Not doing so well.

I can’t even handle a full post today, so I wrote a prose poem.

Death and Madness

David died a week ago today.

He was my ex-brother-in-law.

It was a horrid crash.

I heard odd stuff at the wake and

the funeral.

Secret things I’m not really supposed to know

about, but people share with me anyway.

Like about how incredulous

David’s mother was at how

my sister was always abusive towards him

especially after the divorce,

and even accused

him of molesting their daughter,

but was

crying buckets

as if she was his best friend

in the whole wide world.

His mother said “I thought when she remarried,

she’d leave my son alone, but she kept hurting him.”

What do you say when it’s your sister

who did that?


All I kept hearing about at the memorial

service was what a “good guy” David was, even

though there were people who told a different story

(meaning the lies my mother and sister told).

And how much he loved kids and was kind

and funny.

I know this to be true.

But I felt pain and discomfort for what my

mother and sister had done.

My daughters took his death a little hard,

especially my littlest one.

My oldest thought he was “an amazing uncle”

but she bounced back okay.


It’s been a hard week, but my sister

and her kids are doing fine.

Kids are resilient, everyone says.

My sister keeps posting stupid inspirational


on facebook,

but I know how malicious she is when she doesn’t get

her way.

I come from a family of sociopaths


I have been regressing in the past 12 hours.

I forgot how to function.

I realized I don’t know what to do.

i’m feeling hungover–

not from the wine I had last night


from the grieving.

i feel so heavy

i don’t feel like my skeleton can support my weight

i’m sitting in this chair but i feel like i’m going to fall over any minute

into a puddle of fleshy goo

my mind feels like it wants to float away


I forced myself to shower.

I got dried but I spent time walking

around my house naked,

until I got cold.

I don’t know what to do.

Maybe I should call DMC* and schedule

A few sessions of EMDR.


I don’t know where those ACoA people’s phone numbers are.

There is one person I think I could trust

I keep thinking of David.

He and my husband looked a lot alike;

more like brothers than David’s brother and he did.

My soul is tired and

My brain doesn’t want to cooperate.

There’s a shamanic healer I could try

That does soul retrieval.

It could be a bunch of shit, but who knows.

I feel like I’m lost.


K.C.  2.10.14

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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9 Responses to Not doing so well.

  1. ksbeth says:

    i am so sorry to hear about how challenging this whole situation is. it is amazing that you were able to post at all, but your words perhaps helped you to wade through it all, and they were very sad and heartfelt. hugs ) beth

    • Casey says:

      Thanks ksbeth. I was writing parts of this all day long.

      Writing keeps me grounded, a little bit.

      I feel like life is on “pause” right now. I know I will bounce back too, once I figure out how to hit the “play” button again.

      It’s a bit of an existential dip in energy and meaning. I know life goes on. I just can’t believe how far the reach of my family dysfunction has affected other people. I can’t believe I come from such cruel people. But I have. And it really bothers me sometimes.

  2. I am sorry to hear about this, Casey. Ugh. I haven’t gone through something like that, but I can only imagine the pain you are feeling, and how you are trying to reconcile your memory of David and the hurtful words surrounding him and his death. You mention the spiritual lesson in this, and it may not be evident right now. The wound is still fresh – the lesson usually comes a little bit later when we come from a different place.

    My prayers to all. My condolences.


    • Casey says:

      Thank you, Paul.

      It means a lot to me.

      I was trying to reconcile those feelings, along with the feelings of guilt and shame of still trying to remain connected to this dysfunctional family of mine. I wonder why I am sometimes, but I do have to remind myself I am trying to keep my daughters connected to their cousins.

      I’m working my way, slowly through the Adult Child of Alcoholics book. I had to miss my last meeting since it was the night of David’s wake and before then, the snow interfered. I still have so long of a ways to go and I know my intense feelings of today are due to the unresolved guilt and shame of the childhood dysfunction. I’m hoping, in time, as I work the program, I’ll heal that pain and not be knocked on my fanny like this.

      I started feeling better after my daughters came home from school. My daughters’ science projects were presented at school and they both did a good job, so it was nice to hear that. I was also able to get started on a few new art projects. I’m planning to do more tonight….

  3. Our dear sister Casey,
    We are fully on your side.
    We come from TWO families of sociopaths.
    We are still so downtrodden, we cannot yet share nearly enough of what we have been going through all our lives.
    But we are at it, and you are not alone; we can help each other hit that “play” button again in our beautiful hearts.
    Leon is commenting elsewhere in your blog soon.
    Loving you dearly, Leon and Plutonia

    • Casey says:

      Leon and Plutonia,

      Thank you so much for your loving comment.

      In my healing journey, I found this wonderful book, just a few weeks ago. it’s called Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood by Wayne Muller.

      I found a review of it here:

      “Using illustrative material from the Old and New Testaments, Buddhist and Sufi wisdom, the author reveals how “family pain broke us open and set our hearts on a pilgrimage in search of the love and belonging, safety and abundance, joy and peace that were missing from our childhood story.” Muller uses 12 chapters to probe how specific wounds of childhood can be positively appropriated for spiritual growth. In addition, he presents mindfulness meditations designed to deepen and expand the links between each psychological wound and the renewal of the soul.”

      I found that in my forays to one of my local thrift shops, and I really believe I was meant to find that particular book. I’m slowly working my way through that.

      I am working through a recovery program with the Adult Children of Alcoholics 12 step program. But it’s hard. My faith in God/a Higher Power had been shaken because of the spiritual abuse that I’d received – it didn’t help that I came from a Catholic upbringing and my husband a Protestant one and our families were pressuring me fiercely on how we were going to raise our daughters (right now, I solved it by not going to church).

      I also have A Course In Love, but I’m not yet ready to delve into that just yet.

      I remember too much. I find that many people in my recovery group don’t remember much of their childhoods, but I do. I wrote a lot of it out over the years, much of it in letters, but with the intention of documenting what happened (I guess I was an amateur historian, as well). I still have letters, too, that my husband saved, and that was given back to me by my first love, that he kept when I wrote him while he was in the Navy. Four years of letters he kept and gave back to me, before his girlfriend of the time found them (she would have destroyed them).

      I had written this in this post:

      It wasn’t just childhood trauma I’d been affected by, but relationship trauma too.

      My husband also had a binge drinking problem and depression (and, quite frankly, had a few suicide gestures using his handguns, the last of which sent me into shock and gave me (more) PTSD), and because of my childhood history of being in an alcoholic and narcissistic home, I didn’t handle it very well. When we had our daughters, the cauldron of intense emotional dysfunction boiled over.

      The past and the present get all jumbled up sometimes. I’m sure you know what that is like. It can be quite distressing.

      I’m still trying to repair my mind and keep my heart open, and though it’s difficult sometimes (I have days of obsessing over the painful things and feeling so sorry for myself at what was lost to me), I know I don’t have to look to hard to find something beautiful to photograph, to create, or to write about.

      Thank you so much for your kindness and your encouragement.

      I hope you find something to help you both in your journey in my space here.

      Many blessings and much love,


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