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Always The Good Wife - Until The Ultimate Betrayal And Then My Mother Shot My Father

Updated on January 6, 2013

The Good Wife Guide:19 Rules For Keeping A Happy Husband! Be All The Wife He Needs!

The Good Wife Just Didn't Die Soon Enough

My mother was born in the 1930's and was always raised to be the good wife and mother, nothing more, nothing less. She married a young sailor. They were both 18 and I was born when they were just 19. My mother spent her life catering to her husband, going to church and raising her children. My father had his first affair when she was a young wife and as all good wives did back then, she accepted it. He was overseas, in Barcleona. I was probably no more than 3 and though my mother never spoke of it, I heard things from my uncles and my grandmother. My mother stayed with him, in spite of the fact that he was always distant and disinterested. The only thing they ever seemed to have in common was him; his needs, his wants, his ego, his career. And she said she loved him. I will never know why, but she loved him until the day she died.

I was 14 when my father left for another one of his never-ending cruises. He was on the aircraft carrier Enterprise, just off the coast of Hawaii and during one of the training exercises, the flight deck blew up. My mother got the call, was told that he was dying, and within a few hours was on her way to be by his side.He was pronounced dead three times, lost a leg, had shrapnel lodged in multiple places throughout his body and almost every day begged the doctors and my mother to kill him. She stayed by his side for the many years that it took him to recover. She never thought of leaving, of not taking care of him, or of killing him. She bathed him, cleaned his wounds, fed him and continued to love him. She was always the good wife.

My father, on the other hand, was not the good husband. Many years passed and I had just lost my own husband. I was in my early 30's and got a call from my father. He and my mother were both in their 50's, he had retired from the Navy and was working civil service, still teaching the top secret radar equipment that he had taught in the service.

My father told me that he had rushed my mother to the hospital She was in the hospital, dying, he told me,very matter of factly. They had just diagnosed her with metastatic breast cancer and had given her 2 months to live. One of the cancerous tumors had developed into gangrene. After several surgeries, she came home, where, to everyone's surprise, she seemed to get better. In fact, a year later, she was doing well. Out of the blue, my mother found out that my father was having an affair. He left for a few weeks, only to return and tell her that he had broken it off and was coming home. During the few weeks that my father was gone, the good wife convinced herself that the affair was her fault. She was sick, after all. She was not paying enough attention to him, not cooking his favorite things, not pretty anymore...So, she decided that she would make some changes, to herself. She would make things better, so that he would stay.

What The Hell Is Wrong With Your Family? Your Mother Just Shot Your Father!

I remember the call as if it was yesterday. Both of my parents had the same doctor, who was also my boss. I was sitting in my office doing paperwork and my boss was on the line. "What the hell is wrong with your family? Your mother just shot your father and I am in the ER waiting for him. No one knows where your mom is. Go find her and hide her until we find out what is going on! And get her a lawyer!" I thought he was kidding. Quickly, I realized he was all too serious. Find my mother?

I knew exactly where my mother was. I drove the mile and a half and there was her car, sitting in the church parking lot. How did I know? Whenever my mom had a problem, she went to church. There she was, sitting with the priest, crying. "I've done something terrible, Jillian. I shot your father. He only came back because he wanted to clean out all the money. He told me I wasn't dying fast enough, that he was still with his girlfriend. He mortgaged the house, cashed in all the retirement accounts, he was packing his clothes. He was going to leave me with nothing, to die alone. I didn't mean to shoot him. I just wanted to scare him, to make him stay."

So, there it was: the ultimate betrayal. She wasn't dying fast enough... I hid my mother at a friend's house and sure enough, when I got home, there was my father, waiting for me. He had a minor gunshot wound to the arm. He told me that he had come back to clean out bank accounts, that my mother was in his way and he never intended to stay with her. She just didn't die fast enough. I walked up to him and punched him, right in that arm. I told him to get the hell out of my house, at which point he told me that he would see to it that my mother died in jail and if I stood in his way or tried to help her, that I had better watch out for my kids and myself. Did this man really think that I was afraid of him? That I would abandon my mother? That I was still that scared, little girl, afraid of my own shadow- and him?

