Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Girls and an Update

It's been a difficult season for me this year. On the 23rd I was victim of a pretty serious attack on my character that was public, completely uncalled for and horribly humiliating. Since then I have had a great deal of difficulty enjoying the season. I love Christmas and wait for it with bated breath but this season that train got pushed off the rails pretty forcefully. Luckily, in terms of this blog I  had written the Christmas Eve post, Christmas and the Magic tree, a week or two ago so I had a post written, while anticipating happily the big day. I had written about going to Roy Thomson hall on the morning of the 23rd and, after the Messiah, I wanted to focus on how well the staff at the Hall did at welcoming us, and others with disabilities - I didn't want to write about the fact that I had been traumatised hours earlier and as a result had a very difficult time being there and found it even more difficult enjoying the music.

I used the picture I took of Joe for a blog post on Boxing day after I tried and failed to write a bit about the day. I just couldn't find either the will or the energy. I'm writing this today to tell you, as much as I find myself able to, about where I am right now and how it might affect my blogging here at Rolling Around In My Head.

On Boxing Day, itself, Marissa and Ruby and Sadie came down to spend the day with us. The kids were staying the night because their mom was going from dinner here directly to work. They rushed through the door, driven, I hope by the excitement of seeing me as well as the undeniable draw of unopened presents. It wasn't long before presents were being ripped open, and as much as we tried to put a bit of organisation to the chaos, it was delightful chaos.

Clothes and toys and books and DVDs and CDS were unwrapped, examined for a millisecond before another was grabbed. There was paper and presents everywhere. Ruby and Sadie both pulled me, firmly, out of myself and suddenly, Christmas was here. I am not one of those who say that 'children make Christmas' ... or 'children show you the joy of Christmas' ... I don't believe that. Joe and I usually manage a perfectly wonderful and perfectly joyful Christmas all on our own. What children can do, and do well, is take up so much room in your heart and mind and soul that there isn't space for the intruding thoughts of hurt.

When Marissa left I told her that the girls were, without question, the best gift I received this year. Marissa knows what happened to me, and knows that I'm having a rough go of it, fighting tears and pushing back a sense of bleakness is hard work and she knew how deeply I needed a break from all that. I wanted her to know that her visit complete with children and chaos and watching her put together a DVD rack, their families gift to us, complete with 17 thousand pieces, while the kids tried to play fort in it, was good for me. Really good.

Near the end of the evening I was curled up on the couch covered in blankets, Ruby and Sadie each got a blanket and came and joined me. We watched a DVD set we purchased for the kids and waited for them, one by one, to fall asleep. Sadie went first, crashing into sleep about half an hour in. Ruby was intent on watching the DVD and got drowsy but didn't fall asleep. When she asked for one more episode, we told her that we'd gotten a new book to be read when they went to bed.

Joe went and got the book and handed it to her so she could look at it, she held it in front of her, looking intently at the cover, "If," she said, her voice slowly growing confident," You Give A Mouse A Cookie ..." Then she turned the pages and found the first page of the book. For the next five minutes we sat there as Ruby read several pages the book aloud to both of us. She looked up and said, "... OK, you can read the rest." We both knew how much Ruby wanted to be able to read as she's been talking about wishing she could read since she was barely three. She has names down and can write all of our names and can recognise every letter of the alphabet, she's had that for years. But reading was always just out of reach until now.

Sitting listening to her read to Joe and I, I had this sense of peace and joy, that has been missing from the season. It was wonderful. Right now, though, as I type this, the girls are asleep in their bed and I am here at the computer, trying to write this while thinking about 'that which happened.' Writing anything, it seems, is hard.

So, dear readers, I am going to continue to try to write a daily blog, I have to deal with what happened, and I don't think right now, going public with it would be wise. I need to consider what my options are, and I need to find a way to move past what happened. It's like I've been hurt in a deep and profound way and, though I'm used to, as much as one gets used to, the prejudices that come towards those of us with disabilities or those of us who are fat - I always had something that was much more important to me that the superficiality of the judgements that came from appearance - I had me, and I know who I am.

But my 'me' was attacked and has been bruised.

I am damaged in some profound way right now.

So forgive me if the next few days or weeks, my writing suffers because of it. But I'll try, I am committed to this blog and to those who come here faithfully and will try to meet those commitments.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,

seems like your not the only one filled with sadness right now.

I would miss so much if there wasnt you daily post. I am sorry you were traumatized, I know this feeling all to well.

The only thing thats for sure is that lige goes on. If you go on writing I will gratefully go on reding. Otherwise I would miss you soooooooooo much!


Anonymous said...

...sorry, I wanted to write Life goes on, and that I keep on reading....


CT said...

I'm so sorry for your pain, Dave.

Anonymous said...

That sounds rotten. :-\
For what it’s worth, as someone who can tend to crawl under a stone and fail to react when under attack in ways that ultimately aren’t helpful to me. it’s strong for me to hear your discussion of what you are feeling and thinking. I appreciate you sharing.

