I opened up My friends blog today (“Pharmacist Steve”). It is Steve Ariens Blog; and I saw a story of torture. There is torture going on in America! I’m seeing it every day now on the Internet! More & more chronic pain patients are being treated like common criminals! This is despicable! My God, are we living in North Korea, Afghanistan or in some 3rd world country (whos people , by the way; don’t deserve this kind of treatment any more than we don’t!!)?
How can the news media @Foxnews.com, @CNN, @MSNBC and all of the rest, be so one sided? Please, I implore you @POTUS, @GovChristie @PetersforMichigan (Senator Gary Peters), @NYGovCuomo (Governor Andrew Cuomo), @onetoughnerd (Governor Rick Snyder of MI). I implore you to think of the forgotten legitimate chronic pain patients. People are now living with daily chronic pain and receiving no treatment at all. They being totally forgotten & considered collateral damage of this “fake war on drugs” ! It’s a war against the chronic pain community; because they’re the ones who are dying. The pain community is stuck with zero semblance of a life as all of this is crashing down around them/us! The posted video is not just sad, it’s torturous to listen to. It’s terrible to watch. But it’s true and it’s happening all over the United States Of America! This is a story about a young mother, wife and daughter; who’s going through sheer bloody hell in Albany New York Trauma Center!
“Amy” Amy’s story of Human Torture in a NY hospital! is a young woman who just went through a painful stomach surgery and her stomach ruptured as well! The contents are therefore spreading throughout her body inside and this causes not only sepsis, but horrible excruciating pain! My husband went through it years ago, but they gave him a Morphine pump while in the hospital for several days following surgery. He was given pain relief, as any HUMAN BEING or any living, breathing animal should have!!
This is torturous and despicable treatment of anyone in a hospital, or any patient care facility; let alone, following a stomach surgery! How can the Albany Medical Center in Albany, New York, allow their patient to be treated in such an inhumane manner??? The behavior of the nurses who pledge also, to “care for the sick” and to “do no harm”; is unforgivable! This sort of treatment to other human beings deserves termination. Those so called patient care employees need to be fired and they should never be allowed to not care for another patient! This woman, who has a name, a face, a husband & a family; is living through hell!
You know what though? This is entirely preventable! She is not a prisoner of War! This is a young woman who’d much prefer to have a “normal” life! This young woman has a name, and that name is “AMY”! She has a young child and a husband. I’m guessing that her husband had to leave her to go home and take care of their little one! He had to do that and he thought he’d left his wife in the care of a reputable hospital facility!! Obviously, he was mistaken and that’s really sad!
What if Amy was unable to show us this video? What if she was incapacitated and couldn’t tell anyone what’s happening to her? Please share this video and Amy’s story. Write to your legislators and put a name and a face to all of our stories. Nothing can change if we cannot be brave and do something to help ourselves and to help Amy!
Our government leaders, the news media agencies and society need to as many faces and hear as many stories as possible about us! The chronic pain community being left behind and treated as though we are just collateral damage in the war on drugs! This has taken a turn for the worse. It’s gone from a “war” against illicit drugs to a war against the legitimate chronic pain patients. We will lose & continue to lose if not for people being brave like “Amy”.
Please speak out and tell everyone your story and the stories like this one! Get the word out about how chronic pain patients are not drug addicts. We are not addicted at all! Ask them if they can remember a time when they had lived through their worst pain imaginable? Then ask them to think about that pain never ceasing! Tell them this is what it’s like for us, for you!
Please pass this story around. Know that I received Amy’s video & story from Pharmacist Steve Arians Blog, at: PharmacistSteve.com….. It is posted in several places on Facebook. He asked if we could “please make this video go viral”?
Thank you for your help! Please…. let’s all help Amy & all of the other “Amy’s”! Thank you Steve Ariens too!
This was my comment in response to the article that was in the national pain report on October 3, 2017. The article was written by Ed Coghlan, the publisher of the health news magazine the “National Pain Report”. I thought that this was important for people to see! Here’s the link to the exact article in which Andrew Kolodny was offered to write something in Response to my article the “Pain Wars”, that he did not like & thought was “unfair“. Here’s my comment:
“What Ed is saying is spot on exact! I know in my heart, that some of what I had originally written are Kolodny’s “opinions”, we all are aware of those; because he’s proven his opinions over and over again to all of us. But it’s true, there were two issues to which I could not find an exact citation. I rewrote the article with citations down to the details. This time there was no reaction from him? The fact that he thinks Intractable and/or chronic pain patients should be able to be ok with Tylenol or Ibuprofen is just laughable. It reads on the bottle of Tylenol “for minor aches and pains”. Obviously Andrew Kolodny, Psychiatrist; has not ever lived with chronic intractable pain. What’s interesting is that he doesn’t treat Chronic pain either!How is he able to dictate what happens to the chronic pain patients?
What I find also odd, in a way, is that he thought what I wrote was “unfair”? What about what he’s doing to a large number of chronic pain patients? I want to scream that it is UNFAIR that he is responsible for the rise in suicides due to the immediate drop or quick tapering of our pain communities medications that are & have/had been used as directed and reasonably. He has our communities deaths from suicide on his conscience, on his hands. He is lying to the people, tugging at unknowing, good peoples heartstrings, so to speak. By telling them that these medicines are killing people and they are dangerous etc.; he is getting many of these people side with him! They are only “dangerous” if misused or taken improperly, just like anything else! Water is dangerous and you can die if you drink too much!
The Dictionary’s definition of “enemy” is = a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something. Also it states that “enemy” is a thing that harms or weakens something else. Well, Andrew Kolodny M.D., may harm us and we may die due to suicide or increase BP and HR from higher pain levels; because of his opinions. This is on his conscience as well. But he will never weaken the strength of compassion and endurance in the chronic pain community of the USA.
What I don’t understand is why can’t the government officials see through him?
Why don’t they see him trying to have “saving the addicts” (certainly not saving the chronic pain patients) as being his claim to “fame”? Why can’t anyone else see that he owns treatments centers with a “revolving door” policy and he makes a ton of money off these poor people? He tries to tug at the heartstrings of those who have lost loved ones to addiction. Chronic pain management and addiction management are two different areas. Those who have lost someone want all Opioids gone now, because someone that they love has passed away due to addiction and /or the misuse of opioids. That’s horrible and terrible and unimaginable to say the least. But Well, now we, the chronic pain community are losing people daily; due to the quick tapering and abrupt ending of opioid treatment to chronic pain patients. Chronic pain can kill as stated in the National pain report article from June 20, 2017. The terrible true fact is that Opioids don’t kill people any more than guns kill people? If you misuse either of them, you can die. If you don’t follow the instructions of a legitimate pain management physician; (*who went to school for many years longer than Andrew Kolodny, to learn specifically about how to manage chronic pain), then you have a higher chance of dying from overdose. One can overdose on insulin that they have in their home for Diabetes. Just as someone on High blood pressure meds, anti-depressants and other medications can overdose if they misuse their medications. We are not children and if we are responsible adults who are doing well on opioid therapy and do not get high, do not ask for more, are not groggy or foggy from the medications, and we don’t take more or less than prescribed; then we should have a right to live our lives in as little pain as possible!
They need to totally get rid of the CDC guidelines start over from the beginning. They need to do so with educated pain management physicians and not PROP and /or treatment center owners who stand to make money from the drop in pain medications. This entire conversation has the pain community afraid, panicked and in more pain because of their fear of living in pain or dying because they cannot live with it.
It seems to me that Andrew Kolodny will not write in this blog because he knows that Ed Coghlan is an upstanding publisher. He doesn’t allow people to use propaganda or say things that cannot be proven. This Health News magazine has a great reputation and that is because many peoples voices are allowed to be heard. Ed offered Andrew Kolodny to have his voice heard here, in this venue. But that won’t happen because here, he is the “enemy” and not the “star”. These are only my own private views.”
Which Pain Is Worse? The Physical or the Betrayal?