He had no idea! While he was wrapped up in himself and never his family, I grew up. From the time I was a little girl, I knew what he was and even though my mother loved him-forever the good wife- I didn't even like him. He never realized that even though my mother never stood up to him for herself, she stood up for me. All that time he spent overseas gave her plenty of opportunity to teach me all of the things she knew, but never practiced. She always told me that I was smart, I was worth something and she taught me how to stand up for myself and others. She told me that I could be whatever I wanted to be, that I could think and believe anything that I wanted and that I should never allow anyone to control me. I will always remember her telling me that people were not born survivors, they were made into survivors and that she was going to make me into a survivor.

So, did I fight for my mother? You bet I did! Did I stand in his way? You bet! My mother was charged with attempted murder-she barely scratched him...My lying father told the judge that my mom's family was Mafia and that they were going to kill him. He lied- over and over and over. He was the good husband, swore that he always doted on his sick wife. He had no idea why she turned on him. It must have been the cancer. It must have spread to her brain...He showed up in court on crutches, minus his artificial leg. Yes, he was a wounded veteran, he told the judge. Well, the wounded veteran had not been on crutches in years. He was never without his prothsesis, not since I was a teenager. I almost threw up when I saw how easily he manipulated. The district attorney took me outside and we talked. He said that he wanted ro know, even though I wasn't a witness, what had happened. I told him about finding my mother, what she had said and then what my father said. He asked if I thought my mother would be willing to plead guilty to battery; he wasn't convinced that this was attempted murder and that there was just something that he didn't like about by father. He asked if I would be willing to supervise my mother's behavior if he could get her released to home wearing an ankle monitor.

My mother pled guilty to battery, and in spite of the fact that the district attorney agreed to and pushed for house arrest, the judge wanted to send a message to all good wives who might stray. He sentenced her to a year in county jail even though he knew that would be a death sentence. The district attorney explained to the judge that my mother was near death, now even legally blind due to a blood clot that had traveled to her eye. The judge refused to listen.

It took her doctor and myself 5 weeks to have her sentence modified to house arrest. The county jail did not have the medical capabilities to treat or care for her and I made sure that the media knew it. For that 5 weeks, every day, the local newscasts would run a follow-up on her deteriorating condition and the inability of the county to care for a critically ill woman. Five weeks into her one year sentence, my boss received the letter we were waiting for. The Medical Director of the County Jails sent a letter stating that the medical care they were providing had compromised my mother's health and was hastening her death. He had overruled the judge and ordered that she be released immediately.

I picked her up and brought her home that night.

The Divorce, My Mother's Death, and Karma

The divorce was ugly. I found an attorney for my mother through the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.). I highly recommend them! My father was ordered to pay my mother her half of the money he had stripped from their joint accounts. The home was sold and the profits split. My mother vowed that she would not die until the divorce was final. She died the day after the final papers were filed.

Prior to my mother's death, my mother had told me that my father would come after me, to exact revenge for helping her. "Don't be silly, mom!" I thought. It is over. He had moved across the country, retired from civil service and started a new business. She insisted that she knew him better than I did. She gave me 2 plastic shopping bags from her favorite store, each full of some books. She then told me that these would be the only weapons that I would have to fight my father when she was gone. Okay, mom... I put them away without even looking and forgot about them until a few months after my mother's death.

My kids and I had decided to close a long, hard chapter in our lives. We moved from our home in California to Olympia, Washington. It was beautiful, maybe the most beautiful town I had ever seen and it seemed the perfect place to start over, until the day that the mailman came to my door.

A certified letter from my father. He was living on the east coast and I had no idea how he found me. I opened the letter and it began:


I know where you live and I know where your kids go to school. You have some personal property of mine and I want it back or I will come for it...

