My Sister Vicki — Chapter 4 text

ImageMy sister, Vicki, always seemed to have bad luck. She was hit by a gliding swing when she was young that left a great gash on her head and she broke her front middle tooth in an accident a couple of years after that.

Vicki adored me. There is nothing quite as lovely as having someone in your life that thinks you are the cat’s ass. She was my personal cheering squad. She made sure that I knew that she loved me and that she thought that I was doing well. This made it even harder to watch her lose her mind.

After the incident on our shopping trip for bridesmaid’s dresses, she stabilized enough to manage in her life. She got a college diploma that secured her a job working with mentally and physically disabled individuals. She moved to the city where she took the diploma course and rented one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment. The other bedroom was rented by a guy. I don’t know if she had known him before or if she had met him because he was renting out one of his rooms.

This guy was a normal type of guy. He seemed nice and non-distinctive. I only met him a couple of times. This arrangement worked well for my sister. She hated the fact that he would take her groceries instead of going out to get his own and there were other roommate squabbles but all in all, they had found a way to live in the same apartment together. I believe this arrangement lasted for a couple of years.

As some point, she was either fed up with him taking her groceries or a one-bedroom apartment became available in the same building and she moved out. He could not handle this. He drove his car at top speed across the parking lot at the fairgrounds and into a brick wall.

Needless to say, his death hit my sister fairly hard. She did not handle it well and went into a period where she needed to be hospitalized. I visited her in the hospital and it was hard to find the sister that I had known in the person  to whom I was talking. She assured me that she spoke to God and angels and that they were telling her all kinds of important things that she needed to share with people.

I acknowledged that she was being spoken to and I explained that others would not be so understanding and that she should probably keep those conversations to herself. Unfortunately, the messages were too important and she had to let people know. I heard a couple of these messages and I was never sure what she was trying to say or even what the message was.

At some point, a man moved into her apartment. He had a checkered past and had suffered an almost fatal knife wound to the chest at some point. This injury still created some problems for him physically, but all in all, he seemed to be good company for my sister. They lived together for about a year and then one night while they were watching “The Comish,” I believe, he died on the sofa.

Each time that Vicki got sick, she did not come back fully. At this point in my life, I was losing both my father and my sister in waves that would wash over them and leave a fraction of their former-selves behind.

Vicki was in and out of the hospital more and becoming more and more delusional. During one of my daughter’s birthday parties she showed up with a man that could easily be mistaken for someone that was homeless. It sounded as though the two of them were driving around together and had decided to visit. I got the impression that they had run out of money and knew that I would feed them.

Bob was furious. He conjured up a whole litany of stories about how people would react to seeing the two of them in our home while they were picking up their children. He thought that people would reasonably be scared for the safety of their children if they saw these people in our house. He was mad that he had not known in advance that they were coming and he made the entire visit very uncomfortable for me.

I cannot accurately remember what happened next. I knew that I was put into the impossible situation of having to choose between two people. I think that Vicki stayed for a while but she knew that she was unwelcome. Anyhow, it makes me really sad that I did not have her stay for a longer visit and if she were here, I would apologize.

Read the entire book.
Read the entire book.

www.wendypowell.ca

My Father — Chapter 4

IMG_3282While I was pregnant with my second daughter my father had what we all thought was a stroke. He was unable to stand on his own and ended up in the hospital. The tests failed to confirm that it was a stroke and my understanding is that they came to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by default. After hearing this, many things fell into place.

During the time that I was getting to know Bob I was working for a professor. He was a shy, gregarious guy, which is a hard combination to imagine, but once he felt comfortable with the people involved, he was great in groups. It was the getting to know you part that could set him off balance. Anyhow, this guy stepped in for a while as my father.

One thing that I know for sure is that whether or not you realize it, if you need something, the universe will give it to you. When I got engaged my father was estranged, more or less, so one became available. It had been quite a while since I had seen my father. My attempt to contact him after I left my mother’s place had been hurtful for me, so I really hadn’t bothered much after that.

I asked the professor if he would walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He was wonderful for this and remembered to ask me if I actually wanted to go through with it. I was certain, of course, that I wanted to get married. He provided a jovial and calming presence during my descent.

When my father arrived in town for my wedding, I made sure that I told him that someone else was walking me down the aisle and he looked surprisingly happy. He got up to dance with me at my wedding, but that was the only time that he got up to dance and we only danced the one song. I did not know at the time that he was probably unable to stand for much longer or walk all the way down the aisle.

My father was a proud man and his wife was a great cook. I suspect that he attributed his inability to walk to being heavier than he had ever been in his life and his total lack of exercise. Coming to this conclusion may have precluded the need to go to the doctor’s and have a checkup, but I am only guessing about this. I also knew that when he took his wife shopping, he would wait in the car for her. So, there is a good chance that he had been feeling the symptoms of this disease for a lot longer than he was letting on.

When I got called about the stroke, I went to the hospital to see him. I knew that I was pregnant with my second daughter at that time. He had been devastated when he had been alone after his separation and I’m sure that he was glad that I had reconciled with Bob.