I wanted to write a bit about whats happened with me and what is going on so that others like me, with Chronic pain, several Chronic pain illnesses and nerve pain Diagnosis’, don’t get treated as I’ve been treated. If I can help even one person with this post, then it will be very worth it to me . Now, the short version of my recent saga is this: I was in a MVA in 1984, hit by a drunk driver….causing whiplash and the beginning of Degenerative Disc Disease. In 2000, I fainted (unknowingly I had Dysautonomia already at that time). My husband was inpatient with Peritonitis following a burst intestine. I was running from the hospital to home and back again to make sure my husband and my two young daughters, ages 8 1/2 and 11 yrs old were cared for and felt loved. I was doing it all alone with no help from any family or friends. I was doing laundry at midnight and I was exhausted. There is a metal pole in between our washing machine and the dryer. I bent down to put the clothes into the dryer and I hit my left frontal temple on the metal pole. I felt an “icey” feeling go down my face and I fell to the floor. No other adults were home and I was in the basement, 2 floors down from my sleeping daughters. I awakened some time later but unsure of the time frame. When I awoke on the floor of my basement, I could no longer feel the left side of my face. When I smiled my left side did not; just as though I’d had Novocaine at the Dentist office. I couldn’t do anything for myself because I was alone with my 2 children and my husband was very very ill and possibly could have died and he was in the hospital. My youngest daughter was a champion Scottish Highland dancer at the time. She was being judged for “medal testing” by a judge brought in from Scotland. I paid a fee, she was very excited and had worked very hard for this chance and I could not let her down. Also, afterwards I was going to the hospital again to see my husband. I had to just make sure that I did not smile so that my girls didn’t notice my mouth going down on left side. I was a little scared and didn’t feel so great, but I drove both of my daughters to Royal oak or a bit farther, for the medal testing. My youngest was tested and did marvelously!! She was being judged for Silver medals and she got her Silver medals! It was awesome!
I brought the girls home afterwards and had a neighbor watch them while I went to see my husband. On the way to seeing my husband, I stopped in at an Urgent care to see about my face and head. Also because my eye was not looking right and it was “wandering”. The urgent care put me in an ambulance and took me to the same hospital that my husband was inpatient at. I was livid and didn’t want to go. My car was left in the parking lot and we honestly had no one to help us! What was I going to do? I was starting to get admitted and I left against medical advice. I went to my husbands room and saw him and I was in luck that another friend was visiting him at that time. She offered to take me back to my car. Later on, I went home and the next day I went to see my Physician. He sent me right away to see his Neurologist friend. I had a CT scan of my brain and an EMG. I had 4 inches of nerve damage in my left face and I had brain swelling. I was given a “Medrol dose pack” and then nothing else ever happened from that incident. The fact remains that my smile still goes down when I’m tired or sleeping. My eye wanders in most photographs taken. My face has become asymmetric because of the nerve damage. Most people cannot tell so much, but a Neurologist that I saw did notice and of course, I can see it. My husband can see it as well.
Then, in 2002, I was again a passenger in a MVA. I was unconscious for 25-30 minutes. I suffered a MTBI or “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” and had to go to a brain injury or TBI rehab ctr for 3 yrs outpatient. I had 12 surgeries including: 2 pacemaker surgeries (different in that the first was placed deep into my pectoral muscle and then 10 yrs later it had worn a hole right through my pectoral muscle and I needed a 3 hour muscle rebuild surgery and then to replace the pacemaker….this caused so much trauma to my chest, left arm area that my RSD/CRPS went straight to that traumatized area; even though my Neuro-Cardiologist did research. He learned about doing a “Bipvucaine” internal surgical wash to head off the spread of the RSD/CRPS. He really tried but it went Systemic in 2013. I ended up having knee surgeries, shoulder surgeries (with screws put in), left facial surgery, foot surgery (where the RSD/CRPS type II started) and more. I had two torn meniscus’, two torn rotater cuffs that went into adhesive capsulitis and so much PT and OT for 8 years that it seemed endless. I ended up getting an “ENG” test which showed my Cerebellum was damaged and it was injured in a “central dysfunction”. I fell often due to balance issues and still do today. I had to have special prisms in my glasses as I see halo vision, with severe dry eye and I have a Convergence insufficiency. I had to get 2 sensory neural hearing aids also as a result of the Traumatic brain injury; due to moderate hearing loss in both ears but left worse than right. So much was different including that I went from never even taking an aspirin for a headache to having to be on a pretty good amount of medications for “chronic intractable pain”. I had no idea that I was entering a “whole new ballgame” in my life. Meaning that I was in a hospital bed in our living room for the first 3 yrs because I tried many pain medications and they all made me ill or I was allergic. I went to a pain Dr. who gave me: trigger point injections, epidural blocks,other injections, biofeedback etc…I went through their psychological testing to see what kind of personality I was or was not. I passed with “flying colors” and was told that I did not have any signs of having an “addictive personality”. I was offered an intrathecal pain pump, which is surgically placed under the rib cage near the abdomen. It is or was, the size of a hockey puck. It is something that gets filled monthly with Morphine or other kind of pain medication to keep you comfortable on a regular basis. I already had a pacemaker and did not want something like that seemingly uncomfortable appliance inside of my gut forever.
Next, I was put into the hospital for pain control in 2005. This was 3 years after that horrific car accident had changed my life so much. I met my physician’s new office physician. I thought he was a big “teddy bear type” personality and seemed very patient and kind. Being a survivor of abuse, domestic violence and suffering from PTSD and actually on SSDI partially for that reason, I needed a General Dr. with that kind of bedside manner. The other one I’d been seeing was also kind, but he was very “quick moving” and didn’t take the time listen very well. Along with the fact that he had a story for everything, and this was just not “funny”. Finally, I tried what he told me to try and it was a combination of a pain patch and a pain lozenges, which had only been approved for cancer pain and for the horrible burning pain of RSD/CRPS; which I’d been diagnosed with by 4 different Physicians. I just didn’t know what it was and didn’t want to believe it. I had never even heard of it before. Well, this combination of medications is the first thing that didn’t make me terribly ill and it got me off of the couch after 3 grueling, long years of being pretty much immobile and not really going anyplace except to the Dr’s and to the rehabilitation center for TBI rehab.
That was 2005 and now we are in 2015 and my dosage was increased now and again up and until about 2010. After such time, I never had to have another increase and my pain, though still apparent, was bearable. I was able to go shopping with a friend for awhile. I was able to go to my daughters wedding. I was even able to go to Disney World in Florida in 2012, to celebrate my youngest daughter achieving her Masters degree! Of course, we took my wheelchair and I used that for the parks, and I had a cane for looking in the smaller stores. But I could go!! I did go!! It was a dream come true; and although I was still in pain, I could feel it and it would get worse the more active I would become; I still went!! I had asked my Dr., my GP, to “help me get down on a lower dose of these Narcotic pain medications”. He kept telling me that I “don’t want to end up on the couch again or in the hospital bed”. He would tell me again and again “not to worry about it” and to “let him worry about it”. I would give up asking and go about my “half life” that I was living, though still better than living in my front room on a hospital bed. Then a few months later I would bring it up to him again. I would say “Dr. (Pete) Bullach Jr., I am afraid of being on this kind of medication for so long. How am I going to get off of it? When can I try to take less? What can we do?” Dr. Bullach Jr. would say to me again, “let me worry about it and when the time comes, I will just admit you to the regular hospital and we will knock you out for a couple of days and get you off of the meds and start with something else”. Whenever I would bring that up or ask him about “WHEN” we could do that, he again would tell me “not to worry about it” and to “let him worry about it”. He always told me that the medications that I was taking was fine for me and for the amount of pain that I was having. He told me that he even “fought it out” with the “medical director of my insurance company” and he told them I needed it and why and they accepted it. He just kept on telling me that I “didn’t want to end up on that couch again, like I had been for 3 years, or the hospital bed either.”
