FATE FAMILY Clay Center


What happened surrounding Michael’s wedding was the beginning of the end of my relationship with my mother. I realized then how much she manipulated my father and drove him absolutely batty in exactly the same way. He would beg her to tell him what was wrong just like I had and she would just be bitchy and negative.

To this day I don’t know if I had done something to offend her or what the hell was wrong. She wouldn’t talk about it. That was over and done. The past. We didn’t need to dwell on it. For fuck’s sake, Mother, you damn near ruined you son’s wedding. You certainly put me in a precarious position having to explain it all. Aren’t I entitled to know what the hell was going on? Apparently not.

I never trusted her after that. And I didn’t get over being angry. That incident was such a revelation. All sorts of shitty memories started flooding back into my concious memory of the abuse my brothers and I suffered at her hands.

How she had stuck my finger under the sewing machine needle and deliberately rammed the needle into it for a few seconds as she held my hand there because she caught me playing with her machine. I was maybe three when that happened. Maybe younger. My god in heaven that ain’t that woman was cruel.

It had always bothered me that I could not remember large parts of my childhood but now I think I don’t want to remember. No, I’m almost certain I don’t.

B

That family genealogist found these blogs and contacted me. He told me he’d be happy to update our family information if I cared to give it. I told him to contact my mother and tell her how he found out there was an error. There have been a few hits on the site–two yesterday specifically for Phyllis Ann Fate Gavin.

What can I say? Welcome to my world, Mom if you are the reader. If it’s my brothers well hey there bro. Welcome to your world as well. It wasn’t always happy was it. Thanks to the sheer neglect that went on we managed to make it happy though. You three banded together and did all those crazy things that might have gotten you killed. I was so lonely watching the three of you sometimes. I felt shut out.

Well, that’s the way things were, It’s today that we should be living in. We’re all estranged and everything. I wonder what you think about that. I wonder if you give a rat’s ass. I wonder if you even know the reason why or care to know.

It might be other family members. If so, welcome to the Incestuous abusive story of one of your family members. Actually it involves a number of us. Right off hand I can’t say how many since I’d have to count all the ex-wives, girlfriends and husbands and children and their significant others. You get my drift right?

I’m tired. This shit makes me even more tired.

B

When my children were small they would ask me to tell them stories about what it was like when I was a little girl. I told them funny stories about my brothers. They called them the Uncle stories. I don’t think they even noticed that I told them hardly anything about myself.

I wish I could remember good times. I’m sure there must have been good times. It couldn’t have all been bad times could it? No. It’s just that the bad times over shadow all the good times, drawing a dark curtain over what was good. I remember times that started off good but turned out bad.

Mostly I remember being afraid to be happy because if I was happy something bad would happen. I remember laying awake in my bed at night and praying that nothing bad would happen. I remember making deals with god about what I would give up if only he would stop the bad stuff from happening. It never worked. I gave up being happy but the bad stuff kept happening. I could never be good enough.

Why do bad things happen to good little girls? Because shit happens and there is no one there to care. Especially not an all-seeing, all-powerful god.

B

“I saw behind me those who had gone,and before me,those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and in front, to see my son,and his son, and all the sons upon sons beyond.And their eyes were my eyes.As I felt, so they had felt,and were to feel,as then,so now,as tomorrow and forever.
Then I was not afraid,for I was in a long line that had no beginning,and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand,and all,up and down the line that stretched from
Time That Was,to Time That Is,and is Not Yet,raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man,in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the Eternal Father.
I was of them,they were of me,and I in all of them”

Richard Lewellyn How Green Was My Valley

I imagine that my 5th cousin three times removed or whatever relationship he has to me, Steven Fate would share those sentiments with Mr. Richard Lewellyn who shares my children’s father’s name. I called my Richard, Skip, as did everyone else who knew him. Skip used to make fun of the Fate family penchant for tracking down their ancestors. He went to exactly one family reunion with me and that was enough to last his whole lifetime. It was the last one I ever went to myself come to think of it.

What a bunch of fol-de-rol! My Daddy thought it was a line of bunk himself and never went to any of those prayer meetings either. I thought it was because of the prayer but now that I am older and wiser, I’ll bet it was the fawning all over themselves that he couldn’t bear.

