LEADING A CHARMED LIFE!

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Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead, by Linda Lee King (Abbott Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2014, 269 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

October 17, 2014 (San Diego)--Linda Lee King, a recovering Catholic, news reporter, and publisher of a weekly newspaper, the Free Press News, who has struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since childhood, encapsulates that and all her experiences in a riveting book, Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead. Growing up in 1950s America where children did not speak until spoken to and when the Catholic Church concealed many occurrences of inappropriate behavior, one moment in her young life caused trauma that would haunt her into adulthood. That sets the tone for this well-written book.

King has been divorced, widowed, and haunted by paranormal forces she cannot explain. She sees the world as not black and white but bleeding red with violence. That violence breeds brokenness, but she feels it is never too late to seek help. She especially worries about the future children of America and how violence will affect their lives, and it comes across in her book.

It is clear from reading her book that King feels that the battle is not hopeless. She believes that with early detection and counseling any past trauma can be treated. She chronicles in Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones how much she has been through in her life as a single parent and a recovering Roman Catholic. Now, she reaches out to others through this book who share her pain to tell a personal story of forgiveness, hope – and – in the end – healing. This book is therapeutic for her, as well it can be for those who read it.

King has led an interesting life, which she details in this book. She describes her first marriage to a Thomas Gordon Rousku, almost immediately after coming back from her sojourn in Hollywood and the hippie culture of San Francisco, while attempting to “find herself.” She married Rousku on December 13, 1968. It just so happened to have been Friday the 13th, which should have been an omen for her, especially considering the circumstances of the marriage. It seems that her husband was homosexual and thought by getting married somehow that would get the “gay” out of him, as King describes it in her book. Her marriage to Rousku was actually doomed from the start. She puts this particular episode in her life in perspective by stating: “Our relationship was going downhill fast. One night, when we had a houseful of dinner guests, he picked a fight over dinner. At some point in the argument, Rousku tossed his plate of food on the floor. This was familiar, something my mother would do. I took the coffee pot and dumped the grinds on top of the mess. ‘You clean it up!’” Mind you, King was still trying to “find her way”, basically a late teenager. The author concludes by stating: “By Spring of 1970, it was over. Rousku filed for divorce, claiming mental abuse. The fact is, gay people can’t force themselves to be straight. And I can’t fix gay. Tossed out, I had nowhere to go. I walked out the door, suitcase in hand, heading God knows where. I couldn’t go home. Wild child on the run again.”

After her first failed marriage, the author describes a poignant time in her life, stating: “For the next year and a half, I bounced around from one job to the next, never settling too long in one spot. Getting high on LSD, doing coke, and black beauties (pharmaceutical speed). Self-medicating was normal. I felt normal when high.” From reading this, it is not hard to envision the other things happening in her life that she writes about, such as the paranormal dreams. I actually had a similar experience myself in my early life, trying to “find myself.”

Perhaps the most profound revelation to me in this book, and something that resonates with me on a personal level, is a passage in which King states: “Regardless of my efforts to shelter my young children from my personal trauma, there were repercussions. Today, they are broken adults I can’t fix. The impact my life events had on me was trans-generational – I passed it on to my children. Realizing this in 2009, I began examining my own generational, social, and religious conditioning, and the significance it had in developing my odd behavior, and the way I dealt with issues.” I know exactly what she means, and I can relate to it. This personal trauma that she speaks of results from seeing a subsequent husband being shot and killed by a policeman before her very eyes, and another husband being found dead in the trunk of a car not long thereafter. That can be devastating on anyone’s psyche. She indicates in her well-written and incisive book that the most traumatic moment in her life was a day in 1974, when her husband was shot and killed. It says a lot about King that in a contentious and protracted civil suit after the death of her husband – that she would turn down a large financial settlement in her pursuit of the truth and justice, which she would eventually get in a jury verdict.

King actually dedicates a chapter in her book to trauma survivors, from her personal experience, by stating; “Violence breeds broken people: war, racism, rape, and murder traumatize the soul. Society’s next generation of children are growing up damaged. Violent experiences impact the way we live. For people of all ages, especially with children, early detection and counseling can prevent mental health problems from compounding into a life of torment, poverty, and addiction. Based on my peculiar history, I’m one of fifty million reasons why early mental health intervention services are necessary for children and their parents in the event of unexpected tragedy.”   

