Yes, People Kill People But….

Look, I do not talk about this a lot. Yes, I DO support the right of EVERY law-abiding citizen to own a gun, but mental health in this country has to be addressed.  I’m not into all this gun grabbing crap a lot of people are trying to push for,  but I see nothing wrong with flagging people who have severe behavioral disorders from getting a gun. If people are arrested for domestic violence, robbery, assault, etc…they should automatically have their guns confiscated also until found not guilty–and if found guilty, they should not be returned to anyone in the household, but sold to cover costs incurred by the county and/or state.

I do not agree with the extreme left on this issue because they give off a perception that they do have a goal to take ALL guns away, or at least many of them do. However, these violent groups of people have to be dealt with.

I do not think it is that much to ask for. I’m not advocating limitations on all guns or gun sales, just to individuals who have such records.

Had such a system been in place in the 1970’s my stepmother might not have blown her brains out when I was almost 15. Was she mentally ill? Yes. We found out AFTER her death that she had been institutionalized. Her favorite thing to do when my dad was at work was to point that .22 that she killed herself with and put it to my temple as her method of “discipline” which was nothing more than terrorism in my home.

To this day, people, I can still feel the cold end of that gun at my temple. Sometimes I wake up dreaming about it. It was only after she died that I realized that this wasn’t just a surrealistic nightmare I lived in, but that she could have, at any moment, blown my brains out and anyone else’s in the house too.

Unless you lived through it, I know you can’t relate to it and more went on than that, which I will not discuss. Funny thing is I didn’t really realize what “normal” was until I got around “normal families” that sat at the table together and such after her death. I grew to pity her. Hopefully, she is at peace. I forgave her long ago, and despite the nightmares I have once in a while, I can still feel pity for her and understand that she could not help herself–but that the state failed to help her a long, long time ago.

I will say this much for those who have gone through something like this at the hands of a mentally ill relative or person close to your family. What helped me was to forgive her. Once I did that, the nightmares gradually happened less often, and became less intense. I actually stood over her grave about seven years ago and told her that I forgive her. Anyway, I hope that does help someone out there. I know forgiving her did help me.

Troubling Thoughts from a Military Brat….

My father, Kenneth B. O’Neill, USAF Ret (1972) served honorably in our military for 20 years. I learned a lot from him in my youth. One of the things I learned is that if the government is going to try to pull some kind of crap on the population of the country, then it will try it as an “experiment” on military bases and/or personnel first.  We saw this occur throughout History but there is ONE thing that should NEVER be done–and that is making military bases “gun free zones”.

To me, it is an experiment to see how a gun ban would work on a smaller scale, but here lies the problem. The government is not taking in the fact that it opens our soldiers, sailors, airmen/women, and others up for attack. If you want proof of that, I only have two words for you: “Ft. Hood”.  If ONE single soldier had a sidearm, the guy might have been stopped before killing 3 other people.

Aside from that, to me it is akin to treason to deliberately  put our military personnel in harm’s way and for that alone I think this administration should be held accountable.  This is a lesson that failed and the administration should not only have taken a note from the first Ft. Hood shooting a few years ago, but from the Naval Yard shooting as well.

This being said, I’m sure my dad is doing somersaults in his grave . After this incident it is time to give the bullets and such back to our military personnel and it is time to tell our government to NOT disarm our law enforcement officers as well. I think that might come next!

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.


Nana says this country is wound up WAY TOO TIGHT!

The best thing parents can do right now is reassure their children rather than let this crap going on instill fear into us as a nation. Between school threats and the Mayan Calendar (which I will joke about because this goes on EVERY single year) the people of this nation should not be allowing the media reports of stuff to instill a panic in their hearts–especially THIS time of year. Turn off the TV if you’ve got to and don’t leave newspapers lying about–take your kids out somewhere and spend time with them. Read to them. Tell them you love them. Decorate a tree if you take part in that, or go somewhere and celebrate that you can be together. Above all, don’t leave for work without telling your family you love them.

Have a great week!

Had to crack up a little! LOL!

Had to crack up a little! LOL!


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.