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Learned Coping Skills


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When my father died I was 4 years old. I remember how the aura or color of the home changed from golden to dark and unlit. Everyone reacted differently. Mom buckled down, became logical, left me through her career. My sister flew away as a stewardess and submerged herself in scripture. Brother #1 ran to the Marines and volunteered for Vietnam. Brother #2 withdrew into his own world of music. Brother #3 climbed into a car engine and never came back except for the occassional angry outbursts. Brother #4 became a perfect, all-american, basketball playing robot. I remember asking myself "Where did everyone go?" Sick, perverted people saw opportunity.

Years later, I placed my daughter for adoption. Everyone took the same paths. And I found myself alone and being drawn to the same hurtful relationships.

4 years ago my husband died. He was everything to me. I was on auto-pilot. Everyone couldn't wait to leave me. I began the same journey into being the victim of animals. But I stopped. I realized that just becasue I was pre-conditioned or programmed to respond to loss and grief in a certain way, I didn't have to do it. I also found forgiveness for my family. They are using the only skills they have known to deal with their own loss and grief.

It's scary not having a "script" to follow, but I know I can learn new ways of grieving without hurting myself. Until we learn new skills, humans returnto what they know.

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