Collective Scream

One Sunday morning Liza woke up with a start when she felt arms laid heavy on her chest. Mrs. Burress was kneeling there, her head on the bed. She stood up, picking up a little suitcase. The catch opened and a potted Easter Lily fell out. The pot cracked, spilling dirt all over the floor. Mrs. Burress took hold of the bloom and raised the plant high. Dirt dropped off of the roots and onto the bed. “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder!” she cried loudly, “I’m going back to my husband! God blesses marriage. We are still married, and he wants me back!” That said, she returned to her room.

Liza ran downstairs and called Mr. Burress. He came right over, and together they persuaded the woman to check into the nearby rest home. Liza went to visit her for three days, then the lady in charge said, “We couldn’t handle her anymore, had to tie her to the bed, so we sent her to the insane asylum.”

“There but for the Grace of God, go I,” Liza whispered.

From page 126 of Signs Along the Way…

June 2016 was a good month for bad news. A co-worker, Barbro, lost her battle with cancer… I thought for sure she was too stubborn to let go. Mary, another co-worker, lost her husband to cancer within a couple of weeks of Barbro’s passing. Orlando Florida lost 49 souls at the Pulse nightclub terrorist attack, the deadliest attack in US history. A couple of days later a two-year old boy was pulled into a lagoon by an alligator at a Disney World resort, and in spite of his father’s valiant efforts to save him, was killed – his body recovered days later.

And then we have our personal daily life obstacles and burdens. Judy Kay was reluctant to talk to her sisters about any of her job related stress – she figured her problems were not as abysmal as my marriage dissolution, or as agonizing as Kathy Beth’s rheumatoid arthritis. I really didn’t want go on and on about my endless, bizarre arguments with my meth-damaged husband – everybody else seemed to have much bigger miseries to bear. That’s the humanity in us, I suppose, to feel empathy and sympathy for our fellow humans and critters when they are suffering and sad. While I usually don’t think, “There, but for the grace of God, go I”… the first words to myself are often, “My troubles aren’t that big…” Until Kathy Beth told me and Judy Kay about a conversation between her and her RA doctor concerning Kathy’s close friend, that went something like this: “She had just been diagnosed with RA and I told him I felt bad for her, that she would have to deal with the pain and all that goes with RA. He patted my leg and said, ‘Kathy, very few people have RA as bad as you do’. I’m glad for her!”

Yes!!! That was my reaction. Let me explain… The doctor’s simple mention of the severity of Kathy’s RA was an affirmation of sorts – that yes, it’s a deep trouble.

What I am about to relate is not a woe-is-me, self-pity rant – it’s just a simple statement: My marriage is bad – very, very bad. Unbearably horrid. And it’s been like that for the past three years. Before that, I thought we were pretty darned good together. I’m not going to go into the bizarre changes in his personality, suffice it to say that I thought he had a brain tumor, and was desperate to help him. Stupid me. The day I tried to sit him down and talk him into seeking medical help is the day my love for him vanished; he was cocky, mean, ugly, defensive – and tweaking. No brain tumor messing with his head, he proudly admitted, meth was his madness. Months before that day this monster had been accusing me of witchcraft, porn making, hiding money from him – at one point he even accused me of kidnapping children – and of being an actual stolen child myself. I have found seven hidden (well, not very well hidden) mini-recorders, two super dooper motion-activated video camera’s (one was in my bedroom, and one was in the vent above the toilet). There’s a lot more, I could write a book! Turns out he had been spying on me incessantly, I can’t even begin to describe how violated I feel…
Apparently all meth addicts behave in this manner, it kills that part of the brain. But you can’t tell them that – they live in their own perverted fantasy world. My emotions have ranged from compassion to fury, all the while attempting to keep up the house, my job, and my own sanity. And my money. Part of his insane delusion is that I pretty much own the internet, along with China, Germany, Canada, Gill Studios, horse stables, etc. Since he is unable to maintain steady employment, he wants all he can get from me. Oh, and he has a girlfriend. Which tickles me to no end, although I did hope that he would find somebody who could support him financially. But I should have known that he doesn’t run in those kind of circles…
So for now, my entire life is carried along in my purse, truck, and office desk drawer, for thirty-four days, when our divorce is final and he is out of my life for good. Thirty-four more horrid days with a meth addict, free-loading off of me while recording my every move, and accusing me of impossible, disgusting things. I feel better already, admitting to myself that yes, this is a very, very bad trouble. Oh wait – he’s leaving town with his (slightly) younger girlfriend! For three glorious days!!! A taste of the freedom yet to come! So by next Friday I will have only thirty-one unbearable days to go…
– Carla

3 thoughts on “Collective Scream

  1. I’m so saddened by James downward spiral, he used to be full of life, funny, compassionate and seemed so content. He worked hard alongside Carla to realize their dreams of owning, operating and driving for their race team, caring for their home and their pets. He was extremely talented – he made over Moms jazzy to my “Jimmie Jazzy” so I could continue to go to the races with them, and his craftsmanship in rebuilding small and antique engines was second to none. I remember one time Carla said every time she mentioned or showed him some small project or tool she liked she’d come home from work and he’d have one built for her. And my sister TRUSTED him – and for her that was huge. I loved to see them together laughing and smiling. And the way meth has destroyed all this sickens me. I lost a dear young man in my life to meth, he was 34 years old and died of liver failure. It was horrible to watch him struggle so with his addiction. While I never saw him present the symptoms James is, I saw him make the choice between getting clean and dying. They offered him a new liver if he got clean and he simply could not do it. He told me once it “was the perfect high”. The few years of choosing meth cost him a life with his daughter and son, and all of us who loved him. Just as it is costing James. I pray there is someone around the corner who he will let help him, who he will allow to pick him up and not turn a blind eye and a cold heart as his parents, friends and co-workers have. I don’t know how any of them could believe any of his lies and outrageous stories about Carla and shrug them off. He needs help – bad – and right now. I want him gone from Carlas life – from all our lives – because I don’t like the “methed up” James. I miss the old James.
    My RA is a “deep trouble” I battle everyday – but not one of anyone’s making – just the luck of the draw with a bad immune system. This is a “deep trouble” for my big sister – one that had been thrust upon her to battle. And battle she has – she’s always been strong, independent and wise – and I know she’ll come out the other side even more so, but she’ll also be scarred in ways no one should endure at the hands of someone they love. I’m always here for you, Carla, whatever you need. I love you. Kathy Beth

  2. This breaks my heart also, both of my sisters have battles that would have defeated most of us. I am so thankful that in collaborating with Grandma in writing her story, we came across the magic that Grandma so wanted us all to know: expressing our feelings releases us to focus on what gets us through these dark times. The importance of the day to day, caring for relationships that nurture, simple pleasures that soothe our tired souls. Carla and Kathy are both so creative and curious; both powerful weapons against those trying to drag them into their painful and pitiful world.

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