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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New World and Me Too

Image result for quotes a change is coming

 

It’s been a while since I updated here, but the recent trend in outing men with a past that includes sexual assault, sexually inappropriate behavior, sexual abuse and misconduct is relevant given my having exposed Ed here …

Society is changing, redefining acceptable and unacceptable at a furious pace; gone forever is the naive notion that what happened in a man’s past has no bearing on today.  A man’s past has always mattered; people do not change – finally recognizing this as a collective can have only positive impact on society.

The solution, at least for now – in the early days of this revolution, remains exposure …

When I was about twenty years old, Ed won a cruise for selling a specific number of insurance policies, and he took me with him on this vacation.  The entire ship was filled with insurance agents who had sold the requisite number of policies, as well as their guests.

There was a woman – this is better than thirty five years ago, so I do not recall her name, but she was the guest of a colleague of Ed’s.  During the cruise, she became deeply offended by Ed’s unwanted touching – he would put his arm around her in group photos, try to hug and kiss her when she came to dinner, or when he saw her on excursions.

I told him to stop, that he was making her extremely uncomfortable, but he wouldn’t listen to me, and he didn’t stop.  She finally spoke up, after suffering through several encounters with Ed, and he thought she was, “extremely rude.” She did nothing but set him straight.

My wife’s own “Me Too” moment was given to her by Ed; just like the woman on the cruise, Ed was always touching and trying to kiss her …

and when I told him to stop, that his unwanted affection was making her uncomfortable, he acted as though she had the problem; he was, after all, only being friendly and polite.

Men like this do not alter their behavior, because they do not believe they are the problem.

Decent people have the right to know when they are exposed to those with a history of sexual misconduct. It’s that simple …

so tell your story, and hold them accountable.

A man’s past is an accurate prediction of that same man’s future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lesson in Forgiveness

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In his somewhat less than fully coherent email earlier in the week, Ed attempted to teach me about the importance of forgiveness.  In a brief note of follow up yesterday, he again reiterated his belief that forgiveness is necessary for healing.

There are a few key things about forgiveness Ed doesn’t seem to understand, for example: There are people who should not be forgiven – namely those who would take forgiveness as a sign that they weren’t so bad after all; this way of thinking opens the door to rationalization of their past, and future, behavior.  Ed has never understood the breadth or depth of what he has done; forgiving him before he fully comprehends would be downright self-destructive for me.

The problem inherent to forgiveness is that the power resides in the transgressor’s hands. The psychological impact of forgiveness on the forgiver is determined by whether or not the transgressor has made amends.  Forgiveness without amends leaves the forgiver with diminished feelings of self-worth.  To date, Ed has not sought to make anything right, he has sought only to move on.

Pain is deeper and longer lasting when the transgressor intentionally caused it – repeatedly.  This cannot be overstated; when you repeat a destructive behavior time without number, you did not make a mistake – you demonstrated something real and lasting about who you are.  Forgiveness for this [child abuse] is a process, and it is dependent wholly and entirely upon the transgressor’s sincere acknowledgement and acceptance of responsibility for ALL wrongdoing, and their  forthright desire to make amends for what their behavior caused.

Despite Ed’s belief in forgiveness as a panacea, it isn’t simple.  I am not simple.  My self-respect, peace of mind, and understanding are not based in my forgiveness of my father; and to forgive now would leave me despondent because he has not earned it.  Any benefit I could derive from forgiving him would come through his personal growth and desire to make right what he destroyed.

The kind of forgiveness I’m speaking of takes time and concerted effort to earn.  You don’t close the cycle and end the abuse quickly or easily, and those you have harmed need to know they are valued, treasured, cherished and loved now as they always should have been; they need to know it is safe to forgive.

Forgiveness is sobering, and honest.  And while we embrace the sentiment, “To err is human, to forgive divine,” it cannot be universally applied.  We cannot reap the benefits of forgiveness alone, we need the full and complete cooperation of our transgressor, and therein lies the quandary; those with the capacity to destroy the lives of their children seldom, if ever, see the need to repair.

