Manual Ela: Losing Forever (Waking Forever)

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Eventually, they told Lee why they were there. Lee was there because six years ago the sins of her teenage son forever altered the course of her life. It was then that year-old Paris Bennett beat, choked, and then fatally stabbed Ella, his 4-year-old sister, while Lee was away at work.

Perhaps due to the nature of intra-family violence — where any line dividing families of victims and offenders quickly vanishes — Lee now says she flatly rejects any notion of justice that centers on vengeance. Lee still has her own struggles. She fears her son, and last year asked a judge to send him to an adult prison to serve out the rest of his year sentence.

Last year, she was arrested alongside 13 other anti-death penalty activists on the steps of the U. But Lee also speaks across the country advocating for victims of violent crime with her non-profit ELLA Foundation, named after her murdered daughter.


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Just a whole lot of suffering for anybody connected to it. Last month, she began a therapeutic writing workshop with local children of parents sentenced to prison, planning to publish a book of their stories to circulate around Texas jails and prisons. Six years ago, he killed his little sister. In the summer of , when Lee was just six years old, police found the body of her father, Bobby Bennett Jr. Although the couple had been separated for some time, they remarried just 57 hours before the murder during a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas, Nev.

Authorities eventually charged Kyla Bennett with hiring a hit man to kill her husband. By the time Lee was a teenager, she was hooked on heroin. At age 17, her mother finally kicked her out. Lee compromised, spending half on drugs and the rest on gas to get to a halfway house in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was clean for about a year when she enrolled at the University of Tennessee.

But Lee still felt the awful cravings. I kept thinking that it just should not be this hard. Lee made a deal with herself. About a month before her self-imposed deadline, Lee found out she was pregnant with Paris. In the years that followed, Lee stayed clean. She lived briefly in Alabama, where she met Jonathan Smith and the two had a daughter, Ella. Their relationship soon fizzled, and in she moved the kids to Dallas to be closer to her mother, who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Lee had been working long nights to get a concert promotions business off the ground when she relapsed on cocaine, something that deeply troubled Paris, who was then 11 years old. There, things got even more chaotic for the small family. Her dysfunctional relationship with her mother reached a breaking point. Meanwhile, Lee was still struggling to get clean. One day, while still living at the Seymour ranch, Paris was playing with Ella and another little girl when he broke a toy they were playing with.

When Ella got upset, Lee scolded her son and put him in time out. She had stepped away for a minute when one of the housekeepers shouted that Paris had grabbed a kitchen knife and bolted out the door. When Lee and her mother finally tracked him down, Paris was waving the knife at them. His grandmother managed to grab the blade, and Lee wrapped her arms around him.

Lee admitted Paris to the Red River Hospital, a nearby psychiatric facility. She grew frustrated with the doctors after having him there for a week, claiming that they refused to communicate with her, which led her to believe that they were doing little to assess or treat Paris. The facility gave Lee some basic discharge papers when she picked up Paris, and the family moved west to Abilene for a fresh start. In a statement she later gave to police, the babysitter recounted taking the kids out for Chinese food and watching the cartoon version of Alice and Wonderland before Ella went to sleep and Paris retired to his room to finish homework.

Sometime around 10 p. It was after that, according to detectives, that Paris grabbed a kitchen knife and walked into the bedroom where Ella was sleeping. When he hung up, he waited two more minutes before calling to report the murder. Paris told officers he attacked Ella while in the throes of a vivid hallucination, that he was sleeping next to Ella when he woke to a terrifying scene: a demonic version of his sister, engulfed in flames, that was laughing maniacally at him.

When he called , a dispatcher told Paris to move Ella from the bed, which was covered in blood, to the floor to perform CPR. On the call, the dispatcher tells Paris to give Ella 30 chest compressions at a time. On tape, Paris can be heard counting out the compressions. At no time did he have tears come to his eyes. Then, she read reports that detectives had discovered semen on the bed where they found Ella and inside the shorts Paris was wearing that night.

