Tag Archives: child abuse

Marilyn Ann Pate- EVERYDAY EVIL, a memoir

      EVERYDAY EVIL by Marilyn Anne Pate

      ISBN: 978-0-9820518-1-8

     The terrifying story of manipulation, repression, and cruelty by a father who appeared to the outside world as a normal, devoted family man.  As in David Lynch’s movie Blue Velvet, profound horrors lay beneath the surface of tranquil setting, but Pate’s EVERYDAY EVIL isn’t fiction.  It’s painfully true.  – Claude Campbell, Author of ABOU AND THE ANGEL COHEN and IN THE YELLOW WOOD       

      The true page turner, a deeply touching and disturbing memoir that reads like a novel.  If you purchase only one memoir during you life, this should be the one.  You will be richer from the experience.  – Harvey Stanbrough, nominee for Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award          

       Rarely have I witenessed the courage and candor that Marily Pate conveys.  This riveting story will inspire those who are struggling to survive an abusive family relationship, as well as those who have yet to heal from a traumatic childhood.   – Denise Roessle

      Be prepared to hold your breath as you read Marilyn Pate’s gripping memoir of the dark side of a family, dominated by a diabolical father with a chillingly cruel streak.  – Alice Holden, Author historical romances 

      A storm lived in the little house on Second Street in Tucson, Arizona.  No one was supposed to know about the midnight yelling screaming fights between the Police Captain and his charming second wife. 

      Three terrified children knew.  They hid under the covers, piled pillows over their heads and tried to sleep as they could earn the straight A’s in school that were demanded of them. 

      Teachers knew when they saw and tended to the lacerations on arms and legs of two of the children. 

      The stepmother knew, and was able to protect her daughters from physical harm, but she couldn’t protect them from the everyday toxic emotional, spiritual and intellectual abuse that the father meted out because he loved them. 

      Why was the father- a handsome, intelligent, charming narcissist- that way?  Everyday decisions that gradually turned into evil acts became common.  How did only one of four children come to lead a relatively normal life?  How did she break the chain of abuse and raise three loving children?  Why did each of his four wives regret they married him while his daughter enjoys and revels in fifty-five years of one happy marriage?

      EVERYDAY EVIL answers unaskedable questions.  It is writter from a recovered heart and will touch yours. 

      Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

      Deadwood. Oregon

      www.wymacpublishing.com

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Cherokee Sky- DIRTY LAUNDRY, a poem

      Cherokee Sky

       DIRTY LAUNDRY

Eternity seeks screaming why,
Six decades transitionally fly.

Dirty laundry, family and friend,
Tarnished innocence never to mend.

Unspeakable hushes from who cherish,
Hush little girl or you may parish.

Dirty laundry hidden by vanity,
Buried in peace lies with my sanity.

Unspeakable silence behind crying eyes,
All exists, all has been, and truth now flies.

Dirty laundry upon soul sets heavy,
Tears held back could burst any levy.

Unspeakable once spoken, can they not see,
My heart, my soul, oh so broken I must flee.

Eternity seeks still screaming why,
Six decades, Angels to transitionally fly.
———————————————
BACK GROUND
       I was born into the time zone where we were told, hush, we don’t air our dirty laundry in public.  Child abuse of any kind was treated much like someone with epilepsy.  It was hushed, hidden away, no one was allowed to tell.   Why wouldn’t they believe a child who never lied.  Fathers can abuse the innocents of their charges.    Innocent ones have Angels watching over, carrying them through.   I write from within, life can have many road blocks.  If one gets knocked down or trips and falls, it is we who the Angels teach to fly.
      Cherokee Sky

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Randy-a writer asks “why lament?”

      It was to awaken my consciousness that I left the theater in 1971.   I also heard the call of adventure.   My wife and I bought bicycles in Malaka Malaysia and planned to tour South East Asia with them.   The touring, in various legs and by various means, lasted at least three years: we ended our journey in Vienna Austria and worked where we could: Vienna and Bangkok.   My goal was to experience as much as I could.   I intended to use it all later.   But my interest in other things kept me from using most of it; and then I began helping people.   The newly disabled, the developmental disabled, the mentally ill, the homeless, and children who were abused: when jobs working with these groups were offered me I took them.   But they were more than jobs to me.   I was interested in creating new approaches and programs.   I saw need everywhere; transitioning homeless people in Tucson became my legacy; I developed my methodology for investigating child abuse with the hope that it would become the standard.   But sometimes my effort seemed wasted, and in the end, from where I now sit, I’m not sure that I left anything of lasting value (which could be frustrating except now I have a new mission.   For the past three years I have been busy trying to develop a community arts center named El Ojito Springs after the origin of Tucson.)

