Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Life of Death: The Redemption (A True Story) By Laurie Ann Smith

Hello! Thank you so much for your support! I am so excited about my new book called "A Life of Death: The Redemption" and need to give credit where credit is due. This book would not be possible if it were not for Bestselling Author and President of Dreamcatchers For Abused Children, Donna Kshir and Author, CEO and Founder of Dreamcatchers For Abused Children, Sandra Dawn Potter. I thank them for their support, for believing that my story is worth telling and for handing me the key to the chains that were on my prison door of silence. I also want all my friends to know how much I appreciate your support and for following my blog faithfully, for your kind words of encouragement to "keep writing" and most of all for your friendship which means everything to me. The proceeds from my book will go to Dreamcatchers For Abused Children, as they are honoring my wishes and accepting all monies from the sales of the book. I bought and paid for this book with my own flesh and blood, tears and despair. I only hope that as people read the book, they will see that there is hope and that we as survivors of child abuse of any kind, need to keep reaching out, to keep that hope alive, to keep moving forward in our journey to have the life we deserve to have. We do does matter. You are all in my heart and in my prayers!

Here is the link to and to my book!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Oh, the days of hell on Indian School Road, as I commonly refer to them. I thought back to the time I told my mother to go ahead and kill me, as I was dead already. Anger came rushing in like a hot southern wind blowing through the desert. I went to my room and flopping down on the bed I turned my record player on, lifted the needle, set it down on the record and listened to the band Styx. "Tommy Shaw is so cute..." I thought to myself. I wonder who's got some weed was my next thought? Mabey Arlene will know someone or we can ask around. All I know is that I need to get STONED!! My head was full of thoughts of anger and I looked at a piece of paper hanging on my wall. It was a poem I had written for my mother last year for my Spanish class. It read in english, "My mother, the most beautiful mother in the world, she is also the nicest, sweetest, best mother in the world in my eyes" "She is my Sun, my Moon, my Stars in the sky". When I wrote that it had come from my heart. I loved my mother very much "but she sure has a real funny way of showing how much she loves me" I thought to myself as I stretched out on my bed. I wondered what my brother Howard was doing. Probably out getting drugs or getting busted, or overdosing as he did on a regular basis. My brother Rob was in Canada. He moved up when we were living on Indian School Road after our other brother Chess was killed. He hung around in a pit of despair for a year and then left for Canada. Chesley and he were so close and Chess was always sticking up for Rob as my dad had it in for my brother Rob and beat on him whenever he could. I thought to myself as I rolled over on my side, Tommy Shaw's voice singing the songs just for me, "why does my mom hate me? Why does she not want me?" Images from my early days made their way into my head, images and recollections of beatings that took place years before were just as fresh had they happened the week before. I hugged my pillow and went off in a daydream, or I should say a nightmare and remembered the days of hell on earth in the house on Indian School Road.

