#3 The Trip…by Terri Lucher

Just a few thoughts on my last post.  Parents PLEASE DON’T lie to your children.  Whatever you think your “protecting them from” is not nearly as bad as living a lie.  No matter what, honesty is always the best policy.

Early September 2016.  Thomas and I prepare for our trip to Wyoming and Colorado to meet Steve and Brad’s siblings then to travel Colorado with my in-laws.  I was very excited and stressed all at the same time.  I could only focus on what my brothers had missed with their siblings.

It seems like someone was trying to tell us not to go.  The 1st day we were all packed up and left very early in the morning.  About 30 miles down the road an engine hose blew.  We turned around and limped back home, Thomas repaired the problem and we planned to leave the next day.  2nd day, again very early in the morning we pulled out.  This time we made it about 50 miles and a wheel fell off the trailer, yes an actual wheel fell off the trailer.  I had a complete panic attack.  Thomas comforted me and tried to calm me down with little success.  He parked the trailer, unhooked the truck, figured out the lug nuts were faulty, the wheels and some of the axle studs were damaged.  He left to get something to fix the problem.  I stayed with the trailer in the middle of nowhere, I was scared, but we couldn’t let someone steal it.  After what seemed like forever, Thomas came back, repaired the hubs and put a spare wheel on.  We hooked back up and again limped back home, very slowly on the feeder roads.  Now I believe this trip is not going to happen.  All our plans were for nothing.  Remember, my medications have made me very unreasonable and extremely irrational.  I must have been very difficult to talk to and impossible to convince.  There was no talking me into believing things would be OK.

On Tuesday, Thomas got all new hubs, wheels, axle studs and lug nuts and completely reassembled all the wheels.  Once again, we prepared to leave early the next morning.  Like we do every time we leave with the RV, we went to Buc-ee’s to get snacks, coffee and fuel.  When we turned into the parking lot the trailer wheels locked up.  I exploded with fear, anxiety and anger.  Thomas was very upset as well.  We couldn’t believe this was happening.  He eventually discovered it was an easy fix, the emergency brake pull was stuck under something and there was no damage.  My panic and anxiety was extreme.  I wanted so badly to go, but was afraid for our safety.  I purchased a beautiful cross inside Buc-ee’s and we started on our way.

I was a nervous wreck the entire drive.  Thomas was strong and calm enough for the both of us.  After 2 days of driving long hours we made it to Cody Wyoming.  I was very excited to see my brother.  Steve showed me all over the area, we took lots of pictures.  He and I went to meet his new brothers and sisters, they were so nice, it’s like we had known each other forever.  They accepted me into their family as a sister and I loved that feeling.  This meeting was better than I had imagined and I immediately started thinking about my 2 sisters.  Would a connection like this be possible?  My understanding was that they wanted nothing to do with me.  I could not think of anything else, what should I do and how should I do it.  I wanted to know them but I was afraid of rejection.

My only thought was to contact my friends from Louisiana to see if anyone knew my sisters or how to contact them.  While waiting for any answers I became very nervous and withdrawn.  This began to interfere with our vacation.  We left Cody and headed to Colorado.  We were going to Glenwood Springs, then Salida, then Pagosa Springs.  I don’t remember a lot about our trip because of my focus on finding out about my sisters.  I do know we went to Doc Holiday’s grave because I have pictures of it.  Thomas tells me I became very irritable and refused to go places with him and his parents.  I just wanted to be alone.  My stress level was severe.  On the way to Salida the transmission overheated, adding to my stress.  We parked on the river and it was beautiful but I couldn’t enjoy it.  Thomas noticed I was not having fun.  He tried to talk me into waiting to contact my sisters until we got back home, but I didn’t listen.