So, after my second daughter was born, he visited me and we sat on the front porch. He loved the porch. The house was on a fairly busy street and he had fond memories of sitting on his front porch when he was young and how there was so much going on. His mother’s place was the one with the store on the one side, so there would have been people coming just to go to the store, when he was a boy.

He was a little uncomfortable about breast feeding and announced once while I was feeding the baby that he thought it was inappropriate for the family room. To be honest, I don’t think that he knew that I was doing it while we were having the discussion.

When you are having a baby at home, there is no one telling you to get out of the way, or that you can or cannot photograph anything, so we had a very extensive photographic account of the entire process. I had sorted the photos into general; share with everyone photos; those that had some redeeming qualities but were not for general viewing and the final pile that I needed to burn. I had set the burn pile aside so that they would not get passed around when people visited.

During my father’s stay, while we were discussing the birth in very general broad terms, my oldest daughter decided that this was her chance to share the photos with my father. She ran up to my room and grabbed photos and presented them to my dad. My father was a very conservative man that easily got squeamish and certainly did not want to view explicit photos of his daughter. You know which pile was handed to him.

I was sitting with the baby on my lap when my daughter handed him the photos and it took me a moment to realize what pile she likely gave to him. I jumped up and grabbed the pile out of his hands before he was forever traumatized.

My father was never strong enough to visit again. It was nice to have him come and see my place. It was also comforting for me to know that he liked the place and was happy with where I was in life.

The multiple sclerosis would come in waves. Each wave would knock him down and then he would not fully recover the strength and independence that he had before that particular bout. As each successive wave hit he found himself increasingly reliant on his wife to help him do the simplest tasks. Finally, she was unable to give him all of the support that he needed and he had to go into the hospital.

This must have been the ultimate insult to him as a person. My mother had always used her illnesses as a way to get attention and to make herself feel important. I know that my father resented this. He had told me that he hated playing cards with people that could not hold their cards properly or deal quickly. He said that it slowed the game down and made playing unpleasant. It was important to him to be strong and capable and his final days, weeks, months and years were the opposite of that.

 

Keep reading: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

 

 

The Narcissist Survival Guide

Kindle coverDo you feel like you are becoming forgetful? Do you feel like you may be losing your mind? Are you confused about what is going on? You may have a narcissist in your life…

The word narcissism is being bandied about like a trend right now and it is getting confusing for those of us that actually have a pathological narcissist in our lives. Narcissism is not just another word for arrogant or conceited. You are not a narcissist because you post a lot of things on the web or take a lot of ‘selfies’. Narcissism, in the purest sense of the word is a pathology, a dangerous pathology.

True narcissists do not care if they hurt you and sometimes take delight in doing just that. Learn how to recognize them and how to deal with them.

I have condensed all of my knowledge into a little

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Hardcopy

My Sister Vicki — Chapter 4 text

My sister, Vicki, always seemed to have bad luck. She was hit by a gliding swing when she was young that left a great gash on her head and she broke her front middle tooth in an accident a couple of years after that.

Vicki adored me. There is nothing quite as lovely as having someone in your life that thinks you are the cat’s ass. She was my personal cheering squad. She made sure that I knew that she loved me and that she thought that I was doing well. This made it even harder to watch her lose her mind.

After the incident on our shopping trip for bridesmaid’s dresses, she stabilized enough to manage in her life. She got a college diploma that secured her a job working with mentally and physically disabled individuals. She moved to the city where she took the diploma course and rented one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment. The other bedroom was rented by a guy. I don’t know if she had known him before or if she had met him because he was renting out one of his rooms.

This guy was a normal type of guy. He seemed nice and non-distinctive. I only met him a couple of times. This arrangement worked well for my sister. She hated the fact that he would take her groceries instead of going out to get his own and there were other roommate squabbles but all in all, they had found a way to live in the same apartment together. I believe this arrangement lasted for a couple of years.

As some point, she was either fed up with him taking her groceries or a one-bedroom apartment became available in the same building and she moved out. He could not handle this. He drove his car at top speed across the parking lot at the fairgrounds and into a brick wall.

Needless to say, his death hit my sister fairly hard. She did not handle it well and went into a period where she needed to be hospitalized. I visited her in the hospital and it was hard to find the sister that I had known in the person whom I was talking to. She assured me that she spoke to God and angels and that they were telling her all kinds of important things that she needed to share with people.

I acknowledged that she was being spoken to and I explained that others would not be so understanding and that she should probably keep those conversations to herself. Unfortunately, the messages were too important and she had to let people know. I heard a couple of these messages and I was never sure what she was trying to say or even what the message was.

At some point, a man moved into her apartment. He had a checkered past and had suffered an almost fatal knife wound to the chest at some point. This injury still created some problems for him physically, but all in all, he seemed to be good company for my sister. They lived together for about a year and then one night while they were watching “The Comish,” I believe, he died on the sofa.

Each time that Vicki got sick, she did not come back fully. At this point in my life, I was losing both my father and my sister in waves that would wash over them and leave a fraction of their former-selves behind.

