What Broke Me

HappinessA hug from GODWhat Broke Me

In April of 2006 my daughter told me that a year before, a new member of her family had raped her in her bedroom in the middle of the day. She finally told me because the predator was harassing her mother, my ex-wife, and her boyfriend. She needed my help to put a stop to it, and I did.

That same month, my wife and I had a daughter, and my emotions were all over the place. Every time I took care of her, I felt helpless and my heart ached for what my daughter had gone through. I blamed myself for letting that big bad wolf into her life.

My daughter’s rape broke me — something that the Colombia Cartel and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency)
didn’t do. I just couldn’t forgive myself for not protecting her.

(Although this was not in my thoughts at the time, I’m told that my daughter’s rape probably also triggered my own pain at being molested as a child.)

I ended up in the hospital in Sept. of that year with major panic and anxiety attacks and depression, which continue to this day. I had pneumonia twice in one year. The second one left me with a hole in my left lung. I had a slip and fall accident that broke my right wrist and herniated my fourth and fifth back disc. I also had a cancer scare for a year when doctors found a 2-inch ball in my colon.

Today, I’m happy to say that my health is better. My panic and anxiety attacks are less frequent and severe, I’m recovering from the fall, and I don’t have cancer. I’m choosing better people in my life. And, I’m trying to forgive myself for not being there for my children.

I’m making lemonade with the many lemons of my past, and finally letting go of all of those dark memories that keep me from LIFE.

Excerpted from my forthcoming memoir, The Baggage Handler.

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21 Responses to What Broke Me

  1. there is always something quite amazing about the human spirit. It begins with yourself and the desire to see a better tomorrow; positive changes in the midst of problems. One day at a time, keep pushing time heals. 🙂

  2. So sorry to read this…but so glad you’re healing!

  3. amediablogger says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the pain and suffering that you have been through. I am glad your life is falling back into place. Time is the best healer. I wish you the very best.

  4. thank you for stopping by my blog and liking it, that gave me the chance to meet yours and i gotta tell you: “So sorry to read this…but so glad you’re healing!” just as Travel spirit said… but i hope to see you soon w joy and happiness

  5. dyandiamond says:

    Bless your heart. You are so brave and I am inspired. Thank you for sharing your story.

  6. therapisttee says:

    Touching story. I found your site because you liked my “Grief and Loss” article. But I’m glad I did because I see faith and courage between your words. I said this to someone yesterday “Pain is like a bank account, it deposits qualities into us when we least expect it.” Somehow, in a strange way, we reap “benefits” from pain and often this is a more humble, loving, understanding, and mature spirit. I have said a prayer for you. 🙂

    All the best!

  7. I have found that talking and writing about my painful experiences gave me power over them. I’m thinking you will find this to be true for you as well. In fact, I no longer have a need to revisit those old bad feelings and memories. I share my experiences with others because I know it helps those who are still struggling as I once was. You are a healing light and the light goes both ways — out to others — and back to and around you. PEACE-

  8. clairet893 says:

    I am so sorry for all you’ve been through, but I’m glad to hear it has made you stronger! You are an inspiration and you’re story is a testimony! God has come through for you because he loves you. And guess what so does your lovely daughter! Please don’t blame yourself, there’s no way you could’ve known. I’m sure she knows that, and that you love her and will protect her from the evil in this crazy world we live in. Keep the faith, it overcomes all! God Bless and all the best!

  9. hastywords says:

    We are super hero’s…

  10. blwclark says:

    I love this piece. I hate the journey your daughter endured, and your ensuing trauma. However, the level of honesty and authenticity is what I love to read in a blog. Life experiences are our journey. I have many similarities to you, and I honor you for the hard work you have done to prevail and to grow. P.S. thanks for following my blog as well!

  11. Otrazhenie says:

    So sorry to read about all the pain you and your older daughter went through. Both your daughters are so lucky to have such a wonderful dad as you are. Take care of yourself and don’t blame yourself for whatever happened in the past. You can’t change your past and as the saying goes, “You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re always thinking about yesterday”.

  12. marsgyrl says:

    WOW! Now that puts life in perspective for those of us worrying about dumb shit like what to wear to work tomorrow!

  13. sophist6 says:

    Those things that ‘break’ us, actually do more to heal us and make us better people. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  14. J says:

    To go through all that you must a real SHIT. That’s Super Hero in Training 😉

  15. Salambo says:

    A reader’s view: I feel as a reader that your story is not developed enough…you gave a few facts but didn’t develop on the emotions that come with it….how did you help your daughter and could you help? Was the ill-health that ensued related to your feeling of being powerless or was it triggered by your own memories of being molested as a child?…we would like you to develop on all the emotions you went through at once……to give it some literary qualities….:)

    • J J Gonzalez says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Some of these themes I’m addressing in future blogs; others need more space and development than I think a blog post can deliver, so they will be addressed in the book. I do thank you for your feedback and interest. JJ

  16. wildinvirginia says:

    You say you were not their for your children but I disagree. What happened to your angel could have happened anywhere, school, church 3 with family members you had no reason to mistrust. It’s a terribly sad and unfair thing that happened to you both. But far from not being there, you were. You believed her and you acted to protect her. You have no idea his many spineless, gutless people don’t because they can’t face the consequences. You saved your daughter … when she’s old enough to process this, she’ll know that.

  17. SooSooSees says:

    The anger and hurt a parent endures when a child is molested/bullied/discriminated against/etc. is an opportunity to comfort the child and tell them it’s not their fault, and turn those strong emotions into positive energy that helps others. Your own experience and blogging about both events helps. I pray that you and your daughter find healing and peace.

    p.s.: Thank you for stopping by my blog.

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