Heat All Around

Thursday, January 13, 2011




Educational Sociology
Dr. Goodfellow

Written By:
Linda Holmes

Speak of something that impacts upon your day-to-day life...That is the assignment. A social event, a personal event...something that changed your way of looking at life. In preparing to write this paper, I sat and looked deeply into my soul. A question that keeps coming up leaped into the forefront of my mind. Why, the question begins, do I struggle with speaking the words that we all learn as children by rote...the words of the Pledge of Allegiance? Here is my answer to all those who have asked, and to those who wonder silently.

I knew before I walked  into that office that the end had already come. In the previous months, my husband had sat there, armed with his cowboy hat, pulled snugly down over his eyes, or the mirrored glasses that let no one pierce the mask of cooperation as I, tore into my guts to try to make sense of the horrible reality that made up our marriage.

The therapist, a neutral man, sat as usual, at his desk, while I selected the arm chair across from the sofa where my husband reclined. I looked over at him and tried to find some reason, some trait, that must have endeared him to me enough to have stayed in this warped institution called marriage, but all I saw was the hardened robot he'd gradually become.

"I have only one question," I informed the therapist, "to ask of my husband, and I need to have him answer it, here, in front of you." I turned to face the double reflections of my own face. "Why?" I asked. "If you love me, as you say you do, why? How could you do all those things to someone you love? How could you let all those people hurt me?" I waited, holding my breath...a part of me still for---I'm not sure what; understanding, maybe. Some explanation that I could accept and learn to live with so I could remain within the bonds of the solemn vows of matrimony. Something that would make it possible for me to keep my family together for my children.

My twin images never wavered with his responding words. "I don't know why I did those things." he droned, "but it's all over and it'll never happen again, so let's just stop talking about it."

Inside me, something gave one last painful gasp, then died. Slowly, like a sleepwalker, or an accident victim numbed by shock, I rose from my seat, and turned towards the therapist. "There's no sense in continuing this session, Ted. It's over. I want a divorce.", and on the thickened silence that followed my proclamation, I turned and walked out.

Once inside my car, I headed, not for home, there'd be no safety there, not to the police, I'd tried that route three times before. Local police do not like becoming involved in domestic violence, especially when the perpetrator is a Federal Agent. To get, relief, and a measure of immediate safety, I'd have to go to Court.

It was already 3:30 PM on November 4, 1982, ten years and one week, to the day, since my marriage, when I arrived at the courthouse and was directed to the Family Division. Speedily, the intake officer typed up an encapsulated version of ten years of marriage to a man who believed and preached that he was above the LAW, and therefore, could do as he damned well pleased, with the people he was supposed to cherish.

At first, the Judge would not believe what was written before his eyes, but the physical evidence, a network of scars from the biting end of a whip, a walnut sized lump on the back of my head, and massive internal scarring and tearing, confirmed by a phone call to my doctor, convinced the judge to sign the temporary Restraining Order, and hand me a copy that I would PERSONALLY deliver to the police that afternoon.

Despite the Court Order, the officers were still reluctant to comply. This was a Federal Agent, after all...one of our Country's elite, not  John Q. Citizen. I didn't care who they thought he was or wasn't. I wanted him out. I wanted to be able to crawl into my bed that night and not have to fear for my life, my children's lives, or our sanity.

My husband was beyond rage, although to the officers that accompanied me, he seemed cooperative and in control, but I saw his eyes and heard the whispered threat as he reached for his briefcase. "I'll blow you and those brats to Hell for this!" Inside the briefcase that he placed a caressing hand over, I knew was a display of a home made bomb, that needed only to have the wires connected to make it fully operational. Our COUNTRY, in its inimitable wisdom, and without ever running a psychological profile on him, had sent my husband down to Glynco, Georgia to learn to make and investigate bombs. Having had my husband's gun placed against my temple, while he played Russian Roulette with my mind on countless occasions, I had no reason to doubt that my husband was serious.

Long after he'd gone, when the shaking stopped, and my mind began functioning again, I knew I had to do something. I needed to get the Power away from my husband. I needed to get his badge, his gun, the damned briefcase, and my family's lives away from him---that meant going to his superiors---but how? First things first. I called in a locksmith and had all the locks changed, not that that would keep him out if he was really determined, but it was a start and made me feel like I was doing something to safeguard my children. I got an unlisted phone number in my own name, and made arrangements for the children to spend some time with friends...If my husband intended blowing up the house, I would be the only victim...NOT my precious children.

