Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Long Term Effects of Child Abuse and Murder

Yesterday I had the misfortune to be forced to contemplate the effect Bethanie's murder has had on our family. I'm not talking about the obvious things like our emotional pain because she was taken in such a horrible way. I am talking about the tremendous ripple effect that resulted from a single event. I am raising my other grandchild, Bethanie's sister. She has Down Syndrome. I have her because no one else wanted her or could take care of her. I was a newlywed at the time she came to live with us. That time is now lost, we can never have it back. That one impulsive act took that from us. I am middle-aged. I should be living a life free of the responsibility of children. Bethanie's murder has taken that from me as well. Her father (my son) lives a few blocks away, yet the responsibility is mine. I resent that. His marriage broke up as a result of the murder; he is remarried to a woman who doesn't want the responsibility of a disabled child. I resent that. They resent me when I ask for help. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. Bethanie's murder, that one event, has forever changed the very direction of our lives. When someone is murdered, everyone who loved them becomes a victim, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Some heartbreaking stuff out there

I joined a site that requires me to review other blogs to earn credits (it's a topic for a different blog) and I chose to read blogs in the family issues category. Many blogs were about children who have been beaten or molested. Most were very nicely done blogs, included resources for help, and plenty of positive stuff thrown in. I don't know what kind of impact these sites have on someone who hasn't been through the murder of a loved one, but for me, it was a major emotional event. It was a journey back in time, I looked at my own soul as it was in the past, and I didn't like it. It didn't feel cathartic, it just hurt. When I write in this blog, or talk about Bethanie to someone, it is painful but also cleansing. I wonder why the stories of others feel so heavy? I wanted to reach out to them, but I just couldn't bring myself to click the contact link. At the same time, I welcome comments on this blog, and would reach out to help anyone who asked for it here. Why is that? What's the difference? I have a feeling that finding the answer to these questions might be very liberating in my journey to understand who I have become.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I wonder...

Shortly after Bethanie was murdered, I did a search on the net and joined a grief support group for folks who had lost a child/grandchild to violence. It was very helpful to be able to vent my pain and anger in a place where people knew what I was feeling. You see, there was no one in the "real" world, other than my family, who knew what it was like to go through such a nightmare. At some point in time, I don't remember exactly when, I started to feel like the group was dragging me down instead of lifting me up. Perhaps I had reached a point where I was starting to heal, but their stories ripped the wounds open anew. Perhaps I couldn't stand the pain of others' stories. I don't really know the reason. What I wonder is this - Does long term involvement in a group such as this actually foster complicated grief?