You Are your Brothers Keeper. When Bipolar goes Awry. Part I

Denise OStarred Page By Denise O, 12th Jun 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Since I can remember, I have been the keeper of my brother. Billy has gone through so much in his 50 years here on earth, that would take most men out. His bravery to live each day, has and will always be a ray of sunshine in my heart.

While growing up

When I was going through pictures of Billy and I growing up, I noticed one thing. I have always been the boss when it comes to Billy. Okay, I was the boss to all. If it did not show in the pictures, the captions on the back, said it all. Billy is a little over two years older than I am. That didn't matter, I was still the boss. Mama use to always say "It has to be Denise's way or no way at all and she is usually right.". So true.

As I look back and as I have, so many times throughout my life, I guess I knew it would be up to me, in the end. The very fact that, I am now my brothers keeper. Mama had enough on her plate, with a abusive husband, taking her kids all around the world, with very little money and a war going on. Only to get worse as time went on. Our older sister Debbie, always seems to have some kind of drama going on, so she is not able to be there for Billy, like she should be.

Billy was not diagnosed as psychotic manic depressive (also can be known as bipolar) until his later years but, Billy also had other obstacles he had to deal with first, like epilepsy and being (as the doctors diagnosed) a bit slow. I would not be doing my job if I didn't touch on all these areas before we get all the way into his diagnoses of Billy being Psychotic manic depressive.

Caption on the back of the picture: 'Billy is trying to pull Denise and she wont let him. He didn't do it either. Ha ha. So you know who the boss is.'

12, What!

Billy was a big boy when he was born, 12 pounds and 2 ounces. The umbilical cord was wrapped around Billy's neck, as he was entering this world. This then cut off the blood supply flowing to his brain, they didn't know what side effects would happen from this event later on. Mama started to notice that, Billy was slower to crawl, walk and in learning the things that just came so easy for most babies.

Billy was a couple of years old when he had his first seizure. Mama was pregnant with me. She admitted, it scared her the first time but, after some test and Mama learning what this epilepsy is all about, Mama then took charge. It was not as if Mama ever really had gotten use to Billy having seizures, they scared her every time but, she accepted it, handled the situation and then after it was all said and done. She would go in her room holding Billy in her arms, rocking him and just cried until that very tired boy went to sleep.

As time went, Billy was still so far behind most kids, when it came to learning the basics. Mama took Billy to the doctor, the doctor ran a bunch of test and examined Billy. When the doctor came back in the office he informed Mama, Billy is what they call slow. From the way he sees it is, when Billy was born, the oxygen flow to his brain was cut off for way too long. So Billy will always be learning impaired.

Then there is me

Then I came along. I was premature, just the opposite of my older brother, I was only 3 pounds and dropped down to just shy of 2 pounds. I learned everything so fast. It was all Mama could do, to keep up with me. I guess I knew I had to grow up fast. I have always been older than my age.

While in Okinawa, Dad started drinking very heavy. When I was a toddler, I remember Dad picking on Billy, not as a dad would, just joshing with his son but, he was being mean to him. Calling him stupid and pushing him quite hard. I remember the nasty looks he would give Billy, when he thought no one was watching. I automatically didn't like Dad. He was hurting my Billy.

I loved the times Dad was gone, he would stay gone for weeks at a time. We would have so much peace and joy in our home. We had our nanny and Mama, how better can it be but, In 1968. We were sent back to the United States.

Dad was sent to Vietnam.

No Dad, just Love!

Mama took us to her home, Massachusetts. Billy met Grandpa and Billy took to Grandpa like a moth takes to a flame. When ever Billy was not in school, Billy was always following Grandpa around. Grandpa absolutely loved it. He was so kind to us and especially to Billy. The love that, that man showed Billy, to this day, is still in Billy's heart and helps him carry on.

Also Grandpa was a cook and a Navy cook at that. That was the condition my Nana held out for when Grandpa asked her to marry him. Nana told Grandpa she would do the cleaning but, you will do the cooking. He said yes to these conditions and he stayed a man of his word to the day he passed.

So every morning our day was started off with a wonderful dose of our loving Grandpa, as we ate our breakfast. These will be some of the most precious memories for Billy and I, to this day.

I can't Leave out the rest of the Nuts

We also have three uncles, Uncle Sonny, Uncle Richie and Uncle Jim. Those three male figures in Billy's life were nothing but positive. They had Billy around them as much as they could, they showered him with love and with acceptence. They were the perfect male role models a young man could have.

