Cycle of Abuse: Isn’t It Ironic?

Irony is such a strange word.  I never fully understood it.  Until, I found myself uncovering the trash bin of history that covers my blood.  And, until, I found myself needing to look long and hard at my own ‘hate crimes.’

The irony of my parent’s sharing the same psychiatrist…Dr. Koutras, the hand who filled the bottles.  Until the, irony of shared psychosis…Forty five minutes with my father (the wife killer.)  Forty five minutes with my mother (depressed ex nun looking for abusive father figure.)

Until, until, until…

Dr. Koutras became a stone pillar within a graveyard.  Not until, the doctor’s death, did I  understand how the sharing of time together…can become a pebble that lay the pavement.  The pavement that cover the path…to their children’s own bouts with depression, anger…addiction.

My mother had told me shortly before she passed away.  Informed me that both she, and my father did not reside well.  Did not perform well, as parents should, after Dr. Koutras passed away.

Gee!  Do you think so?

After all, the good Dr Koutras and Mr. John Hawkins, had lay the ground work for my father’s quick dismissal from murder.  After all, both psychiatrist and psychologist, along with many of those with power, knew Janice and Harold had created a child…under the hospital’s not…watchful eye.

The irony that struck me?sps-5

It had not been my mother’s discourse on loosing a psychiatrist of good faith.  The irony struck me that…many abuses of doctor/patient professional relationship…had occurred.

My father, essentially, lived weekends, at John Hawkin’s home.  Lived not as the killer he had been…less than two years before.  My parents shared the same confidant for over twenty years, Dr. Koutras.  He had allowed them to visit, have sex, get married and give birth.  Give birth…to me.  Give birth to an addict with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder.

The humor?  Years later…had been that I became a counselor.  Receiving a degree and psychology and working as, a mental health worker.  Going even further than that…a master’s degree in social work.

Paradoxically, I had worked with adults, dual diagnosed, at a private psych hospital.  Still, I found the bowel’s of addiction held me close at night.  Still, I had bouts of anger that would only be semi controlled by destructive and risky sexual behavior.  Still, with papered degree in hand…I did not know of my history.  A history that possibly could have helped explain my abhorrent…after work…behavior.

Nothing from my childhood to my thirties seemed cohesive!  Would it have helped to know?  Could I have changed?

I took so many friends, lovers hostage…as they say, in AA.  I ran and hid.  Ran and hid.  Ran and hid.

If I took the time, depression would set in.

Being gay appeared to be yet, another personal flaw to be ashamed of.  Growing up catholic, living among adults who did not hold the tools to console and reflect.  Having siblings much older, I found no comfort there.

I lay no blame on my own homophobia.  Lay it nowhere and it no one’s feet.

However, when dressed in my best gray wool skirt, green polyester blazer and pastel button down shirt.  Reading of family values…one man, one woman, two and a half children.  Beholding a ceramic blood infused man hanging from a cross.  And, being scolded for inquiring about a couple, two women (Maryanne and Dawn), that seemed closer to one another than most…

It, the Bible, the Scriptures, distances placed between myself and two, possible role models…  IT all instilled in me feelings of insecurity, remorse, guilt.  And, the unspoken words of

being gay…was not okay!

…fear…resonated.  stand alone 4

When I did eventually come out.  Come out… and running with ‘freak’ flag, flying.  Closet doors not only splintered but knocked off it’s hinges.

My mother spoke few words…

‘I am ashamed of your choice.  But I’ll get over it.’

Criticism began my adolescence.  My mother and father did not want me to have anything to do with Maryanne and Dawn, the not gay, but gay couple.  I had been told to pray for them.  My sister with baggage of her own, slipped birth control pamphlets under my bedroom door.  I had been dressed in gray wool skirts with pastel button down shirts and green blazers.  I had been dressed in the Good News Bible!

Whether any of us knew it or had the ability to understand!?  Slowly, the encouragement to shun gays…rooted and grew in my subconscious.

In school, I used with frequency the words…

fag, dyke, queer…

With friends, I did not confide my inner turmoil.   My wanting to play with GI Joe and not, Barbie.