Now that the basics were taken care of, I had to seek out my husband's superiors. I didn't know where to start. I'd already dug out the pictures, pictures that my husband had taken of me tied up while his "friends" raped and sodomized me, but they only proved that "I" was involved in kinky sex, not that he was right there forcing the action. He was very careful not to have photos of himself taken doing deviant things, but I plodded on till I finally did come across a few of him with various women, groups, and even one shot with one of his male lovers...he had to have been pretty stoned to have allowed such pictures, but they were exactly what I needed.

On the basis of the pictures, I called Detective Walt W. of the Criminal Division of our local police department. Although I'd met Walt through my husband, ample reason NOT to trust him, I hoped that he would prove more honorable than most of the cops I had met to date. I asked Walt to stop by my house---please---it was important. Twenty minutes later, I began outlining my husband's activities; drugs, pimping, dealing stolen cars, counterfeiting, and topped it with what he'd done to me. I handed Walt the pictures...ALL of them.

The expression on this seasoned officers face as he fanned through them became pinched with an emotion I can only liken to fury and disgust. I hoped his rage was aimed at my husband for forcing me into such deeds and not me for having done what was depicted here.

"Do you realize the gravity of what you are accusing him of? It'll ruin his career!"

"Walt. he's dealing both sides of the fence...has been for years."

"Why now? Why did you wait till now to come forward?"

I looked straight at him, letting him see into my soul. "He's threatened to kill us. You've seen inside his briefcase. That's a live bomb. I can't live the rest of my life looking over my shoulder waiting for him to make good on his threat. I want the children safe. I don't care about myself. He's already ruined my life, but he's a dangerous man who's legally carrying a gun and a badge. I've already seen him abuse the authority that badge gives him on a couple of occasions, do you really want someone this unstable backing you in a life and death situation?"

"This is out of my jurisdiction, Linda. A lot of what you're talking about crosses State lines. That's Federal."

"I know. I need to get in touch with his Internal Affairs. How do I do it? I can't contact Trenton. They work with him, and he'll know the minute I step into the Federal Building what I am up to. Besides they wouldn't believe me. He's got them convinced that you and H. S., (another local Detective), and he are working on some big case down here."

"He told them I'M working with him?"

"He gets up at 8:30 long enough to call Trenton and tell them he's out in the field with you and Hank, then he goes back to bed till around noon. That's when he meets up with Santa Claus, drives to New York to scout for new young runaways."

"Phew!" Walt exclaimed in shocked disbelief. "OK let me call some people in Philadelphia." he said, then gently but firmly gripped my upper arms. "Have you any idea what you're getting yourself into?"

"It can't  be any worse that what he's already done to me." For one minute Walt continued to look at me and then down at the pictures spread before him on the coffee table.

But I was wrong!

Three days later Walt drove me into Philadelphia, stopping at an imposing concrete office building that housed the Philadelphia satellite of the Secret Service.

I was led to a room with a metal table, four metal chairs and introduced to a man in his late thirties. The agent, M. McC, had me retell my story while he jotted things down on a yellow legal-sized pad of paper. Occasionally, he would ask me to clarify certain information, but for the most part, I was allowed to just tell what I knew. Walt sat beside me listening, but never once interrupted. This, after all, was the Feds game, not his.

"What you're claiming is very damaging, and we only have your word for it, and frankly, you are an estranged wife. Isn't it probable that you're making this up to get even with your husband because you are angry with him?"

"Pictures don't lie, Agent McC, and I am not ANGRY with my husband. Afraid of him? Yes. Angry?  No."

Agent McC faced Walt. "I called a polygraph team in from Washington. We can't make her submit to a polygraph, but without it..."  His shrug was eloquent and told me that without it, they would chalk this up to nothing more than an angry soon-to-be ex-wife.

Four grueling hours followed. The team, (professional hit men, if you ask me), an operator and another agent grilled me over and over and over again, charging me with trying to trump up charges to make my divorce case more convincing. By the time Walt helped me into his car for the trip home, I felt like a bigger criminal than Charles Manson.

"Here." he said, handing me a box of Kleenex to mop up my tear-stained face.

"Never again!!!" I vowed, then shook my head. "He was right. He told me, but I wouldn't believe him...I guess I needed to be reduced to a bleeding puppy for it to sink into me that he was right all along! He said he was above the law...and he is."

