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For twelve years Amelia Corbin struggled to rid herself of the Black Cloud. "Is this life all there is?" she asked herself. Then, in the midst of her divorce, she was faced with the devastating news of her son's death. In her despair, she sank further into her Black Cloud of depression and drifted from others. Picking up the pieces of her shattered life was not easy. This is her inspirational and all-too-true tale.
Fractured Lives - New Beginnings contains the message of hope and a life worth living. Life is a journey. Each phase of our lives can be a learning experience that can either enrich our lives or destroy us, depending on the choices we make. Each of us holds the key to survival. The onset of panic attacks is what sent Amelia Corbin on her journey of survival and self-discovery. Her story tells how she and others have courageously persevered and found their way through the adversities in their lives. What was the key to their survival?
I was only twenty eight years old, and dying . . . and no one cared. I couldnít breathe! Panicking, I gasped for more air. I was suffocating, and was beginning to feel dizzy, for he was choking the life out of me. I began to hyperventilate, then the darkness took over and swallowed me up . . .
ďNo, thatís not what you said. Iíll tell you what you meant to say,Ē he shouted as he banged his fist on the kitchen table.
I was having another panic attack. These scenes were becoming more frequent and these attacks were now overpowering me, and were beginning to take control of my life, for I was in another no-win situation. At age twenty eight, and after ten years of an unhappy marriage, it was either fight or flight. I began to fight . . . fight for my life.
My husband and I were contemplating a divorce when we decided to seek a marriage counselor. My husband was certain that I was the culprit in the breakdown of our marriage, therefore he dropped out soon after the therapist had confronted him with his role in the breakdown of the marriage, thus we drifted further apart. Prior to therapy, I too felt I was the one who was responsible for our breakup, for he always had a certain knack of being able to keep the focus off of himself whenever there was a disagreement between the two of us. He succeeded in confusing me by maneuvering the conversation around and focusing his attention on me, becoming critical and judgmental with telling me that I was being unreasonable, selfish and inflexible. He would frequently manage to twist and interpret whatever I would say then lecture me on what he thought I meant to say. Heís not hearing what Iím feeling. His frequent sarcasm would cause me to feel that I seldom did anything right. Feeling responsible for the failure in our marriage, I continued with therapy, hoping to resolve the problems that had been plaguing our marriage. It was only when I began to focus on my feelings and needs, rather than attempting to understand my husband, that I began to obtain insight and take charge of my life. I was surprised that our marriage would deteriorate even further when I began to apply what I was learning.
All of my life I had molded myself to fit in, but I was now being more independent and assertive with asking for what I needed and wanted in my marriage. My husband did not like this new me and would continue to remind me that I was being selfish, controlling and inflexible. For ten years I vacillated between my old self and my new self. Growing up was hard to do, as the more I grew in my attempts to go forward with my life, the further we drifted. When I began to make steady progress, some of my friends and family also drifted from me, so I too drifted, drifted back into my old role and into myself and the black cloud. It was futile for me to continue with therapy because I kept backsliding. I was stuck . . . I was not ready to let go.
My hand was frequently groping for the door knob for I could visualize serenity on the other side. I would see myself lying alone on a white sandy beach, listening to the sounds of the oceanís rhythmic waves gently slapping against the shore, and every so often there would be a seagull squawking in the distance . . . it was so peaceful. I wanted so much to be able to walk over to the other side, but whenever I would grab that knob to open the door, I found myself holding back . . . I couldnít walk out the door. Something was keeping me from doing so. Why canít I walk over to the other side?