I had no idea what he was talking about! Personal property? I ran for the phone to call my mom. I was half-way through dialing her number and hung up the phone. I really was alone...Then, I heard my mom's voice in my mind, "...Your father will come after you. These will be the only weapons that you have to fight him..." I ran up the stairs and opened the bottom drawer of my dresser. I opened the bags and started pulling out books. They were military training manuals, all marked "TOP SECRET: PROPERTY OF U.S. GOVERNMENT".

I was afraid to even open them. I called the Seattle office of the F.B.I. and within an hour and a half, an F.B.I. agent was sitting in our living room. She took the letter that my father had sent and she took the books. She told me to keep the kids home from school until I heard from her. She made a call to the local police and I heard her giving them our address.

Early the next afternoon, I got a call from my mother's divorce lawyer in California. She told me that at 8 AM that morning, six "G-men" (that's what she called them) served a search warrant and raided her office. They took all of my mother's files and paperwork with no explanation. Did I know what was going on? I told her about the books and the letter.

I then received a call from our F.B.I. agent. She told me the kids could go back to school; that we would be safe now. I would not see my father again, and if I ever heard from him again, I was ro call her immediately. That morning, the F.B.I. took my father into custody. They had conducted simultaneous raids on his lawyers' offices, the office of my mother's attorney, my father's home and my father's office. My father was ultimately stripped of his military retirement, civil service pension and all of the government contracts that my father's business held.

He had taught top-secret radar equipment while in the military and when he worked civil service. When he retired from civil service, he started his own business doing the same thing. The training manuals that he had taken from the government? Apparently, he stole them to create the training programs and curriculum for his business and then sold them back to the government, in a manner of speaking. I guess the federal government doesn't like that sort of thing.

A few years later, my mom's lawyer and I were talking and she said that she had always wondered why my mom didn't tell anyone sooner about the theft of the government property. She said that she thought it would have shed an entirely different light on my father. I don't know, I just think that she never wanted to get him into any trouble and that the only way she would ever betray him was if she had to protect me.

Being The Good Wife

This is reportedly from a 1955 House Keeping Monthly magazine, although many who have read it believe it to be a hoax...

  1. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  2. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with alot of work-weary people.
  3. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  4. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  5. During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  6. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  7. Be happy to see him.
  8. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  9. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  10. Don't greet him with complaints and problems..
  11. Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  12. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  13. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  14. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remeber, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfullness. You have no right to question him.
  15. A good wife always knows her place.


Submit a Comment

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Hi, Jo-

    My father died in 2003. I never spoke to him after the FBI took over the case. I never felt sorry for him. He put my mother through hell and if I ever thought of feeling any sympathy for him, all I had to do was remember seeing the terror in my kids' eyes when he threatened them.

  • jo miller profile image

    Jo Miller 

    5 years ago from Tennessee

    This is truly an amazing story, and so well told. I liked your writing and perspective previously which is why I began following you. But even more so now.

    I was wondering, though, after reading this: What finally happened to your father? I hope that justice was served, but I also felt a touch of pity for him.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Ed,

    I am honored that you have called me your new friend. Thank you! Now we can spend time becoming "old friends", which are always the best!

    Lawyers can be pretty bad, I agree, and if things are not messy without them, they certainly become messy once they are involved and from my experiences, they become the only winners.

  • ahorseback profile image


    5 years ago

    Jillian , my new friend ! It seems that lawyers are the worst abusers of our court sytem, I'm happy for you breaking away from that cycle ! You know what?......... that , makes you the winner !.....Ed

  • Credence2 profile image


    5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    Jillian, I did not know that you lived in Olympia, it was my second choice after retirement outside Hawaii and the significant other talked me into that.

    I was looking in on the Wash. panhandle or the area immediately west of Olympia WA for it being relatively quiet, inexpensive, and close to two of the coolest cities around Seattle and Portland, with Vancouver BC not that far away.