"No he's not!" Walt roared forcefully.

"Yes Walt," I disagreed with an emotionless calm that I was far from feeling, "he is. I just told them the truth in there, but they didn't believe me."

"You're wrong. I heard them talking in the hall. You passed the polygraph with flying colors."

"Sure," I scoffed bitterly. "That's why all the accusations, because they BELIEVED me. If all I wanted was evidence for the divorce, I would have given my attorney the pictures. That's plenty of evidence, and I could get more. Did you know that he had gonorrhea last year? You don't get gonorrhea from sitting on a toilet seat, and since I tested negative, he didn't get it from me...although I still had to be treated for it just in case." The words felt like bitter acid upon my tongue as I remembered those three days when I had to be treated for a venereal disease because of my husband. "Fact is he got it from Herb," I continued, "one of his male lovers."

I turned in my seat to face Walt. "Tell me something? How will it help me to get a divorce to claim he's dealing in stolen cars? What would that have to do with Divorce Court? I mean even if it would help, I have no proof of that except for the conversations I overheard between him and Santa Claus and some rather large deposits and withdrawals from our checking accounts...and I know what he'll say if questioned. He'll say that the cash came from his parents, and they will back him up, even though they never, not once in all the years we've been married, given us one penny...Now maybe..." I began to ruminate..."maybe if I had the scale..."

"What scale?"

"The scale that bears the Federal Property imprint in neat little gold letters. It's an ugly scale, gray. He used to use it for his own drug interactions before buying the plastic one with the cone. He gave the gray one to Levittown Gary, a drug dealer crony who lives in a green house in Bristol, PA."

"You've been there?"

"A couple times when he was buying coke for parties. He made the children and I go along because cops don't suspect families from transporting drugs over the state lines."

"Think you could find it again?"

"He kept me pretty stoned the last few years, but yeah, I think I could find it again.." (When it came time to locate Gary's house and prove that my memory was accurate, the two Internal Affair agents assigned to me drove over to Levittown with me. We came to a house that I was certain was Gary's but it was white now. The side that you first see upon driving down the road and the front sparkled in pristine white. I was confused, because I KNEW this was the place. We drove further down the road and made a U-turn...and there it was...They had not painted this side which was most definitely GREEN!)

"Tell me more."

"Like what?"

"Times, places, names. Anything you can remember." he said then reached for a portable tape recorder while informing me he was going to tape this.

The remembrances occupied my mind and mouth across the bridge, into New Jersey, and all the way home...which, as I reflect back, was exactly what Walt had meant it to do. But, once inside my house, I was alone with my thoughts and no distractions.

The government hadn't believed me, and I was no closer to finding safety than I had been days earlier when I got the Restraining Order. (I knew the order would not stop my husband if he wanted in...a prediction that proved accurate three days later when he and Detective H. S. tried to break into my house in direct violation of that order....to give H. S. the benefit of the doubt though, he DID claim not to have been aware that there was an active restraining order against him...Still he deserved the chastisement and demotion he was given when I reported his conduct to his chief...)

I knew if I lived long enough, I'd have no trouble turning that temporary order into a permanent one. I had not lied to Walt. I had plenty of grounds that were provable, plus I had the therapist who would testify under subpoena.

I was so deep in thought that I nearly jumped a mile when the phone rang. It was Walt.

"Lin, there's a Special Agent Thomas H. in my office from Washington. He wants to meet with you."

"No!" I yelled into the phone then pulled it back to look at the thing as if glaring at it would make the nightmare end. "No more, Walt. The government can't , or won't help me any more than the police did years ago. I'll do what I have to do on my own. NO!!!"

"He's Internal Affairs Honey, and he believes you."

"It's a trick, and I've been tricked enough. Tell him to hop on his broom and fly back to Washington. I've had enough!"

"Listen, I'm going to drive him over. You can come out to the driveway and listen to what he has to say. If you decide you want us to leave, all you have to do is say the word...Baby, listen to me, the man you've described is dangerous and needs to be stopped. Without your inside knowledge..."

He didn't need to finish the sentence. I got the point, and knew I was defeated. Had it just been myself, I would have told them to all go to hell, but I had to think of the children. "We'll be there in ten minutes...Lin, it's going to be all right. I'll be right there with you."

I wanted to scream at him that he'd been there with me in Philadelphia for all the good it had done me, but I didn't. Instead, I hung up, closed my eyes, and tried to calm myself as tears flooded my eyes and streamed down my cheeks onto the rich carpet beneath me.