Thru friends I got in-touch with my youngest sister’s husband and found out that she had passed away from breast cancer recently.  I was devastated, I would never know her.  My thoughts were immediately directed to my mother who prevented me from knowing her and I became angry.  My sister’s husband was gracious enough to let me know all about her.  Then he talked with his adult children, they wanted to decide as a group if they wanted to meet me.  It seemed like a lifetime for him to get word back to me that they did want to meet me.  Thomas asked me to please stop focusing on this but I couldn’t.  I argued with him and he did tell me he thought I needed to go back to the mental health hospital to get help.  He was absolutely right but that pissed me off.  Vacation, in effect, ruined.

From Salida we went to Pagosa Springs, the brakes overheated coming down Wolf Creek Pass. I was so withdrawn, I didn’t even care.  My in-laws noticed I was not right and were worried about me too.  I just focused on my new family situation.  I finally got to speak with my sister Judy and she was happy to know me and interested in meeting me.  She told me a lot about my dad, cousins and family.  My dad was the life of the party, very friendly and everybody liked him.  This news made me happy.  I was still obsessed with the lies my mother told me.  It was just so unbelievable that I had another dad and 2 sisters and would only ever know 1 of them.

It was time to head home, my memory of the trip back home is not good.  I was argumentative and anxious.  I don’t remember getting home, parking or unloading the trailer.  The combination of my prescribed medications and the stress of all these new things, new family and what me and my brothers had missed out on until now was taking its toll on me.  I was well on my way to committing suicide but had no idea it was coming.

It sounds like I was a raging lunatic and I probably was. As loved ones you would always ask, what could I have done to prevent this.  I really don’t know.  I want to say that loved ones are usually clear thinkers.  We, who have attempted or committed suicide are absolutely not clear thinkers. This is where the disconnect is.  People who think normally would never imagine that someone would or even could attempt suicide.  Suicide is not a normal thought.

Next post will take us to the attempt.



#2 The Beginning of the End… by Terri Lucher

Continued from previous post…  I could go on forever about my childhood and very bad choices I’ve made that added to my lack of self-esteem and depression.  Only want to add… Not long after high school, I married a very bad man.  He saw me coming from a mile away and could tell I had a lifetime of training on how to be controlled.  He was violently abusive.  Somehow after only 6 months I found the courage to leave him and I did. It was not without significant trauma but I divorced him and joined the Air Force.  On a side note the recruiter also thought my birth certificate looked ridiculous and he ordered a new one from the state of Louisiana.  They sent him the same typed, marked out and handwritten document.  At age 28 I had a hysterectomy and have no children causing me deep sadness.

OK back to the story.  At the end of 2015.  My oldest brother Steve (who lives in Wyoming) and I had been talking a lot about the new story of my life.  He wondered about his and Brad’s biological father, so we googled his name.  We found his obituary, he had passed away just 3 years before and lived in Wyoming not far from Steve.  He and Brad were not mentioned in the obituary but there were 5 children (their half-siblings they knew nothing about).  This made sense with what our mother told them about their dad.  She always said their father was abusive and wanted nothing to do with them and that’s all they really knew about him.

So we were all raised by our dad Phillip Boyd, he adopted Steve and Brad when they were young boys, this changed their last name to Boyd.  Back in the 50’s you didn’t need the fathers consent to adopt.  Steve and Brad were both affected by the news their biological father was gone.  They had the names of their siblings.  Facebook messages were sent out to try and find out more about them.  Again, there was a big difference between the Truth and what our mother said.  Moms story… she and the boy’s father were married, he was terribly abusive, actually tried to kill Brad, she left him and he wanted nothing to do with the boys, end of story.

The truth… he was injured in an industrial accident and lost a leg.  She apparently didn’t think he would be able to support them in the manner she wanted, so she left him and married our dad.  The boy’s biological father remarried and had 5 children, none of them abused.  Their father tried and tried to be in the boy’s lives, but our mother wouldn’t allow it.  She once again had powerful control over anyone who knew the truth and they were all apparently too afraid to help him.  When his children were old enough they tried to make contact with Steve and Brad and they were all shut down by our mother.  Their dad even tried to get to the boys thru our grandfather.  All our grandfather would say is that he was sorry but he couldn’t help him.  Because Grandad knew our mother would cut him off if he crossed her.  Eventually they stopped trying to locate the boys.

