Ex-wife Cathy, Daughter Taryn Depict Mike Rinder’s Violence and its Aftermath

Taryn Rinder sat down with her mother, Cathy, to discuss Mike Rinder’s brutal attack on Cathy—which inspired Taryn’s Justice4Mom campaign—​and how Cathy copes with the permanent damage.


TARYN: I’m here with my mom today which is awesome. My whole campaign [Justice4Mom] is predicated upon the fact that she was abused domestically by my father, Mike Rinder, and it has been to get justice for her. So that makes it all the more special and important to me today that she’s here, because I wanted to show you and demonstrate with her some of the things that she has to do and the lifestyle changes she’s had to make because of the broken shoulder and the damage for life that was inflicted by Mike Rinder. So there you go. Yeah.

CATHY: Yeah, so I will tell you about that. The first thing I want to say is the shock that this all started with, where Mike Rinder attacked me out of the blue, you know, after we were together for decades. And assaulted me violently and very evilly and created this situation, physically, that he damaged me so badly that I’m permanently damaged. And the changes I’ve had to make in my life in order to cope—which I have, and I do cope. So I thought that I would show you some of those things so you have a bit of an inside reality on this situation. For example, I can’t tie my shoes. So what I do is I wear slip-ons. All my shoes are slip-on shoes and that’s how I deal with that. And that isn’t that great of a deal, but it is because that’s what I am now restricted to.

At times I have tried to hold, like, a glass or a cup like this in my hand—even if I’m not moving here—but because of the nerve damage and the other things that impinged on the entire nerve—nervous system in my right arm and the inflammation and all the other repercussions, I don’t have feeling in two of my fingers. So I have occasionally, although I don’t anymore, held a cup like this and after a few minutes I don’t feel anything anymore and the glass or cup slips and breaks. So I’ve broken many glasses, cups and other things. So what I do now is I only use paper cups and normally like this. But if I have to put it there for a moment, if it drops, fine. So I do paper cups. I do lids on—for everything.

Okay. Common, everyday things like brushing your teeth—I had to actually learn how to do—I’m right-handed, just so you know. I am not a left-handed person at all. So I have had to teach myself and train my left hand, to one degree or another, to do certain things. So, brushing my teeth—I had to figure out how to brush my teeth with my left hand. Putting on makeup—or I don’t or very minimal because I can’t do it.

TARYN: And your contact lenses too, right?

CATHY: Yeah. And I wear contact lenses. And that I’ve been able to learn how to do with my left hand only. I do everything. I unscrew it, whatever—numerous times they fell on the floor and I have to do it again. But that’s how I do it. That’s how I live. One of the very common things I can’t do—which people, my friends, help me with—is, for example, a bottle of Gatorade. It’s been pretty hot this summer. I literally, even with my left hand, I cannot open a bottle. I can’t open anything actually. So I have to go to someone else and ask them, “Could you please open this for me?” which they do. And then I keep it open. And that’s how I do it.

Numerous things, like, a personal thing I have, is I do photography or did—like, most of my life. And I could not any longer lift—I’m just going to show you—lift or press a shutter on a camera. This is a little light one—because I literally don’t have the strength and it’s shaking. So I was not able to do it anymore. I tried tripods and all of this. And various things and putting, you know, holding it and doing this. It just doesn’t work. So that’s something that just got taken away from me, really, is that pleasure of doing things that I like to do. Okay.

One thing I did want to say is I cannot put my arm up on a desk and leave it there because it doesn’t go that high before I feel it, like, really bad and it won’t go. So what I do is I have these clipboards I found. And I have them, you know, lots of them. And so if I need to write something with my hand or sign something or write a letter or a birthday card then I pull my clipboard and slide it under, because I can move my fingers and I can write like that.

Now, writing like this, however, does a little bit move right here [gestures] so after a few minutes my arm stops working, because it goes numb. So I write intermittently. But that’s how I do it. When I type I have a computer. I’m—again I am right-handed. I’ve used a computer right-handed forever until this. So that was a big challenge and it took a—quite a long time. So I use my left hand and I even learned to somewhat type with my left hand only. I switched to a left-handed mouse. I have—a lot of the buttons are on the mouse so I don’t ever have to use this arm. When I do type, I have it very low, about what you see here, if you can see that. And I’m supporting here using these buttons and then I can slip the keyboard under my hand and as long as I keep my hand like that, and this is the one doing the moving, I can press my fingers. And luckily I am a touch typist, so that assists, but—and then I can, I can do that a certain amount of time and then I can’t anymore. And then I have to stop.

Where Mike Rinder attacked me on my forearm and tore out a piece of it, I have scars that if they go in the sun, they start—they’re so delicate—they start bubbling. So even in the summer I have to wear long sleeves and not let the sun hit this arm. My arm is constantly swollen. My shoulder’s constantly swollen. I sit there, I do this while I’m reading or doing work just to sort of help. Through the day I’m constantly doing this to get—because the nerve damage occurred up here and down here, various systems were damaged so I don’t have, like, a general flow in this area. And I need to handle that on a daily basis. One of the things I have to do, for example, is I have stuff I put on it when it gets really bad during the day, which I can open with my left hand. I lay—I don’t know if you can see that—squeeze it on this hand, close it and then I can manage to put it at least on the worst spots. And what it is, is it’s magnesium and that sort of gives a bit of instant relief. So I take that everywhere. So I’m coping day to day—like, every time I need to lift a book. If I want to read a book that may be a bit heavy, or not, that’s a problem. So I pick up the book and sometimes it makes it hurt more. I can’t lift a box. Opening doors is horrific. If the door itself and the way the door handle is, doesn’t accommodate my left hand, like, if it’s going that way, I have to figure it out. But, like, on swinging doors, like doors that have a push plate, I use my feet.

And to do my laundry, I have to have one of my friends carry my laundry down to be done and get assistance in that. There’s certain food I can’t cut so a friend will cut my food, and things like that are now sort of my routine. I can’t express how much it hurts during the day, every day. In addition to the rotator cuff [group of muscles covering the shoulder joint] damage and all of that—when Mike Rinder pulled my bones, he also pulled my shoulder blade. So my right shoulder blade is also down here instead of up here parallel with my other one. And that is permanent too. So that causes a lot of pain and I have to say, you know, after some hours of this or doing things or trying to do things, it gets to the point where I’m just in grief, you know, about it, because it’s hurting me so much every day. And this comes after years of trying to get my arm to even move again, having the operation, doing intense physical therapy for a long time in order to get my arm to even—my elbow to bend or my fingers to move at all. So that itself—it was just a long train of pain.

I even had designed shirts that could just go over me that I could zipper down. I’ll show you one which sort of—so there is a solution for everything and this was one of them which is, like—not able to wear anything or put anything on—I had these made which are shirts that look like they’re a regular shirt, but they actually just drape over and then you zipper it up and it looks like you have a shirt on. So for a couple of years I was wearing those because I could not button. And I normally don’t wear buttons now.

And it’s, like, still blows me away that Mike Rinder was so violent with me and is such a violent, horrific person that he did this. And that’s the way I live my life. And the pain doesn’t end. So yeah. So I think that’s about it.