He just started laughing at me. While sweet ballad 'Viva Forever' was performed beautifully by Viva's love interest acoustically on a guitar, the audience gasped as a middle-aged man and Viva's mum murdered '2 Become 1'. And while it's a worthy effort to work their songs into any kind of plausible storyline, the remastered songs feel like they fall flat without the disco lights, feather boas and balls of the girls. The show ended on a sugary high with the cast - who had more energy than a Duracell bunny - giving it some welly to a medley of Spice Girl hits. Even Mel B's man Stephan Belafonte, a self-confessed former non-fan, was mobile.

Not dancing in his seat, he told us, just "shaking his leg". The Spice Girls were bold, brassy, sexy and spray-painted with colour - but this wasn't as OTT as we'd have liked. Perhaps it's our fault for craving an all-singing, all-disco-dancing throwback to the '90s.

We wanted to leave the theatre with our eyeballs collaged in sequins, feeling nauseous due to Baby's lollipop over-consumption, tattooed in Girl Power and flashing our bras - but we didn't. There are, of course, some fun performances by the cast and a few laughs - hell, the Spice Girls love it, so you may too - but if you're expecting a singalong, you may as well just stay at home and whack on your Spice World VHS.

And that's saying something. Type keyword s to search. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Look at the horizon and feel the water around your body. Try to think back on a moment you felt ok. Play it over in your mind. A moment like that will happen again. For me too. They just seem so far between. Thinking of you. Chin up. No Body, I see you as well. I say ocean because I have a feeling that there are a lot of us rowing around aimlessly, not knowing where to go, who to talk with about what we are feeling, looking for that one thing that is going to show us the way back to shore.

I never respond to comments. Because your words affected me. They made me feel, made me realize I am not all alone in this struggle. Someone else gets it! It may sound strange but, that thought, of not being alone, me feel so happy. Not because I want others to feel depressed and alone, but because it means I am not the only one. A beacon on the shore that is calling out to be found.

I am right there with you my friend! I have faith that we can all get to that shore.

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You are stronger than you think. I am not good with words like most of the other people that have left comments. I am hoping that by admitting that I am in a very similar boat with a major leak and no life jackets on board…I am not alone. Thank you all for sharing your comments. I have felt those exact same feelings: the lack of motivation and not being good at anything.

Then I feel guilty because I know others have problems that are real and they deal with them and still do more than I do. I have been depressed off and on my whole life. There was always someone in my life who, I told myself, would be way too devastated if I ever harmed myself. When I was younger, it was my father; later it was my kids. My father has passed away and my kids are grown with lives of their own. We are not close.


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So I continue to struggle. Thanks for your comment and being brave enough to write out what you feel. So thank you and know that, as others have said, there are a lot of us out there who feel like you do, and we care even in our own sadness. Me too. Same here!! I feel like a different person in front of others and different when i am alone. In front others I am jolly, happy-go- lucky, smart and confident girl.

But i am not like that. I act happy but im not happy. But there is no reason for me to be sad. No fucking reason. I have the best family, best friends, best grades. I am the class topper. Everyone says i am smart and beautiful. Almost all the boys in my class and bus like me. But i hate myself. I feel like no one deserves to be related with me. And i am ONLY 12!!!! I recognize this very well, and am just hovering above it. Same with me, took a year off to write and then returned to a daily job. And publishing, or writing for a living is not my idea of writing.

I am in the same boat as you. I hope one day the world will be an easier place to live in filled with love and simplicity, and less of materialistic bullshit. Thank you so much for this. Get good grades. Go to a good college. Get a good job. Get paid good money. Buy a good house. Good this, good that. This type of life just seems so fucking boring. Yeah, right. Others go aboard while I stay at home it breaks my heart. Not just about the money but something you are passionate about. Dont go to a college if you have to pay for it. Get a job an work your way up from the bottome, do online study.

