Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thanks for your thoughts on Forgiveness

A while ago I put up a post and asked for your thoughts on what forgiveness is. I appreciate everyone who left a comment with their input. I have come to the conclusion that forgiveness is something people tell you to do when they don't want you to make an issue out of something that should be made an issue. To me forgiveness is not saying it was okay what the other person did or that you will forget it. I don't think you can truly have peace until you have had the time to be angry, scream, cry and be sad and realize how horrific the things have been that happened to you. I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive. At this point in my life, I am working on healing for myself and what I went through and what I had to see my family go through growing up, by going to therapy. I am working on "feeling" and getting away from being numb....(from trying to hold things inside and try to forget about them) and getting angry and feeling sad for the little girl that had to suffer every day.  Bottom line, I feel forgiveness is just another way for people to try to make you feel guilty for feeling justified anger toward another human being. Some day I will find healing, but I doubt I will ever forget! I hope that I can help anyone else who has been abused and prevent this man from abusing anyone else. That is my goal in life! Thank you all so much for your support! You have no idea how much it means to me and makes me realize I am not a lone in this! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Much love!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What is Forgiveness? This is written by Fransesca

What do you think forgiveness is? Everyone seems to have a different idea of what it is, so I would like to hear your thoughts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Done

I can't do this anymore. There are two sides to every story. If my parents want to come out and tell people I am a master manipulator, schemer and have always controlled the entire family they can. I am hurting very deeply inside and it was never my intention to hurt anyone through this blog or in asking any other questions that I did about my father's background. I attend therapy every week in order to get over my bulimia and it is extremely painful recounting childhood details on this blog and in therapy. I no longer feel that I can put any of my details shared in therapy on this blog after I heard that my parents spoke of me as being evil again. I worked hard to build my self esteem over 18 years enough to seek out help for myself and try to build a life for myself, my husband and children. I will have a private blog for my bulimia recovery and may come back in a few years after I am fully recovered. My children are too important to me to risk relapse at this point. I only have been in recovery for almost 6 months. If my sisters wish to continue to keep this blog up it is up to them, but I no longer will be posting. Thank you all for your support.

My thoughts on homesteading and homeschooling

People always ask what my opinions are on homesteading and homeschooling. Even though I haven't chosen that lifestyle due to my husband being in the military, I would someday like to own a ranch. I enjoy the outdoors, animals, hiking and open spaces. I also feel that homeschooling is an option that each parent must choose individually. Today, education is much different and there are many more options to choose from than when I was young. I believe that I would have been happy on the homestead and being home-schooled if I had not been abused and isolated. I have met other people who have been raised in country living environments and were happy. I do not think it is the environment that shapes you 100% as a person. It is the nurturing you receive. If the parents are harsh and not nurturing and neglectful, the children will grow up unhappy no matter what the environment. Environment does play a role in a child's health and mental state and many people believe moving out of the inner cities into the suburbs or country is better for them where they can have more freedom. I tend to agree with that. I enjoyed picking flowers as a child, planting a garden and running in the fields barefoot. I still enjoy hiking in the woods, planting flowers and caring for my house plants. The abuse and neglect (lack of empathy and total apathy), overwhelmed all the good of the homestead however at least for me. I know I suffered more deeply than some of my other siblings. Some of them were able to filter out the good from the bad and carry on with their lives.
Homesteading? Yes. I think it's a nice idea. I would love having a solar powered house and a couple horses, a a range where I can go shoot my guns. A few trails to hike and ride on. A cute little fenced in garden. A little orchard. Only a few years until my husband retires from the military and we move to Texas to our Ranch.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ashamed/Apology

Recently I went through a box of old literature/letters my father/mother had written asking people for money/food/insulin/vitamins, etc, over the course of many years since 1969 on to say 2004. My father had scammed many people out of money including relatives, friends, neighbors, priests and his own children. I am ashamed if I contributed in any way to this being one of his older children (his 4th child), I learned to rely on others for food, shelter and money. Often my father sent me away as a teenager. I never had money. I left home with no money and learned to "hustle" others, if you will. I am deeply ashamed how I lived. I apologize to all I have hurt in the following years after I left home...if I stayed with you, asked for money, clothes, food, I'm sorry. One of my steps in therapy towards recovery for my bulimia is to right the wrongs and I want to make this right. If you feel I have wronged you in any way please let me know so I can make it right. I have made a list of a few people I personally want to apologize to and make restitution to.

