like going to a viewing to pay your last respects to a loved one. Even though you recognize the individual in front of you, they don’t look like the person you once loved. Its a deadness, a hollowness, a shell of a person deficient in spirit.

My Six Word Memoirs

 

Six Word Memoirs.

Stripped of fluff, life’s bullet points.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/01/06/the-story-of-your-life-in-six-words/