I hid deep within me, self abusive and risky sexual behavior with men (starting at the age of 14.)   Hurtful scars for my teenage mind to own.  And, own alone.

A sore that was deeper than a chasm of  my leftover souls.  Souls that held no reality.  Or, at least, in my young mind…a life I could live not live with any certainty.

That is…until, irony brought me to a woman with her own demons.  Another graduate of New Hampshire Hospital.  A woman whom… with her innocence and love, rescued me from all the turmoil that stir inside my defunct and dysfunctional persona.

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Cycle of Abuse: Extreme Psychosis

In the early, raw days of March, I had been conceived…within a stone soaked, with no remorse, tunnel.  Both parents were state hospital patients.  My father on the criminally insane ward.  My mother…severely depressed in the Brown building.

Deep within the bowels of the catacombs Janice and Harold sucombed to passion in a girth under the earth, idyllically termed, Lover’s Lane.

Had this been this first and only deceit handed down to me?  Had this been the only piece of fiction…I discovered via my own research?  If push came to shove…as it always did during my childhood; Could or would I have forgiven the shame?

I would like to believe I was stable enough in my mid forties, to allot for the transgression.brown building 3

But divides and lies run far and wide.  From the moment I descended to the earth in my belligerent glory, nothing would be normal.

My brother and sister, had had their own demons to share.  A demon and horned devil that came in the shape of my mother’s first husband.

Where had the New Hampshire State Hospital staff been?  Why wasn’t my father, a criminal and murderer, been more closely monitored?

I can say that is typical of state run facilities.  As is the truth about warehousing those with severe mental illness, things get out of hand.  And, people with minimum wage incomes…just don’t care.

On January 4th, 1963, this court being of the opinion that it will be dangerous that the said, Harold Bowley, should go at large.  Ordered that he be committed to the New Hampshire Hospital and there he shall remain until he is discharged by due course of law.

Due course of law?…

On October, 25th, 1965, the said Acting Superintendent requests the court’s permission for the said, Harold Bowley, make off ground visits to include one overnight visit on weekends.

From there on out, after two short years, my father was allowed to stay, overnight, in the house of his psychologist; Mr. John Hawkins.

How did a man, who continues to this day to be a threat to himself and others, get away with murder?  Court evidence revealed a man that observation and study suggests…

‘suffering from a psychotic depression and a danger to the population.  A disease so profound it affects his mind and judgment…’

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HE fuckin’ stabbed his wife 35 times!

Indeed he had conned his way into the psychologist’s home life.  It was in Warner, New Hampshire, where my father would spend his weekends before his release in late 1967.

Mr. Hawkins not only allowed my father into his home.  He led him by the hand.  Introducing him to his wife…and, eventually, his two children, Naomi and Channing.  This is in my educated opinion the utmost defining characteristic of a narcissist.

Psychologist Stephen Johnson writes that the narcissist is someone who has “buried his true self-expression in response to early injuries and replaced it with a highly developed, compensatory false self.

And, my mother, who held very little esteem.  Held no opinion of self, other than relation to abusive men…My mother fell into the callous and killing hands of my father.  This all took place under the not watchful eye of case workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, district attorneys, judges, etc., etc.

I personally hold Mr. Hawkins, responsible..  And, currently, forty plus years later, refuse to call him a doctor.

Not only did my father enjoy the pleasant views, farm life, non restrictions of living in the wild of Warner…He introduced his whole family to Mr. Hawkins.

I had been taken back.  When first reading Mr. Hawkins name in the court papers.  How he spoke with high recommendation on my father’s behalf.  The name seemed familiar.  How had I known it?

Then a connection…Our families were joined.  Joined at the psychotic hip.

As a child, I could not quite connect, why my parents had been befriended by the Hawkins.  Who were they?  Where did they come from?

The Hawkins family appeared to me, earthy, educated, not mean or aggressive.  Quite different than relatives and others, my family had known.

For that matter, the Hawkin’s and Bowley’s spent many holidays together.  We spent weekends working in John’s small family farm.  Learning of nature.  Speaking on things of importance, politics, religion, life, deep stuff.

