Saturday, March 15, 2008

A Daughter-Lori

Dear Robert

It was by coincidence that stumbled on an article on the CNN website regarding the White House Boys. I am from the area and have family that still live nearby. For the longest time I never knew why my father was so angry and now I think I have a better understanding. A misguided young man, heart broken by his parent’s divorce, my father classified as a runaway was sent to the “boys home” by his parents – my own grandparents. He would never speak of his time there but I seriously believe it has gravely affected who he is and who I am today.

The legacy of abuse did not stop in 1967. It continues today as I have to remember the multiple beatings my brothers and I had to endure from my own father. He strives to be a good man but has never been whole since the day he was left at the boy’s home in Marianna. His temper and rage still continues and I only now see why it did. It doesn't’t make it right what he did to us and my mother but I have an understanding to his own mental and physical torture that he endured
as well.

I haven’t had a relationship with my father for the past seven years and I am not sure that I can have one with him. It is a constant struggle for me now as a parent to not “lose” my control. I cannot even discipline “spank” my children without the fear of going too far.

I am a very loving mother but I am not a whole person because of my father’s fate at the boy’s home many, many, years ago. I am sure reading the book will give me a better understanding of the torture inflicted on him while he was a ward of the state. I want to thank you for coming forward and telling your story and others. It helps to heal the wounds now that I have a better understanding as to the “why”......

Thank you Mr. Straley. I appreciate you and other survivors for coming forward with your story. Without knowing any of this, I would be forever broken. Now I can begin to mend my wounds as well.

Again, thank you~Lori