To this day, I don't think these three men, really understand, just what they did for my brother and I.

Then to top everything off, we also had living by us, Nana, Auntie Edna and Auntie Evelyn. These women have nothing but love to give. Nana was a bit stern but, all you had to do was one thing, just tell her the truth. One thing, that Billy nor Jimmy were able to do. It seemed like Nana was always chasing them with the paddle. I was never paddled by Nana, Never! Nana also had the best sarcastic sense of humour.

Jimmy was Billy's first best friend. Jimmy was so kind to Billy and they really had great times, especially in Billy's eyes. Billy was being accepted and I know he holds this so dear in his heart that, our cousins, Jimmy and his sister Lori, treated him with nothing but, total friendship. I will always be indebted to them for that very thing.

* From the left sitting, Nana, Uncle Sonny, Mama, Uncle Richie. From the left, standing, Auntie Evelyn and Auntie Edna

I noticed one thing

When we were living in Massachusetts with Nana and Grandpa, Billy's seizures lessened. It was not as if he was not having them, they were just happening less and less. As a young child, at this time, I just dismissed it. I had been watching my brother for years at this point and I was only 4 years old.

Some 11 months later. Dad called Mama and told her to come on out, our house was sent up for us, at the AF base, in Utah. We were all so sad. We wanted to stay in Massachusetts but nope, we had to go live with the monster, our jolly time was up. So, after almost a year of bliss, we reluctantly left these wonderful people.

When we arrived in Utah, things were back to normal, Dad was drinking even heavier, he was even meaner and I noticed Billy started to withdraw once again. Where as when we were living in Massachusetts. Billy was in the front row, he allowed himself to be out there. Billy had the confidence to do so. It was only about one month before Dad and his ugliness placed Billy, in the back row, once again.

Kids can be So Cruel

I was in the second grade when we returned to Utah. This was when I started to be Billy's protector at school. Billy and I had our friends that we played with at home but, these other kids that now surrounded us, were mean and cruel.

They would taunt Billy so bad during recess (we had the same recess time) Billy would go into a seizure. I knew what to do from a early age, so I was always called over. One day Billy was in the middle of a seizure. As Billy was cuvulsing, I remember looking up at the kids that had started gathering around us and I saw the kids laughing at Billy. I could not understand why they would be so cruel.

I was scared, as I would be, every time Billy had a seizure. You assess the situation, you deal with it and then you feak out. This is how I grew up, this is what was planted in my head. To laugh, I thought, why the hell would they laugh!

It didn't take me long before I figured out the answer. They laughed because, they had no compassion for their fellow man and their parents never taught them to have any. It is as simpe as that. After that day, I realized that, it was not only cruel in our home but also, the world was cruel.

Every time I witnessed this, I would get more disgusted with society. As I grew older, I then would take to fighting them. I am not saying this is the thing to do but, it hurt me so much to see how mean they could be to my brother. The boys would push him around, some would even punch him and the girls, they were the first to lay down names like, freak, retard, dummy and the list goes on.

Grandpa

One day after school, Billy, some of our friends and I were outside playing. All of a sudden, I just stopped dead in my tracks, with the dodge ball in my hands. The other kids were yelling for me to throw the ball. I just stood there, I just knew some thing was wrong. Then I heard Mama's voice "Billy, Debbie, Denise, come inside!".

We all three looked at each other and then took off running to the house. I mean Mama called and you did not want to make Mama wait, nothing that would hurt her. She has had enough hurt to last a lifetime, already. By the time I made it in the house, knew what Mama was going to say to us. I don't know why I did but, I just knew. My first thought was for Billy.

Mama sat us all down and through many tears, Mama told us our grandpa just passed away. I looked over at Billy and it was as if I could see him just curling in a ball, inside. To say this devastated Billy, would be a understatement. Billy started to shake and then Billy went into a seizure. It was a short one but, even short ones would exhaust Billy physically, as if he just ran a 10 mile race.

Billy went to His Bedroom

I felt so bad for my brother. I wanted to take his pain away, I wanted to be his savior. My brother has suffered enough, it was just enough! Dad came home, Mama informed him that Grandpa passed away, my dad's response was, "Okay.". Dad then walked to the back of the house, where Billy's room was. I was right behind him. He was not going to be mean to my brother, whom was so upset right now. I was not going to allow it. So yes, I was going to be in that room.