I gripped the margarine tub filled with water tightly, " careful, do not spill this water...mommy will be mad" I was thinking to myself as I opened the screen door to go out to the back yard. I had my barbie dolls set up out there, it was summer, beautiful blue sky, warm, not a cloud in the sky. The screen door slammed behind me as the rebound self closing attachment was the old fashioned kind, not the air pump kind that closed slowly on it's own. The screen door closed with a "crash" and I could hear my mom yelling at me from inside the house at the top of her lungs..."LAURIE - ANN - SMITH!!!!!" I knew I was in trouble as she always called me like that when I was about to get the beats or the belt. I came into the house and I was a nervous eight year old girl, and as I let go of the screen door it slammed again, looking across the kitchen at her I could see her coming for me, "I told you not to let that door slam didn't I?" "I told you not to wake baby Shannon didn't I?" Baby Shannon was a neighbor's baby girl my mom was looking after for the day.I started to run as I could see her heading for me with the look of anger and hatred mixed in and rolled into one vicious visage. "Come here," she grabbed me by my arm and yanked me down onto my knees. The floor was an uneven stone utility room floor, literally rock hard. My knees cracked on impact. I winced in pain and she grabbed a table leg from a coffee table that had become useless for anything except to use as weapons of war and shouted at me "You NEVER listen!! You NEVER do as you are told!! She began to beat me with the table leg and I cried, of course. I was upset because I was trying to tell her I did not mean it and that I was sorry, but she was not listening. She cursed at me and dragged me outside, dropping me on the ground by the tub of water which was to be my barbie pool. "STAY OUT! YOU HEAR ME??????" I just layed there, fighting back the tears, writhing in pain from the beating she had dished out. Tommy Shaw's song was over and Denis DeYoung took over. He had a great voice. I loved his voice too, I thought as I pondered the question again, "why does she hate me?" I drifted back to the house of hell on earth and remembered a time when I was ten years old. My nephews had been over at our house and were starting to annoy me. They were not all that much younger than myself as my mother and my oldest sister were both pregnant at the same time. My mom was pregnant with me and my sister was having her first child three months after I was brought into the world. "I said leave me alone" I stomped from the back yard into the house. Going straight to my sisters and mine shared room. I slammed the door not once, not twice, but three times, opening it and closing it and each time repeating "Stay out of my room!" My mother heard me slamming my door and I could hear her from the kitchen. "G...dam....YOU!! You STUPID BITCH!" I heard her get up from the kitchen table and thought to myself, "now I'm in trouble..oh oh....." and I stood there kind of snickering to myself. Kathi was sitting on the bed doing her homework. Kathi heard my mom coming too and issued a warning.."you better stop" My mother came into the room and started to curse me, grabbing both of my wrists with her hand, she had one hand free to bitch slap me till the cows came home. At the top of her lungs she yelled at me furiously, shaking me like a rag doll, squeezing my wrist bones together like peanuts, "YOU FU..ING WHORE! YOU G....D....PIECE OF SHIT!!! Each slap coinciding in rythm with each curse word that came out of her mouth. "HOW DARE YOU! YOU G...slap...D...slap...STUPID....slap....WHORE!!!slap......and the blood from my nose splattered on the wall. Her rings were cutting my cheek and the top right side of my lip was busted..I could not even defend myself as she still had a hold on my wrists. I was about ready to pass out when with the last slap, she let go of me and I went sailing to the floor. I stayed down. I dared not even look at her. Blood was pouring from my nose and I had my hand cupped under it trying to catch as much as I could. It was on the wall, the carpet, my clothes, her clothes, and that was just round one. "Clean this mess up..." she grumbled as she left the room. I went to the bathroom and turned the trash can over to see in the mirror. I stepped up onto the trash can and as my face came into view I nearly threw up. My face was completely ravaged. She had literally re-arranged my face! I became angry. I grabbed toilet paper and began to try to get my nose to stop bleeding. By this time blood was all over the sink, the toilet, the floor and the trash can. I leaned over thinking that might help. I leaned back and it flowed down the back of my throat. I could not get it to stop and Kathi came into the bathroom and told me to lean forward and pinch my nose. She was probably in shock from witnessing the event and she did not like the sight of blood and left the bathroom quickly. I started to cry and still holding the tissue on my nose I went into the hallway and yelled at my mother "WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO AHEAD AND KILL ME!!! I'M DEAD ANYWAY", with that I went and sat down on the bathroom floor, nose still bleeding. My mother heard me and was back for round two, this time armed with a belt. The belt whipped through the air, catching my legs, "I'll KILL YOU, YOU ROTTEN SELFISH LITTLE BITCH!! I'LL KILL YOU, MARK MY WORDS! GOD D... YOU TO HELL! YOU F....N' WHORE!!!" my brother Howard came and took the belt from her and convinced her enough was enough. I sat in the bathroom, wondering if my nose would ever stop bleeding.

Chapter 4 - "Just Go Ahead and Kill Me"