Walt was the only port in this turbulent storm, and he'd promised to be there. Superimposed over Walt's image in my mind was my husband, his briefcase open, and his hand twisting the timer that would activate the bomb. I shuddered---violently. Yes, he had to be stopped...at all costs.

Agent H., a small, rotund, cherubic looking man, did not look like any of the human tanks that usually masquerade as Feds. He also lacked a voice booming with command, still I wasn't sure I could trust him. The nature of my information was, to a large degree, personal, and to an even greater degree, humiliating. After much reassurance from Walt, I agreed to listen to him.

"First, I want you to know you DID pass the polygraph with flying colors. It was a pretty rough experience, I know, but we do know you were telling the truth."

Then why, I argued inside me, did they treat me like a criminal?

"We had to make sure you were strong enough to go through with the ordeal of an investigation. You held up longer and better than we had expected.

"Now let me outline what we'd like to do. We'd like you to go undercover for us. The names you gave Detective W. are drug dealers well known to his department. For our purposes, we want you making drug buys while wearing a microphone. Once you've made the buys, we'll squeeze the dealers into helping us get evidence against your husband.

"You will be closely guarded at all times by myself and another agent that I'm bringing down from New York, and Detective W. here, will also be assigned to work exclusively with us during this investigation.

"We want your husband badly. What he's doing is not just harming you and your children. Now, I do know about his threat, and I assure you, he will NEVER get close enough to your or your children to do anything, and I promise you, if you'll help us, I guarantee he'll go to jail, and once this is all over, we'll place the three of you in the Witness Protection Program.

"You'll be given new identities, you'll be relocated, and a job created so you and the children will never have to worry again. You'll be comfortable...not rich...but comfortable.

"Before you answer, you should know that we'll tap your phone, Agent N. and I will move in here, giving the appearance that you've become little more than a hooker. Your husband may try to use that information to prove you're an unfit mother...He won't succeed. Also, you may be required to do some of the things in the pictures, as well as submit to various body searches."

"He means strip searches." Walt explained.

The idea of Tony, ATF Agent B., Santa Claus, Gene, Don C. touching me again made me nauseous. I was no longer so heavily doped up that I would be able to shut my mind off to what those animals would be doing to me. Could I do it? "You'll put him away? When this is all over he WILL go to jail?"

"Honey, if only a tenth of what you've told us can be proven, he'll go away for ten to twenty years."

That was all I needed to hear. "I'll help. Tell me what you want me to do."

"Show me to your phone."

For the next three months, I walked the streets, frequently dressed in a pair of skin-tight jeans, with a white Lycra body suit that had a small microphone strategically attached above my right breast connected to a battery pack that I wore in a girdle-like apparatus with a built in pocket around my waist and a super thin blue and white parka.

The drug buys I made were preceded by a complete body cavity search and ended by yet another search, both conducted by the New Jersey State Police, working in liaison with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms...They didn't want to risk that I might stash some inside my frozen, wire tapped body.

During some of these episodes,  there were times when my "protectors" were secreted so far away from the actual location of the buy, that the person I was meeting could have ended my life and been long gone before anyone would have reached my body.

I endured Chuck N. from the New York office and Tom H. from Washington, D.C. living virtually in my back pocket, running up my telephone bill and controlling my every move for the entire three months...the worst part of this time is that I was separated from my children...it was hard.

In the end, the evidence was overwhelming, and not just what I'd brought them. By finally reading and following my husband's monthly reports to his superiors for the past five years, (reports that should have been read all along), they found a paper trail of evidence that led them to bribery, fraud, theft of Federal supplies, (petty, but over the years, consistent), and gross abuses of his power.

I saw the charges against him. Tom showed them to both Walt and me the day before he was to present them to my husband:
                i.e.   Quaalude
                namely late model:  Lincoln-Continentals
                                        Mercedes Benz




        PETTY BURGLARY...i.e. various supplies belonging to the Federal Government



The next day, I felt almost light hearted for the first time in over ten years. By the end of this day, my husband would be safely behind bars, I could bring the children back home, I'd testify at his trial, (by then we'd be divorced), and then we would cease to exist.

Where I wondered, would they send us? At this point, I hoped for some place remote, and as far from civilization as possible.

4:12 PM, on the dot, the phone rang. This was it! I raced to the phone with my heart in my throat.