The job will give you the community and chose a job you think you would like to go into that industry,. College today is a total scam because you can buy any text book you want, learn anything you want online for free. Trust me you dont want to be a lawyer or doctor, and engineers today dont need degrees, you just get one with a degree to sign off your work after you have made a name for your work. I have to respectfully disagree about college as a scam. College may not be for everyone, but a degree can certainly help you in most careers today.

Why be 10kk underpaid without a degree when doing the same work as someone with a degree? In my current line of work, I can only move up by having higher education regardless of the number of years I put in. Unless you naturally have a talent or skill set that you can earn money with, consider going to college or at least the military — I spent 6 years in the Air Force during a point where I felt my life was directionless.

My daughter is a sophomore in high school. She felt the same way as you, Teto. For years. She, in fact, opened my eyes to the absurdity of these institutions. Sitting in a classroom all day, at desks? At a young, healthy, vital age? We are an artsy family and neither my husband nor myself work a 9 to 5 job. So we signed off for our teen daughter to be homeschooled. She may get her GED this summer.

He thinks his sister is nuts. I see both sides. My son is social, and competitive, and into computers and tech. My daughter would go comatose having to play those worldly games. The key is, find your actual passions, find your confidence, and minimize distractions, escapist tendencies, and other forms of BS.

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Talk honestly with whatever adults you can trust, about your feelings about all of this. So many things we are supposed to fall in line with ARE pointless, and are not about us at all, but about the power structures that rely on you to be a good littler worker. There are many of us that have done well being creative and not following that 9 to 5 path. Connect with nature. A lot of people feel that way. It transcends us.

It is a pure expression of life. Hi I know this comment was posted a long time ago, but you mentioned that you were an artsy family. What kind of artsy jobs do you work in? I can so much relate to you. I feel the same way! I miss feeling anything but anger. What is wrong with me.

I will. AFTER all. I feel. Bella, I totally understand what you are going through. I went through the same thing at My husband at the time cheated on me. I also had his Neice and nephew living with us. I was so depressed and resentful that he left me.

I still am I have never been the same. I rarely experience joy in my life. But my worst mistake was taking it out on my oldest boy. And I was so strict and so hard on him. PLEASE if you only do one thing to change, love your son him, include him, talk to him, do not take it out on him. It will ruin his life. Your depression with transfer to him.

He will resent you. I was a good mother but I did take a lot out on my son, and I am paying for it big time. He is 31 and I He is depressed, lost, he takes it out on me now. When I would do anything to have a relationship with him. Figure out how to deal with him.

He is hurting as much as you are. I am still depressed. When someone causes that much harm to you. It must change your brain if your predisposed to it. But they both recently had to move far away from me. One for work the other for the armed forces. I am remarried but, he has cheated on me but I am totally dependent on him. He has given all to my kids. I am perfectly content lying on the couch not going out for days. Which is very sad. I used to be up early and a very happy person.

All I meant to say was try to change your behavior towards your son before that becomes another battle you have to fight and feel guilty about. Feel just like you do. My son is the spitting image of his dad. I know this has put some distance between us…I just am not good at pretending.

I do love him, so much…but I feel he senses the resistance. I feel similar to Bella. I know I need to complete a book I have been trying to write for years, but depression holds me back. I went through a break up because my ex was absolutely awful and she was a serial cheater. I tried so many things to help this woman, but she just lived by lies. Interestingly enough, she blame shifts everything on me. Some how I am horrible because I caught her in the lies.

As if I really wanted to be in the position to catch her cheating.

I was one of the walking depressed. Some of my clients are too.

Never an apology or anything just says she can never forgive me. I am definitely depressed and have tried dating again, but it is awful. In addition, my heart seems to be completely numb. I do not have the emotional strength to deal with their demands and crazy mind bending, distorted attempts to begin a relationship. I just can not trust any women anymore. I just hope this passes soon. I can relate but I wish no death upon no one. There will be better days ahead I promise. I look at women like that like a blessing I know that sounds weird.

I mean I love kids and I have a heart but hey find ways to cope there is a light at the end of that tunnel, as they say. Good luck. Wow, are you a fly on the wall at my house? Great insight! I sympathise with your situation — I come from a big family 5 child family and my mother has suffered with depression for as long as i can remember. I have also had severe depression several times in my life genetic?

