Archives for February 2014


“Dangerous Men, Abusive Relationships; Abusive Men, Dangerous Relationships”

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Seven Times Seven

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I met Bo in a sleazy bar four weeks after separating from Bill. Bo was charming and funny and had beautiful blue eyes and boyish good looks. He would become both my inspiration and my abuser.

Bo entered my life filled with hopeful possibilities for me. He suggested that I obtain a real estate license, which would place me in a job situation with flexible hours. I pointed out that I couldn’t do that since I didn’t even know my times tables. He offered to teach me. True to his word, we practiced reciting the times tables every night while I attended real estate school by day. Unfortunately, this knowledge did little to help me with the closing statement part of the real estate exam, but I was good at the law portion, so I concentrated my efforts there.

Though hired by a prestigious real estate office, I had no time to feel proud of myself: it was 1972, and the bottom had dropped out of real estate in southern Florida. So while I was learning the field, running down leads and pounding signs in overgrown front lawns, I simultaneously studied for my life and health insurance license.

I was driven by every form of imaginable fear. What if I ran out of money and I was unable to support myself or my children?  What if I had no credit? What if I lost my children due to lack of money or some emotional or physical illness? The day would come when all of those fears would come to pass.


Friendship and The Blue Suit


Peter Graves Greg Morris Lynda Day George Mission Impossible 1972.JPGIN DECEMBER OF 1972, my daughter had just turned five, and her twin brothers were four.  The long and embittered divorce proceedings were finally ending for Bill and me. My now ex-husband contested my half-interest in all our assets, stating that I had not worked outside the home and therefore deserved nothing. The role of mother or housewife didn’t represent anything of value in his mind. He was enraged  by the eventual fifty/fifty financial split. A few days after the divorce was granted, he came to my apartment brandishing a gun. He pointed the gun right at my head and said, “I’ll be keeping my eye on you, and you best understand that I have absolutely no qualms about using this.” I was too fearful to tell the police or anyone else—not the first time I buckled to the pressure of a threat or harm.

The day after his threat he promptly departed for sunny California for an eight-month period to live with his friends Christopher and Lynda Day George.

Lynda and I met when we were nineteen.  Our husbands went to college together, and had worked together on several “want-to-be” films. Whether it was our innate shyness, our lack of self-esteem, or our then-narcissistic partners, we bonded immediately. Perhaps it was our yet-undisclosed backgrounds of poverty and abuse that created a kind of familiarity that fostered our attachment. We had both had multiple fathers, alcoholism, abuse, knock-down drag-out family fights, little money or food, and pressure  from our mothers for financial support while we were still in high school. Some would call our growing-up lifestyle hard times; others would call it trailer-trash.


Marie, My Friend

Marie $ Dawn


When I see old reviews of the humorous and touching 1988 movie Cocoon: The Return, I can’t help but think of my friend Marie. She was a professional makeup artist for television and motion pictures.  In the late sixties I even got to watch her work when she invited me to lunch on the set of the then-popular television series Gentle Ben.




rag doll legs crossedNINETEEN AND TWICE-MARRIED, I had become a woman lost. There was no me to be found anywhere inside. Like an obedient puppy, I did what I was told to do. Whipped by life, I had become unable to make even the simplest decision on my own. For example, if I was driving and came to a stop sign, and wasn’t sure which way to turn, I would cover my face and sob while my car sat in the middle of the intersection. All of my previous coping mechanisms had failed me. Hope had failed me. I had failed me.