The month of May marks my fairly ‘official’ date (at least in my mind) in which I was thrust into the field of pathology – totally without consent, without warning, and without return to the normal life I knew before May 13, 1983. Thirty years ago, my father bled out in a grungy gutter in Cincinnati after a psychopath plunged a knife into his aorta outside of his jazz club. I was initiated into a victim-hood that would turn my life and career in a direction I hadn’t much interest in before that particular day.
Much like pathology in anyone else’s life, you don’t get to pick how it plays out in your life. The best you can do is to learn how to ride the rollercoaster that goes along with the serious group of disorders in pathology – as I have done. Thirty years later I still feel like I am just skimming the surface of what can, and should be done in education, awareness, survivor services, and advocacy in dealing with pathology. Thousands of pages of writing books, newsletters, websites, workbooks, e-books, quizzes, hours and hours of lectures ad nauseam, over a thousand hours in broadcasts, both radio and television, stacks of CDs and DVDs created – and still we are in the infancy of a new understanding about pathology. It is the virtual edge of just beginning what someday will be a momentum marker that shows ‘when’ the world turned a corner for a better and very public understanding of pathology.
We’re not there yet, but the day IS coming. Every new blog that goes up, every newsletter, every website, every talk, every social networking post, every private moment of your knowledge shared with another victim, every coaching session, every class taught, every therapy hour, every group gathering, every prayer muttered, every radio show aired, every celebrity living it and bringing it to notice, every TV show featuring it, every newspaper or women’s magazine article taunting it – is another message to another ear that has heard the message. You learned it because someone cared enough to make sure you learned it.
Every May 13th, for the past 30 years, I have halted my existence to remember that life-altering second when my life went from being a normal everyday life – to a life of being a homicide survivor. This is when my reality was ripped through by pathology – a disorder so conscienceless that altering history is just another day in the lives of the pathological. While my pathology story includes a brutal ending, yours no less, includes something similar – all the things lost in a moment of deep betrayal – the kind of betrayal that only pathology can bring.
If I don’t brighten up this newsletter, I’ll get complaints about ‘too much reality’ or ‘too much negativity’ so, I will say this – while none of us ‘choose’ to become survivors at the hands of very disordered pathological individuals, what we ‘do’ with what we were dealt is up to us. Every so often I like to send a message to you that encourages you to ‘pass it forward.’ Whatever you have learned from the magazine, the newsletters, or the books, is probably more than the woman who is sitting next to you knows. You don’t need to wait until you ‘understand’ it more by taking a class, getting a degree, reading another one of our books, or taking our therapist training – that doesn’t help the women you sit next to at work. The knowledge in your head is life- saving to her. Next year ‘when you are better trained’ isn’t the year to share what you know – today is!
If we want to move from living on the virtual edge of changing pathology education in the world, we have to open our mouths and tell what we know. Every pathological hopes you DON’T do this – they hope you keep what you know to yourself. So many women that have shed so many tears had said, “If I had only known… I would have left earlier, I wouldn’t have left my children with him, I wouldn’t have _______.”
Every May is a time I renew my commitment to what changed me. Every May I bother people with my message and prod them and push them to make victim’s rights and survivor education important in the world. If I don’t, the image of my dad laying in that gutter haunts me. His death should never have been for nothing – and as long as people have been helped, it hasn’t. Frankie Brown has touched so many lives with his death through the message of psychopathy. You’re one of them! Help me celebrate my father’s death anniversary in a way that brings meaning and hope to many. Tomorrow, share what you know with just ONE person – someone that you have felt in your gut needs to know about the permanence and the pain of pathological relationships. Then email me and say ‘I passed it forward’ so I can count up how many people celebrated Frankie! If this email offended you, I’m sorry. Pathology offended my entire life.
Thank you for growing in the knowledge of pathology so you are prepared for the day when you can give someone the life-changing information that you’ve come to know!