Review Of The Night Train

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This is a gripping, gritty account of truth as fiction. It disproves the theory that truth is stranger than fiction and teaches a new lesson. Fiction tells the truth more truthfully than the truth.

I wrote my own book detailing my abusive childhood as narrative nonfiction and have developed a reputation of being an expert on abuse. I was leery when someone suggested this book, doubting the value a fiction book would bring to this subject. The person who suggested it was right, and I was totally wrong.

The basic premise of The Night Train is abuse, and it most certainly will hurt your heart as you read it, but the child abuse part of the book is remarkably subtle. Understated might be a better word, but with that understatement Carl reveals his genius.

The book covers all the emotions I endured as a severely abused child with absolute clarity. Emotions like the despair of being abused by one parent, who seems to revel in your misery, as the other parent who sees the beatings blames you for the injuries that will not allow you to get up from the floor. Do not forget the deep shame and soul smothering abuse perpetrated by bullies. As you struggle to survive each day those around you recognize the fact that you are defeated, and like other animals they attack relentlessly as if trying to eradicate the weak and wounded. Also, the teachers and other people in positions of authority are equally cruel as they struggle to ignore something they see, but which is a thing they have no control over. For a lack of any other solution the abused shoulders the shame and blame, turning school, church  and other venues that are traditionally considered safe havens for children into unimaginable hells that are extensions of the hell waiting at home.

Carl carefully paints all this pain into this extraordinary work of fiction with seamless effort. Suggesting that he too has a deep personal relationship with abuse, I expect he is a fellow survivor and commend him for lending his heart to such a cause.

The book, while threaded with the important facets of child abuse is not actually centered or more aptly a slave to that subject. It is the story of Jayrod Nash, a young boy who although being abused still has the dreams that all children have. The book might be more accurately portrayed as a great train adventure. Once again Carl proves his worth as a writer and covers the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Jayrod as he embarks on a journey meant to not only save himself, but a journey that will allow him to survive his childhood while developing skills that will allow him to survive his manhood.

Every young boy dreams of a life on the rails of America, you will most certainly enjoy reading about Jayrod’s American odyssey. I too decided to take to the rails at the age of ten, but chickened out. I lived that fantasy vicariously through Jayrod and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. This is what writing is about, thank you for allowing me to take such a wonderful journey.

My own abuse ended with the death of my abuser, Jayrod escapes in a much different way. The book does have a happy ending, one that will allow Carl to write a sequel about Jayrod’s struggle as he grows. It will be a story of spending dozens of years or an entire lifetime to overcome what it took less than a decade to create.

I have no idea if Carl plans such a book or is aware of its potential, but I’m here to whisper it into his ear. “Hey Carl you could write a kick butt sequel to this.”

Would I read this book again? In a heartbeat, if not for an unusually busy week I would have read it in one setting. I read three books a week while commuting on trains. I think that qualifies me to give a pretty fair account of books with the exception of my own. After struggling through half of Moby Dick, I removed my book marker to keep it from killing itself, closed the book and immediately turned and gave it to someone on the train, I didn’t dare give it someone I knew. Ten pages into a William Faulkner book, I took it back to the library to keep myself from killing myself. I devoured The Night Train. I can’t wait to read further works by Carl, one of the newest budding Mississippi writers.

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Severely Malnourished Child leads To Abuse Charges

Child Abuse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A North Miami Beach mother and father have been arrested and charged with child abuse after their severely malnourished child was found naked in the street.

Police said the child had jumped from the rear window of his house in the 14-hundred block of NE 152 Street, to escape his abusers on Saturday night.

The child, who is nine-years-old, was said to have the body of a much younger child, according to North Miami Beach Police.

When the child was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, it was discovered he only weighed 35 pounds, or roughly the size of a 3 – 5 year old child.

“He looks like he came from Auschwitz,” said juvenile court Judge Cindy Lederman. “This does not happen in a month.”

Police said the child’s hands and feet were so swollen from lack of food and that the child told hospital staff that he had not eaten in roughly three days.

North Miami Beach Police arrested Marsee “Redd” Strong, 34, and charged her with two counts of aggravated abuse and neglect of a child.

In addition, Edward Bailey, 39, was arrested for his alleged part in the case and faces two counts of aggravated abuse and child neglect.

According to police, Strong admitted to failing to protect her child from others and “not properly supervising him and getting him medical treatment in a timely manner;” but denied physically abusing the kid. She did not dispute that bruising covered most of the child’s body.

Bailey told police that he didn’t abuse his son, but “allows other to do so without his intervention.”

Bailey also said he noticed the child’s small stature and abuse, but didn’t take him to get medical treatment.

After an appearance in bond court, the boy’s mother was held on $65,000 bond. The father was held on $60,000 bond.

Neighbors were stunned to hear about the charges.

“I was surprised. I was shocked. I didn’t even know what to say when the police were here and the mother was standing on the corner and then I heard the child had jumped out of the window and ran down the street naked,” said Mary Williams.

