Tommy And The Computer

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

It’s already August, and soon summer will be over. I had a dream that Harry and Reilly had disappeared, and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I was running through the house, through the woods and down by the river. I woke in a panic—sweating and my heart exploding—I could hardly catch my breath until I saw the outline of their forms next to me and heard them both snore—Harry’s is slower, deeper and more forceful than Reilly’s gentle little snorts—and that night it was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. I guess some therapists would call that an abandonment dream—the fear of being abandoned. I saw so much of it when I worked in the emergency room as a nurse—young women fearing their abusers and wanting it to stop but also terrified to be abandoned by them. “He’s loving and kind and is a great dad when he’s not angry. He says he loves me and will never do it again.”

In some cases, the idea that love could be withdrawn was more painful than the battering. If the victim was abandoned and left alone, then she would be loveless and unlovable. In my novel, Claude says to Katie, “Nobody would want you. You’re used merchandise,” and on some level she believed it. In her case, that belief had come from her own childhood where she couldn’t develop herself and was treated like a beautiful but inferior object raised to please. I wanted to show the pattern of abuse and how it repeats itself over and over in different forms.

Now, back to getting my message out. I have to do more work on Facebook. I have two Facebook pages, and in the beginning it was a mess. I was posting articles on the wrong page, I didn’t know how to delete or edit them—talk about panicking—I felt like I was losing my mind. I went on Google for answers, called friends and got a young kid from the high school to come over and help. “Tommy, I’m desperate. When can you come over?” I’d give him a sandwich and a glass of milk, and he’d usually say, “No problem, Mrs. Bennett. This is easy. All you have to remember is that the more personal stuff goes on your Fan Page and the serious general articles go on the other one—see?” “Write it down for me, Tommy, so I remember. You’ve been doing this a lot longer than I have.” “Yup, only since about first grade. You’re doing great, Mrs. Bennett. Don’t worry, I’m always around to help you get the word out. You’re doing a great thing.”

Take good care of yourselves,