Kadja Cries When She Sees This…

Even though I am grown, the little girl in me still has her triggers.  This song is one of those triggers.  However it is an important song and every word of it rings true. I can relate to Alyssa, but I was more fortunate. I lived to tell you my story. Please do not wait until it is too late to act on behalf of a child. You might be the only voice that can reach into the right places to save a life.  Please watch the video and don’t go off on religion because what your belief system is isn’t the issue here.  The genre of music you prefer is also not the issue here.  The message of this song is an important one. It was then, and it is now.

I was abused at home and bullied at school.  I know the reality of such an existence and NO child should ever go through the things I have endured.  To this day I do not associate much with former classmates.  Why? They are triggers. They may very well be different people now, but the place and seeing them still triggers memories of a time and a place that made me stronger–but it also made me a very non-trusting individual in my later years.  Some of my classmates are friends, but there are those I avoid for a reason.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLh5vbBLpxI

Remembering the Monster

Part of Kit was terrified, and another part told herself that nothing would come of it.  Karen had knocked the crap out of her again after getting into a fight with her dad yelling, “This was your fault! If you weren’t here–” and she stopped as she reached into her purse next to her in the car and pulled out that damned pistol again.  She put it up against Kit’s head but Kit stared straight ahead. This was a child who had been down this road, in the darkness of the night with that gun at her head so many times, she simply didn’t give a shit anymore. In her mind, at least it would end if Karen actually did pull the trigger. As she felt the barrel against her left temple she stared up at the moon.

The air was cold since it was January and the stars seemed to be very bright. Kit loved looking at them. She often wondered what it would like to fly up into where they were.

“Are you listening to me!?,” Karen screamed, “You had better be listening!”

Kit then looked at her and said, “Nothing scares me anymore. Not even that gun. Not even you. Either do it or let me go live with Mom.”

The gun was now pressed against her forehead.  The barrel was cold and Karen’s hand was shaking as Kit stared into her eyes.

“Stop looking at me damn you! If you go to school one more time and tell them–”

“You’ll what?! Blow my head off? Do it. I told you I’m not afraid anymore. I don’t care!” Kit yelled as she kept staring straight into her eyes.

The now 13-year-old was quite resolute in her statement. She saw no way out of the house of horrors so she began to stand up to the monster.  That monster was Karen.

Karen threw the silver pistol back into her purse, started the car and sped off with Kit still inside. She took her across town to Jack’s house.  She then reached across the seat and opened Kit’s door.

“Get the hell out of here and go inside! If you say one word to Jack I swear I’ll–”

“Whatever…Same old crap!” Kit said to her as she shut the door and began to take a step back.

With that Karen peeled out with such force that Kit was knocked down.  The child got up, dusted off her jeans and went to the door. It took a long while for  her to go to sleep, and her sister-in-law was asking what had happened but Kit only responded, “With Karen what doesn’t happen?”

The entire family felt powerless to help the child.  The only way Karen stopped hitting her was when her mother got wind of it.  Her mother delivered a personal message via her aunt down the street.

“If you touch Kit or my son one more time, Bitch, I’ll kill you myself.” was the message.

Kit would not find out about this until she was in her 20’s but often wondered why during the last six months of Karen’s life she tended to just storm off when things got tense between her and her dad.  She didn’t even bully Kit during that time other than to scream at her once in a while. Kit got to where she would tune her out.

When Kit entered her cell she would look at the green shades and cringe once in a while. She would then look at the wall she decorated.  She put up a red tartan bedspread on her wall for an accent wall and then covered it with Beatles and Bay City Rollers posters.  She also had a huge poster of Paul McCartney and Wings on the other side of her room.

On the other side was her doll collection.  She had Native American dolls, Japanese dolls, the first Revlon doll ever made and a lot of other antique ones–which got sold out from under her little by little  after Karen’s death–along with her TV because her dad said, “You don’t need this stuff anymore.  He then replaced it with stuff Karen had–which she didn’t want.  She worked for her things and now they were taken from her one day while she was at school.  He gave the stereo she did babysitting  for to her brother and then gave her Karen’s which pissed her off totally.

