Reviews from

A Leaf on the Wind

Viewing comments for Chapter 51 "Another Family Conference"
Autobiography of abuse

17 total reviews 
Comment from mvbrooks
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is an excellently written chapter. It can stand alone in that it is a complete story on its own. The emotions are presented by allowing the reader to step in to the main character's shoes and imagine what she is experiencing.

 Comment Written 27-Aug-2016

reply by the author on 27-Aug-2016
    Thank you so much for the awesome 6 stars. I am so pleased you like how I am presenting the story from the POV of the main character (me). This chapter was a difficult one but necessary. Reliving that portion of my childhood was not easy but in the end it was definitely cathartic.
Comment from pamelaperron
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eager to find out how she chose to cope. realistic and moves along nicely. would love to have seen some humor regarding a myrid of medicine....pamela

 Comment Written 09-May-2016

reply by the author on 09-May-2016
    Thanks. I usually rely on humor to get through the difficult times but it was difficult to find any humor in this particular period in my life.
Comment from ganesh22
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For those who are not familiar with Borerline Personality Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder I recommend you read the first 50 chapters. Both disorders are caused by severe traumatic events that result in terrifying flashbacks, night terrors, depression and in more severe cases, self mutilation, hallucinations, seizures and suicidal tendencies. BPD and PTSD are similar but in the medical world are considered completely seperate conditions. Both are debilitating and usually result in the need for mediation, therapy (often life long) and a thorough understading of the disorder.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

 Comment Written 20-Oct-2015

reply by the author on 20-Oct-2015
    Most people are familiar with PTSD but few know much about BPD other than the misinformation they get on crime shows like Criminal Minds and CSI. One of the best books on BPD is called I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality: Jerold J. Kreisman, Hal Straus. This book is very helpful for the patient and family living with someone with BPD.
Comment from medicnate
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Wowee, zowee. This is a powerful chapter. I shall come back and award it six stars when I have more to give. Sheesh, talk about an emotional ride. I thought for sure the family would back you up, instead, proverbial knife in the back, or in this case, the front. Man...

Nice work.


 Comment Written 12-Apr-2009

reply by the author on 12-Apr-2009
    Thanks. One of the hardest and most disappointing days in my life.
Comment from CALLAHANMR
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Hi Valerie:)
A very interesting chapter for me. My first year out of college, I worked in an exclusive psychiatric hospital and observed all types of mental and addictive behavior. Many of the things you describe are exactly as I remember them. The year was 1955 and shock treatment was still in vogue. Looking back, I am appalled at electroshock treatments and lobotomies that ofter ended all hope for a good quality of life, but we also had group therapy sessions that allowed people, myself included, to realize we were not alone.

The thing most lacking for most patients were understanding family members. The people who healed the fastest accepted members of their groups as a new family. They were all in there together.

Now for some specific comments:

1. The idea of sitting in a room with my family terrified me. I didn't expect anything good would come from putting me in a room with my family. It was a bad idea and I knew it. {This is a common feeling, when abuse is at the base of
personality problems.}

2. As the three of us walked toward the big conference room at the end of the hall, I turned to Dr. P, winked, and said, "If you want, you can slip a note to Teresa telling her I have an IQ of 152, that will really piss her off." {A normal feeling on your part. Families in denial of abuse often try to cover their a---s by claiming a low IQ is the problem.}

2. In order to avoid making eye contact with me, Mom, Denise, Mary and Teresa stared directly at Dr. P . My heart was beating so hard my chest hurt. I took a deep breath and prayed this would be over soon. {Another form of denial.}

3. "I am speaking for everyone when I tell you that we are all tired of Valerie using Daddy as an excuse to go off the deep end. Yes, he was an alcoholic, but Valerie is lying when she says he molested her. The four of us have talked about this at great length, and if it comes down to a choice between Mom or Valerie, we choose Mom." {Denial one more time. Real help has to come from outside the family.}

4. "Valerie, I wish I could tell you to forget what happened today, but I know that is impossible," Marilyn said. "You probably don't want to hear this now, but your family is also a victim of your father. I honestly believe your strength frightens them. You remind them of what they have spent their whole lives trying to forget. What they have done to you is wrong and inexcusable, but you cannot let them destroy you. You are strong. I know you can get through this." (Thank God for insightful therapists. The problem with many mental hospitals is that they get the dregs of medical schools. Your therapists seem well-informed and willing to listen.}

5. Dr. P surprised me. Normally not one to judge or point a finger of blame, he said, "The best advice I can give you is to have nothing more to do with your family. They are in a serious state of denial and Marilyn is right, you are the reminder of things they want to forget. They cannot agree with you or offer any support because, to do so, would be to admit their whole life has been a lie. I doubt they will ever do that." {The best advice that I ever heard from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Difficult, but great advice.}

6. I never had a close relationship with my family but listening to Dr. P, I felt as though I had just learned my entire family had died in a car crash. I felt alone before, but this was different. The room suddenly became very cold and I started to shiver. I lay down on the bed, closed my eyes and began to cry. {Divorcing your dysfunctional family, but they only provide more and continual fuel for the denial of who you really are and need to be. This is a major stat of healing.}

You clarity and openness about your life must be published. Your's is a story that can inspire hundreds of people in need of hope.