Again, I still ask, how does this shit happen?

Mr. Hawkins was later needed to assist my sister, Sybil, in her own ‘breakdown.’

Breech of contract!  Conflict of interest!

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I have long since stopped crying, shaking my head, beating myself up…Over the injustice served to my siblings and I, via the New Hampshire State Hospital.

Course, none of the above could be considered a ‘lie’ per-say.  For in my mother’s chaotic, catholic and dim eyes…Avoiding the truth is not the same as…lying.

Where had my grandparents been?  Wasn’t it strange my mother…was released from the hospital…pregnant?

And, of course, years later, when I asked Janice, my mother, about Harold’s murderous rage…

‘I knew he had killed her.  I didn’t ask him questions.  He seemed upset every time I brought it up…’

 

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Cycle of Abuse: 15 in 1982

I have read many, many, despondent writers, poets, etc.  Persons who, now in adulthood, have come through some depressing, harrowing, childhood situations.  On occasion, I have run across documentaries, news item, etc.  About pre-teen, teen, and young adult suicide.  All due to having lived at the violent hands and words of parents that outwardly appeared ‘normal.’  That inwardly, were the devil’s hand puppets.

Back in or around the early 80’s: Our house had burned down.  Down to the ground.  Standing stoic were the scant charred…2 by 4’s, abandoned ashen table ware and counters.  For all intensive purposes, my fifteen year old eyes witnessed nothing but a shell.

As I have said before, some memories blare at me such like the horn of an irritated driver.  Loud, clear, vibrant.  Other memories, due to my need to persevere, are faded and clouded.  Such like a watercolor painting you once adored but can, now, barely remember.

My siblings had long since been kicked out of the house.  It seemed to be a rite of passage.

You’re eighteen.  You did something to piss me off.  You are now no longer allowed on the land of misfits.”

Generally speaking, both, Bud and Sybil,  were conversatinally gone…Way before being physically excommunicated.  My sister enjoyed the company of questionable boyfriends.  A habit I firmly believe was thrown upon her by my father’s physical abuse.  And, my mother’s lack of emotional attachment.

My brother had his friends.  He partied.  He defied.  He had tired of protecting his mother.  And, at one point or another, during a physical altercation with my father.  There had been threats of guns and severe violence.  Best guess would be that was the point of no return.

After our house became a  photo source for neighbors.  After the smoke cleared, clothes of creosote were tossed and generations of knick knacks were tossed into the trash.  After the chaos of destruction became nothing more than local gossip…I was assigned the task of cleaning pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters.

In other words, our small but precious gallon jug of empty Riunite…that had been filled to the max with change; had succumbed to being spare change among broken glass.  And, it had been my assigned duty to clean each and every piece of  current currency…metal.  imageedit_8_8297636672

“Scrub it clean!  Here’s the toothbrush!  Now get at it.”

Had been the order barked out by both my father and my mother.

Sitting there between the lilac bushes and partially singed grass,  a stool, a toothbrush and pounds of  spare change… lay an endless fall.

With September sun beaming down.  I can still recall how sweat would douse the corners of my mouth and then, splash upon the tainted dime or penny.

My depression ran deep.  And, I had been fully aware of it.  Not knowing at the time about my father’s thirst for killing or psychosis.  Not being fully aware of the how and why of my mother’s terminal sadness.  Not being aware of much.  I knew that life in the Bowley household was not like the pretty white houses with laughter…that dotted the rest of the street.

My brother had since joined the Air Force.  And, my sister had married.  Still there had not been much connection between us.  It seems to me, that had been a scenario my parent had derived.  Either consciously or not.

Indeed, I had been my father’s favorite.  Which meant sports, sports and more sports.  Which meant teaching CCD, being active in youth group and singing in the church folk group.  Which meant I received far more than my share of…

“You can do better than that!  Are you stupid?  I don’t give a flying fuck what other parents do!”imageedit_4_3845432106

Either way, I was a lost budding young adult woman.  In a lost land.  With a bit of house insurance money left over.  My mother begged my father to take her to visit her favorite child, Bud!  Bud, my half-brother, had begun the pursuit of his second marriage in two years.  He had, also been affluent in the use of cocaine.  He had joined the Air-force!