So you see Ed, the ball is most definitely NOT in my court.

Yesterday’s Email

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Hi Tim,

I guess because it is Christmas ir [sic] Hanukkah – Jewish annual doy [sic] of atonement- that I’m reaching out to you.

First may you Rhonda rachael,[sic] Nicholas and wesley [sic] all have a blessed and joyfull [sic] Christmas and New year.

Next in tune with Hanukka [sic] I want to say I’m sorry for all the angry feeling I’ve had toward you this year and want to apologise [sic] for any of those that have hurt you.

This may sound conrtite [sic] or strange but in listening to a Jewish psycologist [sic]  friend of mine explain the purpose for Hannukka [sic] and its asking for forgiveness, as he explaind [sic] forgiveness blesses both the forgiven in that the guilt and pain is expunged and the forgiver in that forgivness [sic] is the beginning of healing.

And I hope both of these for you.

My reply:

 

 

Ed,

The Jewish Day of Atonement is not Hanukkah, it is Yom Kippur.   Known as the Jewish “Day of Atonement”, Yom Kippur begins on the evening of 11 October. It falls each year on the 10th day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, ten days after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Yom Kippur is a day to reflect on the past year and ask for forgiveness for any sins. Rosh Hashanah extends to asking forgiveness of God.

 

 

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights in December. This holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.

 

 

I’m an atheist because I’ve studied religions.

 

 

Forgiveness.  Although is can be said that we will all have need for the gift of forgiveness – both as forgiver and forgiven at some point in our lives, it is far more complicated than the assigned rhetoric or dogma will have you believe.  It is not a single act, but a sustained and ongoing process dependent upon the sincere and devout works of the transgressor, which in turn allows for an open-heart in those he has wounded.

 

 

Forgiveness can only be the beginning of healing when the transgressor admits his wrongdoing, assumes all responsibility for what he did as well as for what it caused, and then endeavors to make it right — whatever that takes, for as long as it takes. Without this, forgiveness is a fallacy; meaningless and empty for both parties.

 

Anger is not a primary emotion, it is secondary – a choice we make, and it is seldom, if ever, valid. Anger provides a surge of energy and makes us feel temporarily in control … and it is far more comfortable to feel in the moment than our true emotions – usually sadness, defeat, fear, anxiety, dread, vulnerability.  You, Ed, have always chosen anger.  The father I remember was always mad.  Always.  Nothing has changed.

 

I do not care that you were angry with me this year, that was your choice.  Everything – from beginning to end, was and is on you; all I did was tell my story.  If you wanted the ending to be different, you should have taken greater care while writing it.

 

And, if you wanted forgiveness for what you’ve done, you’d have taken a far different tactic when you felt threatened and confronted — you’d have remembered that you are the source for all that has come to pass, and held yourself accountable.  You chose anger.

 

I think you may need a reminder; I am not like those in your life now, I know who and what you really are.  I am not fooled by your false wisdom or attempts at intellect, I won’t fall for that calm placating voice and the manipulations of others it affords you – I am the son you cruelly and brutally abused.  I’ve seen and lived your darkness; there is no light or goodness in you that I can find.

 

 

 

Tim

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I Will Tell My Story

“Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. There are those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate and deny us. If we don’t assert our truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won’t go away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is invincible. It’s only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so doing, protect future generations from abuse.”
Christine Oksana

I will not go back to silence, to a time when not proclaiming my truth made me complicit in Pat and Ed’s lies.  I. Will. Not.

This blog has given me catharsis and solace – and an unmitigated view of the events that shaped my young life and led to a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.  It is my story, and I will tell it.

For others – the perpetrators of abuse, this blog is a stark, cold, bleak mirror reflecting the darkness of their soul. It has led to embarrassment, shame, and even confession. It has brought fervent denial, offered in vain; disbelieved by those who matter most.  It has exposed character flaws and vile, repellent acts committed only by the cruel and depraved. It has shined a light on generations of abuse; morally bereft parenting practices that have led to estrangement, alienation and mental illness.