Lori Maloney said...

Hi Dave,
I'm sorry you were hurt. I have been reading your blog for 2 years and have learned so much.

Please take care of yourself...


Jan Goldfield said...

Dave, the you that you are is so much more than the you that others want to make you into when they attack. As much as possible, work through the malice, leave it behind and know you are not the one diminished. Your attacker is. Be comfortable in your skin. You have taught so many others to be just that.
Be well, my friend.

Moose said...

I'm very sorry you were attacked.

It's your blog and you get to decide when and what you'll post.

When and whether you post regularly, for however long it takes, your readers will still be here.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear that. Sounds like you need another hug from God. And know that you are loved by us as well - even the anonymous ones!

Anonymous said...

I understand, I am sorry you had this experience and were hurt. My wish to you; Be Well, if it took 60years to get where you are, let no one or no THING tear you down. We do heal.

painting with fire said...

I am sorry to read this. It seems like there are so many people in the world who find nothing more satisfying than making other people's lives harder, sadder, poorer. You bring a great deal of thoughtfulness and caring to the world in all you do. I appreciate it - read you daily although I rarely comment. Sending you hugs and thanks for all of yourself that you share with us every day!

Jan said...

Dave I am so sorry for your hurt. I am glad you have Ruby, Sadie, Joe and many others in your life who love and care for you. I hope you are able to find comfort in who you are and all you have given to others.
We all wish this had never happened to you but I hope you can go beyond this and work past the cruelty and malice that was dumped on you and know that this reader and many others may not always agree with you but care about you and wish you well.

Kake said...

I'm so sorry you've been treated badly, and I hope you manage to find some resolution. Thank you for continuing to write.

Maggie said...

I don't know what to say. I want to say something that will help, of course -- something that validates Who You Really Are and completely erases the injury you received. But also I know that nothing I could say will do that. And there's always the risk that trying to erase it would amount to 'minimizing' it -- pretending that if you just keep a good attitude it won't hurt, or something equally vapid.

I love what you write. I learn so much from your approach, both here in the blog and in the monthly newsletters. Your work and wisdom are such a gift.

I wish you peace. I ask that what can be released, be released for the highest good and transformed to be used in service. I ask that healing be smooth and speedy (and in its own time, of course). Please know that you are loved: personally, professionally, privately, publicly.

Sending plenty of love, light and laughter your way

Susan said...

When you've been hurt so deeply that there is damage that ensues it is very hard to write. You have to write from your "self" (especially when you write like you do with vulnerability and deep truth) and when self doesn't know who it is anymore and is drawing in in order to try to staunch the flow of blood (never mind "healing" yet) how can you write from there?

I hate that someone had the power to hurt you so deeply and that power was used in such away that it resulted in your voice being diminished. (My she-bear claws are out.)

I hope you will be able to write about the journey of your recovery (just as you started to today - though it's too soon to even think about recovery). I can't tell you how much it has helped me to read this today - and I can see from the comments that I'm not the only one.

I am reading that in spite of being traumatized you are determined to carry on somehow... As a reader - thank you! But as a friend - please take the time you need and do the things you need to do to heal... take care of yourself. Your readers are a caring community - and we will wait.

Thank you for not quitting... Thank you that you are not letting this situation "take you out". You already have your sights on the other side of this - even though it's hard to believe right now that there is another side - and are determining to slog through it somehow and to keep on writing as you are able - even if you don't know yet just how. That gives strength to the likes of me.

Whether or not good will come out of this, it still really, really sucks that it happened. I'm so glad you have Ruby and Sadie in your life and that you have allowed their simple "presence" to bind up wounds they don't even know are there.

{{{Hugs}}} and prayers...

Unknown said...

You are a good person, someone I admire and look up to. I have known that since I heard you speak at the TASH conference 29 years ago.
I was so delighted to find, many years later that you were writing this blog, I felt like I had found an old friend. That's what it feels like when you hear someone speak about the feelings and values you share with them.
I am very sorry someone hurt you, I wish I could help. I hope you can keep on blogging in light of that attack, but would surely understand if you could not.

Jeannette said...

Dear Dave,
I can't add much to what everyone else has said so well. You have brought a light into my life, and I thank you for it.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dave,
I wish that I could help you.
I am so sorry you were hurt.
I care very much about you, and it seems so many others do too- wrap that around you - use it as a bullet proof vest.

Anonymous said...

Why is it we pour so much hope and expectation into this time of year and then end up tired and depressed. I am struggling this year and am sorry to hear you are as well.

Dave as someone who respects you and reads this blog every day I would be sorry to be without my "daily" however you need to heal and take care of yourself. We will be here and we continue to hold you in the highest regard.

Be well

Jayne Wales said...

