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.

20 Responses to What Broke Me

  1. Crap, I should have held out and put my memoir comment here! If you ever start getting twitchy about sharing things to the world in your memoir, don’t. I recently was a guest speaker for a book club that had chose my book as a read. The chapter that I was terrified to leave in the book was actually one of their favorites.

    Welcome to the world of memoirs and exposing your soul to the world. It definitely takes balls. Congrats to you.

  2. I, too, was assaulted at a young age. It has taken me nearly 20 years to put it behind me. Like you, I was not broken by any of the people I was with excepting one. I was “broken” for many years. However, I found peace and solace in a Buddist community in my city, and it has been the most healing thing for me. As you know, having read my blog or parts of it (it is getting unwieldy), I also have manic depressive disorder as well as anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD. It makes for an awful lot of lemonade πŸ™‚ But I make the most conscious choices that I am able to make life work. Don’t ever be afraid to write something unpleasant. We all have unpleasant things in our lives, the key is to remember it is past and not something you can change. However, you can change the present and the future. That keeps me going.

    Thanks for following my blog πŸ™‚ It is appreciated. The more people know and understand that we are “normal” people with a few more challenges, the less afraid of us they are.

  3. Thank you so much for following me. You have an amazing life story, bizarre but in a good way, of course! Looking forward to your memoir.

  4. fastingamy says:

    Thank you for following me, the way you seem to stand up now after everything you went through is inspiring.

  5. Cripsy13 says:

    Hi! First of all, thanks so much for ‘following me’ – I’m fascinated by some of your situations – life can be a challenge, but writing about it and letting it all out – is not only therapeutic for you – but for everyone else reading your stories. Carry on!

  6. Deb says:

    Thank you. I have struggled with whether to share a certain book with the world and now I am going to take your example and go for it. I believe it will help me heal and perhaps help at least one person have the courage to get out of an abusive relationship before it kills them-then it would all be worth it. Remember, even if you’d been there, you couldn’t have stopped it, the perpetrator would have worked around you being there. My dad was there and he couldn’t stop it, I never held him accountable and have always loved him for all that he did to help me after…

  7. Jessica says:

    Wow, crazy story. Life can be so hard… I’m glad to hear things are looking up for you…

  8. I am a former prosecutor and sex offense cases were the most difficult to handle. Those who did had a calling for it. Good luck with your memoir.

  9. ProsWrite says:

    I am in awe of you. Keep writing!

  10. sherrimatt says:

    Hello to you from me and thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the follow. Reading your blog here I can see that you have come through so much and I wish you all the very best for your memoir πŸ™‚

    • Hey, thanks for following and sharing. There are many lessons in life. How we respond and choose to move on is up to us. You have a zest for life because you are ALIVE! Keep living!

  11. wendysmullin says:

    Thank you for visiting and following my blog! Your story is truly an incredible testament of strength found in getting up and looking for what you can do to help others. May you continue to have the strength you need as you move forward. The world loves people like you!

  12. photobycraig says:

    Your strength and resolve are amazing! I am happy to hear you are better now and that your memoir is moving forward! keep up the great work!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for following! πŸ™‚

  13. Taylor Ross says:

    Thank you for following my blog! I admire the honesty and authenticity with which you are telling your story. I can see there are many elements that may not be easy to share, and you’re doing so with incredible courage. Writing a book is not an easy endeavor (I know from experience!), especially when the material is so close to home. I have no doubt your writing journey will help you be free from your past, and the words your share will make a difference for those who read them.

  14. tiffanyrgray says:

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing. You have a powerful story and I truly admire your courage and honesty. There’s something about writing the truth that has an irresistible pull on others, I have no doubt your book will be successful.

  15. Thank you for following me, JJ, and thank you for the time and thought you have put into your blog. It is a wonderful gift of honesty and reflection.

  16. Shift Local says:

    Your brave to share this, and we’re thankful that you put a stop to that predator.

    Very interesting insight to a scary world, please keep up the blog!

    • J J Gonzalez says:

      My name is Iris. I was his girlfriend. The reason I am writing to you on James’ Blog is because I wanted to let all his bloggers know that he has passed away on Saturday, December 21, 2013. He has died of an pneumonia. His body was found in his apartment by his best friend Jay Valerio on Monday, December 23rd. He never mentioned to anyone that he was ill or feeling ill. It has been a devastation to me and all his love ones. He was my best friend and the greatest guy you could ever meet. I pray everyday that God has him in his Glory.

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