      The scope of all of this has been wide, spanning a big portion of my life, but I have been so busy that I haven’t focused on my writing to the extent that I wanted.   I’ve approached the various lives that I have lived with great passion and that seems to have been part of the problem and why I haven’t concentrated on my writing.   If I had been less passionate, maybe I could’ve given more effort where I intended to.   When I’ve approached other people with this lament, they generally have pointed to all I have accomplished and have shown little sympathy.

Randy Ford

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Randy-material for a play, personal and impersonal

More than three years ago my father died of pancreatic cancer. I was involved in this process for over a week, or at least it seemed that way. I spent a good deal of that time cleaning out his garage, and was avoiding my grief, trying to stay out of the way, and, inside, seething over how no one was listening to me. But more importantly I felt sorry the whole time that there was unfinished business between my dad and me.
He died at home. Three or four times he stopped breathing. Each time my family gathered around him to pray and help him make the transition. My only piece of luck that whole week was when I lingered outside the room the last time and missed his death.

The conflict here was between my two younger sisters and me. This conflict stemmed from something inconsequential, a tape of praise hymns-to me that got awfully old, but the fact that my father probably enjoyed the tape never mattered so much to me as the fact that my sisters insisted on playing it to him over and over again. That he might’ve preferred Hank Williams or Nancy Cline never occurred to them; and low and behold, some of his final words proved me right and proved them wrong.

The situation didn’t encourage harmony. Traumatic to me, it later became part of a play of mine. Some things about my dad’s death remain in it (it is the mortar that holds the darn thing together); but thank goodness the play is not about him. It was about a dying father who physically and sexually abused his kids. It was about a mother who did nothing about it. It was personal when I conceived it; but about a not-very-nice man while my father was exactly the opposite.

That was how I put the play together. Pieces came from various sources; I used my total experience base to write it. A large family is brought together by the imminent death of the patriarch, all together for the first and probably the last time. They are educated people, a physics professor, very troubled indeed, and this is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for them to lay to rest all the hurt that had divided them; and this opportunity came in the form of conflict: for Daddy’s Party isn’t the easiest play to watch. It is one of three plays I have written about child abuse.

My wife was molested by her grandfather. He wasn’t a very nice man; and he told me I wasn’t worth a tinker’s damn. But he taught at Columbia. He was never prosecuted. In those days abuse was rarely talked about, wouldn’t have been brought before a court, and was overlooked for many reasons: yes, a good reason to write the play. All of this is in it. I didn’t though stick to the facts, or write about family members; and though I lived part of the play (and the characters were taken from a variety of sources), the play wasn’t about my wife or me.

Good night, Randy

 

 

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Randy – Using Material From Your Life Experiences

Available at Amazon.com

Available at Amazon.com

It is fair to say that I have not always liked where my writing has taken me, for instance into the mind of a perverted person, a pedophile. My life, and the day jobs I’ve had, has given me plenty of material from which to draw. Members of my family, as children, were victims of physical and sexual abuse, and we have not always been open about it. As a family we have survived, but for some years all of the emotions associated with the abuse lay buried just below the surface of our daily routine.

At work I was the very best Child Protective Services Investigator; in our role we were always on the edge of a black hole, so I knew of what I was writing when I penned the full-length play ON THE EDGE. I think it was an honest effort. Having said that, and having lived the whole thing, I am not always comfortable with the material. Below is the one scene of a play that I cried over as I wrote it.

Colin

I’ve always been impressed with one neat lady.

(Silence)

Silence may be a good thing. What has Boss said about being afraid of me? I need to know. Dr. Nugent gave her a Conduct Disorder. He said he thought Amy setting the fire…all of that…was intentional. A Conduct Disorder and a goddamn Attachment Disorder. Ruled out an Attachment Disorder. And Major Depression. Chronic and not situational. Do you know what that means? It means I won’t lose my job. Dr. Nugent, you son-of-a-bitch, your next game of golf is on me.

Martha

I don’t get it.

Colin

But, Amy, you can sure as hell lie. Boy, can she lie. I don’t know whether it is worse that she lied about having bruises all up and down her back and saying I beat her, or the fact that she would lie period.

Martha

I think you’re flipping your lid, Colin, I honestly do.

Colin

Boss, our daughter…let me explain. With a conduct disorder and chronic depression, it can’t possibly be emotional abuse. And she didn’t have any bruises, so it’s not physical abuse. All over CPS workers are gossiping about little ol’ me…about how Colin Rogers was placed on administrative leave because his daughter told someone that she was afraid to go home and her old man beat the hell out of her…now get this…with a paddle named The Enforcer. Thank god, she didn’t have a single bruise. Not emotional abuse or physical abuse. So I won’t lose my job.

(Standing with a handful of glass)

I’ve have had a girl swallow…

(Indicating the glass)

…this! So far we’re lucky. We need to keep our fingers crossed. That investigator they sent….