This is just so sad to read but thank God for those who love you being there to o just that. You bring so much light into other people's lives that whoever has hurt you needs to seriously consider their motives. I know it's impossible to rip it up mentally, bin it and move on but I hope you can get to that place and just know how cruel people and comments are always there God damn it and that the good will outweigh the bad in your life because you are loved. I feel like mowing them down on my witches broomstick and making some sparks fly!
Stay with the love, you give it out and it is so freely returned.

Anonymous said...


I am sorry that you have had to experience a traumatic attack on you. As a wise man who taught me to teach others to fight back against bullies (aka you), I want to remind you of a chant: "I'm okay and you're mean". You are okay (better than okay really)and they are the one with the problem. You have inspired so many with everything that you do. Just try and remember that when you are down.
Positive thoughts and prayers of healing,

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave.

Long time reader here.

Just wanted to say that I hope you are feeling a bit better today.

There isn't anything I can do to take away from what happened to you but I thought I would take a moment to tell you what I appreciate about you.

I love reading your blog. I visit everyday and I feel I learn a lot from you.

Firstly you have educated me about the ignorance and sometimes cruelty that disabled people experience. As an able bodied person I was myself deeply ignorant until your posts opened my mind to the complex realities of our society. You have a talent for writing in a way that is confrontational and provoking without being aggressive. You make me reexamine myself and look at the prejudice in my thinking without making me feel bad or hopeless of improvement.

Secondly your posts about Sadie and Ruby have made me think carefully about how I plan to parent my son. It's so easy to get caught up in focusing on, shall we say, intellectual educational rather then emotional education, on discipline rather then kindness. Your posts remind me that parenting is so much more rounded then most parenting books would have us believe.

The third thing I appreciate is how your blog reminds me of the value of taking a moment for self reflection. We are all busy and it's so easy to just bluster on through life, keeping your head down and getting things done. I feel a common thread through your posts is that beat in time, that pause taken before speaking or acting that can make such a difference to the outcome of what we do.

I do hope you get the rest and healing that you need and I look forward to reading more of your writing, whenever that may be.


Delenn said...

I don't often comment, but I love reading your posts. I am so sorry that this has happened to you, especially when you were trying to enjoy the season.

Anonymous said...

Take the time to heal then come back to us.

Lots of love to you both.

Eileen x

Anonymous said...

My mother always said you can not make others feel the way you do. There will always be people who hurt you, but please do not focus on that, as you make others feel so much better. You Dave make a difference in so many peoples lives...the world is a better place because of you. Please do not give up hope but focus on what you have given to so many people. God bless, and happy new year. May 2013 be as good to you as you have been to so many

Purpletta said...

You are an extraordinary person, a gift to so many. I am so sorry for how you were hurt. Sending warm thoughts and prayers.
What can we do for you?

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that someone decided to make it their mission to hurt you, Dave. I can't imagine how shitty and miserable his/her life must be to attack someone who has built his life around helping others.

I don't know what was said, and I don't want to know. But I want you to know that I believe you are a very Good and Wise Person. I have become a better, more thoughtful, and kinder person by coming here each day to read what you write. I would be sad if your writing stopped, but you have given me so much to go on.

But please, keep writing, if you can. So many of us want to hear what you have to say.


Nathan Dawthorne said...

No matter how much good there is there is always evil.

Keep on fighting the good fight

Melissa said...

I don't often comment, and sometimes can't keep up with reading, but your blog has taught me so much with regards to disability, parenting and life in general. I'm so, so sorry for your hurt and hope you continue to blog if it still brings you joy.

clairesmum said...

the light and the dark, both parts of this human experience, and we cannot always choose what will be on our path...but you are not alone, and you are loved. thanks for sharing some of your experiences with us on the web. take good care.

Belly (Liz McLennan) said...

I am a second-year DSW student at Loyalist College in Belleville. We use your books in our classes and they bring the "why" to the ways we're learning to support people.

I am haunted by a passage you wrote about a woman named Helen, who spent morning in a bakery, "in the lap of God." It stunned me, the beauty of that moment, your description of it and that you recognized it and shared it. Thank you.

Too, Dave, your blog brings the "what" of life AS a person with a disability and here, I believe, is where your true calling lies.

You bring truth and humour and brutal honesty to everything and I, like so many others, admire and appreciate it so very much.

This is the mark of a truly great teacher - that you bring not only your own life experience to what it is that you're passing along, but also, what you're passing along has real value in so many lives.

So, write on, Teacher. As much or as little as you're able.

We'll be out here, reading.

Anonymous said...

Dearest, dearest Dave,

I'm so sorry. Your blog is a place I come to when I'm tired, or when I feel I need recentering.

I suspect that someone who couldn't face their dark places lashed out at you instead. Many people thank soldiers for protecting our freedoms; I'd rather thank you, as the stances that you take protect freedoms and essential liberty far more directly than any war. But taking a stance also makes you vulnerable.

I'm sorry you've been wounded. May you find healing.