Bud had been stationed in Florida.  And, my parents believed they deserved a break.  A break from the hustle and bustle of rebuilding life after a house fire.

Therefore, it was only reasonable that I should remain behind.  Only reasonable to think my best friend, Michael and, most importantly, his mother, would take me in.

This is where Black Beauties, booze, bad behavior and LSD come into play.  I had indulged at a very young age in Yukon Jack.  But my current course of plaid catholic school skirts, smoke and dope and sex…was in over drive.

Mimi, Michael’s mother, had seen this.  She had known what was about to come.  My intention had been death by over indulgence.  Dropping blotter, smoking weed, playing both sides of addiction against each other.

Mimi in her own hippie way, felt the only need for a deep, profound, change in my behavior…Would be therapy!

It had worked.  I met a wonderful woman named, Eileen.  We met once a week on the second floor above S n W sports.  Her office was filled with Buddha, warm thoughts and reflective flowing waters from an over sized fish tank.

My renewal was instant.  The remorse, guilt and shame that was felt became something talked about in open conversation.  I had not started the house fire.  But my intention on that fateful weekend…was to stay home.

Could I have stopped it?imageedit_11_5911877311

A kind woman in pastel flowing skirt…told me…

“No!”

My relief and new-found comfort within my own skin…Quickly dissipated.  For as soon as my parents returned.  And, even with Mimi’s glowing recommendation.  It was apparent that I would not longer be allowed to see Eileen.

My father ranted and raved over and over again…

“No daughter of mine is going to see a shrink…”

And, my mother…

“You heard your father!”

Funny, I was conceived in the tunnels underneath the New Hampshire State Hospital.  Or, that my father was once deemed insane.  And, my mother a manic-depressive with suicidal tendencies.  Yet, snipping possible self harm in the buttocks, while I was still young.  Seemed out of the question.

Looking back on my vivid with gray strands of depression, as a child and teen.  I think how fortunate I am to have survived.  To be able to function.

Course, there is much more to my parent’s love story.  Much more to the dysfunction.  Starting a few years before my birth and flourishing years after…My disowning the ‘family.’imageedit_14_9427699938

 

 

Cycle of Abuse: Lover’s Lane

Several months after my grandmother’s death.  After the discovery of my father’s misdeeds.  My mother who had started becoming more and more incapacitated with delicate bones, infirm lungs, depression, anxiety, domestic abuse…etc, etc.

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I had set into a routine of going every other day to the, little, almost log cabin, in Canterbury.  Cleaning, walking dogs, doing laundry, being transcended back to childhood.  Reliving life as a ten year old.  Witnessing my father forbid my mother from leaving the house, driving a car (when she was capable), talking to her friends, going to church, with holding certain required nutrients, scolding her for not letting the dogs out, scolding her for burning dinner, accusing her of making him out to be the bad guy.  The five or six years I took care of my mother, which in turn meant, keeping an eye on the devil in father’s clothing; most neighbors did not realize my mother had two other adult children.  Those children were rarely seen.  They children were rarely heard from.  That situation arose from my father’s need to control my mother.  Though, I would hazard to guess that it would be easy to forget of the difficult parents in a small New Hampshire town.  Far away from life on life’s terms…In my brother and sister’s life.

My grandmother had been buried in the dead of winter.  Just like my grandfather, before, her…dead trees, solid frozen ground, impenetrable landscape.  It seems that is how the Irish come and go.  Hard times in life.  Hard times in death.

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Sometime in mid May, my wife and I had made arrangements for taking my mother to Waltham.  So she could see her mother’s grave.  So bushes could get planted.  So the rosary could be said.  So the heavenly father would understand my mother’s remorse.

This was not to be an easy trip.

Calvary Cemetery, is filled to the brim with Irish immigrants…Past and not so present.  It also resides in the out skirts of Boston.  Finding the name Quinn among hundreds to perhaps, thousands, of other impregnated with the blood from the motherland…is not simple.