So …in September 2014, we got a letter from my insurance company, telling me that as of March 1st or so, they “would not pay for my pain medication any longer, unless I went to a pain Dr. and he/she agreed with my Dr. Bullach’s treatment regimen.” Of course I got frightened because I do know that if taken off of these kinds of meds quickly, I can die. So my husband and I took the letter to Dr Bullach and he told me “not to worry”, once again. He told me to make an appt. with the old pain Dr. that had seen me for the 1st 3 years following the MVA. He told me he “would speak to that pain Dr and he would send him any and all information to make this work out just fine”. I didn’t worry because he’d been my Dr. for 14 years and I trusted him! I had been to many Dr’s over the years and nobody ever told me that I should be worried! I had surgeries and no one ever told me that I was on “mega amounts” of pain medication for my body size. I made the appointment with the pain Dr. for just after Christmas this year, 2014. I also had an appointment for my regular 3 month check up with Dr. Bullach Jr., in early December, to get my scripts and talk to him. Only 2 days prior to my appointment, I received a letter in the mail. The letter was NOT from my Dr. Bullach Jr., but from the other Dr. who is the administrator of the medical center offices that I had been going to since 1986 actually! The letter stated that my Dr Bullach Jr. “was leaving on Dec 12, 2014 to go to another community and be an Urgent Care Dr.”! That was it!!! I had two days notice to tell me that a Dr. that I highly depended upon was leaving soon. I trusted him to help keep me as pain free as possible! He was the Dr. who told me to “depend on him only” and that he “was the eye in the middle of my storm”! I went to see him that last day and he said he would not write my prescriptions for the Narcotic pain meds that he’d been giving me and that he’d put me on for the past 9 years! What did he expect me to do? All I did during that whole entire visit, was to cry pretty much uncontrollably. I was frightened and I felt betrayed!! Once again by someone who I looked up to and trusted with my life! He just looked at me and sort of hugged me back when I hugged him “goodbye”. He did assure me that he “would send all of the info that was needed to that pain Dr for my appointment after Christmas. He also assured me that the other Dr. in that practice would give me the “exact same care and prescriptions and all of my medications”. He promised me that this other Dr. in the practice would take over my care and “take good care of me”. the M.A. even told me that if the other Dr didn’t write the prescriptions correctly or something was wrong or different, that she would “take him out into the hallway and tell him what to write and what to do for me”. I listened and tried to believe in them and in the Dr. I’d looked up to for so many years.
Well, I went to my pain Dr. appointment and found that a “bomb had been dropped on my treatment and care”. The “trusted” Dr. that I’d gone to for the last 14 years did not talk to the pain Dr….nor did he send him any records of any kind. If I had not brought all of my own records, the things that I did have, with me; the whole appointment would have been a sham. It pretty much was anyways. The pain Dr. told me that I do indeed have the many pain diagnosis to be on this kind of pain medication. He told me that the Federal guidelines people are not Physicians and they are not “pain people” and therefore they do not understand pain issues or the medications. But that he had to follow the federal guidelines and that I was on much too much medication. My Dr. had put my life at risk all of these years and I was “Not the only patient this was happening to”. He was pretty angry that he had to “take the fall out” from what Dr Bullach had done and then left his patients in the lurch to fend for themselves. I was left in the dark to fend for myself. The only alternative that I was given, was to go to a special Dr. in Ann Arbor, MI, who specializes in “detox”. Well, this was NOT ME! ????? I never smoked cigarettes, or pot. I never took drugs even aspirin for a headache was very rare for me. I didn’t drink and I was always a straight “A” student and really had never done anything “wrong” in my entire lifetime!
We got home and my husband first called the other Dr. in the office where Dr. Bullach, Jr. worked. HE was livid and I could hear him yelling over the phone to my husband. He was furious that he was “left with the mess that the other Dr left him with”. He was “getting rid of all of this other Dr’s patients”. He was furious for what he’d been left with, instead of being compassionate and worried for what I had been left with (and apparently others as well). There was no sound of compassion and not one ounce of empathy in his voice or his word choices. He and the pain Dr. decided to “pawn me off” to a detox Dr who has a horrible reputation if you went to “ratemymds.com” or “healthgrades” and others. He has 16 terrible, awful reviews and that is scary! THIS is NOT someone I would go and see…ME…who suffers from PTSD??? No way was I going to see that Dr.!!!! So my husband told this to the pain Dr & to the other GP in the practice where I had been going. They told him that I “dont have a choice” and that “I might die” and that I “had to go”. They told my husband that those reviews were written by “drug seekers” and “disgruntled pain patients”. Well, I just don’t think so because I looked up several other pain Dr’s including the one I was talking with and he and many others got wonderful reviews from “disgruntled pain patients” and so called “drug seekers”. Therefore this cannot be true! Lastly, the “detox” Dr. they wanted to send me to has a mission statement on his website and he has many pages of all of his awards and such! He wrote a story about how he “broke his foot and walked on it for 3 months. His wife finally forced him to go to an Orthopedic Dr. That Dr told him that when he walked North, his foot went “northwest”…..????!!!! He continued into this story telling the readers that “HE did this without a pain pill”. He was saying that if he could walk on a broken foot for 3 months and feel the pain of the “weather changes” in his foot, without any pain medications, then those who are suffering with “full body RSD/CRPS, Degenerative Disc Disease, Radiculopathy, Polyneuropathies, EDS, Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis and more; should be able to do the same and live without any pain medications.” He said that most or all pain (cannot remember which word he chose so I will not quote on this one) is “perceived pain”. I will end it on that note.
It has been a week already. I will not be thrown into some “place” to have some brusk Dr. that I don’t know and do not trust, take away all of my control and my pain medication at the same time; while being away from my home, my comfortable atmosphere, my loving husband and my kitty cat. I can do this myself! I am doing this myself and I’ve gone down already quite a bit but I’m doing it slowly. I am a strong woman to have already beaten an eating disorder and the abuse that I’ve suffered in my lifetime. I am not crazy or bad or stupid. I am very smart and good and loving and a kind person. I don’t dwell on my pain and I do volunteer by sending kind and cheery letters to people in pain or going through terrible experiences. I do what I can to help my life be as good as it can be. I am the administrator of a support group for “invisible diseases” and we have over 850 people in our group. I know I can do this with the love of my husband and in my own home. But thank God I am strong and I am who I am because I feel terrible for the others. I found out that my old Dr., the one who left abruptly, had actually gotten into trouble for what he not only did to me but to several others. THAT is why he went to an Urgent Care in another city…and for no other reason. Please….if anyone has any good and kind advice, I will take all that I can get. Lastly, I saw my Neuro-Cardiologist this week. They told me that my upper left side RSD/CRPS has worsened because I now have Lymphoedema in my left (*worse) RSD/CRPS arm. They spoke to the Vascular Dr. (luckily my appt. was in the U of T. Medical Center/Heart & Vascular area, so a Vascular Dr. just happened to be nearby); and they gave me a prescription to order a special “compression sleeve” for that arm. The Dr. also informed me that my Atrial fibrillation has picked up, most likely due to the recent and pretty quick, drop in my pain meds. They also gave me a referral to a center in Lansing MI to get checked out for the new diagnosis of “EDS” or “Ehler Danlos Syndrome”, which they think I have because I do have 23 of the symptoms! I hope I can get an appointment in a timely manner. People with EDS do not metabolize pain medication like others do! Gee, now it’s all making more sense! But when I asked Dr. Bullach if I could possibly have EDS, he told me “no reason to get checked for it because there’s nothing they can do for it anyways”. But thats not true I’ve found out recently. Once again, I was lied to and betrayed by someone I trusted so completely. I also am making an appointment at a pain clinic where a friend of mine found. It is one in which the Dr. is compassionate or so it appears. I pray that something will happen quickly because when I went to the office that Dr. Bullach left, and saw the Dr. that I was told would “give me the same care, level of care and treatment plan”, I was given almost nothing after being on the medication for 12 years! I was left to either do what he says and go to that detox doc, the mean one with the bad reputation but who gets his name and photo in “Dr of the hour magazine” or to just fend for myself with no other help than my loving and kind husband. I will get through this and I will find a trusted Doctor once again…I just need one who wants a challenge and not one who just wants to put a “band aid” on me for everything and let me keep getting sicker and sicker right under his nose.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate any kind comments or responses or advice. But please, please be kind because I’ve honestly had enough abuse for one lifetime and more!
I never thought that this day would actually come. I’ve been praying every day, hoping every day for 9 years +, that my family would be back together again. I married at age 22, in 1984. We had 2 daughters and in 1992 became legally divorced. I won’t bother you with all of the trials and tribulations of everything that we’ve gone through, but I do wish to tell you a story of “HOPE”.