Billy was in his room crying, Dad walked in and all he said was "Stop your crying, buck up!". I walked in right after Dad and I just could not help myself, I was only 7 years old but, I just had to do something and I yelled "Stop being mean to my brother!". Dad turned around in a flash, slapped me and that would be the first time I was hit by him for sticking up for my brother. After Dad hit me, I just turned around and stared at him. Not a tear in my eyes. That came later.

A few Months later...

We were once again called back to Massachusetts.

Caption on the back of the picture: "Denise is mad again, she wants her picture taken and no one elses. I took her picture, she is the boss. ha ha'

To learn a bit more of this time in our lives, please take the time to go read...

My path Followed... Part I

When I read this wonderful lady's beautiful art and look at the photographs that accompany her poems, photographed by her husband, Mike Powers. The combination takes me back to that New England town, Where my family lives. Written by Delicia Powers: Blue Infinity

Do you want to share one of your stories. Write on Wikinut!

Tags

Abuse, Bipolar, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Epilepsy, Father, Grandparents, Manic Depression, Manic Depressive, Mental Abuse, Mental Illness, Mentally Challenged, Military, Military Life, Mother, Psychotic, Sibling, Sister

Meet the author

author avatar Denise O
I live in Georgia, USA. I am a granny to 3 precious children. I am Mama to Bugg and two human beings. I was once married to a wonderful, Dan.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Wow! Your story moved me to tears, Denise. How brave you were to stand up for Billy. My heart goes out to you.

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Steve, thank you for your kind words. There is no reason to feel sorry for me. That was a long time ago and things go on. I still have my Billy, he is snoring in the room behind me. I have always been a out front kind of gal. Excuse the typos, I had go back and fix a few, UGH! You think you have it, then you go back and read it and you miss so many obvious typos.LOL
Oh well, Mark will get to it when he wakes in the morning. Glad you liked it. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar jak2010
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Very moving story. My first son was prematured, weighed 2kg so I am thinking of him when I read your story. Stories do reflect emotions and you told a story to be in such a state.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Denise your story touched and filled my heart, you are and amazing women, I knew that before reading your article, but this history is what made you the wonderful strong and poetic hearten person you are today, I feel as if we have always know each other maybe not in time but place, if that makes any sound reason to you. Thanks for this beautiful story, I am going to ask my kids to read this and see the power of love in all its beauty it is a true lesson of strength and bound of love...

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Denise, In my emotions I forgotten to thank you for your kind link , you cannot imagine how proud I am to be connect to this powerful story and history...

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author avatar Prasul Surendran
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Good story and quite emotional !

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author avatar Buzz
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

That was a great story, Denise! It touched me deeply. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Maria Malone
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Denise what a touching story, your brother is very lucky to have a sister like you!

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Jak, I bet that was very scary. Mama told me, she was so afraid to pick me up, she was afraid she would hurt me. I hope all is well now. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Delicia, I understand exactly what you mean. I just turned to the hubby (his day off) and I was telling him, how when I read your poetry, I am always taken back to my time in Mass as a kid, I can smell the cape and taste peanut butter and fluff sandwiches, my auntie's favorite thing to feed us starving kids. So yes, I do think we are connected in place. I hope I asked you if I could use your poem, I already sent it in and then I thought of that. Delicia, I hope you know now, I am serious when I say, your poetry really touches my heart because, it does. It was my honour to use your beautiful art. Thank you for your kind words hon and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Maria but, I am sure he might not think that daily, I do have to be the warden of sorts. Billy, take your meds, Billy do this, Billy do that.LOL
But you know Maria, it all works out in the wash and he understand I am only doing what is best for him, in the long run. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Prasul for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Hey Buzz, thank you my friend for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar saurik
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

I don't have enough time to read this quite long story now.
At least i have something to read later.
Thanks for sharing dear.

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Well thank you saurik for taking the time to hit me. I am glad you will wait though, as I have a few typos that need to be fixed. Just waiting for Mark to resubmit it. Thank you for stopping by my friend.:)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Denise, so wonderful of you to share these difficult stories.

I have added it to Facebook.

