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I SURVIVED, SO CAN YOU -Lisa M. Sobry


I Survived, So Can You

Lisa M. Sobry


Copyright Š 2013 Lisa M. Sobry. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Balboa Press books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting: Balboa Press A Division of Hay House 1663 Liberty Drive Bloomington, IN 47403 www.balboapress.com 1-(877) 407-4847 Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them. The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly. The intent of the author is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions. Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only. Certain stock imagery Š Thinkstock. Printed in the United States of America. ISBN: 978-1-4525-8167-5 (sc) ISBN: 978-1-4525-8168-2 (e) Library of Congress Control Number: 2013916148 Balboa Press rev. date: 9/17/2013


This book is dedicated to all the women that have survived.


Table of Contents Introduction............................................................. xi I Survived the Death of a Loved One........................ 1 A Complicated Grief........................................... 2 You Left Me........................................................ 7 Dad’s Passing Away.............................................11 Suicide Hurts.......................................................... 23 Why I Tried to Commit Suicide....................... 24 Choosing to Live or Die.....................................31 Women and Children: Mentally, Physically, and Sexually Abused.......................................................37 Where is the Love?............................................ 42 I Am Only 14!....................................................52 How Dare You?!............................................... 67 High School Confidential.................................. 77 A Child of Divorce Speaks Out............................... 87 A Mother’s Love: What Is That?........................ 88 Words of Encouragement........................................ 99 Resources............................................................... 111 About the Author................................................... 117


The stories within these pages are true. The names and places have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.


Introduction I Survived—So Can You is a compilation of stories, by women in Canada, who have survived losing a loved one, attempted suicide, mental and physical abuse, and date rape. They submitted their stories in hopes you would understand you are not alone, that someone else has suffered and survived what you may have gone through, and that you can find help regardless of the situation you are in. Their words are from the heart—filled with anguish, loss, love, determination, and the strength to survive. The Comments section after each story is based on information provided by the author.

xi


I Survived the Death of a Loved One Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult situations people have to face in their lifetimes. Whether it’s a child, spouse, parent, grandparent, or friend, it still makes us feel sad. It is very important to acknowledge these feelings and work through the grieving process. By the way, there is no right or wrong way to grieve—you grieve the way you are supposed to grieve. Many people experience sadness, move through anger and frustration, come to terms with the loss, and eventually move forward. Some people may take a month and others may need a year. Everybody experiences life differently, and it’s important to recognize that each person needs their own time to grieve. Part of the grieving may be a change in lifestyle; financial situations may cause frustration, especially if a will isn’t prepared or last wishes set forth. It is very important for everyone that has a child or is over the age of 18 to make sure that they have their wishes written down, either in a will, final wishes, or a letter. The following stories are filled with sad regrets for the things left unsaid. 1


A Complicated Grief We meet in the back parking lot as usual. Kara is juggling her oversized one-strapped shoulder bag and has her first double-double coffee of the day clenched in her teeth. She shuts her car door with her foot and we walk to Building J together—another start to a long Wednesday. In lecture room 103, Mrs. Gray is dwarfed behind the podium. The title of today’s PowerPoint slowly emerges on to the white board behind her. I hate PowerPoints. I trudge up to the third row from the back. Kara follows. We settle in to the strident tone of Mrs. Gray’s roll call for last week’s homework assignments. Not a fan of busy work, I read the Family Systems text— author Mrs. Gray—but rarely complete assignments; I wonder if she knows my name. Even if she doesn’t, I sometimes feel as if she is directly talking to me, in lectures, in her book. Today I will learn I am dysfunctional because I haven’t properly grieved the loss of my father. It is a silent walk back to the full parking lot, where Kara and I park side by side. I know she is unpacking memories of her childhood, as am I. “See you tomorrow,” I say to my best friend. “Yeah, you too,” Kara responds with a blank stare. With no urge to drive home, I put the key in the ignition but cannot turn it. I light a smoke left over 2


I Survived, So Can You

from the weekend. Mine is one of the last cars still there in the lot. What happened in my life to make me feel so empty? I start to cry, not for my loss, but for the lack of memories. My five-year-old self who never accepted the loss of my father now emerges to face it. Now what? The three of us stand facing Mom. I am in the middle; my left hand is sore from Martha’s grip. I look at her. She is looking down and ever so gently shakes her head to the ground as if she is saying no—the silence only broken by sniffles. My right hand is in Eva’s—she is crying, not loudly, but tears are forming on her cheeks. She has a loose grip; Eva always called my skin clammy. I bet she is only holding my hand now because Mom is watching us. I am fidgeting. I would rather stand with Mom and Aunt Margret, but my sisters won’t let me go. Everyone wears black, both single and married ladies wear black deukes. The married ladies have deukes that look larger than usual, with raised brims reserved for rare occasions. The singing sounds familiar, High German from the green books I remember from church. I never liked the green books; the songs in the blue ones were in English and more fun to sing. “Martha! My hand!” I whisper. But she doesn’t respond. The crowd parts as men approach with the casket. My mother was severely depressed for nearly five years after the death of my father. My sisters were seven and nine years older than I and not willing to open up. This left me in a position to explore alone the 3


Lisa M. Sobry

death of my father in my late teens. I was told about the service, the food, and my relatives visiting from Texas and Mexico. I was told about the next five or six Christmases, Easters, and Thanksgivings that we didn’t bother to celebrate. I pretended to remember but really, those years are a blank. My home was very quiet, with no mention of my father’s passing away from my two older sisters or my mother. The subject was taboo. Because of the silence, my curiosity about death was never addressed, but I came to understand that it was final. It was not until I was in my early teens that my dad’s name was ever mentioned. I have vague memories of some things: The white Mustang in the garage . . . me sitting on the red SnapOn tool box, picking out all the red, yellow, blue, and green plugs from the small, top left drawer, resting my feet on the abundance of multi-colored screwdrivers in the first big drawer. I can remember the smell of Dad’s hands when he picked me up to go into the house for dinner after a long day of fixing the Mustang and sorting his colorful plugs. I remember the surprise trampoline in the backyard after school that made my mother cringe. I remember how much fun it was to jump around with Dad, being double-bounced so high that I thought I was flying. Mere months later, the trampoline sat idle. I had no one to jump with. Spring 2008: My mother asked me if I would help take down the rusted frame of the trampoline. Fall 2008: I learn I am dysfunctional. 4


I Survived, So Can You

As I sit in my car feeling sick with self-pity, I realize that I am not the only one experiencing this lifelong grief. How selfish could I be? I remember my teen years as if they were yesterday. I hurt my mother. Her unlimited amount of forgiveness and strength helped raise three smart, strong, and successful daughters. I drive home. I am greeted with a welcoming smile. I sit at the table and ask, “Mom, can you please tell me all about my dad?” I will never forget you; you live in my heart forever. I love you, Daddy. C.N. London, ON

Comments When a spouse dies, many parents are so engrossed in their own grief that they do not think about how the loss is affecting their children. This is not a bad thing, as grieving is part of life. However, it is very important to speak about the deceased parent in a positive, healthy way, so children may also grieve the loss of their parent. When parents focus on the loss and talk about how hard their life is without their spouse, children sense the insecurities the loss has created. They may blame themselves and think it’s their fault. Depending on the child’s age, they may not understand death at all. Maintaining the same lifestyle prior to the loss will help children through their grieving process. Keep the photos of the 5


I Survived So Can You - by Lisa M.Sobry  

I Survived—So Can You is a compilation of stories, by women in Canada, who have survived losing a loved one, attempted suicide, mental and p...

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