When my ex husband left in 1991, I was suddenly alone with 2 daughters, ages 3 and 5 1/2. My oldest had just started Kindergarten and the youngest just had her 3rd birthday. First I cried until I couldn’t cry another tear. Then I toughened up and bucked up and mustered up the strength and courage to do it on my own. I had felt pretty much and had actually been pretty much “alone” for the most part of those 8 years. On a Saturday night he took me out to dinner and told me he wanted a divorce. We’d met in Late August 1983 and only 7 months later, in April 1984, we got married. So, like I said, he told me that he wanted a divorce on a Saturday night. I freaked out a bit, cried a lot and by Monday, I had gone from a “stay at home mom” to a full time Interpreter for the Deaf at a school system. I thank God for going to College, especially at that point in my life.
That was the end of September and by June I knew that my “dream job” was not going to work. I needed health insurance because I found out that I truly was on my own; for the most part. My parents lived 35 or more miles away, my mother was very ill and they couldn’t babysit or help in that way. Next, I got a job at a major University hospital. I was an Outpatient clerk III and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I liked my new job and the independence it gave me. But the first few months I could not get to day care on time to pick up my daughters because the latest pick up time was 6:00 pm. I could not get there without an accident, before at least 6:20 pm because I got off at 5:30pm. I got my father to agree to sit in the car with my daughters until I got there and I was grateful for that. Though I never really understood why he couldn’t have taken them just straight across the street to our apartment and let them get their backpacks off and start homework or get a drink? But hey, I was happy with what I got. I was very thankful. I awoke at 5:10 am every work morning M-Fri, and got ready, showered etc. Then at 6:15 am, I awoke my 3 1/2 and 6 year old daughters. I cleaned them up, did their hair beautifully every day with bows and curls and such. We never “looked” poor! I fed them breakfast, listened to anything they needed to talk about and we left for Day Care at 7:15 am. The worst was in the deepest darkest of the Michigan Winters, and taking my babies out into the dark of night and the below 20 degree temps most days, or worse. My youngest used to cry every Sunday night and I hated putting her through it but I had no choice. I loved them and they needed someone responsible and loving to care for them. I didn’t want to lose their respect some day and let them think that I just sat on my rear end eating chocolates! NO! I went out and as hard as it was, I got a full time job and for awhile even went back to College to better myself.
For years I had no child support or “on” again and “off” again child support.Finally, when my father in law started paying it, then it came regularly and life became just a tad bit better when I knew that I had enough to get by for 2 weeks until my paycheck came; and with only usually $20 to spare. I got food stamps and Medicaid insurance for about 6 months, until I could get my own insurance and until I made only $80 per month too much to get food stamps. I was so proud though!! I was soooo proud when I made $80 a month too much to get the $250 worth of monthly food stamps.
So life went on…..much happened and it was hard for us. We all survived and I remarried in 1997 on Valentines day. Then to make this story more about the good than the bad, I have to tell you why I named this story about “HOPE”. In 2004, my oldest daughter became estranged from us, her family at age 18. She had to find her own way and figure some things out on her own. It broke my heart and I’m pretty sure she felt that her heart was broken too. But days turned into months and then years went by….and by…and by…..
I prayed and I hoped and every Christmas that went by, every Birthday that past and each Mother’s day that came and went, I cried and prayed and cried some more. I would listen to songs and look at photo’s that reminded me of much harder days but days in which I still had hope, in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband of now 18 years. He is the best thing that ever happened to me & us in life, other than having my girls. He is my soul-mate and I love him and he loves me and we are a team.
Nine years ago or more, when all of that happened, I had bought a necklace that was gold and silver and has the word “HOPE” on it. I swore to wear it until my oldest daughter and I were together again. So much more happened throughout all of those years, but that is not for me to write about today. Today I am only looking forward and not backwards. Finally, today, I can take off my HOPE necklace if and when I so choose, because my prayers have been answered.
I had lunch with a very old friend in August, her name is Janet. We had our first baby girls only weeks apart and became great friends. She moved an hour and half away and then I moved and then I got divorced and then her husband passed and life kept changing for us. But through it all we stayed friends. She met me for coffee one day in August 2014. I told her that I was “losing hope of ever getting back with my oldest daughter”. I told her how much I love my daughter and always have and always will. I told her how much I wanted her in my life and how we all missed her so much. She told me to “just call her”. But I was just a bit nervous to call out of the blue like that. I mean I had sent notes, letters, gifts etc over the years but then I sort of “gave up”….not on her…but just on trying to contact her again. So she told me “why not try and text her and just tell her how you are feeling?”…I thought about it and then I did it the very next day!
I am here to tell you to NEVER give UP HOPE!! I texted my daughter and I told her that “I love her” and I told her that “I was thinking of her and hope she was doing OK?” She told me she was “tired of being pregnant and due in a couple of weeks with her 2nd child.” I had heard that she got married 5 years ago, but I had not been invited nor ever told about it until my cousin in AZ told me the day afterwards. I was heartsick and heartbroken again.
So…back to the good stuff! I texted her and she texted me back. I asked if I could have a photo of my granddaughter who was 20 months and she sent me 5 pictures! I was ecstatic!! She said that she “couldn’t choose” just one single photo…and I was glad for that! Then I asked if she might let me know when the new baby is born and also send me a photo. She did just that!! We started talking then more and more and texting and one day she invited me to come over after she’d gotten home for a few days from the hospital and having her 2nd C-section (she had 2 C sections, just like me)!
Her mother in law was there and my daughter and I hugged and we laughed and we cried. Her mother in law was so nice and funny and I was put at ease right away. This was the beginning for us again. A chance to start new. We have had over 6 weeks now of spending time together. We talk daily and we see each other almost 4 times a week if not more! Sometimes I sit in the car and let her go in and get her errands done, so she doesn’t have to take 2 babies in with her. Other times she comes over to the park near my house or to my house and we have a tea party! I got down my girls’ old small table and chairs set and cleaned them up. We had a tea party and she and Olivia and I had such a beautiful time.
I will always include her in everything because I remember my mother always took the girls into her room and left me sitting on the couch by myself after I had driven 45 minutes to their house! She always wanted to have “girl talk” with them “ALONE” and I was not invited. It hurt my feelings but I always figured that as long as my girls were happy, then I was OK too. But I really enjoyed all of us having our tea party together, even little newborn baby girl was there with us, sleeping…..but feeling the good feelings in the room.
On Monday of this week, my oldest daughter and I drove an hour to her younger sisters house, my youngest daughter and her husband live about an hour from here. My oldest daughter and I only live about 4 blocks away from each other now! I love it so much! So anyways, my youngest daughters, 26th birthday is next week, so we took a picnic lunch and went to their house and to the park and went for a little walk.. This was the first time we’d been together in almost a decade! It is a wonderful feeling!!! I almost forgot to tell you that a week or two after we started seeing each other, my husband and my oldest daughter saw one another; they hugged and he got teary eyed.
Life is so much better when you can let go of the past and all of the hurts, big and small. If you can let it all go and start over and refreshed with a new found way of life and have no need for hurt or revenge or anything but kindness and love and a sense of family…that’s when life will turn around! When I could finally stop and think and let go of all of the old “junk”, that is when my “HOPE” came true and my life is so much more fulfilled now. Of course there are times in life when one might have been damaged physically, verbally, emotionally and worse. Unfortunately, sometimes in those cases, it’s not always just a matter of moving on. Sometimes just forgiving in your heart, can lessen the load and it can help you move on just to have forgiveness in your own heart. We cannot force anyone else to think, feel or act in any certain ways. We can’t force anyone to feel how we want them to feel.
I am in chronic pain from RSD/CRPS , RA, DDD, SSS, OA, Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS and many other health issues. I was in a MVA in 2002 and have suffered through 12 surgeries and alot of pain. I have had a heart attack, a CVA (stroke) and I’ve gone to many Dr’s visits. I am through it and sort of on the other side now; and couldn’t be happier, unless of course the pain was gone. But it’s a lot easier to bear when you feel loved and you are being more loving yourself. I am so happy that my family is together again. I will never again hold onto anything bad in my mind, heart or soul. I give it up to God and I am going to enjoy life as best that I can. I will have my days in pain when I cannot do anything, but I will have the love of my daughters and granddaughters. I love them, my husband and their husbands Thank you for reading my story and please…NEVER give up HOPE…..it does come, but in “his” time, not in ours. We don’t know why?? But God does know what he wanted me or all of us to learn first. Thank you again… also thanks for allowing me the pleasure of posting a few photos from our day at my youngest daughters house and a few others too.
