Dumbass Independent Award

Dumbass Independent Award

Friday, August 15, 2014


I'm still L.J. Holmes and this is Part THREE in my ongoing tribute to ROBIN WILLIAMS and why I KNOW the depths of the depression he battled, but had a little easier time THANKS to 

Robin and his 

amazing humor.

I ended my last installment with the fact I was a straight "A" student. For most people that would prove to be enough of a positive it'd counter-balance my deepening feelings of inadequacy...

I've already shared my mother's weapon against her depression...alcohol...and my father's...rage...especially rage against females.

Neither of my parents made it past the seventh grade. I think they were both suspicious of education and Leary of me...someone who got excellent grades easily. I never took a note, found memorizing a breeze, never studied for tests but always earned "A's" All three of my brothers struggled for their C's...when report cards came out and they'd earned a "C" or two it was cause for celebration...my "A's were scorned and any pride I might have taken in them, was ridiculed. 

It confused me when classmates spoke of getting $10.00 for every A they got because their parents felt my classmate had done something spectacular..In my house, with the exception of my grandmother...Nonnie and I shared a bedroom..SHE celebrated my "A's" by teaching me about her favorite thing...growing African Violets. 

I was so very proud she trusted me with these precious plants...To this day I KNOW if I had not had Nonnie guiding me, loving me those first eleven years of my life, I would not have survived what was to come.

When Nonnie died, I knew when the phone rang. A part of my soul shattered that day.

While mom answered the phone I made my way out to our pool and began weeping from my soul. 

Aunt Charlotte, the wife of Nonnie's son, and mom's brother, came marching out, her arms pumped up and told me to stop acting like a baby. 

Nonnie was better off dead so get over it. 

Not to me...

Nonnie's death ended the last vestige of my innocence...the last buffer between me and a my parents battles with their depression...

It began almost immediately with dad informing me...since I was the only FEMALE child, it was now my responsibility to keep mom sober...talk about setting someone up for constant failure...especially since Dad was giving her alcohol behind my back. (Dad liked her drunk because then he could get away with...ohhh bringing bar waitresses home to have his way with and rub my mother's face in his disdain for her, after getting good and hammered at a bar somewhere in Philadelphia.

I was 13 when I caught him...that taught me to never get thirsty at night and come down to get cold water from the fridge. (Dad was not happy I caught him...yet secretly I think he really was...)

This opens the doors on a period in my life I'm 100% certain Nonnie would have been severly disappointed in me.

My parents liked booze. Dad's booze of choose was scotch...Mom's was 4 Roses whiskey. I'm not sure exactly what motivated them to conduct their contest with me at the center...but for the next few years they "urged" me to drink their liquors of choice both wanting me to end up liking theirs best.

I became a teenage alcoholic. Dad would come home and pour me a glass of scotch encouraging me by toasting every sip, daring me through narrowed eyes to suffer the consequences if I didn't lift my glass and guzzle right along with him. Mom was equally cunning...waiting till dad fell asleep in his chair watching TV before handing me a glass of her favorite drink. 

Mom would use "if you love me, you'll like my whiskey. Daughter's are supposed to love their mother's best, so show me I'm your best...drink!"

I wasn't strong enough to fight them...I became an alcoholic and in doing so let down the memory of Nonnie I held close in my heart. Instead of JUST failing at keeping mom from drinking I was now being pickled in the competition between my parents and, now, my own alcoholism.

I hated it...but the competition between my parents for my soul had just begun.

I hated it...and yes...I hated them...but I was still Catholic...

How do you go to bed at night hating your parents when you're Catholic and not spend the night wide awake afraid you'll die in your sleep with the cardinal sin of having deep and dark thoughts of hate for your parents being the last things roiling inside your mind before sleep pulls you under? 

Would I wake in the morning and sigh in relief because I hadn't died with hatred of my parents...the parents determined to claim popularity over my drunk body and mind delivering me into ETHEREAL and ETERNAL hell?