It has brought me peace.

I have been fully well for a long time now; my thoughts clear, my feelings and emotions tempered only by what is real and true – it is good, so good.

I do not do this out of a need for revenge – nothing I could ever do would be enough anyway.  I do this because it is right, and it is true.  I offer no apology to those who would be far more comfortable with my silence – I did not ask to be Pat and Ed’s child.

“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent.”

The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis 

When we give shelter to those who have abused and tortured, when we cloak their sins and embrace their lies, can we really believe in our own goodness and integrity?

Thoughts At The End

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me to know that Ed got away with child abuse, rape and God alone knows what else, but it is less important than it once was.  In some small way, knowing the people he has fooled into believing he is a good and decent human being – the people who are, in reality, nothing more to him than props necessary to support his own self-delusion, know the truth.  They. Know. The. Truth …

what they do about that is their concern.

I’ve been silent for a few months, taking stock and reflecting.  That I saved all of Ed’s email, and thus his admissions that every word of this blog is, indeed, truth gives me an almost unimaginable upper-hand.

And yet, I don’t feel any sort of closure or relief.  At the end of the day, he proved me right; People Don’t Change – that is not solace.  He knows what he did, but he doesn’t know, or care, what it caused … how deep and dark the abyss he left his children in really is.

And when the chips were down, when he could have found redemption, he turned his back on all responsibility for who he is, and what he’s done, in favor of a life that is nothing more than a cover-up, and lie.  No father – no decent man does this.

So when you read this, and I know you will, remind yourself that while he appeared to be protecting you – the only person he was protecting was himself.

Reconciliation Update:

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It all started last weekend, it was time to plan and book our next trip.

As my kids have grown up, I have learned that scheduling a family trip can be a daunting task — but I was determined, so we sat down with five different schedules and came up with a small block of time (read VERY small block of time) in which we were all available.

Destination and date chosen, Alaskan cruise in August,  it occurred to me that I wanted to spend some time with Ed; I wanted to reconnect completely – I wanted to be a family again.

This trip is special; it marks my daughter’s, – my my youngest child, eighteenth birthday, and her high school graduation … and I wanted my father to be part of it.

but I wasn’t sure Ed would say yes to my invitation …

So, I bet my wife dinner of the winner’s choice, prepared by the loser, that he would decline.

Her response, “YOU  will be making Osso Bucco with Parmesan Risotto, Caesar Salad and German Chocolate Cake …”

I emailed Ed, extending the invitation to be part of our family vacation.  OUR Family Vacation

And it turns out I will be making Osso Bucco with Parmesan Risotto, Caesar Salad and German Chocolate Cake – but not just for my wife; Ed and Marie are coming, too.

I will also be brewing some Blackberry Beer to celebrate the evening …

We have two visits planned for March – attending performances of Sweeney Todd and Disney’s Mulan, both of which my daughter is in, and in April my sons, father and I are participating in a poker tournament together …

It’s all going very, very well.

The New Year

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If I said, ‘so much has changed,’ it would not begin to explain all that I feel on the eve of this New Year.  It is far more true to say, ‘so much truth has been revealed.’

Also true is the fact that, at its core, my story remained completely unchanged; I am still a survivor of child abuse that led to a psychotic breakdown five and a half years ago.  I still have Bipolar Disorder as a result of the abuse – although here I am lucky; my Bipolar is atypical, and my psychiatrist has taken me off all meds, including Abilify.  The thought of not taking an anti-psychotic was terrifying at first, but I agreed to give it a try; it’s been more than six weeks now and I am fine.  No depression. No mania.  No signs of PTSD, and no anxiety.  I have Lithium, Depakote and Wellbutrin in my medicine cabinet, and my psychiatrist’s number is programmed into my phone, but I’m becoming more and more certain these things will remain merely precautionary.