One more thing before I sign off for today. I wanted to apologize for being away from my writing for a whole month. I try to write weekly or bi-weekly. As you can see from my story above and the photo’s, I was just very busy this month; allowing things to happen naturally and waiting for the best time to tell you this wonderful news!
Well, it is the Holiday Season once again. The tree is trimmed….boy, OH boy is our tree ever “trimmed”!! We have a 3 yr old kitty cat who thinks that we brought a tree into our house JUST for her to play in!! We actually came downstairs and came home etc…several times and the tree was over on it’s side, after having “crashed” to the floor! We decided to take the the bottom off of the tree and put the top of the tree into the tree stand and put it on top of the end table. So now she can hide under the tree skirt, which is on top of the table and under the tree….LOL…but she doesn’t get into it anymore! I just know she thinks that tree was brought inside just to please her and to give her something to play inside of! Silly Luna kitty! Anyway, it’s still a beautiful tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night.
So…I’ve been really thinking…..I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the true meaning of this beautiful holiday. I used to get so sad when the people who were “supposed” to be around me during the holidays, were not around during that time, or any other times. That is a long story for another day…But for today, I want to talk about Christmas Miracles and what I would love for mine to be this year or any time at all. I won’t go into details because the past is the past. But my eldest daughter has been gone for over 9 years now. She left of her own free will. No one asked her to leave, no one forced her to leave, she just left. Not a day has gone by that I’ve not thought about her. A holiday has not passed, when I haven’t cried because of missing her. If I could have one Christmas miracle, one holiday wish, it would be the same Christmas miracle I’ve asked for every year since 2004. I would ask for my daughter to come home, at least in her heart. She is almost 28 years old and has her own home now. Although I stayed and raised my two daughters literally without any physical, Psychological or emotional help whatsoever; I pray to see her and I also pray to meet my only granddaughter, who just recently turned one year old, this past November. I didn’t know of the wedding, I never knew of the pregnancy, I never saw the ultrasound appointments, I missed her birth, her first sounds, rolling over, crawling, her first tooth and now I’m sure she’s walking and talking.
When I first learned about my granddaughter, I started a scrapbook. It is a way to keep her in my thoughts and on my mind in a healthy and good way. I’ve kept up a book for both of my daughters as well, since they were born. I’ve written notes, letters, poems etc. to them both from the day I went into labor and through today. Of course they are older now so I don’t have so much to write anymore, but I still write in it when I find something that I want to share with them. My friends kept trying to get me to find & look at photos of my new granddaughter. I didn’t want to look because I finally saw a photo of her and then I fell in love, instantly. My “baby” has a baby. Wow….my “miracle” has her own “miracle” now. I started the scrapbook, but it turned into a journal of sorts. I don’t have many photo’s of course and it’s turned into what I call “Letters To Olivia”… I have not done very much, but I’ve started it and have written in it. I “talk” to “Liv” and I tell her about us and her mommy when she was a wee one. I guess I just do it to keep sane. I’ve just lost so much; it’s hard to keep my heart from breaking all over again day after day.
I saw this somewhere and it makes me think of my daughter being a mother now : “Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers.” -Author Unknown. I found these ideas online…they are really several pieces of advice for daughters and I want to share them with you (they are from a woman named BNayden, but I don’t know who she really is, except that she is a mom….like me and……although I don’t usually give too much advice, I thought this was worth reading and sharing:
Advice for Daughters
Listen to your Momma. She will never intentionally steer you in the wrong direction. There may be times you think we don’t have your best interest in mind but we always do.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your family and true friends will accept you for who you are.
Do everything with grace.
Avoid participating in gossip.
Think twice before you post something on the internet.
Learn to cook, clean and be organized for yourself, not for someone else.
Don’t set limits for yourself. Break down boundaries.
You are stronger than what you think.
Read books and watch documentaries.
. There is nothing wrong with a little adventure so don’t be afraid to try new things.
. In anything you do, remember that there is a reaction for every action.
. Be the heroine in your own story. You don’t need a prince to rescue you.
. Don’t dumb yourself down to get attention. There is nothing wrong with being smart. Use your common sense.
. Respect yourself.
. Know who your true friends are. It is okay to let go of people and move on, not everyone is meant to take the next step with you in your journey.
. Set goals for yourself and have a plan but know that not everything goes as planned. Always have a plan B and C.
. Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one step and one day at a time.
. Travel. Experience the world.
. Know what’s going on in the world and in your local community. Keep up with current events.
. Be confident and believe in yourself.
. Respect nature and the environment, help to take care of it.
. Work hard and seize every opportunity.
. Be kind, compassionate and loyal.
. Not everyone will be on your team. Don’t worry about pleasing them. Keep yourself happy and stick to what you believe in.
. Know your self-worth and don’t let anyone else bring it down or make you feel less worthy.
. Have faith.
. Be courteous and always practice good manners.
. Try your best not to do or say anything you will regret later.
. Be wise when it comes to money. Save for rainy days and for the future. Live within your means.
. Material possessions are not everything.
. You are my princess; find a man that will treat you like his queen and he will be worthy for you to treat him like a king.
. Be as well-educated, well-spoken and well-traveled the best you can.
. Have hobbies, learn to play an instrument, play sports, join clubs and do volunteer work. All of these things will teach you valuable skills and make you a well-rounded person.
. You are going to lose sometimes but you will only fail if you don’t stand back up and try again.
. Be independent.
. Learn to be patient.
. You have a rich heritage. Be proud of it and your culture because it contributes to who you are.
. Realize when to walk away; you can only give so much until you compromise your integrity and happiness.
. Be healthy. Eat well and exercise. Practice good hygiene.
. Be passionate about everything you do and what career you choose. It should not always be about the money especially if you are unhappy.
I don’t know why I liked the advice above, but I thought it was really good, or most of it anyways. I just felt like sharing it …but now I’d like to share My Christmas wish:
….I so badly want my daughter to look up to me, like she had done in the past. I want her to see me with the same eyes that she had seen me with when she was a little girl. A time when I could fix anything and a time when a hug and a kiss and some ice inside of the “boo boo bunny” could fix a multitude of “owie’s”. I don’t want to go back in time, but move forward yet have her remember what she knew of my heart, who she always knew I was and for her to once again KNOW that I still am that “Momma” who thinks of her every day and still fondly calls her “My Sunshine Girl”. I want for her to realize that though she thought I could fix anything when she was a little girl, I’m just a person who is imperfect and who makes mistakes just like anyone and everyone does. I so badly wish for her to know that I never ever did or said anything to intentionally hurt her, not ever. Though I never would hurt a hair on my daughters heads, I’m not perfect and I have my own past hurts, issues and inner “demons” that I fight against; while being a product of a Malignant Narcissistic abusive family……what I’m saying…… I suppose….is that I’m sure I’ve unintentionally hurt some feelings in the past, but not willfully or with malice in my heart.
I have so much on my mind and in my heart this Christmas time. I am older now and feel at peace more with who I am and who I wish to be. I try to find good in every day and forgive the “little” things, because most daily annoyances are just that…”little things”. I try to find the good in people that I meet, and not be judgemental. I forgive those who’ve hurt me, even though the “hurt’s” that have plagued me during my lifetime are unimaginable to some. I’ve had not one, not two but many many Dr.’s and other people who meet me, say that I am a “miracle”. They say that they are so surprised that I’m not “dead or crazy. I’m not saying that to boast about being some kind of “miracle”…no… but to have you, the reader; know and feel what kind of things I’ve endured. If not for any other reason, than to know that I write from my heart; a broken heart. A heart that I’ve tried to mend over these years and continue to fill it with only love and kindness. I try not to harbor ill feelings for those who’ve abused me in the past, and they are many. I’ve been hurt by just about every person in life who was supposed to love me. I’ve been starved, poisoned, beaten, broken, punished, molested,raped, cheated on and worst of all taunted and teased, called names and the most hurtful of all is the fact that those who are supposed to love me, get pleasure from my pain. It saddens me when I think about it too much. So I just don’t think about it ….and as much as I can push it away, I do!
