Tuesday, March 25, 2008


This is not an easy post for me at all, and even as I begin to write it I'm not really sure what I'll be saying or how much.

Anyone who has visited this blog knows that from time to time I have skirted around the issue of a deep dark family secret. It's the worst kind of secret and I need to vent specifically about it. As a result, this is potentially a post I may end up deleting, but I have to get it out there.

Easter evening I received a frantic phone call from my youngest sister. She was crying and in hysterics because she had finally decided to tell people that her father (my step-father from my mother's second marriage) had raped and molested her throughout the years. It started when she was 4 yrs old and he took her virginity and happened again when she was 8 yrs old.

She is a total mess and luckily she is getting counseling while she goes through this. I'm at a point where I am fixed with anger, confusion, hurt and concern. She was so emotionally distraught that it was hard to get any solid information about these terrible events, so it's left me impotent on how to act or what to do. I suppose patience and time will reveal the path I'll take throughout this time and how much I can help my sister.

This sister of mine has always had a tumultuous relationship with me because I didn't approve of her life choices. With this new information finally out in the open, the whole dynamic of out past has to be viewed in a different light. That won't be easy. I can only hope that she can find the strength to overcome this tragedy for herself, her marriage, and her children.

In the mean time I an waiting by the phone ready to offer any support I can give her. My years of teaching and schooling have given me a better insight into these types of cases and what the victims go through as they start to deal with these issues and I hope I can provide her with a compass or grounding to assist.

One of the things I am not feeling is survivors guilt or guilt in general. For one thing I wasn't aware of what was going on because I was a child, and two, since I was a child I would have been powerless to have stopped it. I just feel hurt that it happened at all.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with Ivan, which should be a doozy, I'm, hoping to be able to get some additional help in making sure I don't let my frustrations and anger get the best of me and lash out at my friends and family around me. Hopefully I'll have more to write about tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Void of being Orphaned

It's been exactly two weeks since my dad Lou died and I miss him dearly. That's not a surprise considering what he meant to me, but I didn't think the degree would be as strong as it is. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been stricken down with grief or remorse. In fact I think I think the last 8 years gave allowed me to appreciate and prepare for when that day came. To be on the safe side, I threw in an extra session with Ivan in case I needed it.

During this session, everything seemed to be going fine, discussing the impact of my loss and the void that now exists.Even Ivan agreed that I was doing well handling the situation. Then he through me a question that caught me off guard:

"Do I feel abandoned by Lou's death?"

In all my thoughts about loss and grief and trying to remember and honor him I never once thought about it in that way. It's burned at the back of my mind since then and when I'm alone I find myself really considering the ramifications of that. Initially I wanted to dismiss it, but I don't think I can.

Although this instance was just a natural end to his life, I am once again left with a fatherless void. I suppose the part that really gets to me is how my own father has abandoned me. The fact that he's alive and still not making any effort to fix our relationship. It's all a smack in the face to both myself and to Lou, who stepped in when my dad wouldn't.

I guess I'm saying that this is a bit harder for me than I thought it would initially be. Not only was I abandoned by my natural father, but to a degree I was also abandoned by my mother, albeit in a different fashion. She remained behind and I was the one who finally stepped back and stopped contacting her, but her actions from my childhood served as an abandonment because she was more interested in pursuing her own desires and interests instead of being a parent to me or my sisters. So when I think about it from that perspective, this is a difficult time.

So what are the lesson(s) I'm supposed to take away from all this? Yeah, that's the toughest one. It's obvious that I have to always remain constant in being involved in my kids lives and give to them what Lou gave to me and what my own parents never did.

I also keep coming back to one of the last things that Lou said to me. He told me to take care of myself and to take advantage of my youth, my health, and the time I had remaining. Slowly, that is lighting a fire in me to do the things I want to do with my life because when it is all said and done, I don't want to be regretting the things I didn't do like Lou did on his death bed. It reminds me of a quote that's attributed to Mark Twain that goes something like this:

"Twenty years from now you won't be regretting the things you failed at, you'll be regretting the things you never tried to do or make happen."

And that's where I'm at. It's hard to think about it and decide how best to honor the final wisdom that Lou passed on to me. I only wish I had a parent to talk to that I trusted.