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Russell Carmichael

Russell was an only child, and had a very comfortable, very happy childhood life with his loving parents, Stanley and Rose.

In grade school, he excelled and was highly praised by his teachers. This caused to have very high expectations of himself. He continued to shine scholastically until Grade 10, when his group of friends rejected him because he wouldn't start smoking. He tried to rebel by slacking off and not doing any work. Not only would his parents not stand for it (they punished him for every mark he got below an A), but neither would his teachers, who had formed their own high opinion of him. Eventually, they forced him to start working again, and Russell was the valedictorian of his graduating class. Instead of focusing on this success, his parents began to push him to do even better in university. As a result of this, Russell feels that nothing he ever does is good enough and that he is never working hard enough.

True to his now perfectionist form, Russell graduated from university at the top of his class. He went into med school, as well as working at his dad's office. At this point, he met Laura, his first wife. She came from a very wealthy family so they were married right away. Laura worked as a sales assistant in a book store while Russell went through med school and became an optometrist.

He quickly gained a reputation as an excellent optometrist, through all his hard work, and soon he and Laura became fairly well to do without the support of Laura's family.

When Russell was 33, his daughter Rebecca was born. Laura went on maternity leave, and when she went back to work, she discovered that she had been skipped over for a promotion. However, as Russell was making so much money at this point, he and Laura decided that it didn't really matter. He and Laura and Rebecca were the perfect model family, as happy as could be. As Rebecca grew older and Russell was at work all the time, Laura grew bored. She was not very stimulated by her job, as she still had not been promoted from a sales clerk.

When Russell was 44, he and Laura had another child, a baby boy named James. But little Jamie obviously wasn't enough for Laura, and she left Russell two weeks after he was born.

Russell was absolutely devastated. Not only had he just lost the person he loved most dearly in the world, but he had a newborn baby and no idea of how to care for it. So, he threw himself into his work. As for Rebecca, she helped took care of Jamie, and did all the housework, and Russell was able to devote himself entirely to his work. He would work from eight to six on weekdays, and often went to the office on the weekends to catch up on his paper work. He began sleeping at the office once in awhile, to save time.

That was how things stood when he met Natalie about a year ago. She was a patient of his, but the relationship quickly deepened into something more. Russell felt that Natalie accepted him for who he was and wasn't always pushing him to do more and be a better person. He found that he could truly relax around Natalie and explore a whole new side to his personality. As Natalie went through a horrible divorce, he supported her; for the first time in his life, he felt needed. All of these factors convinced Russell to ask Natalie to marry him, and they were married a couple of months after her divorce was settled.

Although Natalie made Russell very happy, marrying her had some unfortunate side effects. Stanley, Russell's father just decided that she wasn't good enough for him, and stopped speaking to him. Rebecca hates Natalie, and is very resentful towards Russell for marrying someone "half his age". Natalie recently became pregnant, which enraged Russell's family even more.

When Russell's mother, Rose, died three months ago, the only person who stood by him and helped him deal with his grief was Natalie. He feels that she is the model wife and mother, and tries to get Jamie to spend as much time with her as possible. Rebecca got upset at this, too, and started staying with her grandfather all the time. When Stanley approached Russell because he was worried about Rebecca being in drugs, Russell knew that he was only overcome with grief at the loss of Rose, not to mention trying to screw Russell's family up.

As things stand today, Russell is very happy when he's at work or with Natalie. He tries not to spend time with the rest of his family, because he doesn't know how to deal with the stress they are causing him.

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