Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Monday, August 01, 2005

Dark Parts

I’m finally finished with the two-month assignment at the second client I took on. It could go on the books as two of the longest months in recent memory. I’m happy to be out of there, but happier to have my old life back, working part-time and making my own hours at the client I’ve had for over 2 years. Now I can blog more, get back to the gym and have some alone time to reflect and regroup.

I took the last Pill in the first pack yesterday, so I should start in the next couple of days. That last week I was feeling pretty crappy. My doctor made me do a “Sunday start” and I actually started on a Monday, so I took the pills almost a whole week longer than I should have. My poor body was trying like crazy to start and I ended up with some unpleasant side effects that shall go unmentioned, you get the idea.

Although I’m leaning heavily in one direction, I’m giving myself the next month to come to a decision about staying on the Pill. Other than a few casual remarks here and there, D. and I haven’t had The Conversation yet. Thanks to all of you that left comments. Stay tuned.

In the meantime there’s been an un-IF-related post swirling about in my head for a little while. I’m more than a bit hesitant to give details, this IS the internet after all, and I don’t have control over who is reading this and what they do with the information, or how people will react or respond. There’s plenty enough shame and guilt to go around without adding to it by reading a stranger’s cruel comments. On the flip side, you just never know when someone out there will have information that could be helpful, so I’m willing to risk it. Just know that, as usual, any comments I find to be offensive will be deleted, hopefully before anyone else gets to read them.

When S. was born her brothers were 5 and 3. She was born deaf and blind. Before she was 5 the family moved across the country to B.C., and two years later the final child, another boy, was born. It was around this time her parents determined they could no longer provide the kind of care she required with three other small children at home, and decided to put her into a school for the disabled. This institution was the only available choice, unfortunately, since it was primarily a school for the mentally handicapped. At the time a child that was deaf and blind was probably determined to be mentally deficient, although this later proved to be untrue. She lived her entire life at the school and as an adult was moved with other patients into a group home.

S. is my aunt. I never knew she existed until I was a teenager, when I overheard a conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear and started asking questions. Her mother visited her, I don’t know how often, and perhaps other family members did as well. After her mother died and she was moved out of the school, the family lost track of her. Now we are trying to find her.

I’ve always wanted to find her, I always wanted to let her know that I think about her often and I love her even though we’ve never met.

My most recent attempts to gather information about the school and how to go about getting information on her whereabouts has gleaned some terribly disheartening information. All too unsurprisingly, a government report from a couple of years ago determined that physical and sexual abuse occurred at the school and that it failed to protect patients and to report abuses that occurred. A formal apology from the government was issued and a trust fund was set up to help former patients. Unfortunately this money has not been distributed as a class-action suit has now been filed and certified by the court. To imagine how her life must have been at the school was bad enough, now to put the possibility out there that she may have been abused as well is almost more than I can bear. What are the chances she completely escaped the systemic abuse in her 40+ years as a resident? There is an organization of former patients (or “survivors” as they call themselves) of the school, we are starting there to see if they can help us to find S., and to determine whether she is part of the class-action. If she was abused then we want to make sure that she is compensated, although that will not be any means make up for the years she spent in this god-forsaken place.

If you want to know more details or think you may have information that could be useful, please feel free to leave a comment and I can correspond with you offline.

I wonder how many other family members have suffered sexual abuse that I don’t know about? It seems to be a family curse, on both sides. Tears are streaming down my face as I write these words…its like infertility – unless you’ve lived it, there isn’t any way to explain how it becomes a dark part of your world. For someone like S., who was born into a world of silence and darkness, I just can’t even imagine the fear and the pain and the shame, the shame that was never hers but that I'm sure she carries nevertheless.

7 Comments:

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Mellie said...

Donna,
I don't have anything of use to aid you, but I want to commend you for looking. It's a brave, brave thing you're doing.

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Panda said...

I'm with Mellie. Good on you for wanting to help the aunt you've never met. Thats what families should be about, right?

Good luck.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger Tiff said...

I just wanted to add another GOOD LUCK with the search.
oh and...shit yeah, I am with ya on the longest 2 months ever thing. Seems more like 2 years, doesn't it?
((HUGS))

 
At 12:38 PM, Blogger Suz said...

I thought about this all last night and couldn't stop - your words were so touching and the story is so unbearably sad. I hope that you are able to find your aunt.

 
At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Orode,nniades said...

Good luck!!

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger Chee Chee said...

I'm sorry. I don't have any information to share but I really hope that you can find your aunt. I can't imagine the pain she must have been through.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Internal Spring said...

Donna, you are a very sensitive and sweet person. I'm sorry that you've suffered abuse, I'm sorry that your aunt might have. She is so particularly vulnerable.

I would suggest that you contact a Candian private investigator to help locate her.

 

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