Monday, January 09, 2006

Health after trauma

I recently was contacted by Dr. Ellen Taliafierro; she specializes in trauma recovery and is an expert in her field. Dr T promotes the thory that writing is part of the recovery.I have long supported that thought myself.

I was drawn to write as a very young child; what was ironic is that I was probably what they now determine as "learning disabled". Words and the spelling of them were difficult for me; my father had a regimen that I had to learn three words a day, know their definition, put into syllables and be able to use them in a sentence at any given time.
His tactics were wrong but his motive was good. And, although it began as punishment for my unacceptable ineptness it served me well throughout my life.
I guess one would say I took lemons and made lemonade.

As many young girls do I wrote stories, kept a diary and journaled as well as the obligatory notes back and forth among who you thought were trusted friends.

Another irony was that my given name was Margaret Mitchell; the same name as the author of Gone With the Wind. Somehow, that connection was what motivated me to dream and believe it was possible that there was a different life outside my home and one day I would discover it.

So writing in some form has been a constant in my life as well as reading the written word.

Words give a voice to those of us who have been/are silenced by abuse and trauma. We sometimes are not given permission to use our voice and sometimes don't know what or how to say what we need to speak but in writing the words down the voice becomes clear.
It isn't important that the words are spelled correctly as much as the thought is spoken even in silence.

The thought, once given importance by writing it down, becomes a historical record of ones life.
You were there. You were the witness. You are the evidence.
I have been told my entire life to write books; to tell the story of my life.
For so many years because I was told I was insignificant I believed my story would be unimportant.

In the last few years I have come to realize that even if no one would read the words its an important story just because I lived it. And the most important person helped by my writing the words is myself; the bonus is that along the way some others were helped by my accounts of my experiences.

Anyone who has been a victim of violent crime, whether domestic violence or other forms should take a look at her website.
I will provide the link.

I like a quote of Dr.T which says, "life is not what happens to you, but what you do with it".

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Home Alone

I am so incensed by this story that I've had to sit on it for a few days to calm down and make rational, well thought out statements regarding it.

There is absolutely NO defense as far I am concerned.

These are two selfish adults who deserve whatever possible the district attorney can throw at them.

Here is the background not necesarily covered in the article that has been reported on the local news broadcasts.
This couple were married in April and considered themselves newlyweds.

The boys Mother died 2 years ago from breast cancer and have apparently been through several nannies and also cared for by their maternal grandmother when she is able.

The younger boy is autistic and the older brother is left to care for his brother too often.

The boys spent the Christmas holiday with their maternal grandmother and she was asked to keep them thru the New Years holiday.She refused because she had to work.
The stepmother told the grandmother that it would be OK to leave them alone as its been done before. The grandmother refused as it was not only immoral and wrong it was illegal and told the new stepmother as much.
This is what ultimately made her suspicious enough to later notufy the police.

The grandmother made the suggestion that they take the boys with them to Vegas to all share in a family holiday. The stepmother refused stating "they were still newlyweds and needed time alone".

They left their home approximately at 5 AM on Saturday, New Years Eve; leaving a gas fire place lit, some frozen food to heat in the microwave, cereal and a cell phone # for the boys to call if there was an emergency.
They did however make arrangements for a sitter for the 3 family pets.

They younger boy was later heard crying in the garage and a neighbor went to get him.This has happened before that he has been left unattended.She left a note for whomever was watching him where he was.It was later that the older brother found the note and retrieved his brother.

The grandmother was suspicious that thery had been left alone and its unclear whether the neighbor called the grandmother or that the grandmother just called the police to do a welfare check.

The police called the cell phone # several times and left messages for a return call meanwhile the boys were taken into custody later released to the grandmother from Children's Protective Services.
The return calls to the police never happened but the one left from CPS was.
It was 2 days later until they returned from Vegas and taken into police custody immediately upon their arrival at Oakland airport.
Their excuse for the delay home was it was snowing and they couldn't get a flight out.Hello, how about a rental car, hitchhilikg, or even see if you could get a ride from a trucker, something. Make the attempt to show you cared enough to see to this matter in some way.

The older boy made the statement he is angry because he is always left alone to care for his brother.
Neighbors report that the boys statenment is factual.

These adults are not mentally impaired citizens who may not understand and could be excused in some way.
She is a cosmetic dentist; he is a licensed plumber.

When I read or hear their attorneys or their family members make excuses for their behavior it angers me even further.
Not once have they apologized for doing this or adnmitted they are guilty of anything except being newlyweds who needed time alone.

Excuses such as its hard to find someone to watch them don't fly with me. As a parent you make every sacrifice necessary to keep your children healthy, safe, fed, clothed, educated and loved.

What is tragic is they lost their apparently devoted and loving mother and she was replaced by someone incaple of feeling emphathy or compassion.

Boo hoo they are scared being in jail.What about the fear these boys have had not just in this incident but the other times they were left to fend for themselves?

Well. they are having their "alone" time now and I hope they have it as long as the law will allow.

This did not happen because the trusted adult was going to work to try to earn money to keep the family afloat or that a Mother left the older one in charge to go to the store to get food or pay bills to keep water and utilities turned on.In those cases it would have been wrong but for the reasons given in this case there is NO excuse.NONE.

To be so young and ignored and be deprived of the most basic thing from a parent or trusted figure in ones life- security- is unexcusable.

I await the defense's argument in any upcoming proceeding.I'm afraid these people need a spin team from the highest political circles to try to make this even sound remotely right. Its a good thing I won'tbe on a jury if it comes to that.

They should never have these children returned to them if they are released from jail or prison.
I doubt prison time can teach compassion but I will hope.