Therapy wise, I’ve learned my triggers and how to disarm them; I won’t be cavalier and say, ‘the past can’t hurt me now,’ but I will say, confidently, ‘the past no longer has the power to derail my life.’ 

so much truth has been revealed …’

Ed’s coming back into my life has given me the opportunity to understand things in ways I didn’t before; to remove him from the whole and hold him accountable only for the mistakes he made – and separate from Pat, he is merely a man who made mistakes; he had no idea what she was doing to my sister and I while he was at work …

My wife has said in recent days, ‘this all feels like a movie, I had no idea people like Pat could be real.’  I know exactly how she feels. Pat is very good at presenting a different face for different people, and very few understand exactly what she is capable of; her manipulations know no bounds, no decency or morality.   And now, many years later, she believes her own lies – they have become her truth.

My mother did a number on me, but it doesn’t hold a candle to what she did to my father; she cost him his children and grandchildren. Yes, he made mistakes – did things he should not have done, but her exploitation of his mistakes – cold, calculating and cunning was far more damaging to me than were the mistakes themselves.  She wanted me to hate my father – she didn’t succeed; I don’t hate anyone, not even her, but I did turn away and close the door … I wouldn’t even hear him out; that’s on me, but it was certainly part of her design.

When I was little, not sure how old exactly but I know I wasn’t in Kindergarten yet, I would ride my tricycle on the sidewalk outside our house.  One day, I decided to ride it to the store.  This particular store was about a mile away, maybe a little more, and it was on a very, very busy street with fast moving traffic.  A policeman saw me – at this point more than half way to my destination, and brought me home where he proceeded to chew my mother’s ass for not supervising me properly; I remember this incident like it was yesterday – he even told her that, ‘next time, I could be bringing him home in a box.’  I had no idea what that meant at the time, or even why the kindly policeman was yelling at my mother, but she passed it all off like she’d done nothing wrong.  I was, of course, severely dealt with when he left.  I never told daddy …

and all the times she would leave me – abandon me – to punish me; at home, at the grocery store … we never told daddy; she made sure daddy would never find out what SHE had done by making me fear daddy to the depth of my soul.

And when Ed was accused of sexual misconduct, Pat seized the opportunity to insist my sister had repressed memories of Ed molesting her as a child … then of course, as the story goes, Pat herself repressed these memories for a time; although I’m not sure when that could have happened, I heard about it all daily for years!

The best gift she ever gave me was that she is a living, breathing example of what hate does to people …

what hating my father and blaming him for all of her unhappiness did to her is unfathomable in my mind, life and heart.

I cannot hate, refuse to hate …

even her.

So much of what she did seems unbelievable, even to me and I lived it – know its truth in every fiber of my being.  I don’t blame people if they question my story, in fact I get it; how can a mother, any mother, do what she did to her children?

What she is still doing …

I knew when I began this blog there would be those who might use my history of mental illness to suggest my memories are inaccurate, or distorted; I even knew Pat would likely use this tactic … it’s her style to be sure.  It was a risk I was willing to take to end the silence that was making me complicit in her lies.

For the record:

I left Pat’s house because she asked me to choose between Rhonda and her – I chose Rhonda, the best choice I have ever made.

I stayed away from Pat because I quickly realized how much happier I was without her in my life.

If our relationship had been steeped in a healthy mother/child bond, we’d have gotten past the rift that caused our estrangement.

It is all that simple …

miraculously, no one has defended Pat … and only Pat has suggested my memory might be less than reliable.

But it took a willingness to look at my father, to consider him separately from Pat – from her disturbed nature and troubled life, to really understand what happened to me as a child … to end that gnawing feeling that real comprehension was always just out of my reach.

Ed did this admirably – not by denigrating my mother, but by quietly and patiently letting me know who he really is.  He did it by revealing himself – he doesn’t hate, and he doesn’t blame anyone else for his actions or mistakes.  I can, and do, respect that.

We never leave The Past behind completely, It’s always there – always part of us.  But if we’re very lucky and determined, we discover Its truth — and what follows is a way to make sense of it all …

and then we can pick up the pieces, and even those we left along the way, and go on with our journey.