  Another apology: I apologize sincerely if anything I have said or done has hurt anyone concerning this blog or anything else. I apologize if I have repeated something that should have been kept to myself. I thought I was doing the right thing and never meant for anyone to get hurt. Please let me know what I can do to make it right if I have personally hurt or affected your life negatively.

I will do whatever I can to make up for my father's sins and my own mistakes. I am fighting a battle everyday, and fighting my demons. Everytime I think of this child sexual predator walking the streets my soul dies a little bit more. I wish I could have the answers to keep the world safe from child abusers, but I don't. But I am looking for those answers and will fight until I find them.

I'm so sorry again. I feel that there is so much hurt/pain with this that it can't even be described. I can't even believe how many lives have been destroyed or used and abused.I refuse to continue with this cycle. I refuse to continue to blame my parents for my actions. From this day on I am accountable for what I do.




Saturday, February 11, 2012

Letting Go of Pain

Means accepting that others will not change

That the situation you faced is in the past

That the traumatic event is over

That you can find peace, love, meaning in your current life

You have gained insight/wisdom to help others from your experience

You can move on

You can laugh without feeling guilty

You see beauty in your surroundings

Your children give you joy

You can look into your future

You know you are worth something

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spend a day in that girl's shoes


I would one day like some of the social service workers that ignored me on the homestead to spend a day in my father’s “kingdom.”
The notorious table that the "family" sat around. Those big metal bowls were used for salad and also bathing indoors. The "oven" on the left was full of kindling. My father would often grab a stick out of there and start randomly beating someone. The door on the right leads to my parents "bedroom"...they were the only ones that had a real bed.
First of all, when they got to the bottom of the hill before having to walk up the hill to the homestead they would remove all makeup, traces of hairspray or perfume, jewelry and don long denim skirts and long sleeved baggy shirts. They would not be allowed to have phones, toilet paper (they can use bark or a leaf to wipe with), any electronics, toothpaste (they can use sage leaves or baking soda), extra clothes, towels (they are a waste…they can dry off  with a washcloth or air-dry). They need to get rid of all candy, gum, any type of food that can’t be grown on the land.
Next can get ready to be assigned a “bed”…probably it would be anything from a moldy hay pile, uneven board pile to just bare boards or dirt in any location. It could be the stable, the main cabin, “library”, a tiny building in the woods, the storage building, or a wood shed that had no sides where snow could blow in. Where-ever they could fit…and if they were “important” enough perhaps they would get a warm, non-drafty soft bed. The not so lucky victims…oh well.
Now if they even got a good night sleep with the snow blowing in and the frost bite and the “brush wolves” howling, they would probably be woken about 5 or 6 am by my father singing loudly “Lift Thy Soul Unto The Lord.” If they didn’t come back with the proper response with let’s say 3.5 seconds, my father would pull a branch off the nearest tree and give them a “thrashing” as he liked to call it. The proper response was “I have my soul lifted up to the Lord.” Even if they said it and their tone wasn’t to his liking or they weren’t loud enough or he just felt like beating someone that day, he would find any excuse to use a stick.
I would love to watch all these Social Service ladies stumbling out of bed on the homestead. He would then criticize them for how they were walking and talking, tell them they were ugly, fat and worthless. And order them to get to their chores. They better not take a glance at their reflection in the storage building window on the way by. If they did, they might get a beating for that, or a lecture and made to write Bible verses on how evil vanity is and their belongings would be searched for mirrors. If any were found, they immediately would be destroyed.
  Any response had to contain “yes papa”, “no papa,”. They better speak in old English terms and not use any slang or any words like “cake, cookie, birthday, monster, stupid, silly, etc.” Birthdays were not allowed to be celebrated. Birthday cake was evil. The social service ladies would have had fun saying “Thou aren’t welcome,” “God bless thee,” “Can I have thy help?” If they were caught not using perfect language, tone and doing their chores perfectly to please Richard they would be humiliated or beat.
They would have fun taking a bath in a large bowl in the living room while Richard sat on a bench and commented on the bodies and told them how fat and ugly they were. Maybe he would pull the scale out while he was at it and make them weigh themselves in front of everyone. No, they would have no towels to cover themselves. Richard did not believe in towels. He believed that humiliation was key to building character.