The author speaks candidly of her granddaughter in Sticks and Stones, stating: “Forced out of my home, moving into my youngest son’s house wasn’t easy, and it took months to find a place in California. I needed a good school district for my granddaughter. Three adults with issues, and an angry, emotionally disabled teenager: It wasn’t pretty. A few violent, knock-down, dragging-her-out – the-door incidents, it was obvious the girl needed professional help, too. It was not right for her to be forced to sever family ties and moving two thousand miles away to live with me because no one could handle her. No wonder she had abandonment issues. Like a hot potato, tossed to the next of kin. I love and care for her but I’m not her mother. The girl made that loud and clear. We argued and fought nearly every day until she graduated. The key component in all this? Emotional neglect and abandonment affecting her mental health.” All of this sounds strangely familiar to me, from a personal and familial standpoint. It is almost like King is preaching to the choir!  The author did indicate to me that she is still struggling with her granddaughter, stating that her granddaughter was jailed recently for a transgression. It brings to mind something that my mother once told me, her grandfather stating to her; “kids will break your heart!”

There are many subplots to Sticks and Stones that helps to define King, but foremost, it is clear from reading this book that the author has triumphed over tragedy and it is a story that we all can learn from. This is definitely a page turner and a good read.

Dennis Moore is an Associate Editor with the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.

 

 

Comments

Peace & Looking toward the Future to Linda Lee King

Linda, all your friends are thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful future. For all of us the past remains in memory, but for you and for all the rest of us is, grace, unmerited favor and a new year that will bring fulfillment of many dreams I pray. You are a kind and generous person who gives with an open hand. I hope that you will receive as you give, with the same open hand. I sit here in my office with a desk covered in the books of my friends and what seems to be an uncontrolled clutter of writing of all types and hope my friends are neater and more fastidious than I am, but on the very end days before the New Year descends on us all I wish everyone, Linda, Dennis, Miriam, Judge Bullock,KB Schaller, and all of the people who have written books that Dennis has reviewed a promising New Year filled with blessings from the hard work and sacrifices these books we birth have the potential to bring. May we all remain a community in the spirit and in the daily challenges we each face. I feel blessed to have such wonderful and interesting, such courageous and hard working friends. Bless all of you. MJ Payne Author The Remembered Self: A Journey into the Heart of the Beast

Lovely wish

I'm going to be brief, Thank you MJ I find your comment pensive, loving and such great warmth which reflects the gentle nature of your spirit. Merry Christmas! Linda

"Jury: Bondage 'master' guilty in plot to kill wife"

A Detroit-area man was convicted Thursday of last week of murder in a plot to kill his wife so he could devote himself to a life of bondage and domination in an upper-class suburb with women who called him "Master Bob." This, according to an Associated Press story by Corey Williams. The salacious trial of Bob Bashara revealed his secret life in Grosse Point Park: a former Rotary Club president who used cocaine and was host to men and women at a sex dungeon under a bar called the Hard Luck Lounge. It is ironic to point out, that the author of "Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones" indicates in her book that it was Grosse Pointe Police Department officer Edward Serwach ran into their bedroom brandishing a .357 Magnum, and shot and killed her husband Tommy with a hollow-point bullet to his stomach. The painful description of this on pages 142 and 143 of her book, puts into perspective this recent event with Bob Bashara, although the shooting of her husband actually happened in 1974. I am sure the author still feels the pain. Jane Bashara was strangled by a handyman in the couple's garage in 2012 before her body was discovered in her Mercedes-Benz in a Detroit alley. "The system worked. We finally have closure for the death of Jane Bashara," Grosse Pointe Park Police Chief David Hiller said after jurors convicted the 57-year-old of first-degree murder and four other charges. "On behalf of Jane's family and the residents of Grosse Pointe Park, we are finally able to put this to rest." Bob Bashara showed no visible emotions as he stood while the jury foreman read the verdict. One of his lawyers, Michael McCarthy, later said, "He's in shock, very disappointed in the verdict." Bashara is scheduled to be sentenced for Jan. 15. First-degree murder carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Judge Vonda Evans showered praise on the jurors, saying, "I am at a loss for words to say how much we appreciate how much you've done." Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she hoped that the verdict "gives the family of Jane Bashara some respite." In closing arguments, assistant prosecutor Rob Moran asked jurors, "What man would make his own elderly mother hide a gun for him? What kind of man has two women come to the marital bed and have sex with them while his wife is out of town? "Is that what a man does who's in love with his wife? No. It's the ultimate act of betrayal," he said. Jane Bashara was a marketing executive with a long record of service to her church and community. Nearly three years after her murder, there still are lawn signs that say, "Justice For Jane."

