Friday, April 9, 2010

Rage

Let me start with apologies to Carole; she awarded me the Sunshine Award for positive and cheerful blogging. Well, Carole, unfortunately today will not be such a day.

By way of backstory, my mom's wallet was stolen last October. My parents did all the necessary things to protect themselves: cancelled credit cards and got new ones; changed checking and savings account numbers; filed a report with the Attorney General; etc. Earlier this week, my parents discovered that someone used my mom's driver's license and social security card (which she unfortunately had in her wallet) to access their new accounts and take out $15,000.

My parents are angry, but they also feel violated and unsafe. As senior citizens -- my dad's in his 80's, my mom her 70's -- on a fixed budget, this is a serious dent in their life savings. The bank has agreed that a fraud has been perpetrated, but it will be a while before they can reimburse the funds.

I, on the other hand, felt RAGE. I don't know that I've ever really felt this before. I am a happy person by nature, optimistic and occasionally a bit silly. But not this week. I felt rage at an individual who would go to such lengths to attack two hard-working seniors who earned every single penny in their account and make them feel vulnerable in a way only crime can. I felt rage at system that enabled someone to make a $5,000 cash withdrawal despite the fact the criminal, upon endorsing the false check, not only shortened my mom's last name by three letters, but added two that aren't even in there. Doesn't anyone check to make sure the name is at least spelled correctly? And where was the red flag to alert bank staff that my parents had never withdrawn such a large amount in cash and that this should give pause?

After helping my parents as much as I could throughout the week, I ended up with a major migraine by last night. I woke this morning still with a migraine, but also with a serious stomach ache and tense, painful shoulders. I know what it means to be eaten up by rage .... and bottom line, it's awful. I couldn't focus on anything, so I decided to make some art to help channel my powerful feelings. Here's the end result. It's not incredible art, but it was an incredibly cathartic process to create something out of my strong emotions. By the time this was finished, my headache was gone, my stomach felt better, and the tension was gone from my shoulders. I'm now ready to tackle anything I need to for my parents. Now my head is clear enough to see through the problem I was having with my Smithsonian donation piece and to work on my piece for our upcoming Fiber Art NE exhibit.

My rage is gone. Thank God.



"Rage" - paint (freezer paper stencil created using an amending font called Broken); thread; embroidery floss

12 comments:

Carole said...

Understandable RAGE... Vivien and no apologies need be made. My father had 40,000$ taken by fraud in the 4 months following my mothers death. Being a retired banker, I took on the task of dealing with it. It took me a year and a half... and all I could manage for him was $5000.00 I worked hard with the police! We all know who did it [a family member] but couldn't prove it.. the banks camera wasn't working well, that is why I could squeeze the $5000.00 out of them. Plus my Dad wouldn't press charges, so we had to just drop it.
Its a sick crime! And I am sending you hugs....
Plus I like your Rage piece.

Judy Alexander said...

Vivian, So sorry for your parents. I too can understand your rage. I hope the person is caught and thrown in jail. It seems so many people have the 'I deserve this' attitude these days instead of having to work for something. Hope they can get their money back.

Vivian said...

So sorry your parents have had the stress of being victims. At their age, they must feel betrayed by their bank ... especially since the bank should not have cashed that cheque! Electronic banking lacks the personal touch.
When my parents were in their last few years, we had most of their pesion money in an account that was only for authorized payments. They also had one acct. with spending money.
Your rage was well channelled - the piece shows your anger!

tagskie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Beena said...

Oh, Vivien...I'm sorry you and your parents are going through this. A few years back,someone broke into my apartment in broad daylight and stole 3,000 dollars worth of me and my son's things. They were things I was making payments on, and didn't own out-right. So every month when I went to make payments on things I no longer even had, it was like fresh rage all over again. I even moved shortly after the break in, because I had felt so violated. Your rage is totally understandable to me. I hope things get better, and that there are some measures to take to prevent this from happening again. How disheartening.

norma said...

I feel so bad for you and your parents and rage is the emotion that I would be feeling, too. You and your parents are probably the type of people that would go back to the store if you got back too much change, so it's hard to understand the mindset of some people. Your rage piece is terrific! I can almost feel it pulsing.

Karen L R said...

sometimes it's the little things in life that save our sanity. keeping you and your folks in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Horrible! Thank goodness for art therapy. Fingers crossed that there is a good resolution soon.

BTW, I would delete the comment from tagskie - looks like spam to me - or maybe it's from a dear friend who hasn't read that your post is entitled Rage...."have a nice day"? Really?

:Diane

Natalya Aikens said...

art therapy at work.... glad you're feeling better...

Cindy said...

I'm so sorry you and your parents are going through this... kind of makes you lose faith in humanity. Hopefully there will be a bright spot somewhere... maybe it's the art?

Marti said...

Oh my, Vivien. I am so sorry to hear about your parents. When loved ones are hurt it causes a type of pain and rage unique in itself. Venting by way of your art is very healthy I believe and your piece really does vibrate with RAGE.

Kristin L said...

That sucks! That people feel so entitled to take what is rightfully someone else's infuriate me and your rage is completely justified. Kudos to you for channeling your feelings and working thorough the rough patch!