1. Dad left when I was 3, came back when I was 4.
Gain: My Dad and I have an even stronger bond than I think we may have
had otherwise. I learned that I could trust him to be there for me, to
come back for me, that he wouldn't leave me.
2. My inocence, which I have honestly never felt I had even when I was
tiny. Surgeries, being held down for poking and prodding, needles and
the like took that away.
Gain: When I tell someone "I understand. . ." you can bet money on it
that I sincerely try to place myself in their shoes, something I don't
believe most people try to do.
3. My childhood *for the same reasons as above*.
Gain: I've retained a childlike quality that has had definite
advantages over the years, especially when around uptight 'grown-ups'!
4. My mom abandoning us when I was 18 and hardly being available even
before that. She suffers from clinical depression and even when
medicated was eratic at times.
Gain: That I can take the good from our relationship and turn it loose
on my Children when I have them!
5. Abuse from kids, being punched kicked and spit on.
Gain: I know how damaging bullying REALLY is and am looking forward to
one day participating in some kind of campaign against it. I'd love to
see it brought to the congressional floor and made illegal *there are
already whispers that this may be coming to pass*.
6. Learning that adults could not be trusted to protect me *school
officials blew my parents off until we sued the school and they were
found guilty of neglegence among other things*. Even after that though
I didn't feel safer. People on the whole have proven time and time
again that they will laugh, point, stare or gather up friends and
family to come stare at me when I'm out in public at times, even to
Gain: I've managed to retain my humanity and still have an addiction
*Desire isn't strong enough of a word* to help others.
7. My brother's suicide via methamphetamine overdose.
Gain: Not sure.
8. A loss of personal space and even more important than that, a
belief I developed that my body didn't belong to me, rather it
belonged to my parents, my doctors/nurses, even to strangers who have
come up and put their hands on my face without permission.
Gain: My autobiography that I'm working on. "The Messenger Unveiled"
Observation: I've done my absolute best. Reading over this, I've seen
where I've made similar comments before, just written them in
different ways. I have fought this idea in the past, abiding by the
fake it till I make it statement. If I say it enough, write it enough,
think it enough I'll believe it. Now as I look over these losses and
'gains' I find myself feeling on one hand very similar, like these are
just made up answers for this 'homework'. On the other hand, I see the
validity of SOME of them, which is a giant improvement over my usual
all or nothing feelings and attitude.
4, dealing with my mother feels untrue and I left 7 blank for the same
reason. I did try to think hard about what I may have gained from my
brother's death. . . Truth is that year my dog Grace died 1/2309, my
brother died 09/07/09, my sister's dog Duke the second weekend in
November and my cat Snowball just one day before Thanksgiving ALL in
that year. Needless to say that was hell and finding a silverlining on
death tends to elude me unless the person is old and has lived a full
life. I thought about writing "My brother treated me like his baby
princess, thereby teaching me how valuable I was so I gained him while
he was here." That felt insincere. I thought about saying that his
loss gained me the opportunity to step up and eulogize him at his
memorial service, but this to feels fake. Truth is I'm always the
strong one, the 'rock' to the point that being strong is not a good
thing in my book these days, it just means your the one who gets
picked for the most unsavory jobs or volunteers for them, 'because I
can and others can't'. Being strong for me is also equated with
burying emotions, not crying in front of others, instead letting them
cry on you and lean on you.
Alternately I've been moving towards the opposite, crying a bit more
frequently, but still alone or only with those I trust most. My coach
or my BFF. I'm beginning to recognize it as a strength. It's just been
corrupted for me like laughter. They say that laughter is the best
medicine, but I can just as easily laugh hysterically so I won't
collapse and drown myself in an ocean of tears. So some of those very
same healthy coping mechanisms have become unhealthy for me because I
rely on them too much.
At any rate, these are my answers. Smile.