"act of betrayal"

Yes, Dennis, I hav been following this case as I do many in cities that I lived in, it falls under the category among the topics I follow #homicide and #violenceagainstwomen - I love my children but I would not hide a gun for them. If you think about it, The wife was murdered to continue his perverse pleasures. So much for the Rotary Club Motto Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Bob Bashara's greed and murderous heart has damaged an entire community who appear to be immune to this side of life. Grosse Pointe isn't a place where people die violently as a rule. Very few incidents shake up their world. It was a significant factor when I moved my children there. A great place to raise kids. Pools and parks everywhere. Much to do. But, no one is safe from inhumanity. The lawn signs for Barbara doesn't surprise me. When Tommy was shot. I had many residents call, to tell me they were pulled over for traffic violation by Grosse Pointe Police - they demonstrated #HandsUp 40 years ago! The residents are not afraid to speak up. Yes, Dennis true story. Hands-Up before all this going on now in the headlines. It is racial, it is cop bullies - it is all the things people are protesting. Yet, they are still missing real solutions. Slowly, word is getting out about better quality law enforcement - This is my baby and now others are starting to run with this mantra. Just as long as it makes changes - Let the universe carry my 40-yr message! And certainly, the women you have interviewed have shared stories that nearly cost them their life, are possibly feeling a loss for a woman they never met. Justice may be served in one sense but it is never really served for the families - we can't bring back our dead. RIP Barbara Bashara Linda Lee King Author Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones

Mr. Moore's review of "Sticks and Stones"

Once again, excellent review Mr. Moore. What an amazing feat it is to realize that the battle is not hopeless. I am glad that you point out the fact that she feels that past trauma can be treated, and her story of forgiveness, hope, and healing can be an inspiration to those who feel that it is hopeless. Suffering through domestic violence, and repeated sexual abuse, I can relate with the affects of PTSD that is haunting. It took time, but I was able to heal through forgiveness and now I am so excited to shine. I try to make sure that I always give back my infectious care and concern and joy that I now experience in my life. I am a writer now, I get a second chance at life and I am so excited! Your reviews of other writers experiences inspire me!! "On Earth As It Is In Hell" by Cortina Jackson www.cortinajackson.com

Second chances

We all deserve second chances, Cortina Jackson - sometimes the third time is the Charm! I hope you find comfort in your new career as a writer. Putting good use to the feelings and words you need to express, to be a voice heard above the crowd of denial. (Oh my, I am turning into a full fledge poetic philosopher - help! Haha). Well, a good sense of humor is vital in recovery, though for most of us - it is dark humor. Be inspired by hope and the will to breathe. Thank you for taking the time to read the reviews. And, will look forward to reading 'On Earth As It Is In Hell' Take care, warm regards Linda Lee King Author, Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones What a Charmed Life I Lead www.lindaleeking.com

Re: Linda Lee King

Lol!! a sense of humor too!!!! What do you not do! You are amazing! Thank you so much, I am so humbled to just be mentioned by you. I will be reading your book as well, this weekend; and I am so excited, as I know that it will help on the road to recovery and complete freedom. New fan!!!!! It is such a pleasure to meet you! Cortina Jackson www.cortinajackson.com "On Earth As It Is In Hell"

A Story of Courage by Linda Lee King, "Sticks & Stones"

