2017; A Wrap

In rereading, I realized my last regular post here was almost one year ago; some things have changed, others have not.

I’m currently well, in fact I don’t think I have ever felt better in my life.  I understand that even when symptoms aren’t present, the underlying condition isn’t gone, merely dormant, but it is great to feel this good.

It’s been just about a year since I last heard from Ed – he tried being assertive, which was downright laughable; I informed him that not only had I done nothing wrong, even citing the valid legal argument and precedent behind my position,  I had kept all of his email, and his notes were quite damning in a legal and personal sense – replete with confessions after all. I then let him know that any potential suit he brought  against me would be met by my suit against him; he let it all go, just as I knew he would.  Ed’s a coward, making a grand show for people he wants the world to believe he cares for. He is infinitely pitiable and disgusting.

It’s Christmas again, which means family parties and events in healthy extended families – not so much in mine.  My wife has been in contact via text messages with my sister these last couple of weeks, but other than that we’ve not been in touch.  My aunt still hasn’t seen my mother (but has remained in very welcomed contact with me).  To the best of my knowledge, there will be no rekindling of family ties this holiday season.

An article I stumbled upon recently stated the holidays were infinitely painful for those estranged from family, but I have never seen evidence of this in mine. For the most part, I think my parents, especially Pat, felt well rid of me by the time I cut ties with them; if they felt differently, they did not share or elaborate.  And me, well I was far too busy enjoying my first taste of true happiness to feel saddened by the estrangement, even in those first few holiday seasons.  Now, many years later, I cannot imagine any of us miss the others just because it’s Christmas. This fact speaks volumes as to the depth of dysfunction that was always so much a part of who we were as a family.

I have given extensive thought as to the direction Silence Shattered will take in the new year.  I will be posting frequently again, with a focus on my original mission: to explore the link between child abuse and mental illness; the evidence is conclusive, compelling, and it must be shared.

Last week, I was contacted by a contributor to BetterHelp.com, the largest online platform for counseling services, and asked if I’d share as infographic on Silence Shattered, as well as a link to their depression resources.  The infographic is forthcoming in an upcoming post, and the link is below:

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Christmas: A Place Called Home

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As a long time agnostic who embraces the validity in an atheistic point-of-view these days, I’ve been asked many times what I celebrate on the 25th of December …

There is a wreath made by my daughter in the bay window of our living room, our piano is decorated with candles shaped like Christmas trees, and tiny stuffed animals dressed in their holiday finest sit nestled under a toy replica of Charlie Brown’s tree – it’s base wrapped in Linus’s blanket for support.  The mantle of our fireplace is lit with colorful lights amid fake snow, stockings have been hung and our Christmas tree stands immediately to the left.  The outside of our house is festooned in white lights – the Mimosa tree filled with colorful balls under which stands the Grinch and a faithful Who friend.

You will find no reference to Christ among our Christmas decorations, no reminders that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.  Despite my Catholic upbringing, I don’t associate the 25th of December with religious dogma or tradition.

I am not offended by the clerk who wishes me a ‘Merry Christmas’ as she hands me my purchase, nor do I cover my ears when carols play their homage to the Christ child.  I don’t think the Nativity should be stricken from all public displays.

Religious traditions are sacred, and deserving of tolerance and respect that borders on reverence …

But my celebrations during the season are grounded only in a deep and abiding love for my family, a firm belief in the inherent goodness of man, and a sincere wish for peace on earth.

My favorite holiday music is by Trans Siberian Orchestra, and Old City Bar is especially meaningful.

My favorite holiday quote, “Christmas day will always be, just as long as we have we” — the Grinch;

And I think a part of Scrooge – past, present and future lives within us all.

My world is different than it was last Christmas; my father is once again in my life, and so is my Aunt – twelve months ago I’d have told you both of these things were impossible.

My thoughts are on my sister as the holiday draws near, my hope is that she finds peace amid the brightly colored lights and seasonal well wishes of friends.

Do we all feel nostalgic this time of year?  Perhaps we do …

We had a tree when I was a kid, and Christmas cookies and presents – although those boxes sometimes contained socks and under ware, which to my mind was a waste of a perfectly good Christmas gift, they also held the requested toys and the batteries that powered them.  In retrospect, I think Pat and Ed must have saved all year long to have been able to afford the Christmas gifts they gave my sister and I.

It’s a good memory, but the poignancy I feel is inescapable – it all turned out so tragically wrong.

It is said that, at Christmas all roads lead home … 

Home is the people in our lives – and sometimes, if we’re lucky, these same people are with us for a lifetime of Christmases; I think this is how Christmas is supposed to be, was meant to be …

it doesn’t matter what we call the holiday we celebrate in December, what our traditions are or how we keep them; we are all honoring love, family, life and the best in who we are, or can be …

And we are all remembering, longing for, or basking in the love of  home.