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.

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.


Unusual Truth–Nana

You have beaten me yet I do smile

You have berated me but I still laugh

You have misjudged me and I have survived

You have bound me but never have found me

You have misused me yet I have prevailed

You have discarded me-the stone left unturned.




Nana is Taking a Friend’s Advice…The Book has Begun… (Back to the Nanahood)


“The person I once was is not the person I am, and I emerged from a moment in time stronger than about 90% of the population…I had to endure what I went through. Why? That would be the question most would ask. I would say it is simple. My enduring what I did prevented someone else who couldn’t handle it from enduring it in my stead. I had to embrace the child I once was and then let her go quietly to rest in peace for she is no more. In doing that, I could move forward with strength and determination. That being said, age is truly a number and I am living my youth now. Anyone who cannot handle it, that is because somewhere along the way you lost your vision…I didn’t lose mine–but it did change with time. For that I am grateful…”–Introduction for my first novel “From Cell to Cell”.


And now it has begun to have a life of its own–outside the walls…


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.

I will never be broken.


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.

Touchy Topic…True Story…Food for Thought…When Educators are the Bullies…

It was 1978…I was a kid who was going through hell at home.  I was abused…I won’t go into every little detail, but my stepmother’s favorite mode of discipline when I was a child was to pick me up and throw me into a cabinet or up against the wall–if she wasn’t waiving a gun at my head…While my classmates enjoyed slumber parties, discovered the opposite sex and enjoyed some normal teen-aged fun–I spent my days and many nights hiding in my room and watching old movies or reading books–even after Judy’s death.

Some of what I write is through a character called “Kit”.  She’s merely a facsimile of what I might have been, or am depending on any given day of the week.  While my father turned more to his alcohol, and other family members only sought an escape, I followed suit and my pen became my weapon against all evil entities foreign and domestic.  I killed off more characters who did horrible things than Dexter–most likely, so I guess you could say I was a “serial slasher with a pen”.  It is through these writings that I ended up in a counselor’s office at the age of 15.  They really thought that rather than the escape vehicle my writing was, that I was actually planning to harm myself for some strange reason.  I think it had more to do with the fact that my stepmother killed herself and my writing became darker with each passing moment.

However this is about a Monday morning in September when I came back to school after her having been buried a few days prior.  The whole town knew that she shot herself.  I was sleeping with the lights on, still not believing that my chief abuser/warden was gone.  It was worsened by the fact that my father left me to my own devices for the most part.  The alcohol became the next woman in his life for some time. Before I get into this, I just want to say that in the present, if a teacher does this, he or she can lose their license for it.  I found out today that I was vindicated when I found out through a classmate that the teacher who was so cruel (a coach) was fired on the football field not too long after this incident.

I remember walking through the halls that Monday morning…Even some of the kids that picked on me were nice to me.  “I am sorry, Tina.” they’d say.  Or “If you need anything, my mother said you can come to our house.” etc..Everything seemed okay.  I avoided writing in my journal and the teacher, Mrs. Eaves was okay with that.  She understood that I just wanted to read that day.  I remember what I was reading too…I was reading “Silas Marner“…George Eliot–not my usual Edgar Allen Poe or Samuel Beckett fare.  I dreaded going to Biology class because HE was going to be there.  This teacher was a pure asshole.  He singled students out daily and humiliated them.  He picked on the ones that had long hair.  We felt more like marine recruits than students in his charge.  This incident would be the first nail in the coffin for him.

I walked into the room and sat at the desk where I usually went in the back of the room…He always gave me bullshit before–along with a few other students, but this was not the day he wanted to do that–only he didn’t realize that yet.  Somehow, one of the new kids (who truly didn’t realize who I am) asked about suicide and why people do that.  I was livid.  This is not what I wanted to hear at all.  Somehow that student got to ask why women do that when the coach commented, “Women don’t usually go around shooting themselves because they don’t want to mess up their looks.”  The class became quiet and those who knew me turned and look back at me.  I stood up.  I heard one of my classmates say “Holy shit! He’ll kill her…”

“O’Neill what do you think you’re doing?  Sit back down.” he said to me.

