Friday, October 26, 2007

The Sea Inside

Post one:
My general reaction and response to this film is heartache. It make’s me sad to think someone has to endure something like Ramon has to. I think his request for assisted suicide is pretty complicated, because it puts whomever he asks in an awkward position. He is asking them to do it out of love for him, but they love him so much that they want to keep him living; yet on the other hand, they don’t want to see their loved one suffer. I feel the court’s response to him was reasonable, because any way you look at it, its suicide. And what kind of message would the court send out if they allowed that kind of suicide to happen, but others were sins? I feel his final actions were showing a man at whit’s end. I have many mixed emotions on this subject, because it is suicide and in God’s eyes suicide is a sin. But I know, if put in that situation, I would have most likely done the same. That was not life. But then there’s my feeling that God chose when he wanted you to be put into life, and He has the choice of when to end your life. So I am still very uncertain on how I feel about this matter. For his friends that helped him, they did it out of love, that’s all I can say in defense for them. But in a way they helped suicide; almost murder. So it’s just another fact of religion for me. But I don’t feel any of them should have gone to jail. They already lost a loved one; I think that’s enough punishment.

Post two:
The Sea Inside and the Diving Bell and the Butterfly I feel aren’t very similar at all. Yes, they can’t move and are both quadriplegic, but Bauby can’t speak and Ramon can. The only other similarities I find are that they both wrote books and their stories are both sad. Otherwise I find that Bauby, although talking about regrets and how people treat him differently at times, is an optimistic person who doesn’t want to kill himself; as far as we know. Ramon always seemed to bring up the sad and depressing things like how he was sitting so close to Julia, but could not reach out and touch her. He always would speak of dying and how he thought there was no Heaven, which made me pretty sad seeing I like to have things I can believe in. So in reality, yes they are both in the same position, but the way they feel about it is different and the stories are very different as well. The Sea Inside was more powerful for me personally. I am one that needs to “see it to believe it.” So watching the video had a greater impact on me. Also the fact he could speak and tell you how he felt made it more dramatic when he would talk to Julia especially.

Post three:
The scene that effected me the most was the extreme close ups of the pictures of Ramon’s life when Julia was looking through them. They showed the pictures quickly and almost got a feeling of, life passes by fast. I think the director was going for that effect on people to get it in their heads that life is short and soon all you have left are those pictures. The scene and extreme close up made the message of the movie so much stronger for me.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Final Sickened Blog!

In the last part of Sickened I wanted to jump for joy because she finally started to get her life back in order! She is now able to go about her life in baby-steps at a time to make up her lost childhood. She has now moved out of her house of mirrors and is moving the Los Angeles, California. She feels moving there in a sea of people she won’t stand out. She’ll be able to start her life over and no one will care if she dies on the sidewalk. She will just be happy to not have people watching all the time. She also tries talking to her mom and her dad again. Her dad doesn’t admit to anything even after crying because he was being confronted by Julie about the abuse. Then she saw her mother again and her brother Danny. Julie is over thirty now and has finally decided to call Children’s Services, because she knows her mother will never stop her abusive behaviors. But Julie has moved on and is now leading the life she deserves.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sickened: Part Five

In part 5 of my memoir Julie finally tells a counselor about the abuse she endures from her parents. A lady from child services goes to the house and takes the foster children away from her parents and tells Julie that if she needs help to call her. Julie was happy she saved the foster kids from her parents and was happy they made it so that her parents could no long have foster children. But when Julie’s mom found out it was her who made that happen she told Julie that her father was going to kill her. Julie had no other option then to finally take a car and run away, seeing she was sixteen. The lady from children services put her in a foster home and told her they would take her parents to court. But when it came time for trail, Julie’s dad had convinced her that she was in the wrong and the courts had no testimony from Julie so they sent her back to live with her parents and Danny, her brother. When she went home the family was different. No more doctors’ appointments, no more fighting, no more abuse. Her parents even trusted her to go stay at her friend Carmen’s house. But the next morning when she got home her house was burned to the ground. She quickly found her mother and asked where her beloved dog P.J. was. Her mom told her the dog was trapped in the house and died in the fire. In part 5 the years fly by quickly. Julie moves out and is 21 now. She now wants to go back to school and in her summer class they start to talk about different types of abuse. One day her professor starts talking about this common type of abuse that is normally a mother conflicting it on her daughter. As she listens to the things that may occur during this type of abuse, her life flashes before her eyes. “This form of child abuse is called Munchausen by proxy, or MBP.” Julie finally realized, her mother was doing this through her entire childhood.

My reaction to part five of Sickened is just that, sickened. I don’t know how someone can look at their daughter and say that they are not the one in wrong, but in fact the victim is the one who is the wrong. It hurts me to know that Julie finally had the courage to runway, be free, and safe for once in her life; then be manipulated back into believe she is the one with problems. It’s just wrong! Then my reaction to the house burning down and P.J., Julie’s dog, dying in the fire is what kind of sick person would do that? I love my dogs and I know how Julie must have felt. When my first dogs died it felt like a family member of mine died. So for Julie, knowing her dog burned to death must have been extremely hard! P.J. was like her best friend and taken away from her by her father who apparently doesn’t have a heart. Then the fact that she finally moved out and decided to go back to school made me extremely happy for her. The day she found out about MBP made me ecstatic! I was smiling from ear to ear when I reached that part. But I’m still hurt that it took her 24 long years to finally here about MBP.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sickened Quote

Post #1: "I can't smile without you, can't laugh without you. If you only knew what I'm going through..." This was a quotes said by Julie Gregory on page 27. This quote sums up the book in so many ways. It makes me think about the book on a different level. It makes me think of the irony in this book, how she cares so much for her mother when her mom is the one who's making her worse. This is my favorite quote in the book, because it tells you she knows something’s not right, but she still lets it happen, because she cares so much for her mother.