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author avatar Denise O
22nd Jun 2011 (#)

Aww Thank you Mark for supporting me and helping me in so many ways. You are the tops! Thank you.:)

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author avatar A.R.Treadway
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

My brother is bi polar also, i used to stick up for him all the time as kids. good job on this

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author avatar ppruel
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Denise this touched my heart so deeply. Your approach is one of a kind. You are a strong woman that people who are connected to you will be proud of.

Denise my prayers for your dearly brother Billy.

I submitted your wikinut profile link to Google news feed and to Bing news feed for indexing. And what ever you updated here will be indexed automatically for their crawlers to crawl. My simple gift for making me cry.

I also sent off the article to twitter and facebook. God bless you and the rest of your family.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Such an intense and powerful story.

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author avatar Carol
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Denis this story is lovely, and I can see similarities to my own life. My elder 2 children were Phil's saviours growing up. He also suffered from epilepsy, but it is now controlled by medication. How frightening a seizure is to watch! You are a gutsy young lady, what a great sister to support him, and in spite of your dad, and his drinking, there was love from other members of the family. I was very moved by this, and your star is well earned!

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author avatar Songbird B
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

An amazing post by an amazing Lady! My sister in law is bi-polar, as is one of my friends, so know how difficult this can be at times with the highs and the lows. You brought tears to my eyes too, my dear friend. I am so honoured to call you friend...Bless you for watching over Billy...

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

A.R., you are a good sister. I hated having to fight, I just hate violence, I grew up with so much of it but, I also have that mexican temper I inherited from my Grandma Jacob. I hate injustice with a passion. My brother was never given a chance by the masses when we were growing up, so I just lashed out. Oh the abuse just got worse as we were growing up. I am sure you also experienced a lot of this growing up. Thank you hon for being there for your brother, as you know, they need all the support they can get. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

ppruel, thank you my friend for all your support and exposing my story to others. So many others go through this and we all should be speaking out loud about it so, just maybe. Some one will read this and think, am I just like those other kids taunting that young man, am I?
You are a dear friend and have been supportive of me from the get go and for that, I will always be grateful. Bless you and yours my friend. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you James for your kind words. Coming from you, it means a lot. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Carol, you know I have read your lovely stories of Phil and the rest of your family. As my first year here on Wikinut approaches, I really feel as if we are family. I cried every time I read about Phil and the obstacles he and you have had to overcome together, it has touched my heart in so many ways. I thought of you and Phil, more than once while writing this story and I am sure I will all through this series. Yes, we were and still are loved by a few. Billy and I hold on to them dearly. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

Songbird, I just know your sister-in-law and your friend are lucky to have you in their lives. You have such a peaceful and loving heart. I will not say it is easy, as it is not but, with the a bit of help from a great team, you can manage it all. Thank you for being well, you. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar deepa venkitesh
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

you are a wonderful woman, God gives responsibilities only to such people, god bless you.

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author avatar SiddiQ
23rd Jun 2011 (#)

My prayers to Billy, Densie O. Well done!

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author avatar Denise O
24th Jun 2011 (#)

You are so kind deeps. God bless you and yours. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
24th Jun 2011 (#)

Hey SiddiQ, it's been awhile. Great seeing you hon. I hope all is well. I thank you for the prayers for my brothers. I am sure when I tell him you have so graciously gave them to him, he will return the favor. I know I have. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar SiddiQ
24th Jun 2011 (#)

Yup, it's great to be back!

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author avatar Denise O
24th Jun 2011 (#)

Glad to hear that my friend.:)

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author avatar saurik
24th Jun 2011 (#)

I am really proud of you Denise.

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author avatar Denise O
24th Jun 2011 (#)

Awww thank you Saurik, what a kind thing to say. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar THARA RAJEEV
24th Jun 2011 (#)

Very interesting........

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author avatar Maurice G
27th Jun 2011 (#)

You have the mark of a top rated writer ! Eccellent stuff.
Maurice

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author avatar Denise O
27th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you Maurice for being so darn kind. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar wonder
28th Jun 2011 (#)

It is the mad who bring about peace and solace. Bravo and what cute/handsome personalities!