Anyways, all of that is in the past…oh wait…no… some of it is still happening. When you have Narcissistic abusers in your life, in your own family; it never ends until you break the ties. That is something which is so hard to do that not many can do it; not many stick with it for the long haul. God never said that you had to stay with people who hurt you and/or abuse you. But enough of that talk, this is Christmas and it is the season of goodness, kindness and peace.
I’ve always heard it is the time for miracles. I’ve been waiting so long and every Christmas I pray for my Christmas miracle to come true. I pray all during the year as well. I pray every day and each night. Maybe this will be my year for a true longing wish to come true. All I want for Christmas, Lord….is to have my daughter back in my arms again. I don’t care how old she is….she will always be my baby! “I love her forever, I like her for always….as long as I’m living my baby she’ll be…”…..Anyways, the day will come that my wish will come true, she will feel again in heart what she once felt ……something I’ve always felt and never lost for her…..a kind of love that is deep and true and a special kind of love between a Mother and her daughter…..
Well…anyways…I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true….whatever language you speak, I hope you speak “Love” and keep it in your heart all year and not just at Christmas time….
I try to write about a good variety of things on this blog. Some things about my life, my pain and things that I’ve done or am doing. Other times I try to write about upbeat, helpful “Life” stories, advice and /or help. Then again, sometimes I try to write about things that we can all relate to in one way or another. I’m sure there are some things that I choose to write about that you are not interested in and hopefully other times I may write something that will intrigue you. Today, I’ve decided to write about being a mother, a single mother, a re-married mother, a mother who lost her child and a grandmother who’s never had the chance to hold her first and only grandchild, a granddaughter (so far). It’s a journey that some of you may relate to on some level or another. Yet, there aren’t many that I’ve heard of or read about who’ve been surrounded most or all of their life by a family that they were born into, who actually get and have gotten “pleasure from their pain”. A family and 99% of that extended family that they were born into and another that they had married into and later divorced; all of whom have sought out to hurt and literally try to “kill” you without thinking a second thought. The reason being is that they are all Narcisisstic abusers! When you are just thrown into the” fire” to fend for yourself amongst these kinds people, who have all denied having any problems of their own, you actually realize why you’ve always felt so “bad” inside. I am talking about my life, my family and my ex husband,(father of my 2 children) and his family. I had always felt so powerless and small against them all! But once I decided to forgive them and realize that they can’t help themselves until or unless they realize that they want or need help. It took me years and years of going through a ton of horrible situations with verbal, physical, emotional and every other unimaginable abuse, before I was strong enough to say “STOP! NOT ME !!! ..and NOT EVER AGAIN!!” Sometimes it appears on the outside of things, to be very “lonely” when you take a stand to decide not to allow yourself to be abused anymore by anyone,not ever! But with God on my side, I will never truly be lonely. You may have your own higher power. I believe that all people are equal and that everyone has the right to believe in their own “higher power” and have their own personal spirituality. I feel that we need a sense of where we came from, how we arrived at where we are; and to what place we are going when this reality we know as “life” will end. I happen to be a Christian, born and raised a Catholic and went to Catholic schools all of my life. If I didn’t have my God in my heart, soul and my life, I would be totally lost. I would feel like a fish out of water flopping around with no air to breathe. I am thankful for God, for Jesus dying on the cross for my sins and the sins of others; for the Holy Spirit who came into my life and who has given me the power to persevere in the harshest of circumstances.
Today, my friends, I want to tell you about my eldest daughter. If you know me, then you know her name, but for the purpose of this blog and to respect her privacy, I will be calling or referring to her as my “Sunshine”. She was born in May of 1986, during a C-section that was planned because she was almost 9 lbs and in the breech position. I was scheduled for a C-section and then while having a cup of tea on the night prior to my scheduled delivery, I went into labor. We waited a little while to go to the hospital, but I was just really excited to have this baby, so we didn’t wait too long and we drove to the hospital about 10:00pm on a Wednesday night in May. I had had a previous miscarriage and my then husband, “Bully”, we’ll call him; had bonded together with my father and they tried to force me into having an abortion when we first found out I was pregnant again. Bully had lost his job at the Sheriff’s dept., or actually at that time he had “quit” that job to go into a business with his own father. We had no insurance for a short time. They sat me down and tried to actually talk me into making such a horrible decision as to just “throw away” my baby like it didn’t matter! ?? I would not hear of it. I would not listen to anything they were saying. I told them that if I had to “go it alone, I would”. They knew that it was early on and they knew I wasn’t changing my mind and so they got busy getting Bully to get rehired at his Sheriff’s dept. job, in the jail.
Fast forward now to the morning in May of 1986, when I was in labor and the OB Dr. came in and told me that there was an emergency in the other surgical room, with twins involved. He asked if I minded just waiting until morning at my scheduled C-section time of 8:00am. I wasn’t in “active” labor and never dilated, so I said I didn’t mind at all. I had some painful contractions, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. Besides, I was so excited to be a “Mommy”, that I could hardly contain myself! It’s something I’d always wanted and everything I’ve always wanted to be.
Finally, it was my turn! They put up a curtain, Bully put on his scrubs and I was in the O.R. having our baby! They gave me a bit too much in the “spinal” anesthetic and suddenly I didn’t care that I was having a baby, or even remember! I could not breathe! They’d given me too much numbing and my lungs were paralyzed! I couldn’t breath and they had to bring in a machine to breathe for me until the anesthesia wore itself off! WHEW!! That was scary! But at 7:17 am on that Thursday morning,suddenly I heard a baby screaming as though no one had fed it for a week! They showed me this most beautiful bright red, screaming loudly, little baby girl! They showed her to me and for the instant that I saw her, it will be etched in my mind forever! Her mouth was open, she was bright reddish purple and screaming very loudly. She was really mad at somebody for taking her out of her comfortable zone! That’s what I’m thinking! They finished me up and took the baby away to get weighed, measured and all of that stuff. I had a baby girl! At once she was whisked away to the NICU! I was so afraid because this was my little daughter and I couldn’t protect her like I could when she was inside of me! They told me that she had a high red blood cell count (that’s why she looked like a little American Indian Papoose baby!) She was so red faced and so beautiful!! Also she had a UTI that she was born with for some reason? Lastly, she was jaundice and had to stay inside of an incubator for a few days! After the feeling came back to my legs about 3 pm that day, May 22, 1986, the nurse had me try to stand and then the next day I could go down and see my baby in a wheelchair. When I went to the nursery, I looked around for my baby and they were all “preemies” and I couldn’t see mine anywhere. Finally, the nurse said to me “Oh your baby, she’s in the “bad girl swing”…she was crying and crying and they needed to soothe her so that they could tend to the other babies and the swing worked! She loved it! It was kinda funny to see an 8 lb 12 1/2 oz 21 1/2 inch baby girl among the preemies in the NICU! I knew she was OK so that was the best part, the worst part was that they had an IV in her poor little arm and it was taped onto a board! She had little blood test marks all over her poor little toes and even a bruise on her head where they had to put the IV for awhile for some reason?? She had chest EKG patches on and it is a very scary thing for a new parent to see their new little baby like that. Then on the 5th day, I got to go home and on the 6th day we got to go back and pick her up. It was the hardest thing to leave my newborn little girl at the NICU and go home without her. Though, again I will tell you that I was assured that she’d be fine and just needed a little time on the antibiotics and under the Biliruben lights. We went back to get her the next day ASAP! When we got home with her, I had a fever, a very high fever and I was vomiting and my skin was a yellowish/green color! We went to my PCP and he said “it was the flu” (although I didn’t get to see “MY” Dr., I saw an intern). I only got sicker and so we visited my OB/Gyn Dr. and she said my Blood pressure was like 200/140 or something like that! She put me in the hospital ASAP! I had to leave my husband and my newborn baby girl (although they could stay in the room with me, which helped a bit) just as soon as I had gotten her home! They said I had “Toxemia” and it was an “afterbirth Toximia” and I was in the hospital for a few days and then back home to recuperate from my C-Section! We were finally a family! I had everything I had ever wanted! I adored her and she was my “traveling baby”, as everyone used to say because I took her everywhere with me! We were shopping buddies and she never wanted to nap and possibly “miss” something! She did sleep at night pretty close to after the first month! I was very lucky. Although she wasn’t a great “napper”, she was so smart and so beautiful and so perfect! She was my “sunshine girl” and that became her nickname from me for her lifetime!