    Tell me though is the rain and cloudy that overwheming?

    If you have time check out my hub that addresses the issue of a locale for the ideal retirement. Strange coincidence the area you call home is one of the locale on my faves list.


  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear billybuc,

    My kids and I stayed in Washington for 2 years, and we were all so homesick that we came back to California. I had lived in California since I was 8 and my kids were all born here. They still hang out (now grownups) with the very same people they grew up with. My oldest daughter, in fact, came back and married her first kiss. Fifteen years later, they are still madly in love.

    Olympia was the most beautiful town! I miss the Olympia Oyster House, the Capitol building, the view of what I like to call "My Mountain" (Mt. Rainier), which I saw everyday from most of the windows in our house, the berries, the blossoms in the spring, the tulips, watching my kids play outside at midnight (when it was still light out), etc. We also met some wonderful people!

    I don't miss the rain- being a California girl, I could not get over my need for the sun.

    When I saw that you live in Olympia, I thought, "Wow! I wish that I had met you while I was living there."

    Thank you for reading and commenting! Yep! Real story-and while difficult to tell, it was harder to live...

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    5 years ago from Olympia, WA

    What an incredible story! I don't even know what to say. It's like reading a novel but knowing that it isn't fiction and shaking your head all the way through it. Wow!

    You live in Olympia? Well so do I! How cool is that? I'm sure glad I read this great hub; now I know I have a real Hub neighbor. :)

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 

    5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jillian, I'd much rather talk about injustice and spies than gravity. lol

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear lovemychris,

    I am so glad that you always stand up and speak loudly for people, not just women. You are right---male supremacy has no place in this world, and as women, we must teach our daughters to be strong and smart, and our sons to be kind. We have to teach them all that all people are equal and that there is no one that is more equal...

    I know-so many women stayed because they were afraid that they could not survive financially- there are women who still believe the same thing. What a choice!

    And like you, I have NO respect for any woman who believes that man is king and women should be submissive!

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Linda,

    Thank you for your kind comment.

    When this happened, I was as shocked as everyone else. My mom prepared me for life, but I had no idea that life would bring this chapter. I am sure she didn't either. I had such a strong sense of right and wrong that was instilled by her, that the idea that my father could be so heartless and expect everyone else to go along with him was just unbelievable!

    Instinct alone tells you that it is unnatural to stand aside when someone is hurting your mom. That's why so many little kids stand in the way when they see their moms being beaten by their fathers.

    Speaking of spies---I remember that as a young girl, my father was so full of himself that he used to brag that he had a higher security clearance than the President. I asked him if he would be worth anything if I offered to sell him to the Soviet Union- he said, "Alot!" Good thing for him that I didn't sell him, right then and there!

    I have put my evil-fighting tools away, pretty much---although, like you, find that when I see injustice, I dig 'em out again. The Superwoman costume doesn't fit so well anymore, either--damn gravity!

    Thank you again, Linda!

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear fpherj48,

    Rush Limbaugh's father! That is funny! And Rush wishes that the rules for wives were still relevant, I am sure! Funnier still, picturing Rush as a child...Bully or bullied?

    The justice system still shocks me. When my mother's friends picketed the court-house, the judge sent one of the marhalls out to let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I better not be caught driving one mile per hour over the speed limit or "you will be rooming with your mother at Las Colinas."

    You are right. Most women who put up with abuse from their spouses, thankfully, drew the line when it came to protecting their children.

    Thank you for reading this and commenting. It was important for me to write it.

    Dear Lela,

    How can any child who is the product of betrayal on the part of either mother OR father ever really trust? It does become a life-long struggle for self-acceptance and summoning up enough courage to take a chance on someone else who might shatter their trust, too.

    Alot of us find a way, but so many more don't. You have, my dear friend, found a way, and in the process inspire others to believe that goodness and kindness are the answer.