Willie Mitchell said he never saw any problems with his neighbors.

“I always seen a lovely family with the kids happy around their mother.”

Another neighbor said she knew the boy had a severe eating disorder.

The victim is one of six children living in the home. The investigation has also revealed that the parents have a history of involvement with the Department of Children and Families.

An uncle, Joseph Lee, stepped forward in and asked to care for the boy’s five siblings.

“I’m looking for words to express how I feel,” Lee said in court. “I was not aware. You try to do everything you can. I asked her about him. She told me he was fine.”

According to a social worker, DCF had been monitoring the boy because he had refused to eat and “self-mutilated himself and his own skin.”

“There was food in the house,” the social worker said. “But there was no neglect. He just refused to eat.”

But, Judge Lederman said there was gross negligence and appointed a guardian to take care of the children and ordered medical tests for all of the children in the home.

Judge Lederman said this was “one of the worst cases I’ve seen. This looks like a neon sign. The abuse should have been obvious.”

Lederman ordered a thorough investigation and expected a full report by the next custody hearing on February 8th.

The North Miami Beach Police Department and the DCF continue to investigate the incident and the family.

CREDITS:  CBS MIAMI Reporting Peter D’Oench

 

How Disasters and Trauma Can Affect Children’s Empathy

The researchers at OHSU analyzed 11 studies that evaluated the effectiveness  of child abuse and neglect prevention programs or interventions that took place  in clinics — such as meetings with a social worker, for example. They gave  parents questionnaires that assessed such risk factors as substance abuse,  depression, stress and attitudes  toward physical punishment — as well as noting whether parents were concerned  that their child may have been physically or sexually abused. Doctors discussed  the risk factors with parents and referred them to social workers if needed.  After three years, researchers found that parents who took part in risk  assessments and received social work referrals, if necessary, had decreased  incidences of abuse, fewer reports to Child Protective Services (CPS) and  better adherence to immunization schedules.

But the studies’ results were not persuasive enough to warrant new  recommendations for physicians, says Dr. Heidi Nelson, senior author of the  study analysis published in Annals of Internal Medicine and a research  professor in medical informatics, clinical epidemiology and medicine at OHSU. “This is not about identifying kids who are being abused,” says Nelson. “This is  about determining if a family in front of me is at risk for abuse in the  future.”

A major challenge with determining who is at risk for child abuse is how — and to whom — to pose questions. If the parents who bring a child to a check-up  are mistreating that child, says Grossman, it’s not likely they will volunteer  that information. “You are potentially asking the perpetrators if there is a  problem,” he says.

While evidence underpinning the effectiveness of screening questions is  scanty, home visits seem to have had more success. Last year, a study in the Journal of the American Medical  Association (JAMA) found that home visits can cut child maltreatment cases  by up to half. States determine eligibility for home visits in different  ways, but poor moms, single moms, homeless moms, teen moms and those with a  history of domestic violence typically top the list. Home visitors serve as a  sounding board and support system, educating moms about normal infant behavior,  cautioning them against shaking crying babies and offering suggestions for  stress relief and interacting with their babies. Parenting can be overwhelming  even for educated, well-to-do women, but those who are less fortunate stand to  benefit even more from having someone help them navigate the challenges of  child-rearing. In fact, when researchers evaluated the effect of home  visitations, they found that those babies whose families were visited by nurses  were less likely to die of all causes by age 9 than other children. Some studies  showed that children who benefited from home visits had less contact with CPS  and fewer trips to the hospital.

But other studies on home visits have shown mixed results, leading the task  force to stop short of issuing a blanket recommendation for primary-care clinics  across the U.S to adopt the program for families they perceive to be at risk. “It’s one thing to say that it’s a good idea, but it’s another to say that we  have definite proof,” says Nelson.

The task force last took up this issue in 2004; it will take another look at  any new studies that have emerged five years from now to see if things have  changed. In the meantime, for the next 30 days the public is welcome to submit comments on the task force’s preliminary  recommendations. “We are looking to see if we missed any key pieces of  evidence,” says Grossman.

Credits: http://healthland.time.com/2013/01/23/child-abuse-why-its-so-hard-to-determine-whos-at-risk/#ixzz2JUcdo28r

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National Domestic Violence Registry

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The National Domestic Violence Registry (NDVR) , http://www.domesticviolencedatabase.org, is a non-profit and the first national database model for domestic violence convictions available to the public. We have the opportunity to provide a major program that will vastly help in the prevention of domestic violence, guide citizens to making more informed decisions about those they date, exponentially raise awareness nationally for domestic violence incidences, and provide the opportunity to influence the history of crime prevention throughout the United States.

The National Domestic Violence Registry provides the conviction records of offenders, both men and women, who have been found guilty of domestic violence and domestic violence related offenses such as physical battering, stalking, criminal confinement, intimidation, strangulation, and domestic violence based sex offenses, etc. We provide this data free of charge and to the general public with records continuously being added daily.