While Karen did have a better one, she wanted no reminders. She liked her white one. She paid for it with her money. Now her brother had it. She had a 19” black and white TV she liked watching. He put Karen’s 9″ portable color TV in there.  That also pissed her off–especially since it had to be sent for repairs every time she turned around.  However one night she was watching and a video from the  year prior came on.  It was “Mull of Kintyre” by Paul McCartney and Wings.

It would be that video that would spawn her desire to see other places.  She loved how the kids in that video were having fun down by the fire on the beach–something she never got to do.  As thoughts of the monster began to fade a bit at night, those thoughts were replaced with new ones–and when the green shades came down, it marked a new freedom for Kit.  It was at this point she picked up a pen and began creating new worlds, new people and dreaming of a new life.  She had never seen mist  rolling in from the Ocean and longed for it…One day she would, but for now, the video had to do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5626WzsfMw

This was the video that started that journey for her so many years ago.  The open land and the beach…The smiles on people’s faces…These were the things that she loved to see on TV.  And later in that year–1978, she would find out what a “normal” family was…She would realize then how abnormal her life had been and it would also make new thoughts churn in her head as she pulled out her pen and paper.

 

Sarah Was Alone…

I have been lying here on the cold ground around here for a very long time.  I don’t remember why I was put here, but I remember I was being hit again and again all because I wanted a glass of milk.  Why would anyone leave me out here? I am only seven. I don’t understand them.  I thought Mommy and Daddy wanted me and loved me–Oh wait! Daddy is gone.  He wasn’t there. It was someone else who was there with my mom. Mommy said my daddy was not coming back and if he did, she’d leave with us again.

I don’t remember much after being hit on the head the third time. I think I was crying and went to sleep.  I had to pee but couldn’t move and I was having this weird dream.  I was looking down at myself but I wasn’t hurting anymore.  I was so afraid that I was going to be hit again but nothing happened.  Not for a while.  I felt like I was flying and saw a light, but I couldn’t leave my baby sister there. It didn’t feel right so I stayed.

Then I saw Mitch, my moms boyfriend come in. He started yelling things I couldn’t understand and had Mom take my baby sister out of the room…I watched him shake me but I didn’t feel anything. He was saying some bad words too, but he did say he was sorry and started crying.  I’m not mad at him. I just don’t understand why he sent me here. I don’t understand why Mom let him hurt me all the time either.  I know she got mad because I wouldn’t say he was my daddy at school so she hit me too sometimes over it.  I still don’t understand where my real daddy was and why he didn’t come.

Mitch turned on the big light and I saw blood on my head and nose.  My eyes were open but I couldn’t blink and my lips were a weird bluish color.  I think I threw up at some point too before I was in this place watching everything. Mitch put me in a blanket and a bag and put me in the truck while Mom kept crying.

I am glad you’re close to me now because talking helps me not to feel so lonely out here.  It’s like you can’t see me yet but I can see you.  You come out here a lot, picking flowers. I think we might be in the same grade. I want to play but I know you can’t seem to hear me so I’ll just keep talking and hope someone finds me soon.

It’s neat to watch you play, Little Girl.  I like watching people do things I couldn’t do anymore around here but there is a neat thing about this. I don’t feel stickers in my feet or bugs crawling on me.  I’m in a place where you can’t see me well but I can see you.

I’ve seen it rain and such out here a lot too.  The trees are pretty when that happens and the birds come out. I’ve seen it snow a lot out here too.  I think I’ve seen 10 springs and 10 big snows!  It’s all so pretty and I don’t have to be afraid here.  You have blond hair like me! And you like dolls too! That’s neat!  I do miss Mom but not Mitch. I wonder where they are. Why don’t they come back for me?  I’m in a blanket not far from where you are.  Maybe your mom and dad will come find me and get me out of here soon.

Here come’s someone! It’s a man!  Is that your dad? Man he’s tall.  Wait, he’s getting closer to me.  Can you see me?  I’m right here? Please don’t leave me again! I’m so tired of being alo–wait! He’s sending you away and looking down. He’s saying “Oh my god!” or something like that and pulling out a little black thing he’s talking into. Now he’s crying. Why? Oh wait…He saw my teddy bear. It’s really dirty.  I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make anyone cry! Honest–I–wait…

I can hear a bit now…Not much…

“Look Sheriff, you need to come. I found–”

Oh can’t make out the rest but he’s still here, crying and looking down where Mitch put me. Now there is a lady but he yelled, “Get them out of here! I’ll explain when the sheriff gets here!” and she left with you and a younger kid really quickly. He kept looking at my teddy bear, but he didn’t touch it. He just stood there crying. Why? I’m not hurting.

shallow grave teddy bear

Oh please don’t cry! I’m really not hurting now! I’m just glad to not be alone…That’s the worst thing–alone at night even though I don’t feel hurt and such.