"Man, she's going to kill me for sure" I thought to myself as I walked up the steps to our porch and opened the front door. My heart was racing, and I was feeling nauseated as it had been five days since my mother had brutally attacked me in the kitchen, I knew she was in the kitchen waiting for me, and as I came through the doorway she grabbed me and pushed me up against the wall, hand on my throat. She was visibly upset and said "If you ever, and I mean ever tell another living soul about what goes on in this household I will kill you." she let go of my throat and sat down at the kitchen table, lit a cigarette and I knew that was my opportunity to head to my bedroom. I tried to control my anger as I made my way to my bedroom. I had heard her say that to me so often I did not pay much attention to it. When I was ten years old, I used to say to her face, "why don't you just go ahead and kill me?" and I used to think it to myself sometimes after listening to her berating me, or after a beating, sitting alone in the dark wishing she would just go ahead and kill me. Death, darkness and murderous overtones hung about the walls in our house, no matter which house we lived in. It just followed us wherever we went. I had always felt dead, as though my spirit had been taken from me or split the scene, whichever. I remember the day I actually realized that I felt dead already as it was another bad scene,I was ten years old and there would be no rescuing from this one and no kind words of a compassionate nature. We had moved back to Albuquerque from British Columbia, Canada. We were only in Canada for three months and my brother got busted for possession of marijuana. My parents packed us all up and we moved back to Albuquerque. We moved just two blocks from where I grew up and I continued on at the same elementary school and got to see all of my old friends, and Arlene was still my best friend. A tragedy struck our family that today is a haunting nightmare for me as the truth was not told, lies ensued and the case was not solved. My brother Chesley was killed. Whether it was murder or accident is not known today, although the FBI ruled it an accident and the case was closed. There were witnesses who claimed to know the truth but were not talking. Our family had struggled from the beginning and the case against my parents for child abuse by my brother Rob was already five years old, during this time my parents went to counselling two times and then between social worker visits managed to control themselves for a while. We then moved to Canada and back to New Mexico and were now not in the direct eyes of our case workers. Stress levels were high as my parents could not cope with the death of their son, my mother's health deteriorated. Her mental, emotional and physical health seemed so fragile. My dad had lost his mind and was attempting to "off" himself on a regular basis by running down the freeway in the middle of the night. My brothers Howard and Rob would have to go get him and bring him home and bar him in his own bedroom just to keep him alive. I had become a kind of punching bag. We lived in that house on Indian School Rd from 1973 until 1977, and those were the darkest years of my life. We moved back onto the same street I grew up on, La Veta in 1978. We moved into a rental house right next door to the one my parents sold to move to Canada back in 1972. My mom's anger and abusive behaviour toward me did not slow down once we were back on La Veta and I remember many bad scene's there before Deserie and her family moved onto the block. I thought back to the time when I had eaten something that made me sick and during the night I was choking and I thought I was just choking but I was actually throwing up all over my bed and my mom got mad at me for making too much noise and making a mess and made me sleep in my throw up. I remembered another time when my parents did not seek medical attention for me even though I could not walk for three days, as my nephew had pulled a chair out from under me, and I fell on a huge root that was sticking up out of the ground at a neighborhood bbq. My dad took me home and put me on the couch and went back to the bbq. I thought of the time when my friends Mike and Mark and Michelle were all hanging out in our yard and my dad came home and picked up a cane, a natural growing branch that is smooth and hard like a cane,off of a Spanish broom plant and whipped my legs with it sending me into convulsions. My friends lived across the street and they were used to seeing my parents beating me, but they all took off upon seeing my dad whip me with that cane. I remembered a time when I was very young, not more than six years old because it was before we moved to Vancouver, BC that my dad dragged me by my leg across the living room, and as he was taking me to the bedroom I shared with my sister to whip me with a belt,he dragged me around the corner through the hallway. I was grabbing whatever I could to try to get away and this of course made him more angry and he jerked my hip around the corner of the doorway and I screamed. He threw me on the bed and was beating me with his belt and my brothers came in and got him to stop. I have hip problems to this day. I remembered my brother giving me puffs off a cigar and then I got sick. My mom was cursing everyone and I was only four years old, but I remember because she grabbed me and put soap in my mouth and treated me like it was my fault and that I had chosen to light and smoke a cigar at the age of four by myself, when I did not even know what my brother was doing. She threw me in the bathtub, wet a towel and beat me with it. That I remember. It just went on and on and I wondered what I had done to deserve that kind of treatment. I always used to tell my mom I loved her when I was little but she would never say it back. I eventually stopped saying I loved her at all. She was turning me into herself, little by little, piece by piece. My sister Kathi and I were made to sit at her feet and beg her forgiveness, and to tell her how sorry we were for being so bad, and I was not more than six years old. My mom suffered from manic depression and my dad was diagnosed borderline schizophrenic, but I think they misdiagnosed him because he was definitely schizo paranoid.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chapter 3 - One of the "Smith" Kids