 Comment Written 19-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 19-Mar-2009
    thank you so very much for your detailed review. In order to keep from being 900 pages long, I combined several hospitalizations into one. I ws fortunte to have a doctor and theapist who actually knew what they were talking about. Many wre still from th dark ages and although electroschock therapy was no more, thes doctors offered little in th way of help. Again, thank you for kind review and great comments.
Comment from jodeecee
This work has reached the exceptional level

Great chapter with a lot of information, moves us forward. awesome!

and ending with an individual therapy session/s/.

"Yes, I lose time and sometimes do strange things during the gaps, but I never /cut:to'/ change into someone else.
or: but not to change into someone else.

I had no expectation anything good would come from putting me in a room with my family. It was a bad idea and I knew it.
Maybe: I didn't expect anything good would-

 Comment Written 16-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    Thanks so much for the 6...I am honored. I'll fix the'd think by now I'd catch them...Thank you so much for your continued interest and sincerely appreciated enthusiasm.
Comment from Cranial Thinker
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I simply love the attention to detail you have given this writing,when i get paid next month i would like to buy this book,it is so very well written.I still don't have my families support,but I do have two American Bull dogs.Cranial Thinker

 Comment Written 16-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    Not to worry. When it's published I'll send you a signed copy for free. I am honored by your high rating. I sincerely value your opinion.
reply by Cranial Thinker on 17-Mar-2009
    Thank you so very much,Smurphgirl.
Comment from jojosug
This work has reached the exceptional level

This was so painful to read and it made me very angry as I felt Valerie's anger and isolation. Dr P is right, her strength and fortitude challenges everything they are trying to hold together. This is a beautifully written and moving chapter.


 Comment Written 16-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    Thank you so much for your high rating. This was a difficult chapter to write but I wanted to be true to the reader and to myself. Bearing your soul to the world can be painful, but I needed to be honest. Again, thank you so much for your kind words.
Comment from laurelp
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it very clear the test (was) not an option. - oops!
I doubt they will never do that. - never should be ever

I found these two errors. There were also a few errors in the layout of the piece. None of them matters. I am rating you on what you said and how you said it. You deserve the 5 stars.

 Comment Written 16-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    Thanks. I was really tired and should have waited before posting. I'll look over the chapter again and fix the errors. Again, thanks for your help and kind review.
Comment from DecrepitOldBag
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Oh Boy! Your family! I'm afraid that in your shoes, I would have ended up in prison, not a psychiatric hospital because I would have lost it totally and killed them all. You were so brave and so very strong all through your life, to be let down so utterly when you really needed them the most. I take my hat off to you.
I noticed a couple of typos and glitches. Some may well be Evil Eddie up to his tricks. There is a line break, which I know is Eddie, at I was impressed.

"....Dr. P made it very clear the test not an option." (Should there be a 'was' in there? Or maybe even 'refusing the test was not an option'? Not sure.

"....but I never to change into someone else...."

" far as we are concerned, we I don't care if....."

"....I doubt they will never do that.." (I think this should read 'I doubt they will ever do that.'

Hope this helps.
Warmest wishes

 Comment Written 16-Mar-2009

reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    Thanks for the help. Intereting comments. Just a little information on BPD...most men who have this disorder end up in prision for violent behavior....most women end up in psychiatric wards with depression....the difference on how women are raised to deal with anger and stress differently. Men are encouraged to act "out", women are incouraged to act "in". Again, thanks for catching the spags, I will go over the chapter and fix them.
reply by DecrepitOldBag on 16-Mar-2009
    LOL! I just read your reply. Maybe I should have been a man - I sure would have had an easier life I think if I had been. I may be a woman, but I've spent many a dark night thinking about awful (violent) things to do to my step-father and mother. I've never actually done any of them though. As I've grown up and eventually healed, I realise that a lot of my 'dark' thoughts were to be expected. I now take the view that if someone is dead, they don't know they're having a bad time. I generally let nature take its course these days. Nature crept up on my step-father....he died of lung cancer 8 years ago. The police went to arrest him, but death meant he escaped justice. I understand he suffered though, which is my retribution I guess. I looked up BPD on the internet as I was intrigued. You really do have my wholehearted admiration. I think you're a star! Warmest wishes. Kat
reply by the author on 16-Mar-2009
    You make me laugh too...but I am glad I learned to act "in", otherwise I would pobably be in prison as we speak, and still depressed! Life is strange...we can only do the best we can with what we have. I feel I am one of the lucky ones. Thanks for the encouragemnent.