With a motto of “Our Knowledge Helps Save Lives”, NDVR is another tool that informs and empowers the public while acting as an aid in deterring domestic violence related assaults and crimes.

Review Of They Cage The Animals At Night

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About Jennings Michael Burch

 

By Sandra D. Peters “Seagull Books” (Prince Edward Island, Canada)

This is the story of Jennings Michael Burch and it is not an easy book to read. It tells of a young boy’s determination to survive despite abandonment, physical abuse and humiliation after being left by his ailing mother at an orphanage. He then experiences a variety of foster homes and some of these accounts will bring more than a single tear to your eye.

During his stay at an orphanage, the Sisters would allow the children to choose a stuffed animal to take to bed with them at night as a source of comfort. Goodness only knows, it was their only small comfort – every other aspect was a child’s worst nightmare! However, in the wee hours of the morning before the children awoke, the animals would quickly be gathered up and locked away (caged) and this is the source of the book’s title. David’s only source of acceptance, love and understanding comes from “Doggie”, a tattered stuffed dog. Your heart will cry for this little boy whose only desire is to please, be loved and be wanted. The story does have a happy ending, if such stories ever really do. Despite all odds, Michael does survive, along with “Doggie”. The hurt, rejection and loneliness felt as an abused child never disappear. The wounds heal, the heart forgives, but the mind never forgets. Anyone who has experienced abuse as a child, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, will be able to relate only too well to the story of little Jennings Michael Burch. Often, reading the stories of other victims of abuse, help the adult survivor to realize they are not alone. If you have never experienced abuse, you will count your blessings that you have never had to live each and every day in a world of constant fear and rejection. …

I Died On Christmas Day

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This story was inspired by an opinion piece about Jorelys Rivera, a seven-year-old girl who will not open gifts this Christmas. If you cannot stomach graphic truth, do not read it, you have been warned.

It was December 25, 1968. A god lived in our old house, a god who didn’t allow his subjects to come from their rooms until he emerged from his. Christmas Day was no exception. He didn’t emerge until after lunch. Four innocent souls stood in doorways trying to get a peek at the tree or the little bundles of heaven wrapped in colored paper and bows.

The day moved on, the egg shells placed carefully to catch unsuspecting little feet were scattered with loving care. Their crunching sounds were barely audible, but screamed in our universe. Step on a crack, break your mothers back, step on a shell go directly to $%^&.

A mistake was made, by whom, unimportant. The face of our god flushed red, gone was the Christmas god. The remnant of presents were scattered throughout the room, the remnants of breakfast was still on the table, the remnants of a fire smoldering in its place and the remnants of sanity swirled, rose and vanished into the air.

It happened quickly, it always did. I turned to see the fist of our god, it had risen and was destined to fall. The first punch took my breath even as I tried to avoid it, a sin in itself. The second busted my lip, the taste of blood its little gift. I knew the taste of blood well. The third to the stomach bent me forward allowing the tooth, already roaming around loose in my mouth to be projected onto the floor at my feet. I concentrated on that unruly tooth as a series of punches came too quick to comprehend and seemingly from all directions at once. The tooth held some importance I could not discern.

My mind raced and screamed into the universe, why, what did I do?

My next gift a broken rib and the sound of my nose exploding. My heart and lungs fought for every moment, but my legs gave up early and I spread across the floor like snow melting in a cozy room. I grasped at consciousness, it being all I had.

Now the time of our god’s foot had arrived: it kicked, something broke, it kicked, something tore, it kicked and reality shattered then scattered across the floor before my eyes. I could feel death breathing on me as my hair was grasped firmly. My heart pounded in my head or maybe it was my head being pounded on the brick hearth in front of the fireplace.

Sickeningly, my mind counted the times it rose and fell on the bricks, one, two, ten and twelve, it counted down the seconds of my life. I saw the fire with such clarity, a message from the real God I couldn’t comprehend, perhaps? Somewhere in it all this, the words, I’ll you kill you little son of a so and so, the last words I’d ever hear, wormed their way in. The fear, the pain and the sick, slimy, sticky, warm taste of blood were the memories that came with them. In the end death has a warm, welcoming embrace.

I awakened to find I was mistaken. What do you do the day after you die? What do you do the rest of your life? No police were called, no hospital was visited and no one explained how a dead child is supposed to act. Some things must be figured out by an eight-year-old, by himself. It only took a couple week of being buried in my room, out of sight of the world, for me to walk this earth again.

Sometimes I am told before, during and after I speak, to GET OVER IT. I have.

I speak because dead children cannot. I speak for children like Jorelys who die at the hands of a monster in a nightmare reality. I speak for the five children in America, each day, average age three, who are cowering in corners as someone they know love and trust beats them into the silence of death.

I speak because I died several times and God allowed me to come back. He DEMANDS  I speak. I speak for the five children who will die each of the twelve days of Christmas.

We will always know who Jorelys was, but everyday five who live will slip into their own Silent Night and no one will know their names.

Kennesaw Taylor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE1ttQJq80o

ATHENS PATCH I DIED ON CHRISTMAS DAY