10 December 2004

The End of My Father

even though the sun is finally shining, i'm having a terrible day. last night i was watching a television program (without a trace) when they unexpectedly started talking about one of the characters' mother who committed suicide. sometimes it's too difficult for me to hear, even when i know suicide is going to be discussed. the character felt responsible for his mom's death because he had concealed an earlier attempt from his father. i've been watching a trial on courttv live in which a battered woman is being tried for the hatchet death of her husband. i just listened to lenore walker testifying about battered women and their children who grow up in violent homes. very triggering.my own father's death has been on my mind recently. he'd been actively psychotic for some time prior to his death. he saw several different psychiatrists before his death, but they were not medicating him sufficiently. just before he died, he was only taking paxil, which is completely ineffective for psychosis. my mom said that shortly before his death, she had found him standing on the front porch with a butcher knife in his hand. she asked him what he was doing and he said he wasn't doing anything. he came inside and laid the knife on the corner of the kitchen counter. the day he died, she had gotten a phone call from her sister and was trying to get her off the phone without being rude. she heard my dad in the living room making animal noises. this is a detail which haunts me still. by the time she got off the phone, he was gone. he went to a neighbor's house and asked for some bullets because my mom had hidden the bullets which were in their house. he still had the gun. he told the neighbor that he wanted some bullets to kill some cats with. they gave him some. he walked out of their house, opened the passenger door and blew himself away. my mom got off the phone, noticed he was gone and went to look for him. she saw his truck parked at the neighbor's house. by the time she got there, he was already gone. she said he was still warm when she got there. the neighbor who gave him the bullets came out and asked if he should call 911. my mom stayed with my dad.when the police got there, they actually performed a gun powder residue test on her hands. that was the end of my father, the beginning of five years of living in hell for me. maybe more later. this is very hard to talk about. i need to try to calm myself down.

08 December 2004

This is The Way Violence Sometimes Ends

i'm not feeling much like writing today, but here i am anyway. we had dinner with an old friend from out of town last night. that necessitated a brief cleanup, which must have really zapped my energy level because i feel really tired today. i was supposed to go to the grocery store at lunch to get some more kitty food for the boys, but i didn't. i'll end up buying it at a convenience store again, like i did this morning, and paying twice as much for it.i've been watching the trial of a woman, about my age, who murdered her husband with a hatchet. well, she murdered him with the hatchet and then stabbed him a number of times and then beat him. she says she wished to make certain he was dead. she alleges to have been physically abused in the relationship for decades. the state is arguing against that last allegation, presumably because there were no hospital records or police reports to verify the abuse. she has two sons, both of them in their early twenties. one of them took the stand to bolster the abuse accusation, the other denied there was any abuse.i'm inclined to believe she was abused, but primarily because i find it hard to accept that some school teacher who's never been violent in her life would resort to the level of overkill unless she had been abused by the man. the really interesting part of the trial for me was when she testified in her own defense. that's usually a very, very bad idea. unfortunately for her, i think it was a bad idea in her case, too.of course, i have no way of knowing how the jury received her testimony. she became very passive aggressive with the female prosecutor who cross-examined her. she kept asking the attorney to repeat the question when they seemed to pin her down on some lies that she told, for instance. the defendant seemed to be a person who rattled people's cages without regard to the consequences. some of the things she said to her husband would have been guaranteed to enrage him. she questioned his masculinity by accusing him of "playing house" with another couple. there was never any real explanation of the situation, but regardless of what was going on, it's usually unwise to say those sorts of things to someone who is abusive.i noticed the same thing in my own mother. i'd be doing my best to keep things peaceful between my parents and she would say something that i immediately knew was going to result in violence. i used to get exasperated with her for not recognizing the sorts of things that triggered him. the other thing i noted in the trial was the peculiar relationship between her and her sons. it was clear to me that everyone had been forced to take sides and mom was cherishing the victim role. it seemed like her sons had been parenting her by attempting to protect her from their father. one son had been trying to resolve her legal problems (the murder) for her, but that clearly wasn't going to be too successful. mom kept saying that she just wished she could die. the striking thing wasn't that she said it--that makes perfect sense to me. it was that there was a subtle undertone in the statement that communicated some serious anger. here's the quote of the day:"Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power, that is not easy."~Aristotleamerica held hostage day 1796bushism of the day:"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself."website of the day: Boycott China for Tibethttp://www.buyhard.fsnet.co.uk/non_chinese_products.htm

07 December 2004

Where I'm Supposed To Be

this weekend when my husband and i were driving to dinner, i remembered something i just read in a workaholics anonymous book. it said that we should operate on the assumption that we are exactly where god wishes us to be. all of the time. no matter where we are. it was absolutely amazing. i felt so liberated...at that moment i didn't need to struggle anymore. i generally operate under the assumption that, since i was spared the predictable aftereffects of my childhood, i need to do something to pay the universe back. it's like i feel that i need to pay back god for his/her investment. i generally end up feeling frustrated and a little frantic because i have no clue what it is i'm supposed to be doing here. at this moment, i can let that go. i can relax into the present and be grateful for whatever appears in the eternal now.

here's the quote of the day:"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee."~Marian Wright Edelman

america held hostage day 1795
bushism of the day:
"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children."