I will tell you later, about my second child because today is about My Sunshine girl and I just wanted to think about her today while I am writing. Both of my children are and have always been my everything. When she was only 6 months old, she could speak! Yes, it’s true! She could already say “Hi”, “Mama”, and “ubbu”(which is “I love you”). She could speak complete sentences by the time she was one year old and she knew the alphabet and the song and many many things by 18 mos. old! She was the most loved baby ever! I just know it in my heart. I couldn’t have loved her any more than I did and do! She went to Kindergarten and got off the bus on the first day and reprimanded us for following the bus! She wanted to ride the bus the first day of school and she wanted to walk to her teacher all by herself! Her teacher had called to tell us that she would be the one holding a “blue balloon” and “Sunshine girl” should go to her. She did well but was very sad those first few week of school, mostly because her father took me out to dinner on September 19, 1991. He told me to get all dressed up and that we were going to “Red Lobster”, one of our favorite, better places to eat. It was Homecoming night for the High school nearby. All the girls were dressed up in long gowns. I remember it very clearly. My ex told me after we’d just eaten dinner etc., that “he didn’t love me anymore”. He told me that “his mind was made up 100% and he wanted a divorce”. He told me he “had a girlfriend who was moving in with him”. He said this on a Saturday night and when we returned home, I offered to drive the babysitter home because I was pretty upset (inside) and crying. I wasn’t really surprised because I knew he’d cheated on me several times. I had women call and ask for him and then hang up on me when I answered the phone. I had been to the Police academy with my baby girl to show a cadet there that my “ex” had a family and a baby and she shouldn’t be “having lunches inside of his car with him”. He almost was kicked out of the Police Academy for being found in the car “making out” with another woman on his lunch hour. My own brother went through the academy with him and he almost got kicked out also, for trying to start a fight with my ex, regarding the girlfriend. My family decided NOT to tell me because I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter at the time and they thought I couldn’t and wouldn’t handle it well and my ex promised my brother that he would stop! It never stopped because my Sunshine girl was only 4 yrs old & one time told me that while I was at work,”a girl came over” and “she kissed Daddy and told him that she loved him”! When I asked him about it, he told me that “she was just a friend from work”. Then many nights while he worked afternoons and was supposed to come home at midnight, I would be alone in my bed and watching over two little ones under age 3, until about 3:00 am! Then one night I got tired of it and I called the dispatcher at the Sheriff’s dept. at 3:00 am, when he still wasn’t home! He told me “Suzanne, you are a nice lady and “Bully” is a jerk and he picked up a girl at the 7/11 store and went someplace with her, I’m so sorry! I just had to tell you because you are such a sweet lady and he doesn’t treat you right! We’ve nicknamed him “Rambo” because it takes him a good 20 minutes to take off all of his weapons and put them in the trunk of his car before going to work down in the jail!” That dispatcher said that my Bully had been “cheating on me for awhile; and he was very sorry”.
Bully told me he wanted a divorce on a Saturday and by Monday, I had landed a full time job Interpreting for the Deaf, at the High school in our town. I was worried about my Sunshine girl because she was so sad. She didn’t want our “family” to be broken up. I stayed a long time in an abusive situation towards me and towards our dog, “Bullet”; because I wanted to try and keep that “dream of being a family” alive for all of us. Somehow I didn’t realize that it was hurting my daughters as well. I didn’t want to have to make them move away from their friends, their own bedrooms, that were beautifully decorated, just for them. I didn’t want them to have to go to daycare!!!!! I had children so that I could raise them, not someone else! I had no choice in the matter. I will make sure to be fair and tell you “Bully’s” side of the story behind why he wanted to leave and get a divorce. Also, why he had several girlfriends already and this last time he was leaving me for an 18 yr. old waitress at a bar where he and his partner frequented on their shifts as Sheriff deputy’s. He and I both tried to lose the weight that we both gained during my pregnancy. He lost it even faster than I ! His co-workers actually asked him if he had “Aids”, because he’d gotten down so thin and had always had the nickname “refrigerator” because he was barrel chested and a bigger guy. Then when I lost the weight, I became “afraid” of food (that’s another long story from a history of abuse, starving, poisoning etc from my own family of origin!). I had fought “on” and “off” again an eating disorder called “Anorexia”, since age 13. That is another long story for another day, but I had only dieted here and there during our marriage and hadn’t had the eating problem until I “over dieted” and seemingly couldn’t stop. Mostly, because my life was out of my control and I was being cheated on and abused and couldn’t do anything about it at the time. I felt “stuck”. I could never and would never leave my girls and I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do or how I would make things work.
I voluntarily checked into an Eating disorder program at a local hospital and I was in and out of that program three times in one year. I had ONLY been struggling with the Anorexia for ONE year before he checked out and decided to stop trying and wanted to leave our almost 8 year marriage. I took care of the home, I worked part time, took care of two children and a nice 2 story home in a nice country area of Michigan. I went through 2 C-sections, and 10 hours of labor with my first and 43 hours of labor with my 2nd daughter! I didn’t have any extra money to buy “mommy/daughter” outfits and had always wanted that. We didn’t go on vacations or go anyplace together really. I took the girls to the zoo usually by myself and met a friend and her kids there.(**The first thing that “Bully” did after he moved out was that within 3 days he “had a girl in his bed”, when the girls went over to visit him in an apartment that was attached to one of his parents houses. They came home from that visit very very upset about that news and couldn’t wait to tell me through tears! That girl was an 18 yr old who 6 months later, before the divorce was even finalized, wore an Easter dress that matched my 2 daughters! My ex had bought them 3 dresses to match…something obviously ONLY intended to hurt me more, knowing that WE never had the money to do that; and I had always wanted to do it. What happened to marriage “for better or for worse”? For “sickeness and in health”? I stayed and I was trying; all the while living with a perverted abuser who later was found “guilty” by a jury, of “hurting another girl” besides me. But I got hold of my eating disorder and got a full time job right away! After that school year was over, I needed to have medical insurance so I had to get a better job with benefits that were more conducive to a single mother. I got a full time job at the University of Michigan Hospitals. I was a secretarial “float” and an Interpreter for the Deaf. I was happy to have the good job, but devastated to leave my girls all day someplace else, when my baby girl was only 3 and my oldest was 5 1/2.
This blog today was going to be about my “Sunshine girl”, but it sort of turned into my “story” of abuse, betrayal, divorce, illness and relocating…it is about a mom turned “single mom” overnight, with 2 young daughters 5 and under! I just couldn’t let this story today end, without telling you one more situation that occurred. A friend of mine had gotten a ride with “Bully” when she came to see me after I’d given birth to my 2nd daughter. They drove together to the hospital, came to visit me and he took her home. I never thought another thing about it. I did wonder why she never spoke to me again? I found her recently on Facebook! I “friended” her and said “hi” and told her about my life and she wrote me back and told me why she hadn’t spoken to me since then. **(See small photo of message I received from her on bottom left of this post). She explained that “Bully” had made crude/rude sexual remarks to her that night in the car when he drove her to see me in the hospital. She said he even “exposed himself” to her”! (Wow!! while his wife had just spent 43 hours in labor and then had a major surgery/a C-section!! To have HIS baby!!!). Well, no wonder she never spoke to me again (she was married and had a baby boy), who could? Later, “Bully” went on to be prosecuted and found “Guilty” by a jury of “Indecent Exposure and Obscene conduct” with another young girl. Needless to say, the judge in our divorce case found out about the “guilty” verdict. Then after “Bully” had threatened me in the courtroom (I have those court transcripts, by the way!), the judge sent my daughters and I to a Domestic Violence shelter for safety concerns. He told my ex that he could not see the girls without a court supervisor because of the nature of his conviction, and being an “ex Sheriff deputy” (he got forced to resign obviously and part of his punishment was that he was ordered to “never be allowed to be in law enforcement again”!). “Bully” didn’t like that idea and decided to “go away and find himself”. He maxed our credit cards, took our little bit of savings from the bank and left $15.00 on the kitchen counter! (I wouldn’t be getting my 1st check until 2 more weeks went by) I had to stand in line for over 3 hours with a 3 yr old and a 5 1/2 year old, to get emergency food stamps, ! The next day when I came home from work, the food that had been bought with the food stamps was mostly gone! He still had a key for awhile after he left and he came in and took the Peanut butter, cheese, cereal etc. right out of his children’s mouth’s!!! He rarely saw the girls and he moved away 1,000 miles to another state. He hardly ever called either, except to tell them that “they had a new stepmother” and a few other times. I went about my life and our lives, taking the girls to their day care, school, dance lessons, recitals etc. I brought their forgotten homework to them at times when I was at work and got a phone call that either one of them had forgotten an assignment!! I loved doing it all and I lived for doing it all and never minded at all, not once, not ever! I always wanted to be a mommy and I finally was!
