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My father trying to suicide me Laurie is the child of a circus ranted about. She fears that her father will kill her if he doesn't she probably will. He has tried three times he tried once he does not regard her as a blood relative of his but they cannot get along nicely like strangers. The group is the unit of society about the same way that a pack of cigarettes is the unit of a carton. The element of society is the individual. Or as someone has said society is men one by one. For years sociologists have felt outloud that rehabilitation should come out of one end of the legal tube just as a criminal goes in the other end of the tube in handcuffs to be submitted to the legal processes of the land. If this be so rehabilitation must be tailored to the needs of the individual. It may take a team of helpers to discover the needs of the individual delinquent and much of the information must come from him. It is for this reason that father Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University has undertaken a series of interviews with delinquent and
disturbed children at Pittsburgh Steubenville court in a counseling type situation which is rather permissive non-judgmental and somewhat non directive. The child speaks here then to preview the features of this child's life story is Father Duffy speaking from the detention facilities of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh. Father Duffy. Dr Davis of Allegheny County behavior clinic makes an interesting distinction between paranoia and paranoid ideation. In simple terms one person is afraid of a lion that is not there. The other person is afraid of a lion that not merely is there but which has clawed and bitten him several times. I think that you will immediately recognize that the girl about to be interviewed is terribly upset and frightened. She feels that her father is in love with her and at the same time hates her so much because of her resemblance to her mother that he plans to kill her. This man is separated from the mother. One psychiatrist felt that the father of this child was trying to derive
revenge on his wife by his attacks on this girl. Throughout the interview the child's hands were in constant movement. You will hear the noises she makes with a pencil. Because of her association with adults Laurie seems to be much more mature than her 17 years. But then over stimulation and unsettling movements from place to place have prevented her from developing emotional and social roots. Lauri illustrates the effects on a child of a daily living pattern that has upset disturbed unpredictable disorganized and threatening. Her earliest memory is that of her father trying to kidnap her from a farm where the mother had placed her. This same pursuit has plagued her whole life. When she was with her father he keeps her in a short chain. The mother did not improve the relationship. At one time she was so angry with the man that she told him that Laurie was not his daughter. So to him she is just a woman. This also causes the girl terror for she doesn't know what to expect from her father.
Here then is Laurie a 17 year old child white Protestant and in serious trouble at this particular time. And you're about 15. How did you happen to come to this. Father Glenn a missing persons report on me. I was living with my mother and I had left and I didn't working there and I was supposed to stay there he was in Turkey and I was afraid of him. So I decided to come to my mother's an idea. Where love doesn't make you missing from anywhere except from him year because he had cold up there and everything you know wasn't there so then naturally you came looking for me and I was there so. She reported to the Pittsburgh police and put out a teletype or whatever it is and no pictures no games on me that I was missing. So then the Pittsburgh police were looking
for me and two of them recognize me drinking coffee in the White Tower and pick me up and brought me here. We're in trouble before. Sarah I've been in troubles ever since I can remember to control this kind of natural run of running from him come into my mother run from him. Just nothing but his trouble run from him. This is the kind of man that anybody would probably even for years years my mother ran from him. My sister ran from me to you when your are we know he is not nice. He keeps you constantly in his side. And I mean constantly that is literally. If you have to go to the restroom and you're out somewhere he'll go right with you and stand right at that door into you coming. In. If you'd like to know the truth Father DUFFY I think the man's in love with me and thinks he that I'm not his daughter and he gets
insanely jealous. I value me and such as that no less just when I think he's crazy. I know it's crazy. What he ever threatened you if you were not with somebody yes or. Pecans. I mean I know yes definitely. And sometimes I think when people want something you can't have it. That's right. I think that's his problem. He was in Pittsburgh and he felt that the police would just take me in turn me over to him and that they would just take me down there to headquarters and hold me there until and call him and let him come and get me. But when he saw that they didn't do that that they brought me down here he high tailed it out of town just as fast as he could go. And he hasn't been back since.
My mother told me that night. Oh of course he's threatened me if I tell on him about shooting me. I guess that's a threat to shoot me that's enough. Of course you shot me. We will be using them I was asleep and I woke up when he was driving the car and I was asleep in the front seat. I mean I woke up because of there and I was in the floor my head was in the floor. I woke up and I was reaching up. I said Daddy what's wrong. And I said I mean it is just a terrible feeling and feeling all over I DIDn't KNOW IT'S MY here that was hurt in my whole body was known like her fear fell of his being electrocuted. That's all it felt I mean and so he said we've had a car wreck and I'm taken to the hospital. That didn't sound right. I could feel blood coming off of my this side of my face you know from
somewhere in there was a lot of it. And I said well why are you hurt and how come the car is still going. He said I am hurt my leg or my arm is hurting something like that and he said done. We just went to ditch in the car still goes and so I. I was still conscious and I started to get back up on the seat and I was trying to get leg up on the seat and I looked over and right between his legs on the seat was that 22 caliber pistol in on the seat beside him was a pair of gray gloves. And actually he said that he did after that I said when I saw that I said you shot me. And he said oh no you mustn't think like that or something like that you know just. And so I automatically reached over and I picked the gun up and I held it over me. I mean I don't know what the reason for that was or anything. I mean I. I really consciously didn't have any idea of shooting him. But I just picked the thing up and I held on him
as though I would but I mean I just dropped the gun just as automatically as I picked it up. I just dropped think back on the seat. And then I started begging for him not to kill me and tell me I'm the nicest. I loved him as my father and all that. And. Will he please not you know go ahead and finish murdering me. And he was hesitant at first but then I think you feel sorry for me or something I mean I must've looked terribly pitiful. I mean. I mean all that blood I mean everything that he said that. I mean finally said if I would take the blame if I would take the gun and shoot it into a block of wood he had got a block of wood or something to make it on my hands you know in the wood and I have a suicide record before anyway.