Happy New Year; may it hold peace, love, acceptance and the promise of a joy filled tomorrow – a promise only knowing the truth can bring.

Thanksgiving 2014

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“The way everything turned out is all the evidence anyone needs; I believe every word I’ve read on your blog.”  More than one friend and family member has said this, or a variation of this, to me.

I’ve also heard, “Your parents were always strange,” and “This explains everything, nothing else does.”  These affirmations from people who knew my family as I was growing up, or who know me and/or my parents now, mean everything to me.

When you look at it objectively, the truth – and unfortunately Silence Shattered is gospel – is the only thing that makes sense of everything that has happened.  Sons don’t walk away from their parents if their parents have been who and what they should have been.  And here, “who and what they should have been,” isn’t subjective – it is not open to interpretation; my parents were monsters – sadistic and cruel.  It isn’t odd that we ended up estranged, it would be odd if we had ended up an intact family unit.

As far as I know, my sister isn’t spending Thanksgiving with anyone connected to our/her family in any way.  My mother is hosting her soon-to-be ex-son-in-law, his son from his first marriage, his wife, and my niece. My father will be with his wife and her son and his family. I will be with my wife, children, mother-in-law and maternal aunt.  Of the four of us – my mother, father, sister and I – not a single one of us will be with even one other member of our immediate family.  This is sad and tragic, and it is the direct result of child abuse.

I’m not a misogynistic ass, nor a hold over from a time gone by – far from it; I am a non-conformist and a feminist, but I believe that, as a man, I am the leader of my family – and I am responsible for the way it all turns out.  A man takes care of his family and honors his obligations.  My children did not ask to be here, I brought them into this world and I owe them love, respect and every chance in the world at a happy, productive, successful life.  I take family seriously; my wife and children are my life, my heart and soul, and if my children left home and never spoke to me again, I would know and clearly understand the reason to lie with me.

My parents have offered the world lies and distortions for thirty years – they never stopped to consider the obvious, never looked within for their answers … and within is the only place their truth could ever be found.

If you screw up raising your children, nothing else you do matters at all; you have failed at life.

You have a car, a house, money in the bank –  maybe even a career you’re proud of, but what does any of it mean if your children won’t speak to you?

And if all the external – the accomplishments, trappings and symbols of American Success still matter to you; if all that you’ve acquired materially brings you one iota of satisfaction when you failed your children, failed your family –  the only things in life that should ever have real meaning or value – you are a pompous, ignorant, arrogant fool.

On this Eve of Thanksgiving Eve, I truly pity Pat and Ed

And I hope their God is as forgiving as they believe him to be …

because they both have a great deal to answer for.

Turn and Face the Change

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I let someone else hold the pen for fifty years; the story took twenty one years to write, and they’ve been telling their version for almost thirty now.   Their denial, distortions, lies and manipulations are abhorrent to me today.  For so long I didn’t care – the door was closed and as long as I was away from the world inhabited by Ed and Pat I didn’t have to care what they said or did.  When I closed that door, I left extended family on the other side too.

I was young, and I’d been abused and hurt my entire life.  I should have taken the time to tell them why – not that I think they’d have owned their truth then any better than they do now, but I gave them a way to blame my wife for my absence in their lives – something they have taken full advantage of, and that was and is wrong on every level.  I know I should have gone back and set the record straight, but I was caught up in the euphoria of being happy for the first time in my life – going back, even for ten minutes, was unthinkable then – but I deeply regret not making myself do it now.

Facebook.  Now there’s a concept that must infuriate, frighten, confuse, torture, enlighten or elate every estranged family on the planet.  A way to reconnect, or merely spy.  For me, it’s been reconnect – and this has been surprisingly enjoyable and positive.  I had coffee with a cousin I hadn’t seen since 1983 last Sunday, and two Sundays before that I had coffee with her mother whose absence from my life dates back to the same year.  This Sunday, they are coming to my house for dinner … and in late September they will be joining  us – me, my wife, sons, brother-in-law and niece as we celebrate the closing night of my daughter’s first ever had-to-audition-to-get-into-the-cast-production/show.

