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The thing about biographies, and memoirs is that you're the only one who really knows what your life is like, or what it was like. People may think they can walk in your shoes, or that they wear the same size, but in reality ... no one really does. Or can. My story ... my life ... isn't that different from someone else's who was in the same situations. Just different names and places. I grew up a military brat, packing and moving every few years. I also grew up in a dysfunctional family, which for the most part, still is. Maybe because of military life, maybe because of how my parents grew up ... who knows really how far back you can trace these things? Especially since most of the time no one realizes that there is any dysfunction until someone is finally aware enough to step out of the box and look at things from the outside.
I was that person in my family. I was that person who even when I could identify the problem, still found myself in an abusive marriage for 11 years because of how sneaky and devious emotional abuse can be. It's not a bruise you can see in the mirror or cover up with makeup. It's those little digs and jabs, those hints and threats that when you hear them the first few times, they don't sound that bad. But when you hear them day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year ... they sink in. They become more than skin deep. They pierce your heart and your soul until you no longer know what is true.
When I first published this book in print form, there were people who left comments that cut just as deep as those digs and jabs did years later. People who said I should have done this, or done that, or been this, or been that. People - one even a veterinarian - who accused me of not spending enough money to save the life of my dying pug.
I was crushed and in an instant, I was right back to being that insecure woman nine years into an emotionally, verbally, psychologically, sexually, and physically abusive marriage who didn't know what was true anymore. I took the book out of print, took it off-line, and questioned who I was and what I had lived.
But no more because those people who wrote those words didn't walk in my shoes. They didn't know. They weren't there ... and they were wrong about me.
To that vet who felt I should have spent more money ... I hope that any of your patients that saw what you said changed vets, because it should never be about how much money you can spend ... it should be about what is best for the animal. I spent nearly $3,000 trying to make my pug comfortable, knowing that there was nothing I or anyone else could do to "save" her. My commitment was to her, not to my vet's profit line, and the vet that I had was in full agreement. We were working towards quality, not quantity, and the day I made the decision to let my pug rest, it was made knowing that it was my pug's choice, not mine. Because I respect life. All life.