  • lovemychris profile image

    Cape Wind Girl 

    5 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    My mother-in-law stayed in an abusive relationship and the kids were brutalized too....because, as she said--she had nowhere to go. She claimed he had stopped his abuse, but once we were all standing in the kitchen, and he slapped her. She started crying and said--Why did I ever let a man tell me what to do all my life?....

    It broke my heart. And it makes me angry when stinge-ball idiots who have no idea what some people go through always bash and bash. Welfare Queens? Oh yeah? Well, there was a NEED for it--due to the abusive, violent babies they were churning out as men.

    And now, they are coming after the uterus...again. It all goes together.

    Male supremacy and Patriarchy=Women under their feet

    Women as sex symbols only

    Just consider this--malevolent.....what does that look like to you? One little i in there......It needs to die. In every fashion.

    And women who support Patriarchy...please wake up.

    For your daughters sake, if not your own.

    God don't make no junk! And that includes you!

  • lrc7815 profile image

    Linda Crist 

    5 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear Jillian, I was alredy awed by your strength and now, you have opened your life and revealed another story that is chilling but that demonstrates once again how strong you are and, the depth of your character. Your Mom, like so many others of her generation, suffered silently because of the expectations of society. You have honored her in telling this story, which I can only imagine was quite painful to tell. I am more than proud to know you, a woman of integrity, courage, and strength. Wow! This is the stuff of best seller spy novels and you lived it. God bless your mother for giving you the tools to fight pure evil and you for having the courage to use them. An awesome story and you told it with amazing talent and heart.

  • CreatePerfection profile image


    5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado


    From the start I have known you were an extraordinary woman. When a society encourages rabid disloyalty and a me first and maybe me only attitude, what we get is people who are destructive and people who find themselves in their path.

    My Father was a philanderer too. The battle between my Mother and my Father never came to violence, but it had such a bad effect on all of our family. We found trust to be a farce and went through years of cynicism about love, family and loyalty. I am grateful that I eventually got past my insane upbringing. It still is amazing to me that people can have kids they are unwilling to be responsible for and are so very willing to destroy the lives of those who love them.

    God bless you, Jillian and heal you quickly. Your wisdom, insight, tenacity and resiliance are much needed on this planet.


  • fpherj48 profile image


    5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jillian.....positively startling and gruesome. I'm stunned by your story. Actually, it angered me. Your father angered me....the court system and their alleged game of justice....outrageous! Bless your Mom....loyal and devoted to a fault. However, nothing was ever more powerful than her love for her child. So real....don't we women know this!

    As for the list of Bullcrap, suggesting how to be a good wife? hahahahahohohohahah ROFLMAO!! hahahahahhohohohaha!

    SHUT UP!.....What IDIOT MAN wrote that?? I know who it was..........Rush Limbaugh's Dad!................UP+++

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA


    Believe me, very few! Wisdom and kindness are hard to come by, my friend---

    I say plenty of things to all the guys, of course, but possibly only you and Howard (HSchneider)----I reserve these adjectives for you!

  • Credence2 profile image


    5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    "And you have come from the same situation that I have and yet, have grown to be such a wise and kind man."

    Aw, shucks, Jillian, I bet you say that to all the guys!

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA


    When John Edwards did what he did, I was devastated! I thought the same thing you did-ruthless...

    So, then, you know first-hand in your own family with your mom and grandma. I am sorry. --for a long time, I thought it was just my family and in the last several years, have found out that you and I are not alone!

    Heck, my grandma told me stories of young women she knew who were fighting for the vote-said they would go to a suffragette meeting and come home and be beaten by their own husbands.

    And you have come from the same situation that I have and yet, have grown to be such a wise and kind man.

    Amazing, isn't it?

    Thank you for reading this. It made me feel good to finally write it.

  • Credence2 profile image


    5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    My God Jillian ,this was awful. I came along about the same time you did and my mom was the same way, trusting to a fault her husband, overlooking his infidelities until she could no longer.