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author avatar Retired
28th Jun 2011 (#)

Wonderful. Thank you for sharing this story and Bravo for your star~

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author avatar Asghar Khan
28th Jun 2011 (#)

Denice, first of all, I would like to reply to the comment you left on my article ! It is pleasing surprise that you have been on wikinut for almost a year. Second, the moment I read two of your articles, I don't regret to follow you at all. You made me cry on this story. This reminded me somewhat of John Donne, the famous Metaphysical Poet. He went through the same stages as you did. And I could actually feel and couldn't stop the tears flowing down my cheeks. You are such a brave woman. Hats off to you, Denise. And surely, the reward is awaiting. Stay Blessed, my brave lady !

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author avatar Asghar Khan
28th Jun 2011 (#)

Also, Billy must be a lucky man to have a sister like you. I wish and pray that he gets well,miracles do happen! Billy, stay blessed,mate !

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author avatar Greenfaol
29th Jun 2011 (#)

Billy is very lucky to have had someone in his life like you and your Grandpa. You are a very brave lady to have stuck up so much for him and taken on so much from such a young age. I hope you have each other for a long time to come xxx

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author avatar Denise O
29th Jun 2011 (#)

Awww Thank you dear. I am also very lucky to have him. Even though he can make me mad at times but, what siblings doesn't do that huh.LOL
Norma, we all have our obstacles and we all deal with them. Sadly, people have made Billy's hurdles even harder to get over but, he is trying. It is a daily struggle at times. Billy and I also have my Dan, he has been a wonderful brother in law to Billy and a great supportive hubby to me. Okay I must get back to work. I am on the finishing touches for this last article. I am in the dreaded proof reading flippin stage and waiting for the casserole to come out of the oven for (as I call them) the money shot...the one at the bottom.
Thank you hon for once again taking the time out for me, I really needed a friend at this time and of course, you fit the bill to a Tee! Lubs ya. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Jun 2011 (#)

Awww Thank you so much wonder for your very kind comment and as always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Jun 2011 (#)

Asghar, what a very kind message my friend. Yep, it is almost a year but, a great one it has been. Once my kids moved out and I did my job making them into two fine adults, I just sat here twiddling my thumbs. A friend told me about this site and I thought, why not. My formal education is very limited. The last grade I completed was the 7th grade. I know most would not admit that but, I do not hide from facts, they are just that, plain and simply facts. I have always been one to seek out as much knowledge as I can and I am a fast learner (well except with math, I hate math!LOL), so I have been taking this time as a college course in writing. With the help from some very good professors on here, they have helped me acheive more, than I thought I ever could have. I still have a lot more to learn and for me, editing my work is the biggest pain but, I get through it all. Thank you for taking the time out to read about my brother and I, I really apprecate it. Bless you hon. Thank you.:)

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author avatar Tranquilpen
29th Jun 2011 (#)

You wonderful , special, dearest friend of all, me, in particular. How could we even for a moment have wondered about your loving, caring qualities.MWA! :-))

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author avatar vpaulose
30th Jun 2011 (#)

Nice story. Thanks a lot my dear Denise. I miss you nowadays.

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author avatar Denise O
30th Jun 2011 (#)

rama devi nina, thank you for your kind comment and as always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
30th Jun 2011 (#)

Tranquil, thank you for a very kind message. One thing I never lose a abundance of is love. You ought to see me around ym grandson, I am a puddle of loving mush I tell you. LOL
Thank you my friend for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
30th Jun 2011 (#)

Thank you vp, I know I have not hit a lot of your articles, I am so sorry. I have just gooten over a bad and I mean a bad virus, that had me out for 3 weeks, running fevers. I am now recooperatrng and I hope to be back in full force soon. With my muscle disease, at times it is the recovery after a sickness that hits you harder, than event he virus did but, hang in there, I will be back full force soon. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Val Mills
9th Jul 2011 (#)

Family relationships like yours are so special and call for a lot of strength. Thank you for sharing this story.

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author avatar Retired
10th Jul 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing this, Denise. It is a heart-wrenching story that touches me deeply. May I also thank you for mentioning Delicia's beautiful poetry. I'm glad that her art and my photos are able to remind you of your home in New England.