But at age 18, my “Sunshine” moved out because I wouldn’t allow her to sleep over night at her boyfriend’s house. She was still in High school and living at home, and had a younger sister who looked up to her. She wanted to do illegal and immoral things and I had tried so hard to teach them right from wrong. I took them to church and to Religious education classes. I loved them both and still do, with all of my heart and soul. She wouldn’t speak to me again and blamed it on many things but the things she blamed it on mostly happened one night when we argued for hours and hours while I was in horrible horrible chronic intractable pain after a car accident. She went up the stairs to her bedroom to get another set of car keys (because I had taken her set) and clothes that she’d already had ready in a pile on her floor. She knew she was going whether I allowed it or not! On her way up the stairs, she started punching out my new husband. We’d already been married 7 years and she loved him a lot and both of my daughters wanted me to marry him! We all loved him so very much. He blocked her punches and she told people that “he punched her”! The thing is this: she stayed living in our home for 3 months after that. She told me that I “don’t know how to raise daughters”….that “she hated me”….she called my voice mail and must have found my “Carepages update” (I’m guessing, but this I’m not sure? It’s a place where I put updates on my health so that I don’t bother people and only people who want to know how I’m doing can go there to find out how I’m doing )…..she left a voice mail for me in 2008 “out of the blue” and it said “Suzanne, why do you think people care about you? They don’t!!” …it felt like a dagger in my heart, but it wasn’t those other words ….it was one word…the fact that she called me “Suzanne” instead of “Mom” or “Momma”…it still gives me a sadness like no other when I think of it.
Anyway…this all happened long ago…all I can say is that I truly always did what I thought was the best for my kids. I put them first always and never cared if I had any other life than the one I had with them. Another time I will write about my daughter #2, who I call “My Joy”. BOTH of my girls are my life and without my eldest in my life, I ‘ve not felt like I have a full one because so much is gone without her in it. I have sent so many little “non-preaching” cards and little knick knacks and always sent birthday cards until the last few years. But still I sent one just last year again, in 2012. I wrote in it something like ” How can we fix this? I’m sorry for whatever you feel that I’ve done that hurt you in some way? What can we do, time is going so quickly??….” I don’t know what else to do or say because I am just guessing that since I’ve never gotten a card or heard from her in any kind way, that she doesn’t want me in her life ever. I was a mom who didn’t use any form of violence in words or actions ever ! I used explanations (too much…too many) and information and tons and tons of deep love to guide me in my parenting. Of course I’m not perfect, but any time I ever said something the wrong way or if I could’ve said it in a different way, I would always try to apologize and discuss things. I know that I tried hard without ever having the true love of a mother shown to me without sarcasm or meanness. I tried to do everything as I would have liked it done to me and tried to treat my girls how I would have liked to be treated. I never said “no” unless there was some kind of harm in a situation because I wanted them to have fun and do sleepovers and experience life.
I’m not sorry that I did everything for my daughter(s) that I did, while they were growing up. I never missed an event for them, I had to make sure someone (me) was there in the crowd to clap for them. I never wanted them to feel alone. I thought at least if I was one person who was a constant in their lives, they would be stable and know they are truly loved by one person unconditionally. One person who loves you like that, is better than 25 fake people who “use” you or hurt you etc. I made lunches with little notes and heart shaped sandwiches on Valentines day and other special times. I made green milk and bought green ribbons for their hair on St. Patricks day! I french braided, twisted, “princess pony-tailed” and fish tailed my girls long beautiful hair every day as long as they allowed me. I bought them special t-shirts, matching clothes and tried to do all that I could to make her/them happy. I tried to give them any and everything they wanted, needed and more, if I was able and if and when I wasn’t able to, then I tried explaining to them “why”! I brought pizza to the High school for my daughters 16th birthday while she sat with her friends. I brought enough for all of them. They even wondered how she could be so unkind to me regarding that day…you see, when I brought it, I hadn’t planned on staying or anything. I wanted just a few moments to see the fun and make sure she was having a good birthday. But as soon as I put the pizza on the table, she told me to “drop it off and leave “! I felt so empty and hurt that day, but I let it go and we kept going from there. I cannot and will not be specific about all of the things that happened continued to happen involving my Sunshine girl, from age 13 on up … I tried my very best to be 150% fair and treat the two girls equally and give them equal love. I tried so very hard to do the very best that I could with the cards I have been handed.
Lastly, I had a heart attack in 2005. The cardiologist said that I was his “first case of “broken heart syndrome”..he knew and had seen how much love I had/have for my daughters and how my heart was literally “broken” when I “lost” my sunshine girl. My husband did call to tell her, but we never told her what the Dr thought about how It happened. She never called back to see if I lived or died. Obviously she knows now..but ….then in 2006, I had a CVA or aka a stroke. In 2007, I acquired the MOST painful of all chronic pain diseases. It’s called “RSD/CRPS”. This is known as a progressive, horribly painful “Neuro-Autoimmune disease”; and it’s #42 on the McGill pain scale (Which is right up there with childbirth and Cancer pain!!). We never bothered to call her because I knew she didn’t care. That hurts so so very much….she still doesn’t care and it hurts so deeply; mostly because I was always there for her. I remember one time the dentist sent us to a gum Dr to fix a little extra thickness between her front teeth after her braces came off. They wanted to cut her gums and do a painful scale back of them. Another parent may have just blindly listened to that Dr. but I said “let’s wait and see what happens”. I could not let her be put in pain for something so unnecessary. I wanted to wait and see what happened and it went away by itself. I’ve had 10 surgeries since my MVA in 2002 and she never ever offered to help and she was 16 when it happened. She never even tried to do one small thing to help us, her family at a very difficult time. Instead she “ran with it”!! Sunshine girl used my pain as an excuse to be sneaky, lie to me and go on more “sleepovers” after that accident. I never felt any empathy whatsoever from her even as she got older; and then to hear her call me by my 1st name instead of “Momma” ,it broke my heart….I’ve lost her and it’s been so many years now..going on 9!
I’ve missed her engagement, her shower, her wedding . Her father walked her down the aisle, when I raised her without any help from him…I feel like I did all of the hard stuff and He gets the grown up daughter now and I’ve lost her. I still wouldn’t change anything because I got to have my baby girl for about 15 years or a little less, really. I didn’t even get to be a part of her pregnancy , baby shower and now the birth of my first grandchild, a baby girl (who’s already about 7 months old I’ve heard!). I didn’t even know she was pregnant or that she’d had a baby until I found out by accident one day.
I’m so so saddened by this and feel like I will never be fully happy again. I know the worst feeling for a parent is to “lose” their child. She will be my “child” until the day that I die; and she’ll always be my baby, too. Now that she has a baby girl, I wonder if her daughter comes to her when she’s 17 and in High school and tells her that she was going to spend the night at her boyfriends house, I just don’t think she’d respond with what her father told her; which was “We’ll adopt the baby if you get pregnant, don’t worry.” He also said to her that “this is what teenagers do” and he told her this is what he did when he was a teen. I honestly think if she reaches into her heart and soul, she would know that when her baby girl turns 17, and if she tells her that she is going to sleepover at a boyfriend’s house; I just cannot honestly believe that she would say what her own father said. I pray that having a daughter of her own will prove to her that there’s no “how to” book. I did the very best that I could and it came from my heart. Mommy’s who love their children also make mistakes… But I honestly did my best and there’s no one in the world who knows her inner heart and soul like I do! There’s no one who can take the place of a Mother’s love…. because I was her “Mommy” long before she lived in this outside world!
I love you “Sunshine girl”….please come “home” to my heart?? I’ve been waiting such a long long time. We may not forget but please… Let us start by forgiving and starting anew; both as adults now…” I love you forever, I’ll like you for always; as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be!”