It had been Megan, my spouse and my, chore to play detective.  How much had my mother known about the ‘murder?’  Had my father ever divulged, in between the threats and physical abuse…

What he had actually done to his first wife?
Where had he and my mother first met?

How much of his former indulgent and psychopathic life…did she know about?

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Digging the past out of my mother was never easy.  She always remained guarded about her history.  Her transgressions were meant for the confessional and no where else.

But with this secracy, what had been the cost?  Having driven my brother thousands of miles away.  Having forced my sister into her own form of shallow narcissism.  Having driven me into infidelity, lack of nearness, addiction and anger.  How much the cost of guarding the truth?

‘Did you know he killed his wife?’

‘I knew something.  Your father never liked sharing much about his past!  He didn’t have a good childhood you know.  And, look at where I was at!’

Meaning, she had been in the midst of a nervous breakdown when they met.  Meaning my father was brought up during the depression and his family very poor.

Meaning, to me, WTF!  You married this man.  You were at the state hospital.  You were a victim of abuse.  You needed to get your children out of an orphange…

Meaning, you didn’t ask questions?

Even now, several years later, I can recall the day.  Sybil, my sister declined coming with us.  Having said, she couldn’t get time off from work or, if she did it would cut down on her vacation time.  There seemed always to be an excuse.

You guys always do stuff with Mom during the week.’

‘We always go with just your friends!’

‘I don’t want to see that movie.’

Etc.  Etc.

Sitting adjacent to the graveyard.  Side by curb side with the neighboring flower shop.  Watching trash blow back and forth across a well traveled street.  Finding myself at wit’s end.

My wife, Megan, poked me in the thigh.  She gently patted my leg.  Meaning…calm down, you’ll get nowhere if you push.

She, as always, had been correct.

With this slight interogation, I did not get far.  Very little information came out of my mother.  Her exact words will never escape me…

‘After all, look where I was.  I wasn’t well.’

Laughing to herself…The only other sentence had been seemingly a joke…

We met at Lover’s Lane.

Having been a product of the 50’s and 60’s.  I shunned my mother’s attempt at levity.  Oh, how I wish I had known what the truth had been.

Janice, my mother, gave off such fragility, that one did not push.  If an argument was on the horizon.  Somehow, she appeared as though a light wind would blow her over.  She turned inward.  As if, another question or loud word, would disable her completely.  Janice, had always been this way.

No more questions were asked.  My only statement being…

‘My mother and father met at the New Hampshire State Hospital.  Great.  No wonder I’m fucked up!’

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I cannot convey, in words, what it is like to wish to not have been born.  To sit in awe in my own instability and wonder, what if.

What if I had not been born to a psychopath?  Someone hospitalized due to insanity.  A person who conceived of the act and followed through, with the murder of his wife.

Or, a woman, so distraught.  So saddened by herself that suicide seemed the only option.  I have tried on numerous occasions to explain to others…The saddness provoked by their joining together.  By the severe disappointment in choices they made.  By the decisions I could have made differently…Had I known that from the get go…my life had no chance of productivity.

This year, after some research.  After documentary upon documentary.  Article upon article about psychiatric institutes of the 1960’s.  Pictures, data, recourse, etc.

After much forbearance from my siblings of law suits, insults, threats, etc.  Family secrets must remain secret…after all.

After all I discovered ‘Lover’s Lane.’  The place in which I had been conceived.  Where my parents, with total disregard for repercussions, engaged in producing…me.  Me, the addict, lesbian, wanderer.  Me, the poet with questions…

My mother, had been in the Brown building.  My father, the Kent building.  I was conceived in the catacombs!