(Glaring)

He knew too much about us. Martha! Oh, Martha.

(He cries and swallows.)

Ignorance.

(He dumps the glass into a trash can and gets several paper towels from the kitchen. On his knees, he proceeds to clean up the spilled beer.)

Amy! We have to be careful…all this at once…her life has been shattered.

Martha

Don’t! My mind’s made up. And if you want to know the truth, it’s been made up for a very long time. I never had the strength before. It took all this.

Colin

I didn’t see.

Martha

Five minutes!

Colin

Life has slipped by. There’s nothing left for me…all gone. The house….

Martha

You can have the house.

Colin

Forget the goddamn house. You’ve nailed me to the wall, and Amy stabbed me in the back. See how quickly lies come…lies compounded by lies…ooo! how sweet lies can be when there’s a payoff seen. Crap! She told them I’d beat the crap out of her. But no abuse! No abuse. That means you’ll still get your child support. Thank you, she says, thank you, thanks…. Our girl had everything: had her own room, in clothes the latest fads, her own television, telephone. She could talk on the telephone all night long and we let her. Our parenting skills, we thought, were on par with the best. But she liked to be left alone in her room for extended periods of times…. We let her messy room go. We never searched it. We never suspected that she abused drugs. I’m the one that drank and used pot to relax.

Martha

And now you sit on the pity pot.

Colin

You’re hard. And I’m guilty… guilty of not being able to get my own ass out of the gutter long enough to notice that Amy has grown…suffers from chronic depression. I didn’t think it was depression. I knew Boss tried to hang herself but I couldn’t…couldn’t drag myself out of the black hole…yes, the black hole…long enough to….

Martha

It doesn’t do any good for you to beat yourself up. You said it yourself, we’re lucky…lucky that Amy hasn’t swallowed glass…YET!

(Colin crumbles the wet paper towel and throws it.)

Colin

Guilty…guilty of bringing my work home…guilty of never letting go of it. Guilty of hearing the words…replaying the words the words over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Sunshine

(From offstage)

Fuckin’. Pumpin’. Fuckin’. Cain’t do nothin’ ‘bout it. Days go by, still fuckin’.

Colin

Over and over.

Sunshine

(Appearing)

There’s just me and him on the bed. Sometimes he lays me down on the floor. Some…some…sometimes he hides us under a blanket. He pulls down my underwear.  That’s habit. He pinches my titties…his titty flirt, licks me, and…has me lick him…and….

Colin

(To Sunshine)

Little girl, would you like a piece of candy?

(And then to Martha)

Pedophiles love children.

Girl

(Appearing)

You guys don’t do shit.

Colin

Pedophiles show love to their victims more often than their parents do. I’ve known pedophiles who are suicidal because they know that in prison they’re not going to be able to show their love to children, unless…mothers bring their children to visit them in prison… ‘cause they love children and know how to get parents to turn their children over to them…‘cause they know just what to do to get love back. They take love and make children do things you’d never…never talk about. Pedophiles…oh, my!

(Very, very quietly)

I like big boobs. Regardless…regardless…how big they are…there’s no law against…looking.

Girl

He’d…he’d neve’…neve’ use rubbers.

Martha

Four minutes!

Sunshine

Tit…tit…tit..titty…titty…flirt.

Girl

Tempted? You could be arrested.

Martha

Two minutes.

Colin

Sixteen and a prostitute. We ought to be thankful.

Martha

Thankful for what?

Colin

MOVE OUT! ALL OF YOUS! Start at the beginning and give me every single detail. He didn’t do nothing! That’s not what you said…wouldn’t do that. No? It’s not lovin’ or intercourse. Then what is it? Pervert! Mama knew and did nothing. Mama…tell me all the filthy stuff and more…and then what happened… year after year if you last that long…over and over again…hear about the poop…the underpants on the railing… the licking…the licking…licking… like an eight year old describes it…the touching, the licking, the licking, until the white stuff comes out. Gooey! And he makes you swallow

it. Gag! And you’ve got to get the words right…all of the words…so THERE’S NOWAY SOMEBODY CAN SAY SHE MADE THAT UP! On the edge of a black hole…you’ve got to understand: we’re always on the edge of a black hole.

Martha

One minute.

Colin

The truth is. And this is absolutely true. He used axle grease. He first went out into the garage and with two fingers dug into the axle grease, and came looking for me…he told me it would feel good…told me before I started dating boys it was part of my ed-u-cashun…told me if I told anyone he’d…he’d hurt my mama.

Martha

Time’s up. I know you have a tough job. But your time is up. So get out of here.

Colin

But what about my things?

Martha

Don’t you understand?

(She starts to cry. He sobs.)

I’m tired, and I can’t deal with it now.

Good night.

Randy Ford, playwright

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