This webpage is in memory of my beloved, eternal soulmate, David Michael Benning, 42, born on August 14, 1973 and passed away on March 4, 2016. I am forever heartbroken; he took me with him. 

Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2022
Six years. I am still crushed and in so much pain every single day. I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2021
Still seems like yesterday...
Damn I miss you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on January 17, 2021
Always miss you.
Always in pain.
Always love you.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2020
Four years too many.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on September 3, 2019
The surest thing in my life is this unwavering pain and grief.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on July 23, 2019
The pain never subsides. Every single day is the same.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2019
I am trying to remember you and let you go at the same time. Still numb.....
I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on January 2, 2019
On Monday, February 29, 2016, your father said to you “Then go find your way!!”

You did just that.
I know he remembers his last words to you.
I remember everything.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on April 29, 2018
Je te verrai dans une autre vie.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 3, 2018
I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on February 18, 2018
Thank you for the medium’s reading Dave. Your words have healed me and helped me understand so much.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on December 26, 2017
Another Christmas without you. I still cannot forgive your immediate family for not giving you a fighting chance.You needed help I could not afford to give you; each of them had the means. Shame on all of them in the most astronomical way. It blows my mind every waking moment; that’s why I sleep so much. Truth is - Greedy people suck! Money doesn’t love you back, and Karma makes sure you know it.

This anger is going to put me into an early grave...
I’m only human, and I cannot wrap my brain around not helping your child when he is suffering.
Thank God I can’t relate.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on December 10, 2017
This never gets easier.
I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on November 24, 2017
Missed you so much at Thanksgiving dinner. It was very lonely and sad, like all of my days without you.
It’s exhausting to still cry every damn day.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on November 8, 2017
All that your pocket. Sick. 
That house is cursed and haunted, with good reason.
How did you help Dave?? I told you in 2011 that you would go to his funeral in your lifetime if you didn’t get him some real help. Help is out there; it costs only money. It cost a lot more than money in the end. You remember. You never told anyone that conversation, BUT you remember. Dave was not surprised when I told him.
Posted by Tammy Benson on August 14, 2017
Happy Birthday My Love.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on August 7, 2017
5 Signs Of High-Functioning Depression That Are Mistakenly Overlooked

Depression, as a whole, affects 350 million people worldwide. So the chances that you know someone, or more than one person, who suffers from it are not unlikely.

High-Functioning Depression is a bit more tricky to identify than other kinds of depression because people who suffer from it don’t appear to be doing so bad- at least, on the surface. They manage to keep up a facade of everything just being ‘okay,’ and act as if things are progressing smoothly in their life, but on the inside they feel broken and shattered to their core.

If you know of someone who might be suffering from HFD and your intentions are to help, please note that these signs are not to be regarded as an official means of diagnosis, and that one should refer to a medical professional or therapist to make their clinical evaluation.

1. They are always highly critical of themselves.
A clear indicator of HFD is a profound sense of extreme self criticism. If you often hear them say things like “I’m not good enough,” or “I can never do anything right,” it could be a sign of something more.
When instances of failure or negative thoughts apply broadly rather than to an isolated act, it’s a sign that the person’s mental health should be looked into. Even if it is passed off as a joke, take it seriously. You know this person is well accomplished and respected by many (explaining the high-functioning part), but their responses and outward behaviour go beyond modesty and straight into self-denial.

2. Irritability, anxiety and irregular sleep patterns
Those who have HFD have an adept ability to maintain an atmosphere of everything being just fine when around company, making it extremely difficult to try and help.
They might act irritable or seem anxious at times, also a sign of depression that is known to perpetuate depressive states even further. And if you ask them how they are doing, they will tell you “fine,” “great,” or “good.”  The thing is, they don’t feel depressed, not like the people in the depression commercials on TV. Symptoms of HFD are different, and like most mental health conditions, it all depends on their circumstances.
If you notice a change in their sleep pattern, it can also be a sign of low-level chronic depression, but this problem might not be true for someone with HFD, since they are usually quite good at keeping deadlines, and experts at making it seem like nothing really is wrong. “Good sleep is key to good mental health,” says Carol Landau, PhD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University.

3. They put enormous amounts of pressure on themselves at work.
On the surface they seem to be thriving in their work environment but in reality they’re ready to just call it quits. Who hasn’t felt like that at one point?
However, the reason those with HFD feel this way is different than most. People with HFD tend to excel at whatever they do, but it will never seem to be good enough for them. Their expectations of themselves are so high, and to themselves they fail each and every time. Because of this, their emotions turn to emptiness, and what should bring them comfort brings them numbness instead.
They will go to almost drastic lengths to keep up their positive appearance and see to their commitments as though nothing is wrong. Usually, the inability for them to deal with this somewhat somber and futile state of existence leads them to this next point.