He’s been here crying for a long time and praying too.  My grandma prayed a lot!  Now there are other people here.  They have brushes and such and tweezers, shovels…All kinds of stuff and a yellow tape. Why can’t they just get me out of here?  Wait.  Maybe they are trying.  The older guy is shaking his head.

“Who would dump their kid out here like that?” I heard him say.

“Mom and Mitch would.” was my response but he didn’t hear me.  None of them hear me.  Wait! This one older guy said my name–another guy with a badge.

“From what the grandmother told me years ago, it could be Sarah Hawthorne.” he said.

“That is my name! He knows my name! I”m so glad! Someone sees me and knows my name!”

Wait! There’s that light again and it looks like it’s gonna rain, too.  Hey! I see Grandma and two other people with her!  One’s in an army uniform! He says he’s my daddy!  The other one is an older guy. I think I’ll go with them now!  I’m just glad someone found me so I’m okay!  Thanks for hearing me! I am so happy now!  Bye! I’m not alone anymore! You’ll be alright now so don’t cry, okay?!

 

When Educators are the Bullies–Part II

As previously stated in this blog, there is a trend among some teachers to either allow student bullying under the guise of “teacher-induced peer pressure“, which is what I’m going to label that, or direct cursing and name-calling.  I saw and addressed this issue in the prisons. Either offense should result in severe consequences when it is just another form of child abuse. However the problem lies in that the district often protects the teacher rather than addresses the parents‘ concerns–at least that is the case where I live.

It got so bad that a parent had her son take HER cell phone into the classroom to film the abusive behavior. When she then brought it to the attention of the principal, instead of focusing on what was done to her child, they were more concerned that the rule in the school handbook about the cell phone was violated and threatened severe consequences for her son, banned her from coming onto campus over it, etc.  Listen up, people…Schools are not prisons and nor should the districts be allowed to run them as such.  As long as a parent is not creating a disturbance, there is no reason why the person cannot visit the classroom.  This district is trying to cover up the real problem here and that is more teachers manipulating students into bullying one another–OR they are directly bullying themselves under the sanction of the district.

This cannot be tolerated. Parents MUST speak up and start making their voices heard in the district. These people do not OWN your children!  These children are not inmates and it is time to return our classrooms in this country into sanctuaries of learning. Children must be taught BY parents to report this.  Parents need to sit down with their children and explain to them that teachers are NOT ALLOWED to act in a certain way.

It is time to put a stop to this and rid our districts of people who are behind it.  Parents, this is the usual “chain of command” when faced with any issue requiring state involvement in TX.  1. Principal   2. Superintendent   3. School board meeting (get scheduled to speak if necessary prior to the meeting)  4. Texas Education Agency.

I promise you if TEA gets it, they won’t take the case lightly. They will investigate it thoroughly so keep recordings, journals, etc…but it is imperative that you go through the chain of command PRIOR to going to TEA.  The reason many teachers still get away with this is because parents are often too afraid of being harassed by local authorities and/or administrators in their district.  IT is time to fight back for the sake our the children, people. Do no tolerate it! It is the taxpayers (meaning us) that sign their paychecks with the taxes taken out every year so these issues MUST be effectively handled.

Also, someone put forth a proposal in this district to allow teachers to conceal/carry on campus this week. This is ludicrous.  Until the last teacher who is bullying is gone, they are the last persons I want to see with a gun.

I am not sure what the chain of command is in other states, but it is best to follow this to avoid state boards from asking, “Why didn’t you go to (the principal, board, etc…)?” As long as you have taken proper steps prior, there should be no problem with getting this issue addressed.

The Bullying Issue…AGAIN

Alright, this is for those who have read my past blogs on bullying.  I have now come up with some ideas on how to resolve a lot of this, and it came to me when I found out a friend’s daughter was getting bullied and the school switched her classes without telling anyone.