Pat reads this blog, and vehemently denies – not to me directly you understand.  I never expected her to take responsibility for her actions, Dear Reader; it is not in her character to do so, but I am surprised  by how much her denial is affecting me.  I’m not hurt or upset, merely contemplative and puzzled …

Did people really believe what she told them for thirty effing years?  Critical thought would have to have come into play at some point, me thinks; these are intelligent, thinking, feeling people we’re talking about.  What’s that old cliche?  There are two sides to every story, oh and the other one about things not always being what they seem???

Come on now – sons do not walk away from their mothers [over a rift concerning their girlfriend] never to return if their relationship with their mother had been what it was supposed to have been to begin with.  Thirty years is a long, long time — and grown men with my commitment to family, my sense of loyalty, duty, honor and obligation do not conduct their lives that way; we don’t turn our backs on our mother.   A rift over my girlfriend, even one Pat turned into a ridiculous little melodrama, we’d have gotten past.  The years of abuse, Pat’s inability to mother – that is why we are here today …

And the girlfriend who later became my wife, literally saved my life – and not just once.  In thinking about this post, how to say what I need to say, I realized what my wife is actually responsible for; she  had the courage to say to me, when I told her how Pat beat me, pants down with a wooden spoon – often more than once in a day, “My God, that’s child abuse.”  She didn’t have to say it of course, I knew it, I told her  – God knows I needed to tell someone …  she didn’t minimize it, didn’t laugh it off uncomfortably, didn’t assign it some delicate word like spanking, didn’t tell me I was wrong to feel violated or betrayed by Pat, didn’t tell me it was normal or right for parents to violently hit their children. And hitting me isn’t all Pat did, not by a long shot … So if Pat wants to assign all this to Rhonda, she has our blessing – Rhonda had the courage to call a spade a spade and the conviction to stand by me while  I played the hand I was dealt.  And it amazes me that, after all these years, I can sum it up so succinctly —  one sentence.  One God damned sentence.

Pat is currently a little displeased with her sister – not for talking to me exactly, but for talking to me about their family.  Um, excuse me, they were my family too. They were my grandparents, and I loved them completely – their house was the only place I felt safe as a child and finding out they were human didn’t have the power to change that; I’m fifty two years old, I had already figured out that they, like the rest of us, were flawed. I judge people’s character based solely on their interaction with me, which is something I encourage everyone to do, and Big Daddy and Butter (childhood names for my grandparents) will always be my childhood heroes. The information I was given by my aunt was given in love, compassion and concern – it would not have been right for her to remain silent within the context in which we were speaking.  She merely confirmed that my therapist had been right in suggesting my grandparents could not have been the people I built them up to be given Pat’s behavior as a mother; abusers aren’t born, they are made, and none of this was news to me.   (So Pat, if you are reading, be mad at me – and only at me)

Pat, who couldn’t be bothered to return correspondence – letters and email I sent in 2010 asking for a family medical history when I was desperately ill and being tested for a brain tumor as well as other equally terrifying possibilities ( hell, even Ed replied to my request for a medical history – and to his credit, he did so immediately) is troubled because her sister and I very tenderly spoke of my grandparents being human and making mistakes, and blames my wife for everything that is wrong in her world <shaking my head gently> how is that someone can live 70+ years and not understand what behavior like this says about the content of their character?  Denial is quite a concept, is it not?

Changes have come into Pat and Ed’s world.  The internet, Facebook – this blog, has made it possible to reconnect with people I never wanted to lose to begin with.  Aunts, uncles, cousins – my niece and my brother-in-law, and I welcome them all.  My life is, because it has to be, based on the story the way Pat and Ed wrote it, not on the edited version they have given to family and friends, and I realize how difficult this all may be for some of you, but:

I am done being complicit in their lies through quiescence:  Silence Shattered is Canon.