By all accounts, not just from his children, Steve and Brad’s biological father was a very good man and provider.  My brothers were never given the opportunity to know him.  This hurt my brothers and it hurt me too, I was devastated.  What kind of monster had we been raised by?   How many lives did this one, tiny woman alter in very bad ways.  This began my spiral out of control.  My brothers and their siblings connected, they all met and got along beautifully.  I got to talk to them as well, they all knew about me, accepted me into the family and said I could be their sister too.  This made me over the moon happy but increased my stress just as much.  We made plans for an end of summer trip to meet our new family.  This sounds like wonderful news, but it affected me differently.  I was obsessed with the wrong and began to question my ideas of my own half-sisters.

Earlier in my multiple careers; Airforce, Walmart, Chef, LVN then RN, I was a loyal hardworking employee.  After learning the truth about me, my ability to hold a steady job faltered.  I would get so stressed and change jobs or not be able to work at all.  After learning about my brother’s truth, I changed jobs from full time nursing & rehab manager to part time weekend supervisor at the same facility.  This new job quickly became too stressful for me and I quit.  This happened much faster than usual.  The reality is the job wasn’t stressful, I was starting to spiral out of control.   My coping skills were not working and I was becoming despondent and anxious.

Of course, with loss of job came loss of insurance.  The ordeal of finding and paying for private insurance was so stressful, don’t get me started.  We finally got a good insurance policy with outrageous premiums and deductible.  With this new insurance came new doctors.  During a doctor’s visit, they noticed I was not doing well emotionally.  Then I ended up in a mental health hospital where I stayed for 19 traumatic days.  It was the right place for me, but my unclear mind didn’t think I needed to be there.  It was filled with scary, violent people and I was nervous the whole time.

While at the inpatient facility I was seen by a Psychiatrist every day.  Over the course of the 19 days I ended up on a ridiculous medication plan, that I willing took, much to the dislike of most everyone I know.  If I were thinking straight, the nurse in me would have never taken most of the things prescribed but I was not thinking clearly and just did what my doctor told me to do, which I believe most people can relate to.  I had severe insomnia caused by hormone imbalance and terrible autoimmune tummy troubles along with depression, anxiety.  The Psychiatrist prescribed, along with Prozac, Clonazepam, Temazepam and Ambien… Thorazine (a heavy antipsychotic) for my tummy troubles and Ritalin (highly addictive) for my sleep issues.  Shockingly they worked, my tummy calmed down and I could sleep well.  He said that if I took Ritalin in the am and noon, it would tire my brain and I would sleep at night and he was right.  I thought he was a genius.  I started seeing him as my Psychiatrist after discharging from the hospital.

Everybody situation is different.  Everybody’s body chemistry is different. What works wonders for some may be very harmful for others. Unfortunately, we have no idea what will affect who and how until you take it.  This combination was the worst possible combination for me and I refused to see or do anything about.  In effect, I was an addict and my dealer was my psychiatrist.  I became instantly addicted to the Ritalin and increasingly irrational and unreasonable as they days and months went by.  My behavior became bizarre and I started to forget or have no memory of events.  Just like any addict, defensiveness became my mood. If anyone questioned my medications I just got angry and made excuses.  2016 was the worst year.  It just seemed to get worse every day.  I accepted this new unstable life and it became my normal.

Most of the story from here on out comes from others memory because mine was altered.  My husband wanted me to go to another Psychiatrist.  I don’t know if you have every tried to find a Psychiatrist, let’s just say it’s hard.  They either don’t take your insurance or they are not taking new patients.  Add to this problem the lack of motivation of an irrational depressed person, needless to say, I never found a new Psychiatrist and started group therapy.  I thought this was helping me, but I was getting worse.  The Psychiatrist at group therapy was concerned by the medication regimen and stopped the Ritalin, Thorazine and Temazepam.  I started having severe withdrawals and was quickly put back on all of them.  My obsession with my mother’s wrongs was becoming dangerous, I couldn’t get past it and it was destroying my life.  I couldn’t or wouldn’t see it.