    There was a film starring DeCaprio that was set in 1950's suburbia that focused on the futility and purposeless lives of the typical housewife. While reading this, I was thinking about this film and why the Gloria Steinams and Betty Friedans were necessary.

    Well now, the cad had got his just deserts, now he has nothing and is probably in prison. It is amazing how the guys that get angels never seem to appreciate it. I am sorry about the passing of your mom and thought about the ruthlessness of John Edwards at the same time.

    It is hard to confront the true nature of person that you invest your all into, who would want to admit that they could be so off from the mark. This did not only happen to my mom but her mom as well.

    Thanks for sharing this most painful account with us all.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Hi, Doc-I have been sick as a dog-- have some appts this week---we'll see what they say. I never realized that this was going to be so hard- the arimidex is kicking my butt-the oncologist and I are going to probably try something else starting this week. Had another CT today...

    Thank you!

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Kim Grbac Diaz,

    You say that you would never have survived those times- funny, after hearing different stories from my great-grandmother, to my grandmother and then watching my mother, I think that I would never have survived any of those times!

    I have wanted to tell my mother's story for a very long time- it has been just recently (at almost 60) that I have been able to actually say out loud that my father was a narcissist and to come to terms with the fact that he resented the hell out of me and my brother and sister.

    That is probably why I am so hyper-sensitive to the plight of children with abusive parents and why I admire you so and the work that you do. You need to be cloned, my dear!

    As for ever finding a husband in the 50's? It would have never happened! My husband and I married in the 70's, in our twenties and he always told me that my big mouth was going to get me killed someday---good thing he thought my big mouth was part of my charm!

    And yes, my mother is always with me...I hear her voice in my mind, usually at the hardest times in my life, she comes through loud and clear!

  • cathylynn99 profile image


    5 years ago from northeastern US

    hi, jillian,

    sorry you're not feeling well. good to hear from you. kudos to you for producing a great hub while under the weather.

  • Kim Grbac Diaz profile image

    Kim Diaz 

    5 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Hi Jillian: stay strong. Apparently we now know where you got your roots from-mom. What a story to write, and to know that it is yours. Although painful, I believe you have chosen to write this now, for whatever reason. It was brave of you to share your pain, and I thank you for your soulful share. Makes one think about a lot of things. Of course, your mother's inner strength, her planning insight, and her parenting of you. There is so much one can say about this family and personl thing for sure...thank God it's 2013! I would have never survived those times...100% equality for all. Your mom is always with you...keep looking for signs...xo

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, phoenix2327!

  • phoenix2327 profile image

    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

    5 years ago from United Kingdom

    I don't doubt it. Blessings to you.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, phoenix2327!

    I was fortunate and I realize that more and more everyday! I always wish she was still here, especially during hard times. She was tough, yet at the same time, was open and trusting with people- I recently had an old friend from high school tell me that whenever he went to other friends' homes as a teen, he stayed away from their parents, but that he always liked actually talking to my mom- told me that she always made him feel like a person, not just some dumb kid-so I was lucky...

    And there have been many times that I think she still protects me.

  • phoenix2327 profile image

    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

    5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Jillian, this is an amazing story. Your Mom must have had a backbone of pure steel. And how she still protected you even after she passed. It's beautiful. You were so fortunate to have known her and have her as a teacher.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Lindalou1963,

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. It was difficult and I barely scratched the surface. My mom was a good woman. She was not perfect, but she was always kind to people and she ALWAYS defended her kids. She never got over her feelings of guilt about shooting my father. The women in jail all thought of her as a hero-so many of them had been abused by men, whether their fathers, husbands, boyfriends- they took care of her and called her mom-one of the guards got angry because my mom couldn't move as quickly as he wanted her to-she tried harder and ended up falling and breaking her ankle- those women almost rioted- some of them relayed stories to me later of my mom in jail-One girl said, "Your mom never met a hooker that she didn't like." Made me laugh because I could always remember my mother getting angry when people would say disparaging things about anyone.