Post #2: In part 4 the same bad things are happening to Julie. Her mom is still crazy and might be getting crazier. Julie is getting sicker and the doctors are getting further and further away from figuring out what's wrong with this child. Julie's dad is getting more physically abusive with the children. The section in part 4 that gets me the most is the section of pictures talking about her mom, her life as a child living in the trailer with her brother, crazy dad, and crazier mom. She talks about her 4-H horse, Skipster's Barr. Julie's mom would make her pose as a model and carry pictures of her around in her purse to show a "nice older man" who wanted to have a look at her. The last photo graph of Julie and her mom was on Mother's Day in Ohio. But two months later she learned of MBP and started to rebuild her life. For her last picture she states, “I am a real woman now. I have lived a lot of life. I know what it feels like to be cut, caged, or taken, and I know what it feels like to escape." I think that might be another quote of hers that sums up her life.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Monday, October 8, 2007


This memoir made me upset, laugh, sad, grateful, confused and made me realize more in life. I am upset, not only at this memoir, but at the fact people actually have to endure “locked-in syndrome.” I feel it’s unfair for anyway to be locked inside their body, unable to move or take care of yourself, while your mind runs free. Jean-Dominique Bauby described it in the book as your body is the diving bell in which you’re trapped and your mind is the butterfly that flies unimaginable places. This memoir also made me laugh. I love the fact that he could be bitter and complain about how unfair his situation is, but instead he’s extremely sarcastic at points that make you giggle and hope to have that kind of attitude towards negatives in your own life. Parts of this memoir make me sad. For instance, when he’s singing the song by Henri Salvador: “Don’t you fret, baby, it’ll be all right.” This saddens me, because he is now like the baby who needs everything done for him and people keep saying that it’s going to be okay. When even he knows it’s not going to change anything. It’s amazing that someone could write this unbelievable memoir and makes me grateful when I think of what I do have in my life compared to others like Bauby. At times this book made me a bit confused. I also feel that’s due to the lack of time in which I could sit down and really get connected with this book. Yet I still found so much meaning in it. This memoir made me realize that I don’t want to have any regrets. Bauby says, “Mithra-Grandchamp is the women we were unable to love, the chances we failed to seize, the moments of happiness we allowed to drift away.” I don’t want to look back on life and feel this way. “Mysterious paradox: time, motionless here, gallops out there.” Another thing Bauby said that made me realize, don’t let life pass you by. The scary thing is, we could end up like Jean-Dominique Bauby, wishing we had lived our lives, but now just living like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My Feeling On Sickened

This book makes me feel a lot of mixed emotions. At first I’m very angry at her family and how they abused her. I also feel very sorry for her and that she had to go through this unfortunate thing. No one should have to go through this. I am ecstatic that she has lived through this and now is trying to stop it and fight it. I just wish she would have know what was happening to her when she was younger and had the power to stop it then. I think the same horrible stuff will continue to happen throughout the rest of this book. And I pray she figures out that what’s happening to her is beyond wrong.

My Author

So far in this section the same crazy things are happening to Julie Gregory. Only this time I see how she is so much stronger than her mother. Her mother was having another epic fight with her father. Julie’s mom came into her room and sat on the edge of her bed. It was dark, but Julie could still see the gun her mother had aimed and ready to shoot in her mouth. Julie once again had to attempt to save her mother. While trying to get the gun away from her mom’s mouth, she learns that her mother was molested as a young girl and she said that her mom knew it was happening. Maybe this is the reason for why Julie’s mom treats her in such a manner. At the last doctor appointment her mother told them Julie wasn’t going to the bathroom and they had to shove a tube in her urethra and inject iodine in her arm. Julie ended up having an allergic reaction and got a massive headache. Her mother was so pleased and told her to take a double dose of medicine for her headache. Julie ended up passing out and that’s where I left off.

About my author:
Julie Gregory was born on May 16, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. She is the author of the memoir I’m reading, Sickened. As a child she suffered through Munchausen by proxy (MBP) abuse. Julie’s mom often took her to doctors, coaching her to act sicker than she was, making this girl's imaginary illnesses worse. Her mother fed her based on foods a doctor had said Gregory shouldn't have, gave her medicines she should not have had, sometimes in double doses, and gave her physical labor to fill her day. Julie’s mom became upset with a doctor who wouldn't perform open heart surgery on her daughter. Julie also endured physical and emotional abuse by her father. Julie’s father beat her across the head with his belt and forced Julie to eat old used tissues. So the Munchausen by proxy was not the only form of abuse Julie went through. She’s a graduate student at the University of Sheffield, in England, and she currently lives in Columbus, Ohio. Julie’s an expert writer and spokesperson on MBP and an advocate in Munchausen by proxy cases.

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