Vicki was in and out of the hospital more and becoming more and more delusional. During one of my daughter’s birthday parties she showed up with a man that could easily be mistaken for someone that was homeless. It sounded as though the two of them were driving around together and had decided to visit. I got the impression that they had run out of money and knew that I would feed them.

Bob was furious. He conjured up a whole litany of stories about how people would react to seeing the two of them in our home while they were picking up their children. He thought that people would reasonably be scared for the safety of their children if they saw these people in our house. He was mad that he had not known in advance that they were coming and he made the entire visit very uncomfortable for me.

I cannot accurately remember what happened next. I knew that I was put into the impossible situation of having to choose between two people. I think that Vicki stayed for a while but she knew that she was unwelcome. Anyhow, it makes me really sad that I did not have her stay for a longer visit and if she were here, I would apologize.

Read the entire book.
Read the entire book.

www.wendypowell.ca

My Father — Chapter 4

While I was pregnant with my second daughter my father had what we all thought was a stroke. He was unable to stand on his own and ended up in the hospital. The tests failed to confirm that it was a stroke and my understanding is that they came to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis by default. After hearing this, many things fell into place.

During the time that I was getting to know Bob I was working for a professor. He was a shy, gregarious guy, which is a hard combination to imagine, but once he felt comfortable with the people involved, he was great in groups. It was the getting to know you part that could set him off balance. Anyhow, this guy stepped in for a while as my father.

One thing that I know for sure is that whether or not you realize it, if you need something, the universe will give it to you. When I got engaged my father was estranged, more or less, so one became available. It had been quite a while since I had seen my father. My attempt to contact him after I left my mother’s place had been hurtful for me, so I really hadn’t bothered much after that.

I asked the professor if he would walk me down the aisle at my wedding. He was wonderful for this and remembered to ask me if I actually wanted to go through with it. I was certain, of course, that I wanted to get married. He provided a jovial and calming presence during my descent.

When my father arrived in town for my wedding, I made sure that I told him that someone else was walking me down the aisle and he looked surprisingly happy. He got up to dance with me at my wedding, but that was the only time that he got up to dance and we only danced the one song. I did not know at the time that he was probably unable to stand for much longer or walk all the way down the aisle.

My father was a proud man and his wife was a great cook. I suspect that he attributed his inability to walk to being heavier than he had ever been in his life and his total lack of exercise. Coming to this conclusion may have precluded the need to go to the doctor’s and have a checkup, but I am only guessing about this. I also knew that when he took his wife shopping, he would wait in the car for her. So, there is a good chance that he had been feeling the symptoms of this disease for a lot longer than he was letting on.

When I got called about the stroke, I went to the hospital to see him. I knew that I was pregnant with my second daughter at that time. He had been devastated when he had been alone after his separation and I’m sure that he was glad that I had reconciled with Bob.

So, after my second daughter was born, he visited me and we sat on the front porch. He loved the porch. The house was on a fairly busy street and he had fond memories of sitting on his front porch when he was young and how there was so much going on. His mother’s place was the one with the store on the one side, so there would have been people coming just to go to the store, when he was a boy.

He was a little uncomfortable about breast feeding and announced once while I was feeding the baby that he thought it was inappropriate for the family room. To be honest, I don’t think that he knew that I was doing it while we were having the discussion.

When you are having a baby at home, there is no one telling you to get out of the way, or that you can or cannot photograph anything, so we had a very extensive photographic account of the entire process. I had sorted the photos into general; share with everyone photos; those that had some redeeming qualities but were not for general viewing and the final pile that I needed to burn. I had set the burn pile aside so that they would not get passed around when people visited.

During my father’s stay, while we were discussing the birth in very general broad terms, my oldest daughter decided that this was her chance to share the photos with my father. She ran up to my room and grabbed photos and presented them to my dad. My father was a very conservative man that easily got squeamish and certainly did not want to view explicit photos of his daughter. You know which pile was handed to him.

I was sitting with the baby on my lap when my daughter handed him the photos and it took me a moment to realize what pile she likely gave to him. I jumped up and grabbed the pile out of his hands before he was forever traumatized.

My father was never strong enough to visit again. It was nice to have him come and see my place. It was also comforting for me to know that he liked the place and was happy with where I was in life.

The multiple sclerosis would come in waves. Each wave would knock him down and then he would not fully recover the strength and independence that he had before that particular bout. As each successive wave hit he found himself increasingly reliant on his wife to help him do the simplest tasks. Finally, she was unable to give him all of the support that he needed and he had to go into the hospital.

This must have been the ultimate insult to him as a person. My mother had always used her illnesses as a way to get attention and to make herself feel important. I know that my father resented this. He had told me that he hated playing cards with people that could not hold their cards properly or deal quickly. He said that it slowed the game down and made playing unpleasant. It was important to him to be strong and capable and his final days, weeks, months and years were the opposite of that.

Read the entire book, now available
Read the entire book, now available

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

www.wendypowell.ca