I wanted to die...but suicide is a cardinal sin too...I was too afraid to end my sorry existence but racked with pain knowing I had stopped living up to the honor my grandmother taught me...

Could it get any worse...?

This HAS to stop Part Three...I need a chance to prepare myself for where Part IV will take us...so

I will remind you all why I am doing this...

Robin Williams could not find his way out of the dark cyclone of pain his depression spun within him...I was not brave enough to end my nightmare...was he brave?...or did the rest of us, his fans, his friends, his family fail him? 

I cannot fail him now. I MUST try to honor him now the only way I can...

I AM an author...I've won awards. my short story about a journey beyond the veil, choices I needed to make there, and why I'm still here, 
LIFE'S JOURNEY is $0.99 at my publisher MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, INC bookstore, 

Amazon.com and where fine e-books are for sale...

To honor Robin's legacy I am going to donate 100% of my royalties for all sales of this book for the rest of 2014, and donate the proceeds in ROBIN'S NAME to the National Suicide Prevention Help Line and Help.org.

My name is L.J. Holmes...I am sharing MY story so you know I DO understand the depths of Robin's pain and want to do everything I can to in HIS name to keep these two agencies going to help a future sufferer of insidious depression.

This concludes Part Three...

I have made a promise to Robin's memory, my Grandmother, and my own sense of what's right and wrong, to return with Part Four and continue sharing my 

surfboarding ride through Hell's BIG ONES.

So till then, thank you for coming back...and thank you for helping me make Robin's legacy happen.

Helpguide Logo

Suicide Warning Signs
Talking about suicide
Any talk about suicide, dying, or self-harm, such as "I wish I hadn't been born," "If I see you again..." and "I'd be better off dead."
Seeking out lethal means
Seeking access to guns, pills, knives, or other objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
Preoccupation with death
Unusual focus on death, dying, or violence. Writing poems or stories about death.
No hope for the future
Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and being trapped ("There's no way out"). Belief that things will never get better or change.
Self-loathing, self-hatred
Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Feeling like a burden ("Everyone would be better off without me").
Getting affairs in order
Making out a will. Giving away prized possessions. Making arrangements for family members.
Saying goodbye
Unusual or unexpected visits or calls to family and friends. Saying goodbye to people as if they won't be seen again.
Withdrawing from others
Withdrawing from friends and family. Increasing social isolation. Desire to be left alone.
Self-destructive behavior
Increased alcohol or drug use, reckless driving, unsafe sex. Taking unnecessary risks as if they have a "death wish."
Sudden sense of calm
A sudden sense of calm and happiness after being extremely depressed can mean that the person has made a decision to commit suicide.

Common Misconceptions about Suicide

FALSE: People who talk about suicide won't really do it. 
Almost everyone who commits or attempts suicide has given some clue or warning. Do not ignore suicide threats. Statements like "you'll be sorry when I'm dead," "I can't see any way out," — no matter how casually or jokingly said may indicate serious suicidal feelings.
FALSE: Anyone who tries to kill him/herself must be crazy. 
Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane. They must be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing, but extreme distress and emotional pain are not necessarily signs of mental illness.
FALSE: If a person is determined to kill him/herself, nothing is going to stop them. 
Even the most severely depressed person has mixed feelings about death, wavering until the very last moment between wanting to live and wanting to die. Most suicidal people do not want death; they want the pain to stop. The impulse to end it all, however overpowering, does not last forever.
FALSE: People who commit suicide are people who were unwilling to seek help
Studies of suicide victims have shown that more than half had sought medical help in the six months prior to their deaths.
FALSE: Talking about suicide may give someone the idea. 
You don't give a suicidal person morbid ideas by talking about suicide. The opposite is true — bringing up the subject of suicide and discussing it openly is one of the most helpful things you can do.


Sherry Antonetti said...

Thank you. Your Grandmother would be very proud of this gift of self.

jean hart stewart said...

This is very moving column. I'm looking forward to the next installment. You're a tremendously strong person, no matter what you think.

Lin said...

Thank you both. I WISH I was strong, but I'm shaking on the inside every moment I'm doing this.