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author avatar Lord Banks
19th Jul 2011 (#)

Thank you for such a personal glimpse. A great article worthy of the best praise. LB

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author avatar Denise O
19th Jul 2011 (#)

Thank you Mike for your kind words my friend. I was honored to be able to use y'alls art, it really hits me deep in my soul. As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Denise O
19th Jul 2011 (#)

Thank you Lord Banks for your kind words, it was my pleasure. Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Neha Dwivedi
21st Jul 2011 (#)

very touching story....it really moved me to tears

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author avatar Denise O
21st Jul 2011 (#)

Thank you Geeta for your kind words. Also, thank you for taking the time to stop by.:)

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author avatar Spicy
25th Jul 2011 (#)

Very interesting share. Thank you Denise

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author avatar Denise O
29th Jul 2011 (#)

Thank you spicy for stopping by.:)

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author avatar barbara bethard
29th Jul 2011 (#)

beautiful and sad and gorgeous ad horrible
I dont like your Dad
I dont like my mother either or m hubby's mother (and shes dead) because they were all abusive....
but with free will and Gods love i also believe all of us end up with the people we choose and who choose us in order to learn all the lessons we need to learn in this short time
some people choose NOT to learn then
but you Denise, you were there for your brother becuase you chose to be before you were all born...
I know/free will/quite a philospical discussion
here is an easier one..
you get back what you give to the universe times three
many prayers for you and Billy..wonderful article...

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author avatar barbara bethard
29th Jul 2011 (#)

oh forgot to tell you...I was born in 1953 in b'ham al
left in'79 vowing never to return/went back to al in 1995 with hubby and our 2 kids katie and David Wyatt
came back to our heart home/Tucson Az/ in '09
again vowing never to return
but i am very blessed to have been in Al those last yrs of my fathers life...and to be with him in Sept '08 when he died.. but thats it, no more dadgumit!! where are you?.if i may ask

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author avatar Denise O
29th Jul 2011 (#)

Hi Miss Barbara, I live in Phenix city Alabama. I have lived most my life across the chattahoochee, in Columbus Georgia. Before then, we traveled here there and every where it seems. My dad was Air Force. Phenix city is mid state, on the Georgia border, next door to Ft. Benning. I am so sorry your mom and your husbands mom were abusive, it takes so much from us kids, just bit by bit. I think that is why I have always hated to wait and see, kind of things. The not knowing is a big thing with abused kids. Do I say hi or dont I. The just not knowing what that day will bring when the monster is home, is more than a child should bear.
Other than just traveling through, I have never been to Birmingham. I believe God placed me where I am for that reason also, Mama and Debbie just didn't have the inner strength to do it and so God sent me. Now do not get me wrong, My mama was a great person, she just didn't have the strength and you know as well as I do, in the 60's there just was not places for women to go, if they were being abused, especially women living halfway across the world from their home. Billy is still with me, he has been living with my family and I since 95 and yes, I am still as bossy with him.LOL
I made a promise to our sweet mother I would always take care of him and that is one promise I will not break.
I have only been to Az. a few times, traveling around, looking at the sites. A beautiful state. I am so happy you have joined wikinut. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Humza
28th Aug 2011 (#)

There I am reading again a page of ur life yet very precious, emotional and moving!
It really amzazes me the way u have held up urdels right into the face of problems and difficult phases in life with unbelievable strength, courage and determination to overcome them and strike back again to have a good day!
That is what always leaves me inspired that how (touchwood) one can be so greattt and that is why I call u the IRON LADY and u have always proved worthy of the title or maybe more than that!

Billy is lucky I was so engrossed in ur life's billys chapter that I juust wanted it to continue, now heading to the next part!
thnx alot for sharing! :)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Humza, you are a absolute dear. Thank you for your very kind words, they do mean a lot to me. I find a lot of people that have had obstacles thrown their way, do the right thing. I will not say I am perfect by no means with it all but, I do keep on trudging along, inspite of some problems I have had to endure. I know so many more people have had and still have it worse than I do and that always keeps me humbled. I love the title of 'Iron lady' and I thank you for giving it to me. When times get tough, I just remember what my good friend Humza said about me and I then just carry on. Your words do mean a lot and I am grateful for them. As always my friend, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Humza
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Densie its ur efforts that make ur readers appreciate u and that appreciation is not for flattering but like for example I am, i do it just to say that how did u manage all this i mean I sometimes scream out, is she a normal human being or what is she???

And just to show what I feel, my admiration and amazement I communicate u all this and it automatically reflects appreciation!!

And its also to tell u that densie u really did a splendid job, keep it going!!!

