Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Too Much to Think About, Final Part

Listening to: Thelonious Monk, Live at the Five Spot

This is where the story gets really sick and twisted.

When I moved in, almost the first thing that was asked of me was what could be done about my dad's drinking (since we have different last names, no one's confidentiality is being compromised). My advice was that the next time that my dad was out of control, call the paramedics and have him placed on an emergency hold. In less than a week, that's what happened.

While my dad was in detox, my brother and sister-in-law persistently pumped me for information, information that I would not give them. Even though I explained that due to confidentiality laws, I could not even acknowledge anyone's presence in the place, they would not give up. Finally, out of exasperation, I explained to them that if I did tell them something and it somehow got back to someone that I had breached that confidentiality, not only would it get me fired but I could, by law, be fined and/or jailed. My mistake was giving them that single piece of information - the particulars of the confidentiality laws.

Several weeks after Zeke was mauled by the dog, my brother got his revenge for "me" having his pet destroyed (actually, it was out my hands, it was judge who decided to euthenize the animal). My brother and his wife convinced my parents that I had revealed information regarding my father's case and they all went to my employer to report their lie. When I went in to work my shift that night, I was called onto the carpet and placed on administrative leave. I was fired the next day.

Of course I place a good part of the blame on my former employer. Instead of standing up for me and investigating a completely groundless claim, they apparently went to Risk Management and were advised that by firing me on the spot, the organization would forgo any liability. After my parents realized how stupid and wrong they were, they attempted to get my job back but were completely ignored.

And yes, I don't know if I can ever forgive the betrayal of my parents. They repeat again and again that they don't know how they allowed themselves to be swayed by my brother and sister-in-law. They have offered a little financial assistance but the entire past year has found me falling deeper and deeper into debt.

Being jobless and broke isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the heartbreak every time I look at Zeke's scars and how soon, this will be his story to tell. But Zeke is such a joyous little man, so full of life, so beautiful. And soon, I know I will be past this situation, not just working, but back in my field.


GraceD said...

Jim. I am at a loss for words. I'm rarely at a loss for words. And here I am, stunned. Blown away. Upset.

I wish you all the luck in the world. I wish you a job, security, happiness, healing. For you and your beautiful children.

Anonymous said...

Um, wow. That about sums up my coherent thoughts right now. To say I'm so sorry would seem trite and meaningless, but wow. What else do you say? Thank you for sharing your story and your life with all of us.


Laura said...

Words are hard to say & express after hearing everything that you & Zeke & the girls have gone through. I only wish that from here on out; that the wounds are eventually healed over time. My prayers are with you and children, for 2005 to be a better year. Don't give up, you will get through this. You are a wonderful father and you will find work again.

crystal said...

Just curious but what kind of dog was it? My niece had almost the exact thing happen to her,she's 4. However it was my dads dog who did it because she was playing with his food (Rotwilers (sp) don't like ANY one touching their food. She had surgery like your son, about 200 stitches. The scars will heal, hers have wonderfully,the only time you can tell she has scars is when her face is cold. I hope everything starts to look up for ya'll. In my prayers


Phil said...

I'm stunned by your story, but it reminds me of how frequently this kind of thing happens (both the dog bite and the crappy sibling).

My kids both hate dogs. I don't know why. Maybe because their first experiences with dogs involved hyper licking puppies. In a way, I'm glad, because I hear about dogs biting kids almost every single day. Last year a neighbor girl of 9 was bitten in the face by a supposedly friendly dog. Her face will be forever scarred.