"It's over." Tom's voice vibrated over the phone lines.

"Thank God!" I sighed. My sigh was met with silence---dead silence---the kind that is a precursor of terrible things to come. As the silence stretched, I felt my chest muscles tightening. Something was wrong. "Tom?"

"Linda, I'm sorry."

Oh God NO!!! "Wh-what happened? Tom, he's in jail right? Tom, please. Tell me he's in jail."

"Walt's on his way over to explain it, but Linda, I want you to listen to me. We did get his badge away from him, and his gun and the briefcase, and because of you, the other agent, B., is also having his wings clipped."

My eyes closed tightly as I tried not to scream. This couldn't be happening...not again!! "Clipped wings? What does that mean?"

"Your husband resigned. He can never work in law enforcement again. If he tries, he'll be prosecuted."

"You're telling me...he's free?" My voice cracked badly. This had to be a nightmare...I'd been having so many since the end of my marriage. Surely this was one? It HAD to be!

"The U.S. Attorney felt it was enough for him to resign. He won't prosecute either your husband or B. unless they try to go to another agency."

"My God!" my trembling voice was little more than a whisper. "He's going to kill me, Tom, and this time he'll succeed. He's going to find a way, and this time he'll have B. to help him."

I must have sounded as hysterical as I felt, for Tom's next words were issued like crisp cracks of my husband's whip. "Calm down!!! He's NOT going to touch you. He was warned!"

On that, I laughed. "Warned? He belongs in jail, not being WARNED, and you let him walk."

"Not me, Linda, the U.S. ATTORNEY."


"And I fought hard to deliver. I have done nothing but work on this case for the past three months. Look, it's not that bad. He has no power, he has no gun..."

"No FEDERAL gun," I clarified for him, "but what about the Luger he keeps in his shoulder holster, or the pistol he keeps in his boot, or the high powered hunting rifles he keeps  in the trunk of his car? Did you take them away from him, Tom? Did you take away the knowledge that your agency gave him about making bombs? Did you?"

"With no felony conviction..."

"Yeah. Tell me about it. He's going to kill me, or worse, go after the children."

"You're talking crazy."

"I KNOW this man." I screamed at him through the phone. "He barely let me live seven yeas ago, and his job, his prestige wasn't at stake then. What do you think he'll do now that I've knocked him off his imaginary white charger? Damn!! I shoulda known."

By the time Walt arrived, I was like a wild woman, caged, with no escape. He opened his arms and held me as bitter tears exploded from my body. When at last I could cry no more, he set me on the couch, looked at me and waited.

"I feel like I was just raped again." I began in a voice that quivered. "I spent ten years letting that man use me, hand me off to his friends like a piece of raw meat, and beat me till I couldn't stand when I would dare try to refuse his wishes. I lived through the drugs he was giving me, the damned withdrawal from that poison and the beatings.

"When I was a little girl, I still believed in fairy tale endings. My Grandmother taught me that the things my husband was doing to me were wrong...a sin against God...and against the Laws of man.

"Is it because I am not a man? Is that why this is happening? I saw the warrant. So did you. The warrant said he was guilty. He IS guilty. Guilty people go to jail. Why isn't he going to jail, Walt?"

"I don't know, Luv. I know how badly H. and N. wanted him. They're just as upset as you are."

"No they aren't" I disagreed. shaking my head. "To them it's nothing more than another case. It 's my life, and the children's lives. I can't shrug it off and say 'Oh Well!'

"And what happens now? No prosecution, right? So what about the children, and what about me?

"H. promised me, if I co-operated I'd get protection. Well, I did every damned thing they asked of me. I've been out of my clothes more often than I've been in them these last three months with all the wirings and body searches.

"I even went so far as sleeping with G.R, and for what? I was promised! I was promised safety. They can keep all the rest of their bullshit, I just want us to be safe."

"They haven't cut you loose, Lin. I'm your liaison. If you need me, all you have to do is call, and through me H. and N. will be on the spot in a flash.."

"But I stay here, continue this identity, a sitting target, and act as if nothing has changed. He'll get to me...perhaps not directly...but he'll get to me, and it'll be over long before H. and N. can do anything.

"I was a fool Walt. I thought that this time the Law would work. I guess some of us need to be pounded into the ground before we can accept the truth. The Law can't help me...no, correction. It's not that it CAN'T...but WON'T help me.

