In my quest for peace in my life, I have started to consider what could have happened in my life to make me so flat in my relationships with people. Working backwards, the most significant event that has happened that changed my personality in a very profound way was the death of my father in July of 2004.
Actually, “death” may be too tame of a word, it was not as if he quietly passed from a lengthy illness, he did not die of old age, and it was not as if he even died in a violent car crash that somehow took our family by surprise. No, he died at the hand of my mother in what would be one of only 9 murders in Reno in 2004.
When I look back on the day that I found out about the day of the homicide, I remember it as if it was yesterday. I was at work when my younger sister called to tell me. I called my then husband to ask him to come pick me up, but then I continued working, as I was in the middle of an important journal entry and could not stop. The co-workers around my cubicle had heard me on the phone and came to offer me comfort, but I did not allow myself to be comforted, I just continued working. When it was time to leave, I knocked on the conference room door where my boss was in a meeting with the plant manager and some corporate officers, poked my head in, he responded gruffly, as I had interrupted… I stated, “My mother just shot my father and I have to go.” Then I left for the day.
Over the next several days, I was with my family as necessary, but worked when I needed to as well, never breaking down once.
The next several months were hectic, my brother, sisters and I, along with our families all spent our evenings and weekends remodeling our parents’ home so we could raise money for bail to get our mother out of jail and to put on a proper defense. Additionally, I had just started back to school, so was attending every Saturday.
The following spring (April 2005) the murder trial began, and things were more hectic. I worked full time, took nine credits at school, and attended the trial 40 hours a week (working at night to complete my work and projects). Meanwhile, my marriage was falling to pieces and my children thought I was a horrible mother, but that is another story altogether. Still, I handled everything with professionalism, never breaking down, and managing to earn A’s in school.
When the trial was over, the sentencing complete, and my marriage in chaos, I felt more mature, more weathered, more grown up. However, I do not think I felt all that different that I ever had before in my interpersonal relationships. So, in my quest to determine where my affect for being flat with people began – if I am ever able to delineate that exact moment – I do not think it was that event.
Although, that was a crucial period in my life, defining other traits I still hold onto.