Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm sorry Mr. Turtle and my letter to the babysitter

So this morning, I pulled out of the garage to take Magic to Doggy Day Care for the day while the cleaners came in to clean the house. Unfortunately I hit a bump in the road literally. I ran over a turtle in our garage. Not just any turtle. The one my daughter loved because she fed him a banana this past weekend. I felt so bad. I’ve never run over anything more than a bug before. So I thought about it. Help the turtle and be late to work or go to work and just say “Not my fault.” I went with the former. I found a place in Dunwoody that works on amphibians. “All Creatures” took the turtle in. I refuse to give him a name unless he lives. I think I broke his foot and if he can’t go back into the wild at 100%, they will have to euthanize him. I feel bad but at least I did the right thing and helped the little guy. Magic made it to Doggy Day Care ok after our little adventure. My car was like a petting zoo. All we were missing was a shetland pony. I think I could have stopped at one of the schools and made a few bucks.

I left my cell number and they’ll call me with the results. Granted, this is not like waiting for my CF results or a family member’s health results but still I worry about the little guy and want him to be ok. What am I going to tell Avery? How has a four-footed amphibian lodged himself in my heart? I'll update everyone on his condition as soon as I get the word. They must think I'm crazy for calling them once already to check on the little guy.

I’m looking forward to Andrea’s birthday this weekend. She loved her birthday gift which I gave her last night. I tried to wait but I was too excited so I gave it to her early.

Man, I hate dealing with depression. I swear it’s like living with Jaws. Just when you think you’re out of the woods, it comes right back after you but stronger. I have someone close to me that is dealing with a health issue and it’s just been tough. I know that person is going to be ok but it’s been difficult. Coping with depression is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s a strange thing. I know I can beat it but there are random moments of the day when I’ll find myself doodling and it turns out I’m writing something horrible about myself or a horrible act I’d like to do myself. I’m not on suicide watch or anything like that but sometimes I’m scared by what I write. I usually throw it away immediately and try to focus on something good like looking at a picture of my family. I sometimes feel like there is an evil spirit locked inside of me, constantly trying to get out. I do my best to fight it off.

I saw my good friend Seth today. We had a good time hanging out. I have one of my meetings tonight. Andrea has another tennis match so Em is coming to watch the kids. It was so cute. Avery stayed downstairs with me while our nanny was here this morning while I was doing my therapy. Avery is ultrasensitive to noise but still when Andrea tried to take her up, she said “I want to stay downstairs with daddy.” Because it’s been tougher to bond with Avery for me than Ethan, that really meant a lot. I was not a great father to Avery her first few years so I feel like this is another step to an amazing father-daughter relationship. She means the world to me and I’m glad she’s starting to feel a bit of a bond. I enclosed a picture of my little cutie from one of my therapy sessions. See, she is starting to have a little bit of fun with it.

I finished the letter I’m going to send to my babysitter in a couple of months. I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts:

Dear “Babysitter”,

I don’t know if you remember me. I’m hoping you do. About 30 years ago, you beat the absolute crap out of me on several occasions and threatened to do harm to me if I ever told. I never told, but fortunately my mom saw that I was in pain and discovered the red marks all over my backside. I kept this quiet for a long time but I never got closure so today I’m getting it. You really hurt me and affected my life. That stops today. During the time you were beating me, I was having other childhood traumas including finding out that I wasn’t going to have a very long life thanks to my cystic fibrosis. I sometimes wonder if my depression started with the things that you did to me.

You, being a father, must know how hard it is to trust anyone who takes care of your children. Imagine what your actions did to my parents. Imagine what they have done to me now that I have kids. I am never telling people who you are because I’m hoping that you have changed or at least feel bad about what you did. I wish you well and do not expect an apology. This wasn’t done to make you feel better or worse. It was done so I could get over the acts of 30 years ago. It was done so you no longer had the upper-hand. It was done so that the kid who had his life threatened could finally fight back. Mission accomplished.
I’ve said my peace.

Andy Lipman

Thanks everyone for letting me share. Fight the good fight.





  2. Andy, I'm with you all the way. thanks for sharing your journey including your letter which carries much grace. there is so much to life and today's blog is yet another example: from turtle to drafting a letter to the baby sitter.