In reading Linda Lee King's book I was most impressed with her relentless drive to make things better and her kindness of heart as well as her honesty. She exhibits toughness and tenderness equally. I could not help but like the hand behind the words, the person behind the story. I believe that courage is doing things even though afraid and pushing forward after being pushed down. This book, after all is said and done is a celebration of the human spirit, an effort to make things better for the next generation. Linda's amazing resilience is a solid example for all who read this entertaining and disturbing book. The analysis at the end is so fine, so well thought out. I enjoyed the book and am better for having read it. This book is written with the energy and drive of a woman with a mission. That is an example for all women. As people, our humanity is never "perfect". We all make mistakes and have regrets. The difference is in how a person carries on after realizing and accepting this inevitable truth. MJ Payne Author The Remembered Self

Dennis Moore's Review

Dennis, I am please to say I discovered a Gold Star next to Amazons Editor's Favorite Book picks for 2014! Thank you so much for helping me with this great review, to get the message out to not only women but men, too. Domestic Violence and other crimes against women and children is unacceptable regardless of faith or cultural. Linda Lee King, Author Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones What a Charmed Life I Lead www.lindaleeking.com

Re: Sticks and Stones-Your book is your banner

Linda: Yours were horrific experiences indeed, but your book is your banner of celebration. I think it is important that we as women, regardless of our station in life, share such stories. Not only are they therapeutic, they let other women in abusive relationships know that they are not alone, that there are others who understand. Congratulations on having the courage to pen these very painful chapters of your life. It is great to know that you have moved on, and, in telling your story, have let other women know that they, too, can overcome. KB Schaller, Author 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World Winner, 2014 International Book Award, Women's Issues http://KBSchaller.com/

KB: Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones

KB, it is a lonely world for millions of woman around the world who have no voice in their homes or society without suffering dire consequences. My goal is to raise awareness and help bring changes to a world that is breeding PTSD. Transgenerational Trauma is real. Research suggests that we do pass on our trauma to our children. How do we heal when the world keeps revolving in violence? We need to break this cycle of insanity. I have no clue how to do this without sharing my family's life story as part of my goal to reach out to others. Thank you, Linda Lee King

Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones: What a Charmed Life I Lead,

Linda, Thanks for sharing your story. I think that the book title is apt, based on your story, and what a story it is. A story that deals with abandonment and survival issues, mental health, failed marriages, personal traumas e.g. the deaths of two husbands. At times you wonder why one person has to undergo all of these challenges. Oftentimes the answer lies in the strength of that person and the life lessons that can be learned, and later shared. I am sure that writing the book was very therapeutic, and by doing so you will help and/or encourage others with similar experiences to at least start a conversation, begin keeping a journal and most importantly seek help. There are a lot of broken people in this world who have not been healed. Counseling should be encouraged, and forgiveness practiced, if not the cycle will continue. Linda, thankfully you have learn to forgive and have moved on with your life. Best of luck to you, and once again thanks for sharing your story. Jacqueline C.

Re: Jacqueline C's - Life Lessons

Hello Jacqueline, you're welcome and thank you for taking the time to comment. Certainly happy to hear from you and read your comments. It was very therapeutic and enlightening as well writing this book. Seeing it on paper was a way to face the truth and realize, I had a new mission in life. Speak-up for the underdog, underprivileged and countless victims of violence but most of all, for my peace of mind. I could not handle the silence or deal with having to tell my story, over and over to others; without, taking many detours explaining the process how I ended up where I am today. Written down in this book, is where the past now lies. From this I can move forward and continue to craft my writing career. My next book will go into more depth regarding the book's subplots. Thank you, again Jacqueline for sharing your thoughts with me. I too, wish you the very best future possible, you sound like a caring person and I hope all who know you, appreciate the time you take, even for a stranger like me. Take care Linda Lee King Author