First, in TX, that is NOT supposed to happen. Parents are supposed to be notified prior to schedule changes–esp. mid semester.

For one:  All schools should be required to report any bullying incident to the parent(s) of all parties involved within an hour of becoming aware of it.  That way the PARENTS can actually be involved in addressing the issue.

Two: NO VICTIM should ever have the same classes, lunch break or any extra curricular activity with the bully. Putting the victim in a class with the person who abused them is akin to putting a rape victim in the same room with his/her attacker. It is psychologically devastating and it is abusive of schools to do this to a child who has been bullied.

Three: IT should always be up to the parent(s) of the victim(s) whether or not to file charges–NOT THE DISTRICT. It is their child getting hurt.

Four: Bullies should not be allowed to ride the school buses. Make their parents responsible for their child’s transportation.  Bullies tend to act out on a bus a lot.

Five:  every state should add sections with protections like those mentioned above. At least it’s a start…

Given the fact that many of the public schools now feel like prisons to the victims, I say an extension of the PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) should be expanded to include a rule that public school personnel who fail to tell parents and take measures to protect the victim should be held liable–especially if they fail to report the incident. If that incident is a sexual assault of some type they should be required to tell not only the parents but the police themselves.   Even if it is not a rape, but molestation of some type, it is still a crime punishable under the law. However many districts choose to sweep this under the rug–unless it’s an adult doing this to a child.

If steps like these are not taken soon, then it is children who are victims of violence and emotional abuse that are being silenced and then left behind. Think about that. This being said, I feel that aggravated suicide must be made a punishable crime in all 50 states.

The student population has a growing number of children from gang families coming into the school systems. Many of those have family members that are incarcerated and have learned their violent behaviors at home. You also have “average kids” who bully because they are abused at home.  These things must be addressed in order to make a safe learning environment for all children. Any district failing to enact measures to protect these children should be subject to loss of federal funding also.

This bullying which leads to violence, death and aggravated suicide must stop and it must stop now.

Let It Be…Let It Be…Let It Be…Let It Be…There Will Be An Answer…Let It Be…

Unusual title isn’t it?   Very lovely and moving song the Beatles did back then…It comes to me now, bringing me a calm amidst what could become a storm in my city, county and for Texas before it is all said and done…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdopMqrftXs

It is a beautiful time to watch this flawed film, I think…It has places in it that aren’t perfect, but in this version there is a line that Sir Paul sings that states, “There will be no sorrow…” , yet for some family unknown at this time, there will be sorrow.   Like this particular video, life is not perfect, and it is not meant to be so…

This is the face of innocence...This is the face that demands justice--if it was her that was found this week...

Hailey Dunn went missing a long time ago.  Searchers tirelessly gave of their time to search for her. As time went on, things slowed down but this girl was never forgotten.  Whether it was her body found or not, we all need to keep one thing in mind. The body of that poor soul found this week is that of someone who is missing from his or her family’s dinner table.  He or she has not been at home to open Christmas presents, or to give family members a hug, and they haven’t heard that voice say “I love you” for some time.  That voice is now forever silenced.

Hopefully, for a family somewhere, the search will end…However the grief will begin, and if this body turns out to be that of Hailey Darlene Dunn, the whole state will be shattered–as well as the out of state volunteers that came to help search for her.   Once this body is buried with dignity, it is then the search for answers and for justice will begin.  Hopefully the voices of justice and compassion will rise to speak for this soul, whoever it may be.  Whoever this person is, he or she certainly did not deserve to be abandoned in such an area–alone.

Now that I have voiced my opinion, this song is once again reverberating in my mind but it is not the same tonight…”Our hearts are now in times of trouble, Mother Mary come to me, there will be an answer…Let it be…”

Goodnight everyone…Peace be to you all.

All that I Am–Still Unbroken

Today I found a plastic bowl that one of my boys stained up by using it in the microwave oven…They used something with tomato in it because I could tell by the stain.  I started to throw the thing away, but couldn’t make myself do it.  It elicited a train of though from me that I haven’t had in a long time.

People are quick to toss out things they view as “useless”.  This includes people.  People who may have had things happen to them.  Most know my story so I won’t repeat it, but sharing it has cost me a great deal. People assume that girls who go through what I endured are “damaged” and they want nothing to do with the issue .  There are those who simply wish I wouldn’t talk about it because it disturbs their comfort zone.