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author avatar Denise O
15th Sep 2011 (#)

THANK YOU SO MUCH MY FRIEND. I AM STUCK RIGHT NOW, AS MY COMPUTER FRIEND A FEW WEEKS BACK. i AM USING MY SON'S LAPTOP, EVERY TIME i USE IT, I MESS SOMETHING UP, THIS DAY BEING NO EXCEPTION, NOW I AM STUCK ON CAPS. LOL
THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WRODS MY FRIEND AND AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY.:)

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author avatar Socrates
31st Aug 2011 (#)

Very inspiring story by the lady that i admire.Thank you Denise.

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author avatar Denise O
15th Sep 2011 (#)

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND WORDS ASHUTOSH. I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL I GET MY NEW COMPUTER SO I AM ABLE TO VISIT MORE OF YOUR WORK. I JUST CAN NOT TAKE A CHANCE WITH THIS COMPUTER, SORRY. THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY.:)

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author avatar TBruff13
11th Oct 2011 (#)

It is a great story. Society can be mean. I am a CMC student at my High School this means i go to a special room for help with small issues, and I see kids come in there crying sometimes (at one point I was one of those kids). People need to grow up usually people with disabilities are the brave just to get out of bed and face the taunts every day. It is not good enough to taunt someone all through school and then 20 years later the bully just says yeah im so sorry I made your life Hell. Your story is truly inspiring, and I hope that Other people will see it and change there ways.

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Oct 2011 (#)

I am sure you see some very sad things going on in schools. One thing that has never changed, sadly. The saddest thing of it all is, I have seen teachers turn a blind eye to bullying, it just gets my dander up so much, when I see adults let it happen. I too had to deal with bullying and then to see my what my brother went through, you know I have no tolerence for it, what so ever. I raised my kids to be better than most, to accept those that are differnet then you and to celebrate their uniqueness. I wish more parents did this. That is how we change it, one genration at a time. Maybe in our life time, we can see a difference with most. I do hope and pray this does help others, even if it means they must look in the mirror and see they are the ones being the bully. As always my friend, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Cindy Eliza Vaz
22nd Nov 2011 (#)

Hi Denise,

What an amazing story shared.

I too, am "Slow" :)

I have always had trouble grasping what was taught in front of me and also what was written in the book. I never was a great student.. :)

My dad never gave up on me.. In fact he bought me my first book - Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Wood. I was hooked on reading after that.

Because of my dad, I overcame the obstacles and bullying and taunts. I graduated in 2008 with a Degree in Law and I have never seen my dad so proud. :)

He passed away in 2009, but that great man is never far from my thoughts :)

Regards,
Cindy

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author avatar simplyoj
15th Dec 2011 (#)

Hi Cindy, thanks for sharing your story. He never died, actually very much alive because he lives within you.

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Truer words were never spoken simploy. :)

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Cindy, I am so sorry I am just getting to your message. It has been hectic since I finally received a new computer, to get things rolling but, I will. Please bare with me. It just warms my heart to no end, that you had your dad there to encourage you to press on and not to let any thing stand in your way, I applaud the guy. That is what fathers are suppose to do but hon, not many really do. I just hate seeing bullying in the schools. When our nephew came to live with us, he went to a good school but, there was also a bully at the school. When we first went to the school, I noticed this kid knocking the hats off of all the kids heads. I knew right then, this was the bully. A teacher just walked by, not saying a word and the kid would laugh even louder at each hat was being smacked off of the others heads. I was so dumbfounded in why this teacher would allow this to happen and just walk by. We had taken Andy to his classroom, met his teacher then we went to the principals office. I told the principal what happened, he knew exactly whom we were speaking of and he said to us "Well, we try but, he just keeps on doing it, we have tried everything. I said, "No you have not, because, he is still doing it.". Needless to say, I made the principal mad but, this should NEVER be tolerated in any school. A few days later, my son drove Andy and I to his school. I walked with him to his class and sure enough there was the bully, pushing a kid into the wall. I sneaked up behind him and when I got just behind him, I yelled "What are you doing boy!". Oh my gosh, this freaked him out, he jumped and all the kids laughed. At first he was mad and then he too had to start laughing. He and Andy became good friends and I never again seen this boy act out. The next year, both of them joined the football team and he had taken little Andy under his wings and they were the best of friends. See, there are things we all can do to make these kids stop. Most of the time, kids are acting out in school because, of the parental (or lack there of) guidance they receive at home. This boy just had to learn how to laugh at himself and then he became the class clown and not the class bully. I am so sorry for your loss, know you must miss him so much but hon, the legacy he left is top notch. Thank you for sharing part of your story with me, it just makes my day. May you and yours, have a Healthy & Happy, New Year! Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar simplyoj
15th Dec 2011 (#)

Thanks for sharing your great story Denise. You have a great love and heart. You are much blessed.