Dennis Moore's review of Linda Kings's Sticks and Stones

Linda: In reading Dennis Moore's insightful review of your book, Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones, it gives me pause to reiterate that, of all the challenges of life, satisfying relationships in which each partner respects, loves and edifies the other seems the most difficult to establish and maintain. Yet, nothing is more diligently sought after, as attested by the proliferation of dating services and the popularity of places where it seems most likely that one can meet a potential mate. A one-time victim myself, I was battered, abused emotionally, psychologically, and in nearly every other way. My self esteem was destroyed by being told constantly that I could not make it on my own. Although most of my teachers have always been women, my abuser, who had no knowledge of any of my school experiences, even made the accusation that my scholastic achievements were given to me by men who found me attractive. Even though a blatant untruth, I found myself defensive, always striving, and, beneath it all, never believing that anything I did was good enough. While I will not go into the details of most of the abuse, I was constantly trying to "earn" my abuser's love, only to have my efforts met with the same denigration. Giving him gifts and preparing favorite foods on what were supposed to be special occasions stirred up the most inexplicable of rejections. He would refuse to open the gifts and express no appreciation for any of my efforts. Yet, I kept on buying and giving and doing, in hopes that he would see my "goodness" and someday respond likewise. He came from a family that held on to their secrets, and those outside the immediate kinship were not privy to them. Because the family "stuck together" and would never "betray" each other by challenging wrongdoings, I recognized that confiding in any of them for answers would be for naught. It was not until the sister of my abuser, who had left the area and established a life of her own, confided that their father (who had passed away) had been an alcoholic. Their mother had heavily depended on my abuser--her firstborn son--to contribute to the family income. Always a big kid, as early as six years of age, he gave her what he earned from doing chores around the neighborhood. He was never treated as a child, but more like a surrogate husband/provider than a son. His sister further related that when their mother bought them gifts for Christmas, she would leave them in the bags and tell the children that if they wanted them wrapped, they would have to do so and place them beneath the tree themselves. Her actions seemed to have hit my abuser hardest and pain him the greatest. No doubt viewing this as a rejection, a betrayal and a thankless reward for his faithfulness, sacrifice and hard work, he carried this pain and unexpressed rage into adulthood. As M.J. expressed in her comment, unaddressed abusive behaviors become generational, and thus, whenever I gave my abuser beautifully wrapped, carefully selected gifts, it stirred in him the unexpressed anger toward his mother. It took three years of counseling before I understood that his rejection of gifts was not really toward me or the gifts, but punishment taken out on me that he was unable to express toward the inflictor of his own pain. Sadly, because he had been thrust into the role of man-of-the-house and therefore one who wasn't supposed to cry or show pain, it is doubtful that he will ever recognize the underlying causes of his behaviors, attitude toward, and treatment of women. The broader ramification of this encapsulated experience is that there are underlying reasons why we do what we do, and why some (women especially) tolerate abusive relationships. What I discovered in my three years of counseling was that my own behavior traced back to my father having passed away when I was too young to remember him clearly. This thrust my young mother, who had few marketable skills, into the role of head-of-household. Because I was a sickly, asthmatic child, underweight, with a depressed appetite, and a mom coaxing me to eat, I interpreted her insecurities, her frequently raised voice and heavy-handed discipline as rejection of me. I felt I was an unwanted burden, and responded by trying to earn her love through making and giving her gifts that she paid only cursory attention to. It would seem that one would seek relationships with those who validate them and make them feel appreciated, but all too frequently, those of us who endure abuse seek out those who abuse us as well. I can only surmise that abused people either hope to change the partner/abuser, or subconsciously use them as a scapegoat on which to act out vengeance against those who inflicted pain upon them. What I am most thankful for is that, after those three years of counseling, I walked away with the ability to identify the source of my own behavior, and with the knowledge that although, subconsciously, I had once sought out abusers as friends and in relationships, I was not trapped in the darkness of being an abuser myself, or perhaps even worse, one with the inability to recognize her own abusiveness. Each of us has a past, and the answers to problems of the present are always buried somewhere within. While it is true, sadly, that while children are at the mercy of adults who abuse them, in societies and cultural groups where women are given a choice, it would be advantageous to each of us to search out, through competent counseling, the underlying causes of the choices we make, and what we allow ourselves to endure. KB Schaller, Author 100+ Native American Women Who Changed the World Winner, 2014 International Book Award, Women's Issues http://KBSchaller.com/

