#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.