Oh well, so be it.  The fact of the matter is that I have decided that I have endured much of the abuse I suffered as a child because some other kid might not have survived it long enough to tell the tale.  If telling my tale helps one child, then the critics and naysayers can all quite frankly kiss my ass.

This “damaged” vessel tells kids that they should never be afraid to keep telling someone until they are listened to.  Period!

I have ended relationships because I could tell that the man I was with had a problem with how I deal with my own issues. Most of them didn’t want to “share me” anymore. They began to isolate me from family and friends and I know exactly what that leads to because my own abusers did the same thing to me as a child–so yes, I know the warning signs and I don’t fall for those lines any longer.

On the other hand, I know that one day another person will cross into my path that will realize that the person I am today is in spite of what happened to me–not because of what happened.  I could have done a 180 and became a totally cruel, sardonic bitch, but I didn’t. I did become a realist.  When a person takes the time to accept me as I am, he will have my heart–and not a minute sooner. He will encourage rather than abase me.  He will lift me up rather than knock me down emotionally.  And he will work alongside me rather than try to constantly control me.  He will let me fly rather than try to put me in his cage. In short, he won’t try to turn me into a creature that I can never be–and I will  return to him that kindness.

By the way, I didn’t toss the bowl since it will come in handy–and besides, it’s less crap for the landfill.  One of these days people will learn that ceramic bowls may break, but they are easier to clean. Once broken, you have to toss them.

That being said, here is one of the most beautiful rock ballads I’ve heard in years.  Johnny Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls) knows how to craft a lyric…I think it proper to close with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcTnu3AWk7Q&feature=related

I will never be broken.

I Am One Pissed Off Mom! CHILD ABUSE SHOULD NEVER, EVER BE TOLERATED!

Before reading this, I need to forewarn you that what you are about to watch is CHILD ABUSE.  This is a form of bullying I endured at home, but I knew the difference between a spanking and a beating.  My dad “spanked” me.  My stepmother would beat me by throwing me into walls and cabinets and such–literally…She picked me up off of the ground and threw me around.  This video rivets me to the core.  The language this man used with this child took me back to my own stepmother’s abuse.   The beating (and yes it is a beating) was totally uncalled for.

As a sergeant in a correctional facility, I saw men in that unit who did serious time for this kind of shit and this guy is a judge?! C’mon! People need to quit defending  Neanderthals like this! He is an animal!  I am brutal and to the point when I make these statements, but I was totally incensed at the cruelty of this man. If he has any minor children left at home, I hope to hell Child Protective Services (CPS) takes steps to protect them.  This was assault and battery of a child–pure and simple. Unfortunately, if this video is 7 years old, they can’t charge him for this beating, but if there are younger children around him, CPS can still investigate–and they should.

IF I were this young woman, this bastard would not come within 2 feet of any child of mine–I promise you that much.  If he did it to her, he’d do it to them.  If you don’t want to watch the video, I’ll understand, but please take my word for it–this guy is so full of bullshit that if he ever got locked up on a charge like that, he would spend his entire time in protective custody for what is on this video.  It is disturbing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9y3SIPt7o&feature=youtu.be

A Film About Bullying and What It Can Lead To…

To Start with here is a link to the movie trailer for “Mad World“:  http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi618071577/

In the beginning, one is not sure what to make of this film but it touched on several issues that need to be addressed–and most of it came through the verbiage of Will (Dylan Vigus) and Cory (Gary Cairns). While Will is the one telling the story, it is Cory that best expresses what is going on in the mind of a tortured young man in a school where, as it often occurs, faculty completely ignores the issues of bullying and doesn’t even see (or chooses not to see) the signs of a child who is abused at home.
The character of Jevon (James Lee Martinec) is symbolic of the abused child who fell through the cracks of a failed system that is supposedly designed to protect our children–and often does not. I can relate to this character, but not for what is depicted in the film. I had a step mother who loved pointing a pistol at my head and tearing me down psychologically. At other times, she tossed me into walls, cabinets or whatever struck her fancy. Any other abuse I endured was not at the hands of my parents. That is all I will say there, but as I said earlier, if someone who has lived in a situation where they are abused in both environments (home and school) it might be a bit much to watch, so one might want to keep this in mind prior to viewing it.