Taught to accept abuse

KB, a hidden past requires silence - something I had to do for nearly eight years after my (2nd.) husband was shot in front of me. Though vividly horrific, the experiences I endured as a child, was nothing in comparison to this one traumatic event. When I sought counseling, I was treated for everything but, PTSD. Misdiagnosed because I was a woman and a civilian. Doctors said, "I was just depressed." The therapy wasn't working, I still took the pills they prescribed. Then I stop going to counseling and taking the medications because I wasn't improving, and I wasn't looking to dump on my parents during therapy because what happened - wasn't their fault. They never really knew "all" of what happened to me while I was at school, until, I was an adult. Women raised in certain cultures do pass on "traditional beliefs" onto their daughters, unaware of the impact it may have on down the road. My mother was a Hungarian Gypsy woman with a gift of sight. Hard to argue with her let alone lie. I kept quiet because often, when I "talked back" to her or the nuns? "SMACK," right across the face. This is how many of us were taught to accept the abuse. "Learn to keep your mouth shut!" Heard that from the nuns almost every time I had a disagreement over, religion. Sometimes, the abuser is unaware of their issues until a relationship is formed, usually after an emotional bond is developed between the couple. My last (3rd.) husband, was an abuser but it didn't happen right away. He wasn't physically abused as a child, but emotionally abandon by his father at age four because the father discovered, my husband wasn't his son. Damaging to this young child's psyche. Yes, being a Catholic and Hungarian - you don't walk away from your partner. "Death do you part." My (delusional) job was to save his heart and soul with unconditional love, to prove I would not abandon him. And, I didn't - he died too. As for finding healthy relationships it is alarming the number of women who keep repeating the pattern. Myself, not-included. I didn't even date anyone for 17 years. Though, surrounded by positive people - I can't avoid an act of random violence or meeting sociopaths who blend in all too well as "normal." But, I do know how to avoid a destructive relationship. Currently, the man I have been living with for over four years, is the most wonderful man I have ever known. Though, younger by 22 years, he is the most compassionate, understanding and gentle man I have ever known. He is a champion for women and their causes. He can also spot "the bully" in the room. I have learned to empower myself as a woman because of this good man. They are out there. Thank you KB, for sharing your comments. Linda Lee King Author Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones What a charmed life I lead www.lindaleeking.com

Dennis Moore Book Review, "Sticks and Stones and Broken Bones"

I think Ms. King has brought up some important issues in her book. Social problems caused by violence in the family are devastating not just to family members but to society in general. It appears impossible to calculate the economic cost of dysfunctional behavior in families and it often is passed from one generation to another. Early intervention is essential for complete success in most treatment models. Any intervention that actually helps at any point will save many lives. The well documented problems of sexual abuse in the Catholic church are international and institutionalized to the point that it seems like the church is broken beyond redemption. The fact that the church holds much of its wealth in land trusts that make it almost impossible for victims to receive settlements that are large enough to help them is disheartening. A radical bunch of priests have now come out and said they were in favor of gay marriage. It would seem that priests involving themselves in political issues is not correct. I wish Ms. King every success in her life and applaud her having the courage to bring out the problems she has dealt with. M.J.Payne Author "The Remembered Self"

Author M.J.Payne - early intervention & political priests

Thank you M.J., what an unexpected and encouraging, surprise to see your comments and recognizing this effort to inform and share the hope I have for positive changes in the way we condition our children - My mistakes are many, my poor kids have suffered greatly because of what was passed on to me through my "conditioning." The nuns had it in for me, a classmate wrote to me that her mother noticed how mean the nuns were to me as well. I was an easy target many said. I laughed because my paranoid mind, always believed this to be true. My vigilant state of mind is the result of PTSD, had it since the day I saw a child killed in front of me when I was four, I was spanked for being too close to the curb while looking at a dead body. I needed counseling, early intervention would have improved my state of mind. You are so right about the wealth the Catholic Church has, yet, so many people are hungry, homeless and ignored. The Church has demonstrated a lack of charity, while hiding behind their non-profit status. It is becoming more and more the mainstream of all religions to become politically involved, it is hypocrisy. It is my understanding; state and church must always remain separate if we are to believe we are all equal, regardless what color or creed we follow. If we are to avoid, these ridiculous "holy wars" there should be no mention of God on the money or in the "Pledge of Allegiance" (It was added in the '50s). Often, I have witnessed a prayer said before city council meetings? Yes, it does disturb me. Only because it seems like the nation is holding onto a theme, to be a "God-fearing" nation. Which begs the question? Whose God? Next thing you know we have divided the nation again, like they did when building the suburbs in the 50s. It was illegal to sell a house in these communities to anyone but a white person. Look what happened, it created a bigger divide. Political priests, ministers have no business getting involved with state affairs. God is a personal belief, and there it should remain. Too many of the wrong people are in charge of the welfare of others, we really need revised, mandatory mental health evaluations for anyone who has the power to change someone's life. They do background checks but they don't always have the full report. Police and Politicians, especially, need mental health examines before carrying a weapon or making laws. No more silence, M.J. like you, "The Remembered Self" We all have to speak up. It is the only way to help others and heal ourselves. Thank you again for your words of encouragement, it means a lot. Linda Lee King

