Catherine: A Shattered Doll


At age 5, I was raped by a neighbor of whom I have no recollection. My depression began at age 5 and continued. As a child I felt sad, the result of my father’s anger; he physically and emotionally abused me for many years. This violence followed me the rest of my life, in my marriage, relationships, and a second marriage. I was a “broken doll” that no one could fix. I left home at 16, determined later to return home (but there no longer was a home, just a house). I felt lost, but God had given me one gift that still holds today. DETERMINATION! (that would clothe this “broken doll” through much more). Each stage of my life I was determined to get up again, not willing to wallow in self-pity or defeat. After 22 years of marriage, having four beautiful children (and now six beautiful and loving grandchildren), my life fell again. My husband was the only person I had ever trusted, and he forced me to divorce him, against all that I believed in. He thought he would leave the “shattered doll” but instead I went forward, never to look back, having had three years of college, a great job, and my children with me. the more stress, the more I stepped up to the plate. With a series of events – my son-in-law’s death in ’99, the death of my ex in 2000 (with my children trying to drag me to court for the money the insurance policy he and I both worked for, and was granted to me in the divorce papers along with his retirement) – another blow! this time deep depression grabbed me, and instead of being broken, I was shattered. then began suicide attempt after suicide attempt. My children were the world to me, and I had no explanation for their behavior. other than they were 19, 24, and 25. Looking back, I’m glad I made the decision to just let them have “their money” and I worked on forgiving them. Determined to continue in spite of my depression. (I really did not want to die, just wanted the pain to go away). I met a man who changed this “shattered doll” permanently. I was severely beaten in the head and finally choked, causing anoxia. I lost three jobs in one year, couldn’t remember anything, you name it, I was struggling. My daughters thought I needed to be hospitalized, as “Mom just wasn’t quite right in the head.” of course the depression made matters worse. two attempts to have me committed for a time, one was successful, and I admitted myself on two occasions. Looking back, losing the ability for reasonable employment broke me totally. I am useless if I must depend on my children, especially if they have no understanding of what has happened to me. I didn’t understand either. they were determined to drug me, with no love or respect. I was alone. But, I had other plans. Not quite 50, I was too young to live this way. I began to house clean for others, get an apartment. It didn’t work. Physically I was exhausted. the journey began, and I went into the garage at home, took a gun, and aimed at my heart. I wanted to die, let me out of this torture! No! I was still alive; it was not a bullet, but bird shot. PAIN!! Just what I wanted to escape.

The end result was someone cared enough to order an EEG. FINALLY!!!! I have never had a day since where suicide entered my thoughts. After 2-3 years of therapy, and special people along the way, my family who now understands what my behavior was about. the depression is light, but controlled. the reason this shattered doll is finally a “smiling doll” is I finally learned about and was able to accept my head injury. Instead of wasting away, God gave me something to enjoy more. I am able to paint, flowers usually (I am an avid gardener). I enjoy each and every day I am alive. When you stare death straight in the face and realize you are going to be okay, you can’t help but enjoy even the smallest blessing. Praise God I am here! For my children, grandchildren, and the special people I meet along the way. I continue to challenge myself, improving on another part of my brain to compensate for the damage. I’m positive, after testing, I will continue to improve. My memory is almost what it was before the violence. Some will never get better. I will dwell on the good and let the rest go. the most important, before the close, I want to thank my caseworker who believed and encouraged me. She didn’t have the answers to my problem, but she helped me realize them. That is very rare. Thank you, Lois!