Category Archives: Coping

Displaced Blame and Focus….

My father is always in the back of my mind. I feel that he is always here with me…. watching over me. I think it is the reason that I push myself so much in school. I just want him to be proud of me. He is always a part of my day. Of my life.

Today, nothing really profound happened to me. But it got me really thinking about my dad…. and what happened to him. Everything in the media lately demonizes cops. Demonizes people of a certain race or religious background. Not individuals. The media demonizes guns. Not the INDIVIDUALS who use guns to harm innocent people. I suppose it hasn’t only been in the media lately…. but it seems more prevalent now than in the past. Maybe it is because I am older now and am more exposed to mass media. I don’t know.

My father was murdered. I do harbor a lot of anger, even to this day. But not toward a group of people, a “race” of people. And not toward guns. My anger is directed at the man who took my father from me. Toward the individual who chose to get high on crack. Toward the individual who chose to murder my father. He made the decision to pull the trigger…. not once… not twice… but six times. I do not blame guns. I do not blame crack cocaine. I blame a man who chose to get high. I blame the man who used the gun to kill my father. I don’t blame the people of his “race” (there is only one race… the HUMAN RACE… race as we seem to classify it is a social construct… Not a biological construct. Look at the racial distinctions in the U.S. versus those in Brazil). I do not blame the individual’s faith (Christianity) which was brought into the defense’s case to show his character. His faith did not kill my father. To me, we as a society are not putting enough emphasis on the individual and the actions he or she chose. We should put more emphasis on the individual. Hold the individual responsible. Not sensationalize the individual’s race or weapon he or she chose to use. Blaming the instrument the individual chose to use redirects the blame away from individuals. Should we then call for a ban on all vehicles because people are killed by individuals who hit them with their cars? Should we then call for a ban on knives? Lighters? Alcohol? We have already criminalized crack cocaine, meth, heroin, etc., but does that prevent people from obtaining and using it? Those who are going to commit a crime are going to do so in spite of laws. That is what makes them criminals. We cannot displace blame on inanimate objects. Nor faiths. Nor should we focus on the social construct of race. We need to hold individuals accountable as individuals and leave it at that. Is racial bias a problem? Yes. But do we need to focus on it and sensationalize it in our media? No. Is religious bias a problem? Yes. But do we need to focus on it? No. We need to focus on the individual.

I have chosen to focus on the individual who destroyed my life. The individual who ripped my father away from me before my life even really began. Before my sister’s life even began. I blame the individual who took so much from me and my family. The individual who lives while my father does not.

Yes, I harbor a lot of anger. But toward the individual. Nothing else. No one else.


Finally Putting it to Words… Attempting to Get Through it…. With Copious Amounts of Wine…. Part 1

I think now is a good time to delve more into who I am and what I have experienced in my life to make me the person I am today. Many of my friends don’t even know the entirety of the story. Only bits and pieces. The general story. Minimal details.

When I was 15 years old, I experienced the worst day in my life.

(I am in the second row next to my sister who is on the left. To the right of me are my uncle and my grandfather.)

The day my father was murdered was the day that my childhood died.

My father was a deputy for the local sheriff’s office. He had worked there for seven years.

It was June 22, mere days after my dad’s birthday and father’s day. It was a hot summer day. I woke up in the late morning hours. My summer vacation had just begun. I was heavily involved in the Medical Explorers group in my town. We were scheduled to work as the first aid responders in the local founder’s day celebration. My father had left for work earlier in the morning after attempting to say goodbye to me, a sleeping teenager (which was pretty much a lost cause. I love my sleep.). Needless to say, it was unsuccessful.

My mother dropped me off at the event a few hours later. We did not receive any first aid needs from the public, but to pass the time and to make some extra money for our group, we painted children’s faces for a miniscule fee. 25 cents for a simple design and $1 for a full face. I had painted several faces, rather horribly (I actually made a child cry when I showed him the mirror after I had finished. He had requested a Barney the Dinosaur on his cheek. I had obviously failed miserably. Mind you, it may have turned out more like a purple blob with white dots for eyes. I have never claimed to be an artist, nor have I ever claimed to be good with children. Yet, I was forced to attempt it.).

After a lull in the customers, my fellow Medical Explorers and I became bored. To alleviate the boredom, we began to paint each other. I received a gecko on both thighs from two different co-Explorers. Whilst we were all having a heated debate about which gecko was better, a patron in line stated that a woman was yelling “Erika” from across the street. It turned out to be the Medical Explorer’s director.

She was at the pay phone (for those of you who are too young to know what that is, it is a phone that was fixed to a location that you put money into to make phone calls. This was before cellular phones were prevalent. And said booths were rather plentiful. I have seen ONE phone booth in the past year. I find that odd.).

Curious and a little scared, I approached her and the phone booth. She was frantically attempting to contact someone over a bad connection. I could not make out what the hell was going on. She then asked if I knew a Deputy Something or Other. I did not know the name. I just knew it had to do with my father. I collapsed right there and then. I knew what had happened. I didn’t want to believe it… but I knew.

I was crying hysterically on the  pavement in front of the phone booth when a  patrol officer’s car pulled up into the lot in what seemed like it was all of a sudden. It was likely several minutes later. The officer asked if I was Erika. The director said I was indeed Erika. He asked if I knew what had happened (due to my state of dismay). I couldn’t answer. All I could do was just cry hysterically while rocking to and fro. What could I say? I couldn’t put my fears to words. How could I?

My sister’s boyfriend had accompanied the deputy for a familiar face. He stepped out of the vehicle and looked at me, and I knew.

The Medical Explorer’s director asked frantically, “What’s wrong? What happened?”. Then the deputy confirmed my fears… While attempting to get me to stand up and enter the vehicle, he stated that my father had been shot. The director asked, “Is he okay?!”. And then he uttered softly and hesitantly, “No. He’s… He’s dead.”

From that moment I had become a shell. A zombie. That was the moment that I died. I felt nothing. What could I feel?

(This is all I can put to words/blog for one sitting…..)