"I remember him telling me about the Brotherhood once. It sounded like a bad scene from THE GODFATHER, but it's real. the Brotherhood before anything. Two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

"How would it look if the news media got hold of this? Imagine the embarrassing headlines the Bureau would have to endure. So much easier to sacrifice a woman and two children, and please don't deny it. It's the only thing that makes sense.

"But tell me, when the Bureau is picking my scattered remains up with tweezers, what will they say? 'EX-FED GOES BERSERK OVER DIVORCE FROM STRAYING WIFE'.

"No one will ever know that once upon a time, I tried to bring my murderer to justice, because all of this..."I said waving my arm to indicate everything and everywhere..."will be sealed inside some vault in Washington."

For almost all the next year, every time I turned around my husband was there, watching, pointedly letting me know that he could move in at any time.

I developed ulcers, severe migraine headaches, the shakes, and went from 130 lbs down to an emaciated 105 lbs. I called Walt, but since my husband never made a move towards me, there was nothing he could do.

H. and N. called me from time-to-time, just to let me know I was still under their "protection".

In truth, I think my case was considered more an albatross than anything else now.

Tom H. and Chuck N. had both been promoted, Walt had received a Federal Citation for a performance above and beyond the call of duty, and the Police Department was awarded a commendation for their coordinating efforts with the government.

Everyone came out ahead...only the children and I loss...I had to sell my house because my ex refused to pay alimony or child support.  Now I had to find a place to live that I could afford on my meager income.

That's when I met Dave. Like myself, he was divorced and the custodial parent of his seven year old son. He offered me room and board for myself and my children if I would take care of his son and the household chores...It seemed too good to be true. It would mean I could concentrate on raising my children and getting my college degree...So I signed the lease and we moved in a day before the closure on my house.

Walt came to see me on my anniversary, October 28, 1984 when Dave was out. The tapes he played for me crushed the last glimmer of hope within me.

Dave was a plant, sent by my husband to gain my trust. Once he'd completely achieved that, he was to take me on a weekend trip to the Poconos'...B.'s cabin...my death would be slow, my body mutilated, and my humiliation complete. I would not walk away from that weekend and would be recorded for posterity in an underground snuff movie that would be available for one and all to purchase and view.

"H. still monitors your ex's phone calls from time-to-time." Walt explained.

All the color drained from my face. I felt dead inside. The torture discussed so casually between Dave and my ex-husband was a vivid image inside my head.

"These can't be used in court can they?"

"You know they can't."

"So what do we do? Wait till they've got me strapped inside the cabin, rape me and knife me one after the other till they accomplish what they want? Do I have to die before you do something?"

"H.'s sent some strong messages out to him and his friends. He's been told that it's in his best interest to see to it that you stay healthy. He's bright enough to know what H.'ll do if anything happens to you or the children....the Brotherhood works both ways, Lin. He won't hurt you, and I promise you he won't let his friends hurt you either."

"We can't stay here."

"I know. That's why I came...Dave is being postponed. Let's get you guys packed up and out of here."

Four years have passed since the day I walked into my therapist's office and set the ball in motion. There have been no further threats, no further plots. My ex-husband is still out there...free...and I do run into him on occasion. He says he still loves me, and that he knows that deep down inside I love him too, and that one day I will come to my senses and come back to him...Not in this lifetime!

I do owe him though....he, H., N., and even Walt.

They taught me to rely on my own resources and instincts. They taught me to look with cynicism and distrust at badges, politics, and the farce that pretends to be the law.

The law is blinded, not by any balance of justice, but by the self-interest of those players contracted to make, enforce, and interpret the laws. For peons like myself, we are just pawns in the larger game of fumigational chess.

So that is why, now when I rise for the Pledge, the words lump in my throat like worn out epoxy.

How do I pledge allegiance to a Country that raped me as thoroughly as any of the criminals my husband processed through my flesh?

How do I honor a government that promises justice but gives you danger?

How do I respect an agency, any agency, that lets a man like my ex-husband walk free, knowing damned well he would try to kill me...again...

The Answer?...I can't...but I am working on it.


A river of blood! Oh God! Her own! Again!
She’d hoped it had been a nightmare.
Well, it had been a nightmare,
Just not one that strikes when in slumber.

Reaching for the edge of the bed,
She tried to pull herself up.
The pain that shafted through her, made her scream.
Dear God, this was the worst yet.

Biting down against another scream,
She forced herself out of the bed,
Nearly collapsing to the floor,
When her weak legs trembled.

