Remember Linda? I wrote about her in “Confessions.” Harvey and I took this disturbed teenager into our home because Harvey believed that with a stable environment, she could flourish.
Before she came to live at our house, Linda had been living in a lean-to she built for herself in a ravine. Winter was coming and she had nowhere to live. Her mother had died, she told us. (Later we found out there had been no funeral.) She smoked and drank and with her dissociative identity disorder, and we never knew whether we would meet the sweet seductive part or the tough guy part of her personality.
If you’ve read my book, you know that the rescue operation pretty well drove me crazy. I didn’t have my own memories of child sexual abuse at the time and her anguish stirred my own unresolved depression. I finally said she had to leave.
This same Linda stayed with us last weekend. She lives in Thunder Bay, is married and has two adopted sons. She’s a wise and loving mother. Linda devotes a lot of energy to telling her story to high school children and anyone whose life she can positively influence with her own experience in overcoming numerous addictions. She is, to say the least, mentally stable.
We spent a lot of time, she and I, reviewing those terrible teenage years. She told me she figured she’d touched off some awful stuff inside me when I got so mad at her and told her she had to leave. She told me that she’d met up with her mother and had seen her with her compassionate adult eyes as a helpless, defeated woman. Linda’s children now have a grandmother.
Where did this disturbed, antisocial kid get so much wisdom and understanding?
There’s got to be a moral to the story. Never underestimate the power of the human spirit?