Too Phased By Christine A. Rucci

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About the author

The Chrissy that I presented to the world was my hard outer candy shell. I protected myself by pretending to be upbeat and always cracking jokes. Meanwhile, on the inside, I was suppressing my anger and my pain. Drinking helped with the physical pain from the surgeries. They never tell you about the long-term pain from the bone graft sites. The emotional pain was always there trying to get out, but I would not allow it to surface for many years. I had to be strong in my family's eyes as well as mine. The Chrissy inside cried..... and mourned her loss of self.

Originally, I was not going to write any portion of this "About The Author" page. Over the years, I developed a bad habit of putting myself down. This behavior was not going to allow me to heal. This was just one of the things I needed to change about myself if I was going to be happy. Now that I have reached the acceptance stage of grieving my lost identity,  — as close as I am going to get, I need to share my story. Below are my siblings view of the past three decades of my healing. I never knew they felt this way.

My Sister Lilly Writes:

It's true what they say, in the blink of an eye, your whole life can change. In one split second, you can go from a carefree teenager to someone holding on for dear life. A series of events that shaped a young girl's life and that of her family. My sister Chrissy Cat (that is what I call her) is that girl.

What I witnessed in the past 30 some years was my sister's journey of triumph, failure, operating rooms, long recoveries, sadness, and ultimately healing, peace and forgiveness.

We all had our fights and run-ins with her. Some were knockdown, drag-out fights. In the end, we are family and you don't give up on family. She is my hero, my rock, and most of all, my sister.

What I hope that people take away from my sister's story is too never give up loving with all your heart and soul. God had a plan for her and for all of us. I am just so very thankful to have her in my life. Love you Chrissy.

By Lillian Lucash

Younger Sister Michelle States:

My sister is beautiful, bossy, feisty, commanding, hilarious, rebellious, loving, nurturing and capable. Chrissy was always there to take care of me growing up, always there to cook breakfast or dinner for Johnny and I, and was like having a second mother at times. I wanted to be her my whole childhood. She was always able to help my mom run the household.

Watching her get knocked down, and piece herself back together over the last three decades has been a privilege and an honor. What would have done most people in, has made her even more beautiful, bossy, feisty, commanding, hilarious, rebellious, loving, nurturing and capable. It has made her a better her. I am so proud to call her sister and to have her in my life.

By Michelle Gallagher

My Youngest Brother John Writes:

Chrissy was always there for me when I was young. My brothers were older and the divorce separated the kids apart from each other. Chrissy was a big influence on me throughout those early times. Most kids my age were listening to top 40 or disco but because of Chrissy I was consumed by the Doors, Led Zeppelin, and of course the Boss!

I looked up to Chrissy and learned how important it was to help out around the house. She never hesitated to get stuff done when mom was working late. When Jim and Lil were working on growing the business it was Chrissy that made dinner or drove me to karate. With an absent father, it was Chrissy that gave me my first beer, of course it was at a Springsteen concert!

After the accident, I could feel how fragile she was, even at 12 years old. When she came home to recover we spent time playing games or even riding bikes. It was on one of those bike rides a stupid punk in the park told my sister to get a new face. I remember hearing the words and wanting to kill him. Chrissy acted like it didn't bother her but I know it was so hurtful. I felt so powerless to do anything and so sad. Moments like that stick with you.

I am so proud of my Chrissy Cat for moving past the years of recovery and claiming her life again. I can tell in her voice that she is Chrissy once again. The same Chrissy we have always loved and longed for her return. I don't know anyone that has endured as much as she has and I am so proud that she has come through it stronger than ever.

Love you sistah!!

By John P. Rucci