I grew up in a time where it was one thing to wish the bullies were dead but it was taboo to act on it…The characters in this film were not consumed by video games and such as the far right would like to think. They were consumed by a society that threw them to the gutter and didn’t care–and that is how many bullied children perceive the school environment in this day and age–especially when they are going through crap at home.

This writer merely put all the thoughts, the pain and the horrible things that run through the minds of broken souls and put it on celluloid and for that he is to be commended. Cory Cataldo did a great job of that. Now was that sex scene a bit much? Yes. You will know which one when you watch it. There was more than one scene.

Each character was a piece of a puzzle that fit into a whole. You had Cory–who was actually a very intelligent young man and articulate. You had Jevon who was a resident genius and (like myself) viewed school as a refuge–even though he didn’t quite fit in…Because he made the school “look good” they took an interest in HIM but then threw him to the wolves when he didn’t measure up to what the school’s standard of perfection was. This DOES happen a lot.

Then there is Will. His father is an all around jerk and abuses him daily. Will is also articulate, intelligent and fell through the cracks. He also brings some of the humor to the film (along with Cory). Then you have John (Matthew Thompson) which brings another dimension to the film. He is an African-American student raised by white, adoptive parents. This character suffered the effects of racism and violence in such a way that he felt he had no other options open to him. His monologue after the worst assault he endures will leave you in tears. It is riveting.

The ones playing teachers and administrators were a joke (and there are people like this in life who dismiss the bullying as ‘kids being kids’). These are the types that will sweep what the athletes and such do under a carpet but if a student sneezes in the wrong direction that is not part of that social circle, like vultures, they will all kick that student to the curb–which is what these characters did. Fortunately, my teachers and administrators were NOT like this. They cared and I knew it. Times have drastically changed because many do not seem to care about much more than their paychecks now. Sorry but that is true and this movie seems to touch on it.

This may be a low-budget indie film, but Gary Cairns and the other cast members made it believable–especially to a viewer who lived in a similar situation. I agree with the viewer that felt that the O’Reilly picture was a bit much. There are plenty of bone-headed school administrators in both major parties. Note: Not all people in the south are conservative and not all support the death penalty. This movie could have driven a huge point home to an audience had the political ideology been left completely out.

I really do not consider this to be a dark comedy as much as an art film. It is beautiful when put in that perspective because it attempts to bring new light to old issues. Cory is the greatest voice of teen angst, Jevon of the pain of having to remain silent and to conform to standards and expectations that no boy should have to endure, Will is a voice of reason in the film even though his reasoning seems flawed in some respects and then there is John. The quiet kid who marches to his own drum, until forced to toss it aside and become a different creature altogether. Then again, they all 4 became different creatures–just as any child who is repeatedly bullied and abused can.

For those reasons alone–the touching on the issues and the acting itself,  it is definitely worth watching–but if  the movie “Precious” pissed you off thoroughly, this one might too–and you’ll find out why.  It is incredibly thought-provoking–and serves to remind that bullying is an issue that MUST be addressed at all levels–home, school and in society. Warning: If “Precious” pissed you off, this one might. Trust me.

I Once Again Felt a Chill Down My Spine Today…

This is not going to be a long post, but most of you know the story of my stepmother Judy.  Granted the poor woman was mentally ill, but I didn’t understand that during the time I went through hell with her waiving a gun at my head, throwing me up into the walls and such from the time I was 11 and a few other things that went on which I do not care to discuss.

However today, I saw a story that sent chills down my spine because I realize I could have been among this number.   I realize how fortunate I am that I was not.  For three years I lived in a prison from which there was no escape for a little over three years and those three years shaped my destiny.  How I kept my sanity is beyond me.  I don’t consider myself broken, damaged and such–but there are times I wake up in a cold sweat even 33 years after the fact.

Oddly enough Judy, my stepmother,  died on 9/12/1978.  I am always down on 9/11 for obvious reasons, but this anniversary is one I don’t know whether to feel grief, relief or both depending on the memories that come back.  I wish she could have gotten help for her illness and there are some things I wish had been handled a lot differently.  However, it was not meant to be.  For some reason, I am alive and many others were not so lucky.  Many nights that .22 was waived at my head and I was threatened but I always put myself mentally elsewhere.  Other children did not make it out of their hells and their cells as I did mine.