     In between all this they should do some heavy manual labor, dig some trenches, get dragged by some horses, get kicked in the face by a cow or horse, get a huge rock or piece of wood dropped on their foot, chop piles of wood, build a few stone walls, peel mountains of vegetables while cutting their fingers open, spill boiling pots of water on their hands and legs, explode a few pipe bombs on themselves, break a few bones, fall a few times down a ladder or off an uneven surface, milk a few cows, and fall in maggot filled latrines. (side note: every one of these things happened on the homestead)

The supper table would be especially fun for these social service ladies. They better come prepared to sit in a dark room elbow to elbow with fourteen people on benches. If they cooked the meal, they better announce it loudly “We are having Savory parsnip soup!” and start serving. They better have something edifying to say about the scripture that was read at “morning prayer” that morning, and SPEAK UP loudly. Their voice better not crack or quiver for a second either when he called on them one at a time. If it did, they would be beaten and banished to the back room with no dinner.
I guess if they survived even a day, I am not sure they could get through evening prayer. I am not going to get into that now though…I am sure they had enough suffering for one day…
  And that would have been a good day….

The notorious "storage building." As you can see there is a ladder going up to the small door, where some people could sleep. In the winter it was extremely cold and drafty and the summer it was extremely hot. Downstairs in the storage building was a combination tool shed/ pantry. In there we kept barrels of soybeans, rice, oatmeal, feed store grade corn meal, beans, split peas and mung beans. The lids didn't fit very tightly and were stored closely to chemicals such as kerosene, lime, concrete mixtures, w-40, etc. A few times kerosene was spilled in the beans while someone was filling a lamp, and one time someone accidentally drank kerosene because it was in an unlabeled jug that looked similar to the jugs we put water in. One of the reasons we were probably always sick was the extremely unsanitary conditions and cross-contamination and mold that was on food.


The stable: A building that I slept in often. I often slept upstairs and had to either climb a rickety ladder or try to climb boards to get up there. I slept among musty, moldy boxes of books up there on some hay and blankets. There were mice, snakes, yellow jackets, hornets and bats up there. One time I woke up with hornets in my hair and I got stung. At one point I started sleeping downstairs with the cows and my chicken. It was freezing cold and snow was blowing in. I remember being sick for days with an ear infection and the flu and neither of my parents checked on me. I couldn't hear out of both ears.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking Back


One thing I am proud of that I did in Life
(Note: I am learning in therapy to try to think of good things about myself---not my failures. Not my faults, mistakes, or what I feel is negative about my looks or communication style.)

In 1996, I passed my GED, passed my ASVAB with a 111 and joined the Army as an Avionic Mechanic, in spite of receiving little or no education at home. I graduated as Distinguished Honor Graduate in AIT (A Army course teaching us how to be Avionic Mechanics).
My Basic Training Picture Taken in 1996

I spent time working on helicopters in Fort Polk, LA and then went to Korea and then was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY.
Often I was made fun of for being a blonde and a female, but it was overall a fun experience with some ups and downs!
I am proud of doing this in spite of where I came from. It enabled me to see the world from a different perspective. I met people from all walks of life and it made me realize that my life could have been worse. Meeting someone who was constantly shot at in the Bronx was an eye-opener, for example. Or a guy who survived bombings in Columbia. I also met a girl from Utah who’s father had five wives.
I only spent four years in the Army, but I think it changed me for the better. I appreciate what it gave me. I also met a great man in the Army who I have been married to for 12 years.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just A Random Thought


What do "outsiders" see looking in..............??