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you simploy for your kind words. It has been a pleasure to let some of this out, to be perfectly honest. I thank you for taking the time to read it. You are so right my friend, I am very blessed. May you and yours, have a Happy & Healthy New year! As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Judy Ellen
16th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you for this heart warming story of your life. You are an amazing person and I am sure your mom felt blessed to have you as a daughter! I too grew up with a dysfunctional family so I know where you are coming from!! Grand parents are indeed a huge blessing in our lives!!

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you Judy for your kind words. I feel my mama was proud of me. I do miss her so much. It has been hard trying to help Billy cope with our loss. Mama passed in 2009 and it still is playing havoci with Billy from time to time. Mama was everything to Billy, so it is a hard one for him to digest. We are working on it though and I do see we are starting to get things in prospective for him. I am so grateful for his counselors at his school, they are top notch and they help me in every way possible. I am so sorry you too had to deal with abuse while growing up. I find it either breaks you down or you rise above it and turn out even better than you were taught. I am sure you are one of those that has risen to the top. Oh geesh yes, my grandparents were the normalcy that if not for, I would probably have turned out like one of Billy * I's other siblings. Thank you for taking the time to check out my page. May you and yours, have a healthy & Happy, New year! Thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar D in The Darling
16th Dec 2011 (#)

Beautiful piece of writing. Thanks Denise O.

And back coming to my article,
The truth is; you really didn't have to apologize. The fact that you did, speaks volumes of your personality. I've always held you in high esteem and with this side of you that you've just shown me, I can assure you; you've gone a notch higher.

You're a great friend and no difference of any type of opinion whether cultural, religious or political should tear us apart coz we're not there when they formulated those divisive ones. We can come up with our own cultural, political and religious views that can bring us even closer.

Are we free or not?

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you D for your kind words about my article. D, this is how I feel, I read what I wrote and I knew as soon as I did, it was not right and that was all it had taken for me to change it. Some times when we leave hundreds of messages, one just might not come out just like you expected it would. What was in my head, was not what I had typed on your page. Bottom line, I was wrong. Of course we can find so many more similarities, than we can find differences. I actually love that we are different around this world, it makes for a more colorful one, right. We are all good my friend, you are a great guy and a wonderful writer, amongst other things. You keep that beautiful smile shining for all to see. May you and yours, have a Happy & Healthy New year! As always, thank you for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Dec 2011 (#)

What compassion from such a young age, Denise; yes, we find strength, difficult to expain, but sometimes we just cannot resist any longer. What sisterly love to last a lifetime! And to experience so much injustice at such a young age and still find balance in life is really remarkable. I pray for others too facing the brunt of injustice. And that too those too young to react or understand them - siva

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author avatar Denise O
29th Dec 2011 (#)

Oh Siva, I am with you on this, I too pray that one too many kids that live this kind of life, find the strength to carry on. Mama always said "You are a fighter Denise, you have been fighting since birth.". You see, I was almost 3 months premature. The doctors gave up on me but, Mama never did. Sure enough, even after they gave me my last rights, I decided it was not time to go yet. God agreed and here I am, 48 years later. Billy and I are going through a lot right now, it is the holidays and he misses Mama so much, to the point that he has been very depressed. His counselors at school have been working very hard with him and us here at home, I noticed yesterday Billy has kind of broken out of this depression, so maybe he will get back to the swing of things. I pray he does. Yes my friend, let us pray for those that are now dealing with so much injustice being thrown their way, may God please give them the strength to over come all obstacles that are now in their lives and may they not let any break their beautiful spirit, amen. Thank you for taking the time to come and read my page. May you and yours, Have a Healthy & happy, New year!:)

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author avatar M. Kari Barr
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Well written personal experience...not something I am very adept at. I look forward to part two...

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you M. Kari Barr for your kind words and for stopping by.:)

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author avatar Katherine Johnson
1st Aug 2012 (#)

This story has got me all teary eyed and I have to go to the grocery store but I am going to read the rest when I get back. Thank you for sharing it because I had an alcoholic parent too and I know exactly how you feel.

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