It hurt to find out that the Fate Family genealogical site does not acknowledge my existence but in the long run what does that matter. I’ve had a few days to reflect on that and to realize that it doesn’t change one damn thing about me whether or not a bunch of nincompoops who are trying to prove they have noble blood realize I exist or not. Whoop-de-doo.

The Lewellyn blood line is probably far more pure than the Fate blood line. OK maybe not. OK, for sure not but at least the Lewellyn name is unusual. <heh> Really unusual. Even the Gavin name is more unusual than the Fate name.

I chose the presentation background for this blog because it reminded me of the old saw the only way to get over the pain is to go through the pain. The car driving through the tunnel is a metaphoric symbol of that. It also seems rather yonic to me. A rebirthing. One of many rebirths I have been through. I”ve always used Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings to meditate with in the past too and this reminded me of an O’Keefe painting. I like this, there is power here in the symbology of the journey of life and the rebirthing of the yonic passage.

I’ve come to believe that I arrived here in this time and place to make this journey with the people who brought me into this life and have come into my life for no specific predestined reason nor to fulfill some supernatural holy creator’s plan but just because that’s the way my life turned out. It was the luck of the draw. Random ppatterns of DNA coming together with other random patterns of DNA. Oh I think there are reasons my parents got together and why Skip and I got together but it has more to do with the make up of our psyche than any supernatural bunk.

My psychiatrist Dr David Israelstam tends to be new age and believes in the possiblity of reincarnation. I want to believe in it because I would love to come back and do life all over again even if it turned out I had to go through all this woe and horror all over again. People are surprised by that but I love life. I would make different choices if I could have a do-over.

For instance, I would pull a knife on my father when I was thirteen or fourteen instead of waiting until I was almost seventeen and I would tell my Grandmother Fate what the hell was going on instead of going to the Gavin side of the family. I believe she would have made a big stink and I would have been allowed to stay with her or she would have raised holy hell. I believe that’s what my mother was afraid of and not that telling Gran would have killed her as she said when it all came out when I was fifteen.

I was ready to run away to Lincoln to stay with my friend Sheila and her family who I believed would hide me when I told them what was going on. The problem was all my money was tied up where I could not get at it. So I went to Kathy Jo, my aunt who was 6 months younger than me and asked her to loan me the money to get a bus ticket to Lincoln. It was $8 for the bus fare and I thought I needed $12 for food and local bus fare and telephone money once I got there–funny what sticks in your mind.

Sheila and I actually had this planned out pretty well. We wrote long letters to each other twice a week. She had an older boyfriend who was in college and he would help me get a job. Once her parents heard my story they would understand and help me out. Her Mom and Dad really loved me. They thought I was such a good influence on Sheila who was pretty wild compared to me when they lived in Clay Center. <heh>

Kathy was unwilling to give me the money without talking it over with Tommy who was two years older. Tommy went and got Grandma and Grandpa and the shit hit the fan. Grandma went over to see my parents and in about an hour my parents showed up to get me. They picked me up in a pick-up truck with a deer rifle in the back window and put me in the middle and began driving around out in the fucking middle of nowwhere.

It was fall. The corn had been harvested and everywhere you looked it was barren and dead. My father was crying and my mother was very angry. I don’t remember what exactly they said but I know that most of what came out of my father’s mouth was bald faced lies. He had”Forgive me, Honey. You’ll forgive me, won’t you?” For doing whatever it was he was confessing to only doing once or twice. And it was because of my doll baby pajamas (which by the way he would demand that I wear). “Please, forgive me… Why won’t you forgive me?”

And then my mother said with such visciousness “Because she likes to see you crying and begging! She’s always been trouble! She’s hateful!” And she was partially right, I did like to see him squirming.

I watched the pheasants flying up out of the ditches and heard the gunshots in the distance and thought that if Ididn’t say I forgave him they woudll kill me. But a voice inside said if I forgave him for the lies he was telling I would die inside anyway and I didn’t say a word. I really was afraid for my life but I didn’t care at that point. We must have been out there for two hours with them badgering me and I just went away somewhere inside myself and watched them as they got more and more desperate to make me cave in to their demands.

I don’t remember getting home. I suppose I went away somewhere inside myself and simply refused to be present for the rest of the BS that was going on in that red and white pick-up with the deer rifle in the back window. Defiant. Hard hearted. Dissociated from my parents and myself. I wasn’t going to get away. Fuck it.