4. Alcoholism, substance abuse or changing of habits.
Not saying that every alcoholic or junkie out there suffers from HFD, but when someone who does suffer from it develops a regular pattern of trying to curb the pain and anguish with the use of substances, then it is their personal well-being that is at stake.
Signs that we need to look out for include: Sudden loss of interest in hobbies; making up of excuses for odd/clumsy behaviour; higher intake of substances than intended becomes more frequent; only interest they have is in things that can cause numbness, or mood changes.
Drugs and alcohol have also been proven to exacerbate the effects of depression and anxiety, so probably not the best route to go down if you already suffer from either. Regardless at how you look at substance abuse, it is easy to understand why someone who is going through all of this would resort to such measures. Especially when they don’t feel as if they have anyone who would understand or support them through it.

5. Futility, withdrawal and higher suicide risk.
Trying to explain to a person with HFD that they need serious professional help is like trying to draw blood from a stone. Showing them the light does nothing but make them retreat further into a state of morose withdrawal.
This is the point where the sufferer ultimately ceases to find anything in life compelling or worth doing. Anhedonia as it is referred to in the clinical sense, is defined by the inability to experience pleasure from something that is normally pleasurable. The sense of futility or hopelessness that they constantly feel leads them to thoughts of just entirely giving up on life, this is when High-functioning depression is at it’s most discreet, but also most dangerous.
Some of us, as humans, feel an innate obligation to help those who are desperately suffering. This can be quite a task when it comes to someone with High-functioning depression, as its almost impossible to convince them that their well-being is due for a service (no matter how you put it). If you can’t seem to go over, under, or around this huge wall that they’ve built, then start removing the bricks one at a time and no matter what, let them know they are loved without judgment. And remember, there’s always alternative therapy methods.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on April 23, 2017
It's just one long day without you.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 27, 2017
Dave was so hurt by the time I met him; I feel lucky to have had him here with me for as long as I did. This reminds me of him:

"It’s hard to love again after you’ve been manipulated, put down, controlled, belittled, and made to feel worthless by someone who was supposed to love you and care about you."

It was immediately apparent on our first date, long before he even tried to explain.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 3, 2017
Time has not changed the pain, but it has changed me. I am more like you were Dave. It's like you placed your shadow upon me, and you are still living through me. Most of MY traits and interests are gone. I am you. It's very confusing and I am adjusting my life to the new me. So basically, I died when you died. I am no longer who you knew me as. I am exhausted.

March 4, 2017 is just another excruciating day without you.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on December 26, 2016
••••This is how Dave explained his life to me. Heartbreaking.

Shame & Shaming

Shaming - The difference between blaming and shaming is that in blaming someone tells you that you did something bad, in shaming someone tells you that you are something bad.

Shaming is a technique used by abusive people to divert attention away from their own behavior and issues by putting pressure on a victim so they can maintain control. The victim is put into an impossible situation, where they feel they are inherently flawed and so can never measure up to the standards being imposed on them, and therefore must dedicate themselves to attempting to make up for their ‘badness’.

As a tactic, shaming is often used by Personality Disordered parents who misdirect their anger at their children. Unchosen children and adult children of Personality-Disordered parents are often made to feel worthless, useless, unloved and unappreciated.

How it Feels

If you have been subjected to Shaming or Emotional Blackmail then it is likely that you have been living in a FOG of Fear, Obligation and Guilt

Fear – that if you don’t do what this person wants there will be hell to pay.

Obligation - you are somehow made to feel indebted to this person - you believe you owe them something even though you have taken nothing from them.

Guilt - you are unworthy - you have broken some unwritten rules - rules which you never agreed to and which were never fully justified or explained to you.

••••Characteristics of Adults Shamed In Childhood

The following is quoted from Shame & Guilt: Masters of Disguise by Jane Middelton-Moz, Ph.D.

1. Adults shamed as children are afraid of vulnerability and fear exposure of self.

2. Adults shamed as children may suffer extreme shyness, embarrassment and feelings of being inferior to others. They don't believe they make mistakes. Instead they believe they are mistakes.

3. Adults shamed as children fear intimacy and tend to avoid real commitment in relationships. These adults frequently express the feeling that one foot is out of the door, prepared to run.

4. Adults shamed as children may appear either grandiose and self-centered or seem selfless.

5. Adults shamed as children feel that, “No matter what I do, it won't make a difference; I am and always will be worthless and unlovable.”

6. Adults shamed as children frequently feel defensive when even minor negative feedback is given. They suffer feelings of severe humiliation if forced to look at mistakes or imperfections.

7. Adults shamed as children frequently blame others before they can be blamed.

8. Adults shamed as children may suffer from debilitating guilt. These individuals apologize constantly. They assume responsibility for the behavior of those around them.

9. Adults shamed as children feel like outsiders. They feel a pervasive sense of loneliness throughout their lives, even when surrounded with those who love and care.

10. Adults shamed as children project their beliefs about themselves onto others. They engage in mind-reading that is not in their favor, consistently feeling judged by others.