Please can I ask you a personal question? I had a boy very young and he is the only thing in this world that keeps me going. I keep going for my boy. Am not saying dont have kids or have kids! Mum and dad would fight like crazy but we was well taken care of. I was so close to my dad I was angry that he left us mum could not cope.

I blamed her for dad leaving I hated her with a passion. Dad had a bad motorbike crash witch left him brain dead and paralysed My world ended I was not you typical teeny was worse. I caught with child when I was 19 I sat in the clinic to get rid … I could not do it. Now I have a wonderful boy sure sometimes I still feel depresses my gran said to me I should not have a child for unconditional love , I then got caught with another child when my lad was 2.

He died at 32 weeks he was very poorly. I pushed every one away held my boy I had left even closer. Hun you have children when your ready xx. People may read this and think its unfair to put this on my boy. I know I would not be here of it was not for him. Stay as strong as you can Hun ask for help when you need it. In regards to what Dominic was saying, I too wonder if I should have children while struggling with depression.

Depression and anxiety run in both sides of my family. I would love to become a mother someday, but if depression is indeed genetic and it seems like it is , how can I knowingly inflict such a devastating condition on my own child? My own struggles have utterly wrecked my quality of life as a person, and in a very real way I feel that it would be immoral and irresponsible for me to bring a child into the world because I will either a pass it along to them and set them up for their own miserable torture, b make them witness to my mental illness and possibly scar them for life, or c both.

I know some people still debate whether depression is passed down genetically or not, but I feel I have enough evidence to warrant the assumption that it is. I would hate to do this to someone else, especially my own flesh and blood. Thoughts or opinions, please? Any and all sides are welcome. I need advice. Vulnerability to depression has a very large genetic component. You can find many scientific articles on the subject on PubMed.

One of the best supported models holds that this genetic risk interacts most strongly with stress, especially childhood stress. When I was 14 in , I experienced major depression and was suicidal off and on for years. I was furious with my parents for not asking precisely your question—it turns out depression runs in my family. Of course, my parents did not have the same information in as people do now.

People really misunderstand and overrate their own genes anyway. I will hold off until I do. This is so amazing to be aware of. Really wise! Sorry to hear this Chelsea. It is just get worse day by day and sometimes when you are in a good mood you think that you finally got over this diseases but then you would again go back to this rotting hell. I have tried so much over the years but nothing really works permanently. I myself have depression and lost all my friends because of it. I feel life is passing me by and look back in regret.

I myself have no one so would be happy to help. I come from a very similar situation as you. Oldest of 4 children with a depressing mom. I too am considering never having kids due to me going in and out of depression. I try to be happy and remember all the good that I have but the sad feeling always seems to come back. I feel distant and lonely most of the time. They never consider to call me.

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Always getting married and divorced. I was her only child and I was taken along for her ride. I have a hole in my heart from not getting the nurturing, protection and stability I needed to develop proper self-confidence and safety. As another poster wrote, you do NOT want to have a child just so you can get unconditional love.

That will blow up in your face when they hit puberty. Which worked when they were little, but eventually they became wise to my act. Being super real with your kids is a transformative, humbling, teaching experience for you and for them. I think if you are drawn to being a parent, be a parent. Get real. Do some inner work. EMDR is a wonderful therapy that can help heal you from your childhood trauma.

Nature heals. Meditation is awesome. Having said that, you do NOT have to have it all figured out. You never will. And we will all make mistakes. Be willing to admit them to yourself and to your kids, and your kids will in turn, be honest with you, and trust and respect you. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 23 years.

My oldest daughter is happily married and in her 2nd year of teaching. My youngest daughter is a senior in college and thriving. My son is a junior in high school and is a wonderful joy. My life and my joy was raising my children. I am beginning to feel useless now that they are all grown. But the truth is that they all still need me just in different ways. They love me, call me, appreciate me so why do I feel this way?