    Dear MasculistFeminist,

    I don't know if we have learned anything as a species, but I do think that many of us have and maybe even more ARE learning, little by little.

    You are right-evil does not discriminate on the basis of gender- and there ARE evil people. Mothers abuse their children; wives abuse their husbands, too.

    It makes me sick, too.

  • MasculistFeminist profile image


    5 years ago from Australia

    A truly shocking story. It is an unfortunate fact of life that there are sociopathic men and women out there that use and abuse decent people. Many of us, including myself up until fairly recently, believe that all people at their core are good. We put down evil acts to circumstance or an environment that has somehow corrupted peoples thinking. Whilst that is often true, I have come to realise that some people are just evil. They don't have remorse or sympathy and they don't care about anyone or anything. I have seen evil and you cannot reason with these people. They are insane. Evil knows no gender. There are evil men and evil women. Women were as cruel as men in the SS in Nazi Germany. I thought I had seen the worst of humanity when I watched the tapes from the Nazi death camps. Then I learnt about the torture of a girl called Sylvia Likens at the hands of a woman called Gertrude Baniszewski. It was called the worst crime in the history of Indiana. In my opinion it is the worst account of abuse I have ever come across. Lets just say that my perspective on humanity has changed since learning about it. People can appear rosy on the outside, but on the inside they could very well be pure evil. This stuff happens in our neighborhoods and it these cunning monsters can keep it real subtle. I had a friend beaten by his girlfriend and we had no idea what was going on because she kept hitting him with a bat underneath his clothing. We found out though and justice was served. We have women roasting their husbands and men doing unspeakable things to their wives.It makes me sick. But then I realise that time and time again history has proven that good eventually conquers evil. But we must never forget these heinous crimes. I look at what is happening in Syria and wonder have we learned anything as a species?

  • lindalou1963 profile image


    5 years ago from Texas

    WOW... what an amazing story! I cannot imagine the inner strength it took to write this revealing piece. Your mother certainly was an incredible woman, and so are you! Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Jillian Barclay profile imageAUTHOR

    Jillian Barclay 

    5 years ago from California, USA

    Dear Howard,

    This was hard to write, but I wanted to tell some of the story of my mom. She was an incredible woman. People loved her! She was funny and she was kind. My father was a narcissist- I knew it from an early age-of course, I didn't know what it was called then. I do know that I was happiest when he was overseas.

    This was just a small part of the story---my dad never ran for office, although he was a Republican (How did you know?). He always made it clear to everyone that he was the smartest man in the room, so not too many people liked him. When my mom went to court, the courtroom was full of family friends, but they were all holding signs for my mom.

    My mom did teach me well.

    Feeling lousy. Have been pretty sick, but I am hanging in there.

    I hope you and your mom are well, also. In case I haven't said it, Happy New Year, Howard!

    Dear lovemychris,

    Equality is so right! My mom taught me something entirely different from what she practiced. I think it had to do with the times, her religion, and her own family and what they expected of her. Plus, my mom never worked outside the home. I am sure that a great part of what kept her where she was, was the fear of not being able to raise 3 kids by herself.

    She wanted things to be different for me .

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and Happy New Year, lovemychris!

  • profile image

    Howard Schneider 

    5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

    This was a truly remarkable story, Jillian. I still need to pick my jaw off the desk. I can see where you get your spunk and tenacity from. You mother learned from her own experiences and taught you well. Your father was obviously a totally evil and narcissistic man. Did he ever run for political office as a Republican. hehehehe... sorry i couldn't resist. By the way, how are you feeling?

  • lovemychris profile image

    Cape Wind Girl 

    5 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

    Holy Cow what a powerful story!

    Good wife indeed....good thing she taught you right!

    ...I think the era of "the good wife" and SOB husband is over.

    Our girls won't take it....and our boys can't see a reason for it.



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