11. Adults shamed as children often feel angry and judgmental towards the qualities in others that they feel ashamed of in themselves. This can lead to shaming others.

12. Adults shamed as children often feel ugly, flawed and imperfect. These feelings regarding self may lead to focus on clothing and makeup in an attempt to hide flaws in personal appearance and self.

13. Adults shamed as children often feel controlled from the outside as well as from within. Normal spontaneous expression is blocked.

14. Adults shamed as children feel they must do things perfectly or not at all. This internalized belief frequently leads to performance anxiety and procrastination.

15. Adults shamed as children experience depression.

16. Adults shamed as children lie to themselves and others.

17. Adults shamed as children block their feelings of shame through compulsive behaviors like workaholism, eating disorders, shopping, substance-abuse, list-making or gambling.

18. Adults shamed as children often have caseloads rather than friendships.

19. Adults shamed as children often involve themselves in compulsive processing of past interactions and events and intellectualization as a defense against pain.

20. Adults shamed as children are stuck in dependency or counter-dependency.

21. Adults shamed as children have little sense of emotional boundaries. They feel constantly violated by others. They frequently build false boundaries through walls, rage, pleasing or isolation.

••••Characteristics of Shame-Based Adults in Relationships:

1. We lose ourselves in love.

2. When we argue, we fight for our lives.

3. We expend a great deal of energy in mind-reading. We frequently talk to ourselves about what our partners are feeling and needing more than to our partners.

4. We pay a high price for those few good times.

5. We often sign two contracts upon commitment, one conscious and another which is unconscious.

6. We blame and are blamed.

7. We want them gone, then fight to get them back.

8. We know it will be different but expect it to be the same.

9. We often feel that our partners are controlling our behavior.

10. We are frequently attracted to the emotional qualities in another that we have disowned in ourselves.

11. We often create triangles in relationships.

12. We seek the unconditional love from our partners that we didn't receive adequately in a shaming childhood.

Source: Shame & Guilt: Masters of Disguise by Jane Middelton-Moz, Ph.D.

••••Don’t believe what a Shamer tells you. Nobody who truly loves you will want you to feel bad about yourself.

If you find yourself questioning the shame another person is dumping onto you then it is quite likely that the problem is with them - not with you. Healthy people don’t go around dumping shame on others.

The Shamer should be ashamed of himself!!!!

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on December 25, 2016
It's Christmas. Another day and long night without you.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on December 6, 2016
25 days until this miserable year is over. I've been through 7 deaths in 2016, and I pray to God they are finished for the year and 2017 will bring some peace.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on November 26, 2016
Thanksgiving was a sad day. I missed our Thanksgiving Eve routine and having you at dinner. I drove around in the evening, alone and completely lost. I am not recovering from any of this.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on September 4, 2016
Six months. Still painful. Still suffering.

I will stop missing you, Dave, when I am with you.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on August 19, 2016

1. You're too sensitive!
2. That's life!
3. Stop crying!
4. Because I said so!
5. Why can't you be more like...(sibling, cousin, etc)

What you will notice all of these phrases have in common is they all disregard, attack or work to shut down the emotional center of a child, thus suppressing and passively discouraging the child from developing healthy pathways and connections from the logical part of their brain/being to the emotional part of their brain/being. Anything less than a healthy connection mentally and emotionally (which is exactly what ‘psychological’ is: mental + emotional state of a person) is indeed a recipe for damage, or at the least an imbalance within the growing individual.

Human beings are not meant to be robots! So why, to the most innocent, dynamic, sensitive creatures: children— do we repetitively program them with psychologically limiting and damaging demands and statements in their times of rebellion, distress or grief? Children need patience, wisdom and opportunity for growth from the adults in their life, and whether or not they have that will depend solely on how adults choose to treat them and teach them to relate to their ever-changing psychological states.

Dave never had a chance.

I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on August 14, 2016
Happy Birthday My Love.

I love you Dave.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2022
Six years. I am still crushed and in so much pain every single day. I love you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on March 4, 2021
Still seems like yesterday...
Damn I miss you Dave.
Posted by Tammy Benson on January 17, 2021
Always miss you.
Always in pain.
Always love you.
Recent stories

December 2007

Shared by Tammy Benson on April 19, 2016

This was at Chuck E. Cheese's for Kaitlyn's 3rd birthday. I gave her a party there, and the place was insane! Too many other parties at once and not enough room. As you can see...Dave was thrilled to be there.... haha!  He looks SO young!!!!

September 2007

Shared by Tammy Benson on April 19, 2016

I got tickets for us to see The Cure in Chicago, but they cancelled!  Our plane tickets were non-refundable, so we went to Chicago anyway and had a great time. We visited museums, had fabulous dinners, and our hotel was beautiful.  Luckily, The Cure added a Cleveland show, so we got seats in the 11th row on the floor.  Our seats in Chicago would have been in the 2nd row, but oh well. It was still one of the best nights we ever had together!