"Well, for tonight you better stay at our house and we can keep an eye on you overnight and if it looks like a concussion during the night or tomorrow we will definitely have to take you in to the hospital. Is that a deal?" BJ asked, smiling at me, blue eyes filled with love and compassion. "I will talk with your mother and let her know that you are going to stay here...I just don't know how she could treat such a nice young girl this way" she shook her head and went to the kitchen to clean up the supper dishes. Deserie usually did them as part of her chores but not tonight. Her mom knew she would want to just sit with me. I went to sleep and woke with a start to "how many fingers am I holding up?" That next day BJ went down in the morning and talked with my mom. I never knew the exact conversation, but I think she told my mom that if she ever heard me speak of a beating or being mistreated again,or saw one bruise or one sign of abuse she and her husband Olan would intervene on my behalf and phone the proper authorities. My mom, I heard, responded that she did not care as she did not want me at home anyway. She was tired of my attitude and did not care if I came home period. With that BJ said that she would allow me to stay with them for a week to give my mom a breather and a chance to cool off, if it was agreeable with all parties, I could stay with them off and on as long as it took, just to ease some of the pressures my mother was dealing with at home and to have a chance to help me out and share some love they knew was lacking at my house. My mother agreed. I spent the next week at their home. It was summer time and we would spend hours on the porch talking with my other best friend Arlene. We would go to Ar's house and sit in her room listening to albums, talking about boys and doing our hair. We also had another thing we liked to do and that was to get high. I was 13 that summer. Headed for the tenth grade, sophomore at high school. We all used to go to school together but a riot at the school had Deserie's and Ar's parents fuming mad, so they changed schools and went to another high school. I messed up an attempt to change schools when I showed up completely stoned out of my head for an interview with the dean. They would not accept me on the grounds that I did not live in the right district. I lived on the same street my friends lived on, two houses from Arlene and three houses from Deserie, so I thought I should be allowed to go to the same school they were going to. But I was so high and I knew my parents did not care so I left it at that. Arlene had been my childhood best friend. She used to look out for me in elemetary school. She was in the second grade and I was in the first grade and she used to come and check on my during the day in my classroom to see if I was okay. That's how she was, my guardian angel. We grew up together and her mom would let me play at her house. She was not allowed at my house as her mom had seen and probably heard all the screaming and shouting going on over there, and all the police cars and ambulances that would pull up to our house on a regular basis. It was quite embarrassing to grow up on a street where everyone knows your business and judges you as "one of the Smith kids". That week at Deserie's house was like something out of an old fashioned television show, I thought. They sat at the table together for meals, they talked about their day and gave the Blessing over the meal. BJ and Olan did not scream at each other, throw things at each other or beat on each other. Neither did they scream at, or beat on their children. They seemed genuinely interested in how their daughter and two sons were doing and asked them if they needed anything. Sometimes there would be disagreements, especially over chores or grades, but in all the years I knew this family and all the time I spent with them in their home, they were just normal, average, nice people who wanted the best for their children. They treated me just like one of their own, and made me feel quite at home. I did not know it then, but their example would make it's mark and set the stage for my ability to move past the abusive "learned" behaviours I had learned from my parents such as hatred, cursing, destructive behaviour, violence, self loathing and irresponsibility, and replace them with the ones they placed in my heart. Love, compassion, care, concern, responsibility and accountability

Prologue and Chapter 1 - "How Many Fingers am I Holding Up?" from Not So Fond Memories, Growing up in an Abusive Home

Written by: Laurie Ann Smith
Prologue: This is my story, some names have been changed until I can reach the persons and obtain their permission to use them in this story. All events are as factual as can be. The contents of this story are in no way a complete history as I am merely presenting facts that represent the clear meaning and motivation for writing this story. If anyone wishes to know more, that is if anyone finds my story interesting enough to care to look a bit deeper, by all means please contact me with your questions. Some of the content is graphic although I did not go into details when mentioning marital rape and molestation. Perhaps I might if absolutely necessary shed some light on what I saw, and what I went through myself regarding sexual abuse. I did not change the "language" to suit a younger audience as I really want the "TRUTH" to be brought to light. I was actually toning it down in most instances as my mother had a whole vocabulary that would make any sailor blush. I have made it a point to not forget what happened to me, as I made it a point to not forget the pain my entire family suffered due to ignorance, a lack of education and the cycle of abuse and poverty that repeats itself, had been passed on to my parents who did not break the cycle but instead perpetuated it. My sister Kathi and I have both agreed that we broke the cycle. She has one daughter. I have no children. It is my hope that someday this compilation of chapters in my life will be made into a book and published as a ray of hope to those who are still in the dark searching for the light.

Chapter 1 – “How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?”

“No No No” I cried, in three quick successions and in a defensive block with my arms tried to ward off the blows. A familiar voice spoke loudly and my eyes opened to see a hand in front of my face and the voice asking “how many fingers am I holding up?” I looked but did not see any fingers, just the whole hand, a bit blurry, fuzzy looking and I had to look again, “three?” “Good” she said. “Go back to sleep now” and this would repeat itself through the night, always a different question, “what day is it?”, ”what is your name”, “how old are you?”and each time I would drift off into a fitful sleep and dream the nightmare again. The next morning it would all make more sense, as I remembered that I had my head cracked by my mother again. This time was the worst and I was so glad to be safe for the moment at my friend’s house. They had been up all through the night, my friend and her mother, taking turns to watch over me while I slept and to wake me up every hour on the hour just to be sure I was not going into a coma or shock from the beating I had taken at home that day. I do not recall why it went the way it did, sometimes I had a smart mouth, sometimes I said things I should not have said but this was just way over the top, it almost felt like it was planned and that my mother had set the whole thing up as she knew I did not like to eat a particular soup she would make, stewed tomatoes and milk, which the milk would curdle and I just did not like the combination. I probably said something about it as she called me for lunch. The scene replayed in my mind as I explained to my friend Deserie what exactly had happened. I sat down at the kitchen table and looked at the soup and said something my mother did not want to hear.