“Go to hell.” I said as I headed for the door.  I left my books and everything on the desk.  He tried to grab my arm and was yelling something, but for the first time, I pulled away and ran–not walked–RAN to the office.  I slammed the door behind me and they instantly  knew something was wrong.  I wasn’t crying either. I wanted to, for the first time, really bitch slap that man.  I was seething with rage. The principal called me into the office and he and the counselor calmed me down.  They called my Dad.  Once I calmed down they asked me what happened.  “I will never go back to that class.” I told them.  They asked why.  I told him everything that this coach had said.  They had my books brought to the office.  When my dad showed up, they had him take me home and told him that I could stay home for a few days with no penalty while they straightened things out.

They talked to my dad for a long time after I went back into the waiting area and sat down.  I remember Dad saying something like, “You should have reported him a long time ago for talking to you kids like that.  He has no right.”  All I said was, “He is the teacher and isn’t he ALWAYS right?”   “No. He isn’t. And you’re going into a different class next week but I’m keeping you home for a few more days.” he told me.  I went into my room, closed my door and THEN cried a bit.  I didn’t want to let anyone see me like that–devastated…

I went back to school that Friday.  They had that coach in the office.  “Tina, I’m sorry.  I had been out-of-town for a week and I really didn’t know what happened.”  My response, “You’re a liar.  You are mean to us all every day and you treat us like crap.  Everyone in town knew so you can’t tell me you never got a phone call or a note in your box. I’m not stupid.  That was the last straw and if they put me back in your class, I’m dropping out.”  He then said, “Tina I really am sorry.  I really didn’t know–”  I said something like  “Take it up with God.  Maybe he’ll believe it but not me. I’m not God.”

Nobody said anything after he went back to his classroom, but I was quickly put into a different class.  Another teacher told me she really understood how I felt, but he really wasn’t told about it.   That just told me someone dropped the ball.   He got fired on the football field as well later on.  Evidently he never learned anything from what he did to me.  The remark about suicide wasn’t the first time he picked on any of us.  Any of us could have fit into “The Breakfast Club“.  I was the Ally Sheedy character…Jimmy was the Judd Nelson character…I could go on…If he wasn’t picking on someone for their weight, it was their hair…If it wasn’t how they dressed, it was how they spoke or read…In short, this guy was a pure asshole.

All I want to point out here is that if a teacher bullies a student or group of students, there should be no “probation”.  This is abuse and they should immediately lose their license for it the first time they are caught doing it.  This stuff still goes on…I’ve seen teachers tell other students, “Don’t say something to (Insert a student name here) because he/she will run back and tell Mommy and we’ll all get into trouble~!” AFTER said teacher had been verbally abusing other students and gotten reported for it several times so where does the “we” come into it?  I’ll tell you.  That teacher is trying to gain a following–just like gang leaders and wannabes in prison do.  I saw this behavior first hand when working in corrections.  This is what offenders do to incite others to be cruel to offenders that will not fall into their game or do as they want.  Kids have been bullied at school as a result of the manipulation by these educators–especially if the teacher in question “rewards” those who “support” him or her with free time or something…Seriously!

Schools should not be prisons and teachers should not be teaching students how to be “offenders” in a correctional setting.  Teachers who engage in this type of behavior are as low as some of the people I had to deal with as a correctional sergeant and not all of them were offenders either.  Thank you.  I’ve gotten that off of my chest.  If you know of a teacher who does this, report it.  If you are a teacher and you witness this–don’t be afraid to do the right thing because ignoring it makes you party to it.  There shouldn’t be a “code of silence” when kids are suffering at the hands of such incompetent educators.  And as for administrators that back these abusers up rather than do their job, fire them on the spot right along with teacher that overstepped his/her bounds.