The carosel wheel and mulberry tree. With the cabin I grew up in the back ground.
I don’t know how so-called “professionals” can presume to say they know what went on on the homestead. First of all, they weren’t there. They didn’t see anything. They don’t know anything. They don’t know what happened. Do they imagine that all the siblings were lined up in a pretty row like in the pictures in the newspaper with smiles all in one place at one time? Do they think we all think alike, have the same experiences, were treated exactly alike? Do they know anything about mind control, brainwashing, severe abuse? Do they realize many times the siblings were separated in different cabins/sheds/tents throughout acres of woods/fields where you could not hear/see anything? Do they realize that some siblings are much older or younger than other siblings and witnessed totally different things. Do they know the leader (my father) had a special language (codes) he used within his own family? Do they know that people on the outside viewed us as weird, odd? We were asked if we were refuges, from different countries. We were made fun of for being odd, called “retarded" by teenagers. Do they realize that our father made us completely “unbelievable” to anybody? No matter what we say we sound delusional. For years I have had to lie even to therapists about my background because they thought it sounded crazy or laughed at me. We worked hard at making the lives we have now. It took amazing strength and guts. I just want to say to all my siblings: I AM AMAZINGLY PROUD OF YOU!!!!!
When approached by someone about my background, my first response to lie. Until recently I was not willing to even face what happened to me. Professionals need to realize that someone coming from a very traumatic background that has been subject to mind-control and brainwashing is going to lie or be in denial. Some people have blocked out most of the traumatic details and are trying to move on with their lives.
I left the homestead in 1994. I went through my share of denial, self-hate, drinking, and have come to terms with the abuse in my own time. It only took me 18 years. Somebody who just left the homestead two years or even 10 years might not have come to terms with the abuse yet and it would be wrong to force them to try do that. 



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Facing Abuse

 Abuse isn't pretty or easy to face. I thought this blog post was helpful, especially to those I know who find it hard to deal with and come to terms with.
Blog to help people come to terms with Abuse
Everyone faces and comes to terms with traumatic events in their own time and some may never be able to fully understand or move on. Nobody can be forced or made to face it. Nobody can be forced to heal. Here's to every victim of abuse. I hope we find peace and healing in our own time.


A Message To My Father

Note: I have been having horrible flashbacks the last few weeks about my father, remembering clear details about everything that happened. I also have been remembering his "weak" moments. What happened when he appeared to be depressed for sometimes days at a time or how he tried to "make up" for the abuse by letting us do "fun" things.  His manipulation of me in particular to control me---to keep me silent---was so real. He knew I was the one that he had to battle on the homestead. He told many visitors or other people I was a bad person in order to make me not believable. He looked like a Saint to them, and with most of the other children smiling nobody would believe me. They just thought I was a bad, rebellious, horrible child.He sent me away to be abused by other people as well. The thing is, with all the pain and rage I have, I still feel sympathy for my father's pain. I know what he feels because I feel it. However, I just wish he could have taken his pain and rage and directed it towards using for good, helping the world. Why did he have to take it out on an innocent little child? I didn't mean to be the way I was. To have the personality I had, the looks I had, the voice I had. Everything I had that he hated. I went to the woods everyday with my rosary and Bible praying he wouldn't beat me and abuse me. I thought the nightmare would never end. I am writing this message today hoping that he is reading this blog and will stop this cycle of abuse and pain. Let my mother and brother go. Go seek treatment. This is no life to lead.