Grasping for the back of the chair,
She held on hard, panting against the waves of pain,
Ignoring the rivulets of blood, trickling down her inner legs.
She had to get to the bathroom. Quickly.

The bathroom had never seemed so far away,
Nor had navigation required so much effort.
She felt dizzy, and her stomach roiled sickeningly,
And for now, she wouldn’t think about the blood.

The effort to cross the gaping distance, cost her.
By the time she reached the bathroom, she could stand no more.
On all fours, like a beaten dog,
She pulled herself across the tiled floor.

From this angle, she could not see the mirror.
It was probably just as well.
She seriously doubted she’d have the backbone,
To face the reflection she’d find staring back at her.

The coolness of the porcelain tub,
Felt comforting against her raging flesh,
So much so, she hated to move,
But she still had to get herself up there and into it.

Struggling, her body one living shriek,
She stoppered the drain, and turned on the taps.
She must have slipped in and out of consciousness,
Because it felt like no time before the tub was full.

How to get in! There lay the dilemma.
Anchoring her feet against the toilet’s base,
She locked her legs and braced her neck to the tub.
With much effort and a litany of grimaces and yelps, she thrust herself in.

The water felt like an army of fire ants,
Against her whip-torn flesh.
Almost aping the agony of the lash
 He’d applied to her exposed genitals so liberally.

Sinking into the water’s protection, she heard his chant, yet again.
With each bite of the whip, he’d repeated over and over,
“I love you, I love you. I have to hurt you, because only through
Knowing pain will you ever understand, how much I love you.”

Her cries were blocked, by the gag in her mouth,
And her limbs secured by the manacled chains.
There was no escape, until he’d hurt her enough.
Then he’d rape her, impassioned by her mutilation.

At some point, she’d pass out,
She always did,
To awaken and find all signs of him gone,
And her body free to move once again.

This was her husband, the man she had married,
The father of her child, an upstanding Fed.
He was a man who knew nothing of love,
Just the ever darkening mechanics of pain.

The water quickly turned pink.
She had to get the bleeding stopped, or die.
The thought of her toddler-aged son, finding his mother’s
Blood depleted body in the tub, spurned her to act.

Biting down once more, she shoved herself from the tub.
With a hand-mirror, she opened her legs and looked.
So many tears, so many wounds,
But at least the blood had trickled down to a seeping ooze.

Alcohol bit like the teeth of a ravenous panther,
But it was a necessary part of the reparations.
Grabbing a fist full of gauze, she smothered it with ointment,
Antiseptic ointment, that she then packed her genitals with.

She rose, willed herself to be strong,
And slipped back into the bedroom.
From her dresser, she tugged a shapeless, but concealing,
White cotton gown, long enough to cover her from neck to toe.

Before she could let herself sleep,
She went to check on her sleeping children.
Her love for these treasures, swelled within her,
A soothing balm that erased the pain.

Wisdom comes more often than not through experience. I wish I did not have the wisdom I have, but it DOES afford me with an understanding that I pray not too many of you share and the history to speak with authority...a right I paid a dear price to acquire.


Lin said...

These two renderings were written back in the mid to late 1980's.

I have an update. My ex-husband was arrested in March 2001 in an internet sting, soliciting sex with minors. 15 counts. He is in jail serving 3-20 years. It took the REAL WORLD 18 years after the investigation I participated in, to put him where he belongs. How many more victims do you think he knotched onto his whip in the interim?

He could be released at any time...and now he knows where I am again because I refuse to hide the way I have all these years while my children were small and vulnerable.

What will he do when he gets out?

Bet you can guess.

Yes...I most certainly have enough life experience to justify my speaking out about life's current events.

Heather Haven said...

Speechless. I'm speechless. It took a lot of guts to go public, but you are no victim regardless of how you have been victimized.

Lin said...

Thank you Heather. I have been hiding for a long time, but I am not naive, dumb, or clueless. Those who feel that way about me, needed to be shown I have walked through hell, learned from the worst life can dish out. Many who know my story have asked me why I do not HATE all men...how immature would that be? Not every man in the world is responsible for what happened to me. Not EVERY US Attorney is responsible for the actions of the one who allowed my ex to resign in lieu of prosecution despite overwhelming proof of his guilt.

AND since I lived through my marriage I have gone on to earn scholarships so I could today have and AA, AS, BA, MA, and PhD. to my name while raising two children alone and working three jobs.