Fists pounded the kitchen table as my mother stood up out of her chair. She was almost six feet tall and she weighed about 260 pounds. Her ominous figure towered over me and I knew this was not going to be good. I braced myself as the back of her hand caught me on my right cheek, my whole body went backwards to the left, including the chair and I cried out in pain as my left temple caught the side of the clothes dryer that was situated right behind me. I was stunned but I knew I better get out of the house or it was going to be a bad day for me. I started to run, and while I was moving around the table my mother was cursing me like a banshee “you god damn piece of shit! You no good rotten whore! I’ll take your G..D… head off” she screamed and shoved the table into my side so that I was trapped. She reached me and by this time I knew the routine, so I just tried to protect my head by curling up on my stomach to ward off some of the blows with my back. "Crack, Thud, Thud," was the sound the heavy homemade wooden rolling pen made as it hit my back, my shoulders and caught the back of my head. My mother was in a rage at this point, beyond even knowing what she was doing, “YOU WANT SOME MORE???!!!!!!!” she screamed, kicked my legs and bent over grabbing my hair and pulling me up, I was whimpering and saying no, that I did not want any more, and she screamed into my ear “I SAID!!!!! DO - YOU – WANT – SOME – MORE???” I could feel the rolling pen hit my head again and again and I was protecting my head as best as I could with my hands when a blow hit my hand and I brought it down, “aaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyy, not my head” I said “no, please…..”

I cried and pleaded and crack, the rolling pen connected with the back of my head and I could feel the blood pour down my neck and curl around my ear onto my face and onto the floor. That was not the first time my mother had spilled my blood, but it would be the last time that she would ever beat me like that again. She grew tired and in her exhaustion could only muster up some cussing, I got up and was heading out through the living room, only a few steps as the house was very small, she spun me around and spit in my face “GET OUT YOU F..KING SLUT! YOU PIECE OF SHIT!” I was crying and I could feel the tears running from my eyes, I am sure I said something back to her but I do not remember what it was. Probably how much I hated her. She shoved me to the front door and slammed it behind me. I was dizzy and shaking and extremely pissed off. I went down the driveway and onto the street I grew up on, and made my way down a few houses, I looked to see if my best friend Arlene's car was in the driveway, but she was working. She was a year older than me, I was half way to 14 years old that summer. I walked down the block to my friend Deserie's house. She had moved there with her family the year before and we had become good friends. Her parents were nice and I could think of no other place to go.

My Story

It is my most sincere intention to not play the accuser. My aim in telling my story is not of revenge. It is not due to a compelling sense of duty. It is merely to present my story in order that a reader who may have experienced abuse of any kind in their lifetime might be comforted to know that there is hope, life is worth living, and that through it all, we can all contribute and help to prevent child abuse and human rights abuses, working toward a peaceful end to a violent beginning. I feel it is important to let the reader know that I am placing a WARNING REGARDING MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS GRAPHIC AND DETAILS PHYSICAL ABUSE, VERBAL ABUSE, EMOTIONAL ABUSE, SEXUAL ABUSE, MARITAL ABUSE, MARITAL RAPE, SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, SUICIDE, MURDER, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, AND MAY CAUSE TRIGGERING AND RELAPSING. IF YOU ARE FEELING UNSAFE, FEELING SUICIDAL, THAT YOU MAY HARM YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE, CUTTING, GET HELP. CALL 911. I had seen so much destruction by the time I was a teenager that I just copied and mirrored what I knew, violence, hatred, abuse, destruction. I thought that my life should continue on that way and that ultimately it would end that way as our family had been destroyed by poverty, hatred, marital abuse, child abuse, drug abuse that went on and on without end. One family showed me that I was a good kid, told me I should not hate, but instead learn to love myself and showed me how to believe in myself and prove to myself that I could make it. I could do it. All things were possible. To that family I owe my love and gratitude, and to God I owe my very existence.