My husband and I planned an RV trip to Wyoming to see my brother Steve and meet the new siblings.  From there we would go to several places in Colorado and back home over the month of September.

Next post will be about the trip.

#1 What caused my feelings of depression and poor self esteem… by Terri Lucher

Long story short…. I always knew growing up something was off but had no idea what it could be.  My mother was very controlling, cold and hard to please, what is now obvious, she was a textbook narcissist.

Well into my adulthood and after both the man I thought was my father and my biological father had passed away, my mother told me… She had an affair and got pregnant with me and that’s really all she told me, definitely not the whole story.  What everyone should know is that Phillip Boyd (the only father I’ve ever known) was the greatest.  He loved me so much and I am so very thankful for him.  He put up with a lot of horrible treatment from my mom, he loved her unconditionally.  I knew as a child her treatment of him was wrong and I never wanted to be like her.   Trying to please her was a constant goal that was never going to be possible.  My desire to please her lasted her entire life, I even lived with and cared for her for 2 years after my marriage until her last breath.  Now I realize this was her master plan, that she groomed me to fulfill.

After her death, the rest of the story came out a little at a time.  My mother controlled her story.  For a small person, she had a lot of power.  There were lots of people who knew the truth but were not allowed to say a word.  Her power was somehow ironclad.  I do know that if you crossed her she would cut you out of her life for good, no matter who you were. She was a little bit scary.

The truth, verified by many.  I was the product of an affair.  My father had moved out and my biological dad moved in.  Back in the 60’s affairs and out of wedlock children were not accepted.  Of course, everyone in town knew what happened and this was embarrassing and problematic for everyone involved.  The relationship didn’t work out, they broke up and now my mother was going to be a single mom with a newborn.  She decided to give me away to her very best friend Elsie and her husband Jr. who could not have children.  They named me “Alicia Renee” this is typed on my birth certificate and they took me home from the hospital to Hattiesburg Mississippi.  When my brother Brad came home from school, he of course asked where his little sister was, and mom told him.  He was not happy with this news and convinced her to go and get me.  They drove to Mississippi and took me away from her best friend, breaking their hearts.  My mother did not want to name me “Alicia Renee” her choice was “Terri Lynn”, she had my name changed.  In Louisiana they apparently just scratch through the typed name and write the new name on the birth certificate.  I always questioned this whenever I saw the certificate, because it truly looks ridiculous.  She stuck by this story… that the hospital sent her a notice… if she wanted to make any changes to her child’s name to do so at that time so she took that as a sign to go with her second choice for names.  My father moved back in and he raised me as if I was his own.

Every year for as long as Elsie lived she sent me birthday and all sorts of cards, with how much she loved me written on them, which confused me because I barely knew her.  I’ve found out that my biological father had 2 daughters (my half-sisters) I knew nothing about.  After finding out about them, I assumed they wanted nothing to do with me because we had never met.  Most likely my mother decided to keep them away because they would have exposed her story.

Most people would say “that’s nothing to be so sad about” but I can tell you it is, when you’ve believed your while life one thing then find out another it is devastating.  Lies Are Devastating.  When you already had no self-worth, this kind of revelation can and did drive me to deep depression and to question everything that ever happened.  It does not matter what causes your depression, what matters is how you process it.  I resented my mother, began to gain a lot of weight and became more and more depressed.  I had a breakdown in 2010.  My Brother again came to my rescue and got me into a treatment facility for 30 days, it helped for a little while but the depression came right back, worsening over time.   I hid my depression from many with my goofy personality and humor.  I was obsessed with my mother’s bad behavior and blaming her for everything.  This brings me to the end of 2015.

The next post will continue the story.