I am nobody's buffoon nor am I gullible!

MuseItUp Publishing said...

You are a very brave and courageous woman, Miss Lin, not because you spoke out finally and allowed the world into your own corner of hell but because you did what you had to do to protect your children in the face of danger.

And you, dear girl, are far from a buffoon. :)

Lin said...

Ah God Lea, now I'm crying. Thank you though for your beautiful words of support and kindness.

I know I don't look my age and I defintely do not sound my age, so people think "She's JUST a blonde." (SILVER now) and they dismiss me as having the IQ of a witless ameoba. I am so not an ameoba, nor am I witless. Sometimes that works in my favor because I can surprise them...but sometimes I get tired of being treated as "JUST A BLONDE."

You have never treated me that way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Lin, your words show strength and courage. Not only courage but the depth of a mother's love. Like Heather I am speechless and I admire your determination and spirit.
Not only do you have an amazing scary past, you now amaze and astound us at Muse, with your compassion, wit and talent. Not just any old Blonde... but a Brave and Brilliant Blonde...

Sue Perkins said...

I am absolutely speechless. I cannot imagine how you found the courage and stamina to go through so many years with this man and then so many years of stress while he was still free. You are a really awesome woman Lin.

Lin said...

Thank you both, Rosalie and Sue. In the beginning I did not have a choice. The first time I left him was two months and three days after our wedding. Because he was a Fed, hiding was not something I was successful at. I was pregnant and he beat my first baby out of me to teach me what was and was not acceptable from me. (I nearly died when I lost that first baby.)

My father and he were close. I tried to go home once and my Dad's response was..."If you're being beaten, you must have done something to deserve it. You're married. Go home to your husband."

So I had no safe havens to go to...and eventually you get tired of doing things that set them off...even though you learn you don't really HAVE to do something for them to determine you are at fault for something that they feel you need to be taught a lesson about. (I was standing at our free-standing dishwasher once when he came out ran the dishwaher over my feet breaking all of my toees and then blaming me for having my feet in his way.)

Once I had my children, protecting them was paramount. To keep him from hurting them, I promised to let him and his friends do antyhing they wanted to me...unfortunately when I was not there, he did not keep that promise. (I did not learn of that deceit until we were three years away form the marriage because he threatened the children.)

I HAD to be a barrier between him ever getting custody of my precious babies...so it wasn't a question of being strong. It was more an issue of loving my children so much I always put their wellbeing ahead of everything else I could think of.

It has been twenty-seven years now. I won't lie and tell you you ever get over it...you just learn how to have a life despite it. I have joy in my life and honestly got the best part of the marriage. I got the children.

Sue Perkins said...

And they got the best mother in the world. Hugs and lots of them.

Arlene said...

Hard to express the sadness, anger and then hope your words inspire. It’s truly awful what you’ve gone through, what another human subjected you too, and it’s infuriating the way the wheels of justice don’t work. But it’s also exceptional to learn how far a loving mother has come. Thank you for having the courage to share a truly terrible chapter of your life with us, and thank you even more for sharing these start up years as a Muse author and friend with us.

BarbaraB said...

Dear Lin,
I put off reading this after you told about Kat's epilepsy because I knew it was going to be horrendous. And it was. You have been through more than what most women could survive. And you've come out strong. More power to you! (And to your clever daughter). And the two of you will get stronger by being a part of the Muse Family.

Lin said...

Oh Barbara..you have no idea how right you are. I wrote these two papers as college assignments back in the late 1980's, but did not share them after that. They were assignments...yet I saved them, so I'm sure I had a subliminal idea that oen day I would release them (A Freudian thing)

Lea, Litsa, and Muse made us feel the power of having a family that would not stop caring about you because of what the past forced you to endure.

You all gave me the strength to admit my worst, and yet your opinions of us did not diminish. Also I needed to acknowledge that life has taught me more than enough to never again be treated like I am a dumb as dirt blonde.

I cannot write the rest of what happened during my marriage, and am not sure I ever will be able to. Describing what he actually did and what he allowed his buddies to do to me...REFLECTIONS FROM THE CHILLING POOLS is probably the closest I will ever get to describing the creative ways my ex hurt me.

Lea, Litsa, Delilah, and my Muse family have allowed the true Lin, and the true Kat, the powerful inner voices we both possess to shine and be wanted. That's heady stuff. It is why I am so honored so many of you eagerly want me to do YOUR cover blogs.