 Message to my Father
I understand that you are scared, running, isolating yourself. You have done this all your life. You would build up all this hype about your “kingdom” and then you would fall and crumble. You would hide in the woods, be at the neighbors or in town drinking, jump out the back window and run when you saw visitors coming, you sometimes would fall into days of depression and curl into a ball and sob. I know the intense pain you are in.
I know the HORRIBLE guilt you feel about your best friend Frankie dying in a fire when you were sixteen when you couldn’t save him. I know how your beloved dog, Teddy, had to be put down when you were only 15 and you cried for days. I know you loved your old horse, Rain Cloud, and had real tears streaming down your cheeks when you gave her away.
Why did you feel the need to torture me? To torture animals? In your times of pain and extreme rage. I saw that rage, a light glaring in your eyes. You didn’t seem human. You were a monster. I didn’t know if I would survive. No daughter should feel like that. No daughter should have to hide in the bushes and high grass and behind boards and trees when she hears her father’s footsteps.
I know you probably think the “good” moments made up for all the abuse and terror. The times you allowed me to go to town, go to someone’s house (because you happened to be in a good mood, but changed your mind later), the times you took us to the circus or to a play or let us go to the library or park, or brought us raisins or a headband from town. But it didn’t cancel it out. You continued on with the cycles of abuse and terror and never stopped and I knew you were a fake. I can’t be fooled. I knew you were sick. Mentally sick.
I know what it feels like to be trapped in a cycle of pain and fear in your mind and want to take it out on the world. I probably understand the abusive and twisted horrible sick mind of yours better than your other children because you hated me so much and made me hate you so much. My worst fear when I had children was becoming like you: being you. I know out of everyone in the family I am most like you that is why you hated me so much. You tortured me as if you felt you were abused as a child and took my dog, Bosco, away, like your dog, Teddy was taken away.
I think everyone deserves a second chance.
Despite all the abuse, hate, hurt and everything you did to me, I wish for you to reach out to someone for help. ASK for help. PUT DOWN THE BOTTLE. Go seek help. Go to a hospital, a mental facility. You owe this to your children. To your grandchildren. You are an old man now and will die soon. Why not seek help and live the rest of your days trying to make up for what you did?
Stop hurting people, please.
                        

I never wanted to get attached to another animal after my father got rid of my dog, Bosco, when I was 12 just for the hell of it without letting me say goodbye (he said the dog was chasing the cats). I have had Cujo for four years and he is like my baby. I wouldn't dream of giving him away to anyone. I think I have finally healed my heart where he tore it apart.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Seeing Beauty Through Broken Petals

A broken stemmed rose trying to stand tall.......

Watching her beautiful children dance
Smiling and laughing
Kicking a soccer ball in a field
Running wild
Holding their hands
Teaching them
Defending them
Running free
Ball games
Family jokes
Bandaging a scraped knee
Kissing a bumped head
Drama
Being a taxi-driver
Being "mom" to the kid's friends
Family Church time
Lifting weights with my kids
Making special sandwiches
Mama tucking them in bed at night

My three children bring me more joy than I could ever imagine. I love them with everything I have. I cannot live without them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I absorb pain


I absorb pain.

    My husband asked me the other day what I was thinking about while we were out to dinner. I told him I couldn’t stop thinking about the young mother who was so frustrated with her small daughter while she was texting that she slapped her daughter in the face. I guess the text message was more important than listening to her daughter’s plea for help with her zipper. I absorbed the pain of the blow. It still felt fresh on my face hours later and I felt the little girl’s pain and anguish. Nobody at the store around her seemed to notice including my husband. In fact, he told me “when did that happen? I didn’t notice that.”

I somehow absorb pain. I wish I didn’t. When others don’t hear a child’s cry, I do. When other’s don’t see abuse, I see it. When others don’t hear someone calling for help, I do. I hate it. I wish I could go numb. I used to numb out this pain with pain itself. But I can’t anymore. Maybe God wants me to see others pain so I can help them. Maybe he wants me to feel it, so I can reach out to them. I don’t know why. I don’t like absorbing other’s pain. It hurts.