The population continued to rise every year until 1955 when over 2,700 patients resided at “the State Hospital”. The crowding was extreme. For some years in the 1940’s and early 1950’s each psychiatrist had an average of more than 250 patients to treat. While kindness was still the philosophy, providing individual care of any type had become impossible. And, for the most part, society had come to view the mentally ill, not as people who needed humane treatment but had consigned the mentally ill to a dark and humiliating corner of American life. State hospitals became the physical reflection of that attitude. Books like “The Shame of the States” and “Asylum” or movies like “The Snake Pit” drew attention to the plight of the mentally ill. The annual reports make clear that despite the best efforts of staff and administration the New Hampshire State Hospital had become quite a different place than the Asylum of the nineteenth century. In New Hampshire as well as nationally, the “problem” of mental illness had become a simmering pot, waiting to boil.

Cycle of Abuse: Be Brave

There is no discernment of right or wrong…When you discover your father to be a murder.

There is no discernment of right or wrong…When you come to the realisation…your mother wittingly placed you in harm’s way.

Year upon year, decade atop of decade…Arguments, fist fights, fetal positions, suicide attempts, closed doors, lack of intimacy, hurt beyond anything a blood-letting can condone.

Was it all necessary?  Where were the professional adults that could have changed our lives?  Did my parents and their lack of mental health…slip through the cracks?

Oddly enough, for my own needs.  For the basic urge to see others grow.  I have been a staunch advocate for mental health reform.

I cannot divulge much of my mother’s previous marriage.  Other than it had been abusive.  Other than it placed my brother and sister in harm’s way…before, my father came into the picture.

Somewhere between January 4th, 1963:  After my father had been placed into the care of New Hampshire State Hospital.  On to the ward for the criminally insane.  After Elizabeth Laughlin’s family seemed to give up on further prosecution.

After…

After…

After…

After I discovered the following…

Wilfred (Jack) Sanders, assistant district attorney for Rockingham County, New Hampshire…had been still practicing law in the new century.

All others related to the case, in legal terms, had died.

Would Mr. Sanders offer anything of importance?

Would Mr. Sander’s expunge my father?

Would there be reason enough to fathom a person stabbing someone…35 times?

These had been questions for another time.  Another day.

Currently, I needed to feel love.

My wife consoled me.  Petting me with compliments.  Compliments such as, you aren’t your father.  You’re not violent!  All you’ve ever done for me…is care!

In my paranoid mind?

Could I believe this?

Was I as insane as him?  Was I capable of killing someone?  Am I so fucked up that I don’t even know that…I am indeed crazy!

I walked through the day following my discovery of a horrible past with cement blocks on my feet.  Trudging through all the misdeeds I performed in relationships.  Digging out the props that kept my door to intimacy closed.  Hiding behind drugs, booze, sex…

Could I have been different…Had I known?

For that matter, on dark, dreary, days, I still hold true to the impeachment of my persona.  Could my discovery and the lies that fill the pool of a child’s history, changed me?  Made me nicer?  Made me more aware?

In the end, was anything I found in the blood lines, worth it?

The only true diagnosis is psychosis coupled for narcissism and obsessive compulsive disorder…At least, that is what the court records show.

But in some respects…had this not been my own description…to a lesser degree?

As early as, 1965, two years after a horrific crime, my father had petitioned the court for the following…

On June 23, 1965, the acting superintendent of the New Hampshire, Dr. G. Donald Niswander, requested this court’s permission for said, Harold Bowley, to be allowed off hospital ground visits and one overnight visit on weekends.

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What the fuck?

My father, in cold, warm blood killed his wife, left his daughter to watch…not two years earlier…And, now, as is typically the case, Harold (and conned his doctors) into believing that he was a much improved man.

The more I read the court transcripts.  The further into disgust…I fell.  This man who in later reports, became a model patient.  This man who had an arrest record before the actual murder.  This man who kept his family captive.  Captive years after his release from the State Hospital.

This man  had worked his usual magic.  This to me, his borderline narcissistic daughter, had been the beginning point, of my father’s ability to put rose-colored glasses on abuse.

Harold Bowley, if nothing else, had been a calculating, intelligent and personable man…That is when he needed to be.

The court in 1965 denied his attempt to partial release.

Yet, in 1965, had he found his way out of the dungeon of New Hampshire State Hospital.  Perhaps, he would not have met my mother.

My mother who had a nervous breakdown.  My mother having pledged her children(my siblings) to an orphanage…My mother who had studied to become a nun.  My mother who never seemed truly happy.