My Grand mother came over and asked me a bunch of questions. She wanted to know details about when and where. She told me Daddy had said I seduced him and I dressed too provacatively. I was anything BUT provacative. I used to walk around with my arms crossed over my breasts and hunched over so they wouldn’t stick out. My grandmother was constantly telling me to quit hugging myself and stand up straight and proud.

My mother eventually told me I had a choice I could go live with some distant relatives on the west coast who operated some kind of home for wayward girls or I could stay out of my father’s way and clean up my act. Quit dressing provacatively, quit being seductive around him, quit sitting on his lap, etc. It was my fault, I had seduced him. She had three sons to raise and I was just going to have to deal with it. I was stunned. I began to hate her in that moment although I would deny my hatred for years to come and turned my anger at her and my father in on myself.

My mother swears that it was my Grandmother Gavin who made the comment about the three sons and not herself. She can deny it all she wants but I can see her forming the words and hear her voice. I’m not crazy. My memory is not faulty. That moment is burnt into my memory as if it were emblazened with a branding iron, Mother. Grandmother may have said it first but you took it and made it your own when you said it to me as I was sitting on that ugly brown couch in the living room and you were sitting on the arm of Dad’s big recliner. Then you got up and walked nonchalantly into the dining room and said “Come and peel the potatoes.”

For that one incident in my life you can be branded a bitch mother. For the fact that you deny it and will not own it and say you are sorry you did it you can be branded a heartless bitch. For the fact that to this day you blame my Grandmother for your actions you can be branded a fucking heartless bitch and I can tell you to go to hell in a handbasket without guilt. For saying”I don’t know” when I asked you why you did not say “I have a daughter to protect.” if we play let’s pretend Grandma said it, you don’t deserve one iota of respect from me.
B

After my father died in 1979 my mother began playing a game with me I eventually named “Blame Bill and Iola.” It actually began before that but it began in earnest in 1979 when she filed for divorce and my Father had the audacity to up and die on her six weeks later before she could get him into court and air all the dirty linen.

This may or may not have been linked to the fact that I had ended up on the psych ward and was being treated for depression in 1978 and had partially confessed the family dirty linen to “The Pink Shrink” (everyone who is anyone will remember HER. She always wore pink and she was our circuit rider counselor affectionately referred to as the pink shrink. I wonder if she knew that?) I think it was.

She really upped the ante after I had moved to Wisconsin and been living there for a couple of years and started digging around in my psyche with a little more enthusiasm and with more experienced therapists in the early 80s. Plus I had written a term paper about incest that I had given her to read that talked about the complicity of the mothers. Every time I went to Nebraska to visit we spent most of our alone time talking about how miserably my father had treated her and abused me and how Iola was to blame for the fact that my Mother did not respond appropriately when I disclosed the incest.

All the misery in the world was Bill and Iola’s fault. oh sigh… what can we do? woe and sorrow…

I finally told her I did not want to play that game anymore. She said it wasn’t a game. I said whatever, I didn’t want to do it anymore, that I had worked through my shit with my father and that if she was still needing to work through stuff she needed to go back to therapy. She was miffed and she did try to play the game but I was firm.

So what has that got to do with sparing the rod? Well, in the course of blaming my father for everything my mother told me this anecdote:

I got my first spanking when I was six weeks old. The reason? I would not quit crying in church so my father took me out and bared my little bottom and spanked me.

SIX WEEKS OLD. I weighed 8lbs and 2oz when I was born so probably weighed right around 9 pounds. My father was a big man. 6’2″ probably over 200lbs even then and certainly strong because he lifted weights when he was in the service.

If this wasn’t a testimony to his insanity and the fact that he should have never been left alone with a child again, I do NOT know what was. But did my mother take me and leave? Did she even consider it? No she did not.

She was upset but it never occurred to her that she should protect her child and get the hell out of dodge. In fact, she went on to have three more children with this maniac.

She married a man, a boy really, that her mother disapproved of who came from a family she herself disapproved of who had recently been discharged from the military because of mental health problems. By this time she had no doubt been the victim of his temper herself on more than one occasion. In fact, I’m sure of it. She told me so. And he beat her only child in public when that child was six weeks old.

What kept her from running home to Mama who would have been more than happy to help her and had the means? Want my opinion? Of course you do. PRIDE. Insufferable pride.