When pain hurts so much you do stupid things or say stupid things.

Abuse drives you down a road you never thought you would go.

I want to take my pain and change things for the better, like laws and stuff. But who really knows how to do that.

I guess ordinary people don’t, but then again maybe an ordinary person can make a difference.

On a good day, I want to change the world.

On a bad day, I am a broken girl with a bunch of pain.

But I care about people and I want to help somebody……I don’t want to see pain anymore….feel pain anymore…..


Saturday, January 14, 2012

And he built a Cabin.....


How it started….

Who wakes up one day and decides to build a small cabin in the woods and start a “Catholic” organization that resembles a cult that follows very few of the Catholic Church’s principles and abuses women and children?

My father.

   I don’t like when someone tells me I'm "acting like my father", especially when he is a master manipulator and controller and perfectionist, but unfortunately I have found myself trying to beat those very traits out of myself at my therapy sessions. I probably could write a book about my father. I feel like I know the man so well. I have his voice running through my head every day.
   My father did not have the ability to say he was sorry, to apologize---at least to his children.  I have decided that is one of the most important things you must be able to tell your children if you make a mistake. He manipulated, abused, and controlled us and refused to admit he was wrong.

   He tried to use this same type of manipulation and control and abuse tactics on visitors but many got tired of it very soon and would end up leaving. The author of this article had only been to the homestead one time but already could see that my father was engaging in controlling and manipulating people and enforcing strict rules.

   I found an old article in Mother Earth News about my father when he was only 28 years old. Here is a brief excerpt out of the article:

 The CHM school and headquarters is a 68-acre farm on top of one of the rolling hills of south central New York, just outside the town of Oxford. I first learned of CHM in the Contact columns of MOTHER and when I saw a full-page article about the movement in an upstate daily, I decided to check it out.
Fortunately I didn't show up unannounced, otherwise I would have been required to spend a day sawing wood. Unannounced visitors must saw wood for a day or they are invited to leave. It's a rule that keeps tourists and crashers away.
There are other rules, too: no cameras, no "gadgets" of any kind (flashlights, radios, etc.), no hard liquor or drugs, no cars or machinery and no "profanity" or vulgarity. Tobacco is "tolerated but not encouraged" and women wearing anything but kneelength skirts and dresses are not allowed to visit. Women in shorts or pants "will be advised to go home and get dressed properly."
The homesteading school is not managed—as you might expect—by hoary Bible thumpers but by bearded, 28-year-old Richard Fahey, who has apparently. been the only continuing resident of the farm-school. I arrived during one of Richard's Saturday morning classes on homesteading skills. (The Christian Homesteading Movement, Smith, Hal 1971. http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/1971-03-01/The-Christian-Homesteading-Movement.aspx?page=3).”

   Although my father wanted to prove to the world that he had great ideas with homesteading, he could have done it with respect for human beings---- most of all his family. My father is a brilliant man. There is no doubt in my mind about that. That never excused his mistreatment of human life, abusing his own children and tossing them away like garbage.

   Here is a quote about children directly from one of my father’s writings that he distributed:

   “We are concerned with the perfection of each individual, knowing that the world can never be reformed without the reformation of self first. We believe that, while many good and selfless people are striking at the branches of social evils, the root—the stability of the family—is neglected. Most people are not, can not, be social reformers, but they are parents and have the sacred duty to form their children and themselves in the likeness of God. Failing in this, it matters little how many hospitals they build, books they write, or cures they discover. Succeeding in this, they have the success that counts for eternity. (Richard Fahey, 1971)”

   My father wanted us to be perfect. And if we weren’t we were severely abused and punished and then disposed of.

   The homestead was pretty. Full of flowers, flowing creeks, swaying poplar trees, blooming apple trees, bee hives, sweet smelling country air, crickets chirping, birds singing.

   But somewhere there was a little girl crying because she wasn't perfect enough.