My mother, Janice Bowley, became a patient of New Hampshire State Hospital.  In or around the year, 1965.

Currently, 2017, my family of origin, is torn asunder.

But at the time of discovery, 2012, there had been some assemblage of a bond.

The next few mornings in February of 2012.  I lay semi curled in.  Appalled.  Dismayed.  Harboring inner hatred.

I did not immediately call, Jack Sanders.  I was not prepared for what little information…he may disclose.

My wife knew.  She was aware.  She didn’t pack her shit.  She stayed.  I know, to Megan, I may not have been what she asked for.  Yet, to this day, I seem to be what she needs.

And, though I spoke to both my brother, Bud.  And, my sister, Sybil.  I never felt comfortable giving them inside information.  Inside information about myself or my thoughts.

Lilith, my sister-in-law, would be the only choice.  The only person other than my mother and father, who may have further information.

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Lilith

I’m going to try to not make this long but it probably will be quite a few pages..
Not long ago, I received something from Ancestry.com.  A free membership for a month or something like that. My family is so full of secrets…I suppose all are.  Long story short, Lee had told me many years ago that my father had been married before and had a child with that woman.  Of course, my father has never mentioned any of this to me. And, my mother, only partially tells me stuff!
I decided what the hell?  I’m going to see where my other half-sister is and take advantage of this Ancestry thing.
It took some snooping but I found her.  I also found out many things I wish, on occasion, that I didn’t.  Sybil, and this is only from my memory which isn’t great around my drinking years, told me that Dad had a wife who fooled around on him often.  I believe she told me that my Father’s first wife, the child and the boyfriend were in a car accident. The boyfriend and wife died and the child got shipped off somewhere.
I have recently discovered otherwise.  And, from what I know of my father’s side of our family; where he lived before I had been born, what he did for a living, his religious affiliation (which was Baptist), all correspond with the new’s clippings I found.
I had hoped to God that what I had read wasn’t true.  So my only other confidant in this, Megan, set me straight with “there is too much evidence to the contrary, Ruth, it’s your Dad.”
My father back in 1962 killed his first wife.  Stabbed her 35 times! Went to a nearby river and stabbed himself in the chest and abdomen with the same kitchen knife he used on his wife.  He did not resist arrest and was brought to Exeter Hospital. His self-inflicted wounds were bad enough that he needed surgery. He pleaded not guilty to the crime of which he was obviously guilty.  Some shrink somewhere deemed him insane at the time of the event. My father did no prison time for the killing. He spent, from what I could figure out, 2+ years at Concord State Hospital and was released.  This all corresponds with my mother having had a nervous breakdown and meeting him at the hospital. Of course, I am the end result of that whole thing.
I do not know where his first daughter is.  Her name is Marcella. I do not know if Sybil knows the truth.  I would highly doubt it. And, I do not know if Bud does. Again, I highly doubt it.  I don’t even know if my mother does. I’m pretty sure she was told the car accident story.
I’m not really sure where to go with this.  My father, as I’m sure Bud and Sybil have told you, was never a nice man.  Particularly when growing up. He no longer takes medication for his ‘issues’ and is often volatile and depressed and angry.
The fifty year anniversary of his killing his first wife, from what I can figure, is 9/30/2012!  He has been very depressed lately and sometimes I worry for my mother.
I even toyed with the idea that maybe the officials told him the car accident story.  But I can’t image that while in the state hospital someone didn’t address the event with him.  So I don’t think that he’s blocked it out or whatever.
Honestly, I don’t know if I should tell someone or anyone at all.  Particularly, mom, Bud and Sybil. Yet, if something were to happen I would never forgive myself.
There it is in a nutshell.  Sorry to dump it on you. But Sybil would want to address the situation from an over the top approach.  And, I know Lewis and Father do not mix well…
Love You-
Ruth
p.s.
I’m assuming everyone else does not know.  I suppose it would be worse if they did!

