Since I have relocated to Chehalis, Washington, from Portland, Oregon, about two months ago, I have discovered that my being here has been triggering symptoms in my daughter.  Before I moved here, I asked my daughter if she thought this might happen, and she was certain that it would not.  Well, I know now that her certainty was premature.  It’s not that she and I spend all our time hashing over old stuff.  We don’t.  But sometimes one of us will ask the other a question about that dark time thirty-some years ago, and then we remember.  

So when she told me the other day that she had been really depressed a few days ago for no apparent reason, I listened but did not comment.  When I questioned her yesterday about this, though, she admitted that the flashbacks, the nightmares, and the other nasty PTSD symptoms which she thought she had conquered had, indeed, been popping up with a lot more frequency since my arrival.  What to do?  

Luckily, yesterday I had an equine therapy appointment.  I didn’t get to work with the horses, but my daughter, the therapist, and I managed to accomplish something more important, the formulation of a plan to help my daughter.  When we left the therapy ranch, my daughter and I felt that a plan was in place and help would be coming.  In other words, my daughter now has hope that she will get the help she needs to alleviate her symptoms.  

In the process of formulating a plan to help my daughter, I told the therapist that of the two of us, my daughter’s help was more important than mine.  She agreed; in fact, she looked at me and said that I was really doing just fine.  As she said, for personal growth, therapy is always a good thing, but at this point, my daughter’s need is far greater than mine.  Okay!  I’ll go for that!  Let’s do it!

The problem is that helping my daughter get the help she needs and deserves is not going to be easy because she is on Social Security Disability and has just Medicare as her insurance.  She has no backup insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t cover, and she doesn’t have the money to make up the difference.  Does this sound familiar?  I’m sure that my daughter’s situation is not unusual.  The therapist who does the equine therapy does not take Medicare–not because she doesn’t want to do that, but because her particular license is not one accepted by Medicare.  And because my daughter has no backup insurance to pay at least part of her therapy, she cannot afford treatment.  Dead in the water?  

In this case, there is hope, thanks to the fact that this wonderful and dedicated therapist is willing to help us figure out a way to get my daughter the help.  As it stands right now, we are all doing our research.  We will come up with something, and just that thought helps give my daughter a reason to see the situation as a glass half full rather than the reverse.  

I, however, am having trouble managing my anger!  Those of us working so hard to help my daughter, including my daughter, should not be using our time, energy, and life doing this!  Why not?  Because the abuse that has caused her all the misery should never have taken place!!  We all know that!  At the very least, the perpetrator of the abuse should be paying to repair what he so remorselessly broke!  I say “remorselessly” because a few months after I turned him over to the police, he chided me for “overreacting” to what he did.  “Overreacting??”  When he used that word, I realized then that I had been married for twenty years to a complete stranger, a person I did not know and a person who had a totally different set of values and a view of life that he had kept secret from me.  Hearing him accuse me of overreacting, I felt sick to my stomach.

Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for my ex’s crime has long since lapsed.  In addition, several years after his hearing and after he had “copped a plea” and had finished his probation, he was able to get his case dismissed, as if what he had admitted to doing had never happened.  Also, unfortunately, my daughter sued him during the mid-90s, won her suit, and then signed a paper saying she would never take legal action against him again.  So we are left now to regroup and figure out a way to get her the help she needs and wants.  Yes, I’m angry!  

I’ve learned, though, that anger cannot be an end in itself–not for me, at least.  I must harness that anger energy and make it work constructively.  I’ve done that a lot in the past.  Now I need to do it again to help my daughter heal.  As Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers sing, I have “One More River to Cross.”  (