It was a living hell. I was just starting to feel better and then these weepy feelings of missing my days of having young children have crept in. If anyone else has dealt with this please give me some advice. I have dealt with this my entire life! I somehow was able to cope very well and had success in business and then, one day… it all ended! I feel NO joy, NO excitement in going anywhere, spending time w anyone!

Please believe me. I wish I had known this four months ago. I suffer from depression and yes, I am a walking depressive. Is that the right word? My husband and I get up around 9 or 10 ish when the kids are home, earlier when they go to school and stay up, usually working, until 3 AM. And I have very little assistance in the medical community.

So I muddle through, just like so many others. Then there are those folks like me. Weird, I know. I love my family. I love what I do. There are just these weird times where I want to curl up in a ball, have someone take on the responsibilities and take care of me and everything else. Then I pick myself back up and go at it again.

This is totally me. I have fought depression literally my entire life. My dog and I walk every day and I am very busy with work. But I definately need to change jobs. I clean houses and do some home care but I hate it. I found this just by chance. I never knew there was such a thing. Hello Janet. I just saw that you have fibromyalgia. Have you had your vitamin D levels checked recently. A vitamin D deficiency can cause severe muscle aches and joint pain. Check with your doctor and I hope you find relief.

Today I am writing down all of your names. I will take you to the beach with me for some quiet time. My hope is that each of us find the support and healing we need, wherever that might be. A friend sent this to me. How are you today? I love this. But this kind? Stop being such a negative Nelly! It helps. You described that perfectly. You just feel stuck. Add me to the list too. There is so much I need to change in my life, and unfortunately my family likes the status quo.

They might even be acting against me. Having spent many years in the black cloud, and a just a few in the bright sunshine, I could recognize that I was walking around in a grey fog. I know why, but I have not yet been able to find it in me to do something about it. Ah, you guys are all amazing. Wise Alison and hey, thanks for not dissing meds. Sometimes they are needed.

Do you feel better know. I mean its been 4 years already. Thanks for this. I think all the signs are clear. Withdrawling from social contact.

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Feeling constantly stressed and with no energy, but with no understanding why. I think it really spiraled out of control in the past month after my close friend tragically and suddenly died. He was also just 27 and basically like a brother to me. I try to keep up appearances but doing a worse and worse job. I need to change! I understand where you are coming from. I too, am just 27 and is extremely depressed. I too also lost someone, my father last year. I feel unhappy, and nothing is enjoyable.

I absolutely hate everything. Everyday, I live life worrying. I understand what everyone is going through but I feel like I have no one to talk to. You are here for a reson. Life is full of choices. I know this is an old post, but D, you need to ignore the cost, go to a hospital at once, get an MRI, and find out what those lymph nodes are about.

My mother passed away from cancer. Swollen lymphs that size are no joking matter. If you see this message, go NOW to a doctor. Money is not worth your life. I do understand and know too well this walking depression. I have had depression for over 30 years now. I have to deal with it every single day of my life. I have tried so many things. I have 4 kids I take care of. Some days I can hide it and others barely hang on.

I have come to realize that I was nothing, I am nothing, and always will be nothing. I have no hope, no goals, no plans for the future. I am not even sure why I was even born. I have tried to become something in my life but all I ever succeeded at was being a failure. I have no accomplishments, nothing to be proud of. My kids are my life, without them I have no reason to live. It is a struggle to get up in the mornings, getting out of bed and even go about the day. My mom verbally abused me growing up.

I tried my whole life to prove her wrong, and ended up proving her right. I used to be strong and get on with the day, but now as I am older, no so much. It interferes with my job, and my kids. There is no hope for me, no point in trying. I am a failure, a nothing and always will be. It sounds like you are tired in this post.

When I get tired, the words others have used to define me often come out of my own mouth. There is no easy cure for thinking we are worthless…I hope that you find evidence of your worth even before you start looking for it. Many blessings to you, you belong here. I know exactly how you feel. Every word. Except even my grown children have quit coming around. I have nothing, I am nothing, will never.