I saw a story tonight that made me cry.  The violence of it and the horrible things that this  little girl had to see and hear make  my stepmother’s abusive behavior seem like a trip to Disneyland.   I realized tonight that I didn’t endure crap half as bad as this famous little girl did.  Back in the days when this happened,  there was not much Child Protective Services could do if the children wouldn’t talk.  It was true at the time of my stepmother’s death and it was true at the time of the death of a little girl named Judith Eva Barsi (June 1978-July 1988).

Judith (Judy–as some called her) was an actress on her way to stardom.  Despite the hell she endured at home, she always looked happy and cheerful…I call that the greatest mask because I too was able to wear it.  At times I could go to school beaming as if everything was as fine as it would be in a Brady Bunch or Ozzie and Harriet household.   However some of my teachers saw right through it.  Did anyone besides the psychologist and immediate family see through Judy Barsi’s?

Why did CPS just speak to the mother and not interview the child alone?  If they did would it have mattered?  Most likely not.  I find it ironic that a movie was not made about this because the headlines were almost too many to count from what I am reading tonight. On top of that, after 45 days or so, the judge tended to put the kids right back into the hell they were taken out of for the sake of “keeping the family together”.  To me that is a load of pure crap in extreme cases.  First time, take their rights and place the kid(s) elsewhere.  That is what I feel should be done  and ONLY in EXTREME cases–and to me this was pretty extreme.

If you don’t believe me look at the case of the Jahnke kids.  Remember?  The ones that shot their dad who was VERY abusive to them?  I remember it, too.  They should have been fully pardoned when it came out what they endured at this hands.  Sorry if you don’t agree but these were kids–like me but they were a bit older when their incident took place.  They did make movies about this incident, but I am not going to go into it here…They are out of prison and living quiet lives and I wish them peace and a full life.

Ironically, I could have fallen into either category–Judith Barsi’s or that of the Jahnke kids.  I don’t know what stopped me to this day from pulling the trigger on my stepmother the night I had the opportunity to, but something did.  On the other hand, I don’t know what the hell kept her from blowing my brains out.  Does that make me sick or abnormal?  I don’t think so.  There is a big difference in fantasizing about killing the bully and actually carrying out the thought.  I could never do it. Even now I know I could NOT do it.  That is the difference between yesterday’s kid and today’s kid I guess.  We had Columbine for a wake up call, right?   Now if someone tries to harm one of my sons, that is a whole new ball game.

Aside from that there is something that people need to remember.   Kids basically had very few rights then, but someone has to be their voice.  Someone has to step in and take action when nobody else can or will.  My hat goes off to every social worker who has ever had to risk his or her life to remove a child from a parent like Jozsef Barsi or from a parent like my stepmother.  I salute every policeman/woman , firefighter and teacher who has ever stepped in to help in such a situation–and many HAVE done so. Many a teacher helped me as best as they could during my time of hell.  Day after day, these brave people go in to face the unknown, and just like those less fortunate children that they are trying to protect, they might not make it home again.

As 9/12 approaches for me, I am grateful for all of these heroes–as well as the ones who will be remembered the day prior.  We should never, ever take life for granted.  We are all here for a reason and now I know this.  Someday, maybe I’ll finish the book on it, but there are days that I simply cannot write in it.  I still cry.  I still struggle with whether or not to take that pen that I have created so many imaginary heroes and heroines with in their worlds and paint the reality of my world  for all to see.  Besides that, “Precious” was already out there to try to wake people up as well…I wonder if I am the only writer that goes through this type of stuff.  I know to this day, I cannot watch “Precious”.  Sorry but it is  painful for me for other reasons.  My niece warned me about it so I can’t watch it.  If they make one about this case, I will not be able to watch it either.

Anyway, I feel that Judith Barsi is the long-lost poster child for the reality of what child abuse is.  Her own father killed her and then killed her mother as well.  Some say the song “Concrete Angel” by Martina McBride may have been written about her.  I choose to honor her life here. I chose the video below because it uses a song that brings hope and not tears.  She should be remembered with a smile for the sunshine she brought to so many.  Her life was cut short way too soon, and I do not feel that she should ever be forgotten.  If you know of a child going through hell, please, by all means pick up the bloody phone. You may be saving a life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-q947Iyy3c&feature=related