 

 

Dear Ruth:

First, I want to tell you how sorry I am that you’ve experienced the pain of learning of your Dad’s horrendous & troubled past….. especially in the manner in which you did.  To learn that your father has done unspeakable things must be a forever life-altering moment and I’m deeply saddened for all of you. For all of us. Now, I must tell you something.

Your mom is aware of his crime and so is Sybil.  And, I was just recently brought into the loop when Sybil came to visit 2 weeks ago.  Bud is NOT aware—-as of yet.
This is how it was told to me:  Your mom discovered the facts and started hinting to Sybil about a year and a half ago to do some research online regarding Harold.  Lee couldn’t find anything & begged your mother for more details.
Your mom reluctantly gave some very scant information and confided to Sybil that she is afraid to leave Harold because of this event.  Sybil has been carrying this knowledge for the past 1 1/2 year in fear of your mother’s life & like you, didn’t know what to do with the information.  Fast forward a year and a half……….

While Lee was here, I started relaying my hurt feelings to Sybil that Harold was so cold & unloving to Bud & I when we were all gathered for Gram’s last day of life.  I explained that
he’s the closest thing that I have left for a Dad now that my father has passed and he didn’t even hug me when he saw us.  I told her that I was especially hurt for Bud because that’s his father, and he hadn’t seen him
for a year and Harold just sat in his truck and wouldn’t even get out to hug us.  He just rolled his window down to talk to us. I was absolutely appalled and broken-hearted.

I was also sharing with Lee that Harold hurt Kent’s feelings at Gram’s funeral…..because instead of thanking Justin for taking the day off from work to come to the funeral OR congratulating him on the impending birth of his first child, the
only thing Harold had to say after not seeing his grandson for a year was “Wow!  You got fat!” Kent was angry, hurt, and when he shared this exchange with me, I was furious too.  My kids have been nothing but kind, courteous and well-mannered and for 25 years have always taken the high road and gone out of their way to try to make conversation with Harold even when he’s been rude, dismissive, and uninterested in them.  So, as I was sharing all of this with Lee, how hurt I feel that he’s missing this opportunity to be there for me with the loss of my own Dad, and how sad it is that he’s so cold to Bud and how mean-spirited he is towards my children………Lee tells me there’s more to the story.  And then she tells me the story about Elizabeth. My jaw dropped and I was mortified. And I wept. For your Mom. For you kids. To learn as an adult that you were raised by a murderer is beyond comprehension.
That he fabricated a whole story about a cheating wife dying in a car crash with a boyfriend so he’s the VICTIM is unforgivable for me……..lest we not forget, that my uncle was murdered, stabbed in fact, hacked to death in Concord, NH not that long ago.   It actually turns my stomach.

Sybil & I discussed whether we should tell Bud while she was still here and we ultimately decided that it wasn’t the right time.  I don’t know when the “right” time will ever be, but it will have to be soon, I suppose. We also
talked about disclosing this dreadful news to you.  We both thought for right now, you have much going on, and it probably wasn’t a good time to dump it on you either.  That may have been wrong, and Lee even said she
knows how much I despise FAMILY SECRETS.  It’s one of my greatest pet peeves. But, we were truly trying to protect you at least for the time being.
I’m very sorry Ruth if it feels like anything other than a loving. caring, decision at the time.

Sybil is VERY concerned about your mom’s safety.  She thinks that if Harold finds out that any of us knows about this, that your mom’s life will be in danger.  That’s the primary reason we didn’t tell Bud. We are afraid
of him whispering “murderer” under his breath every time he sees Harold if he knows about this.

I have searched the internet extensively for Marcella.  I’ve had no luck. Although I didn’t open your attachments, I’m sure I’ve read them.  I’ve read tons of articles relating to the crime—-Sybil & I searched while she was here and we
found lots of newspaper clippings on the internet.  

We should let Sybil know that you know.  It would give her such great relief. It’s your decision how best to do that…….I can tell her or you can.  Let me know ASAP.
I was kinda thinking this might be the topic when you originally wrote.  I’m glad you know.
I haven’t had a conversation, nor email with your mom discussing any of it.  I don’t know how private her emails are. And our goal is to keep her alive.    
Love you,
Lilith