Sticks and Stones and broken Bones

Wanted to share my thoughts about Linda Lee King book. Half way through reading this book, I had to put it down, shaken up, sad and horrified of what was happening to her, wish I had been part her life back then and somehow had the ability to help her. After a few weeks, I finally got enough nerve to pick it up the book again and finished it. Every chapter, I felt her pain and fear. Linda put her heart, soul and so many tears in it. Although I've known Linda for many years, never did I dream the happenings of her life, however, I did often wonder due to her actions, that something must of gone wrong in her life and most of the time I felt that she appeared to be holding the world on her shoulders. Although Linda still has issues with her family, I'm believe she found the peace she so desperately deserves and needs. I urge other people to read this book. it may help so many women out there for whom had familiar issues. I have read many books but not one had this amount of heart and soul.. All the best... Fil Perry

Dennis Moore's Review

Mr. Moore, I have known Linda for quite some time. I'm in the middle of reading her book. my mother in-law has read the book. It's definitely an eye opener to all misunderstood and broken people. I'm one of the broken one's. I've learned that keeping an open mind and speaking up when there is something bothering me. My life has gotten peaceful. I'm a caregiver I live my life helping the needy and the elderly, for little pay and never took care of my own needs. I needed to speak up about the abuse I went through by the nuns and the priests for beating my brother who came home bloody. Linda helped me to do that speak up. I am changing my Catholic ways - I won't accept the abuse or being quiet like I was taught because of my friend Linda who has been through so much more than anyone I know. She is lucky to be alive. You did a real nice job Mr. Moore and I pray other people see this and read her book, she deserves it! Jeanette Stewart Cottonwood, California

Broken People

Jeanette, you are a kind woman and I am thankful for the comments. With much focus on the sexual issues the church faced with its priests; very little was known about the other dirty secrets hidden by the one wearing a priest's robe or a nun's habit - many other people have experienced serious physical and emotional abuse by nuns and priests who had no business working with children. We really need to focus on the mental health of those in charge of others; they need to be evaluated for anger issues and other serious destructive behavior that could effect students ability to learn. What happened to you and your brother was inhumane - you were children - don't ever stop speaking up for yourself. You may feel alone, but many of us across the globe are with you. Our humanity depends on your voice, my voice and anyone else with a story to tell, sharing opens the hearts and minds, pausing one to think before passing judgement on the broken person telling their story. Broken people are more than their addictions and issues, they are someone's loved one. And, YOU are lucky to be alive! Take care, warm regards Your friend, Linda Lee King

Dennis Moore's Review

Thank you, Dennis, you are a man with great compassion and understanding for non-fiction writers. You, have a big heart, I have been reading your previous reviews. The "Moore" I read, the more I discover sharing our stories - does improve our life, maybe, even help someone find a way out of their silent tomb back into the world of the living. When I first began to write this book, my experiences were so horrific; I wrote it in third person. It was more than 1,000 pages. Judge Peter Spivak went to New York to try and sell it - he came back and said, he couldn't because it was written in first person. That's when it hit me, third person allowed me to deny myself the truth. I was that child being stoned. I was that little girl trapped in the bathroom with an angry nun. I was the young bride who watched her husband die. I am a woman, who is more than lucky to be alive, I am grateful. Like Louis Armstrong says, "What a wonderful world." Again, thank you, Dennis. It is hard sharing this story with men. At times, embarrassing but I've learned to get pass that with good people such as yourself. You have God's light shining down on you. It shows in your work. Warm regards to you and your family. Linda Lee King