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…


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



Heretic Blues

Had he loved his women?  He loved them as much as guilt.  As far as, the sharing of misdeeds could stretch.  But this one, the Keeper, carried the culpability, as though it were a cup of tea.  A precious chalice of saturation to a thirsty martyr lurking behind a family tree.isle-of-imcompletes-3

The shame forever evolved.  Resembling a tossed out Marlboro…an everlasting ash of gray .  White, burned out, trash, here to stay..

A partner to, his,  biblical claim.  Delilah…her name.

Theirs was a love affair of another kind.

Delilah, with her Yukon Jack and Pall Malls.

Sampson, with accusations making everything around…small.

If one were too close.  Blinded.  Eyes shut tight.  It would still emerge as though, heaven’s humor.  Were as poignant and pointed, as the Papal’s shoes.

How droll?  His and Her, backward, bibles…old news.220px-papal_shoes

No punchline.  No testaments!  Sampson,  just an aging fool.

A marriage to divine comedy.  Where everyone put on flawed red shoes and danced to heretic, hazy, hues.


Addicted to the Groundhog

Freedom minus fear = FAITH
Freedom minus fear = FAITH

Mr. Bill,

When I had been nine years old my mother took me to the pediatrician.

‘Doctor, I think she has a drinking problem!’

Had been my mother’s cry for help.

I remember the day vaguely. I remember my youth in bits and spurts. And, I remember a family torn apart by a single substance.

I realize most persons turn off immediately…when they hear the words; alcoholism, addiction, recovery and worse of all, the Big Book!

I shut down, as well, when in the grips of something beyond a brown bottle in a brown bag surrounded by a brown spiritual tunnel.

I can only best describe my addiction with one story. One or two short sentences that could pretty much sum up the some of my life…that taints me still.

I had been driving home from a nightclub called, the Ramrod. And, yes, let’s just assume, it was a hardcore gay bar. Somehow or another…I found myself, along with two other budding drunks, unable to get out of a traffic circle in York Maine.

Literally, I had been so blitzed, so far gone…I had been driving a large piece of deadly machinery…in a dream…in a blackout.

‘Sometimes the lights all shining on me…

Other times I can barely see…’

Yeah, I had been a Dead Head and damn proud of it.

Eventually, the York P.D., saw of my dilemma and offered a free room for the night, that happened to come with it’s own bars!

So many other stories could follow. So many tales of…Whoa, it’s Me...So many times I could not lift stop the early morning shakes without lifting a shot of Vodka first!

Yet, I come to write this letter today…not in homage to Dr. Bob, Bill Wilson and/or Alcoholic’s Anonymous.

I write…today…which is something I had only hoped to do…in the midst of addiction.

Fourteen years ago, give or take, my own personal Groundhog came out and saw the Shadow. A gloomy chaperon that had been twenty years in the making. A dark lumbering presence that took hold of my soul which once had shone a myriad of colors and shook it out a damp, absorbent spiritual pitch black.

I do not preach A.A., from the rooftops of barren and antiquated churches. No, I tend to steer clear of lack of moderation soapbox lecterns.

I do, however, write the right, talk the talk and practice, daily, what is easier to understand…

Bill, I have found that I have faith. Silly, as it sounds, I believe in believing.

Even, you, Bill, a practicing Buddhist, would agree…

‘We live in an imperfect world. Both physically and spiritually! A simple world of mishaps designed for persons that over complicate it!’

Therefore, my sobriety is a gift…Yet, the biggest gift? A peace of mind. And, that is a behavior we can all impart on others.

Thirty five some odd years ago…when my mother grasped at the metaphysical broken straw of anticipation…the physician only had this to say:

Oh, she’s just going through a growing stage.’

I had been at the age where playing with G.I. Joe dolls were the par. Not breaking into the liquor cabinet and mixing Yukon Jack with grape juice!

This past week, I nearly lost my mother to her Higher Power. Yet, the difficulty came from another world. An unexplored realm that had placed itself uneasily in the attic of my horrid past.

I faced a demon…aptly named, my father and found the serenity to help him through the trauma of nearly loosing his one and only love of fifty years. Without overt detail. This man, this paternal figure and this blurred spot of anger, became my responsibility.

The shallow breathing and the hallowed feelings of displaced musing consumed my entire body. Everyday I traveled the twenty miles with a need aching from within. I rode with my passenger, hate, strapped in with pride.

Bill, what can I say? Who can I thank? Where did I go? And, how did I maintain?

I simply gave up. I simply gave in.

It had not been easy. I scratched and clawed at the bark of the trees set in serenity amongst the country roads. I walked and hiked with four legged friends into the woods. I strolled out with a sense of faith stronger than before.

My meditation had been easy enough me to be a better persons today than I was yesterday…

And, please help to keep all creatures

great and small safe and far from harm

to the best of their ability…

Oddly enough, a larger than life, Snow Owl, had flow before me, quietly leading the way. My faith had found it’s wings. It had been found without my will. It, FAITH, had been placed there by someone greater than me.

Peace Out-


Excerpt from As Bill Sees It

The achievement of freedom from fear is a lifetime undertaking, one that can never be wholly completed. When under heavy attack, acute illness, or in other conditions of serious insecurity, we shall all react to this emotion- well or badly, as the case maybe. Only the self-deceived will claim perfect freedom from fear.

Bill W.

by special virtue alone every road leads back to another
by special virtue alone every road leads back to another