Three times and it was on record Ian to stay in the now so it would have been easy you know for me to take the blame. And so if I would take the blame he said I'm not and so I said All right so I shot the gun in. End of the block of wood and told him that I would and swore to him that I'd never tell any legal authorities that he did there. And that I would tell him that I Did It was upset or something I don't know and it's out you know. I mean he finally took me to the hospital. I got in touch with them. I mean the state patrol we call him in with the escort it is there. I told the Catholic priest in the hospital that he had done it a few days after. Well anyway soon as I was able to talk and search is there you know I
told him that he did it in asking to please not tell because if my father knew that I had told anyone of course he would kill me and he would've. But I trusted him and I did tell you. And so you know I stay in the hospital couple weeks in guy and I mean the police came and questioned me and I told him just how it was. They never checked my hands or anything paraffin test. But I mean I just left with him in. And he left me fair game back up here somewhere in the New Yorker. And I live there. Came appears that's why I'm here. I will not go to town you know try to kill you. I drink a bowl of rat poison one time in Ohio. Three times in fact. And they put me in for psycho analyze me I spose.
And I took an overdose of I don't know if they were sleeping pills or pep pills. I didn't go to the hospital for that. I went to the doctor. I was in the hospital one other goal when I was in the hospital I tried to get this wrist for the rare poison that didn't work. And oh. I live in various times and I do their suicidal tendency there's no doubt about their. You know on well with me because of him if I was completely away from him I wouldn't feel this way I'm just afraid of him that saw me makes me feel so low and guilty. And just about everything and I'm just framed B and I couldn't stand him and be anywhere near me. That now we're in there man.
And then I mean that's just the way I feel I would be perfectly happy for the defeat if they would put me in a home with the good people and I do. In our school for three and a half years so I don't think would do me any good to go back to school because I'll soon be 18 years old and I've been out of school since the 8th grade and I think I should get a good job and go to work and stay in someone's home or you know have someone to look after me. Naturally. Until I was 18 years old and I think I would just get along fine. You know when you meet your mother you think yes I was happy to be with you Eunice. Except our I mean we didn't have her problems she has four children at home and on her own.
Something came up about my father and it upsets you so and I'm really. I and I went out. I left there for two and I figured out my mom wanted me to get a job and I couldn't right away sell. I stayed away from home just as much as I could until I got straightened out you know. But I do love my mother very much and I'd love to stay with her more than anyplace else. And when I go down to Virginia she's going to follow me down there. He's your father you'll be again. Definitely not. No I just kill myself right now if they even have any idea of put me with him. What standard is a question and didn't the authorities. This isn't in THEIR hands. It's in there in stare in there and they're just going to let them take the case and do whatever. Hunger which is the time you shut your home goes on the second day of July this year. And is he going to be held on charges they can't find him.
I doubt it. Only it would be a big thing even proof an army. It really what. Do you think it may be because I'm a juvenile. He should be because he's afraid of them lose you on one. I think you really hates me and I think you know I tell you what I think I think it takes out the revenge on my mother threw me because she ran off and lived to be years ago. When you're with is because I've been living on edge all my life and wondering what is going to happen to me. And I always they just forget about the past I see no sense in going over it whatever. And just just put me somewhere for once and let me stay there that's all. I mean it just gets me down and it brings me down and only puts me through so much to even have to go over all the stuff I mean. When I went through the eighth grade and didn't quite finish the eighth grade father Duffy and I went to
school in what I counted up on a piece of paper one turned thirty three schools. Now that's almost switching around just fruit. I mean Justice just during school time in I've lived in. Washington and Oregon. And. Just everywhere constantly and I've never lived in one place in my life over two or three months. He just starts off across the country he doesn't know himself where he's going is where he decides to homesteader or bivouac that's it. Does he have a criminal record. Yes he's been in the suturing for embezzling $5000 dismissed Union was working for them in. Soon he felt afraid when you can. Always feel afraid when and if you wear no there.
I mean I. Am still afraid of him because I know what he would do to me now even if you would just see me somewhere. I know that he would shoot me and I know there are kid Netley somewhere going to school or wherever I would be. He would just lay in wait his chance and lay in waiting and lurk in the shadows until he sees a good time and I know this because of what he's told me. That wherever they see me and that is easy as shrewd men self-educated he is sharp. You don't put anything over on that man. Hunter will you love your teacher. You so love you. Oh no I don't mean as a daughter. He doesn't want to love yes. I am. I mean. I can explain it to you and you would you wouldn't understand. But. You know I don't eat doesn't love me and I know darn well he doesn't
love me he hates my guts. He needs me with the purple hair he wants me to be. I don't know. And he is just one of those things is one of those queer fictional things and saw. I mean if you love someone would you shoot them in their sleep. Lucille Ball our earlier clue maybe he was trying to get even with somebody. Maybe your money or maybe you. Definitely I believe that is psychiatry's to me that once that he was taken out all the revenge on my mother threw me because I look like her and the only child that does look like her and as a matter of fact I would just like her. But. I mean maybe he sees it that you asked her. Could Or maybe she's us hers not his. Yes that's what I think I mean that's I know I just think that I mean is he told me that plenty of times denied me as being here as I'm not his at all and some other guys.
So. Well maybe she'll notice him you say this to you know to kind of punish you. Well she did tell him. To form a union. That's what she told me because I asked my mother about it. Well he sounds kind of on her doesn't he is crazy. I mean the man is just not right. Well deserved this ever did you feel that maybe something was happening to you to see your father Jeffrey I'm not going nuts. I mean everyone gets a feeling once in a while when this year is wrong with me. But I mean frankly you're literally speaking seriously No I don't think I'm crazy. All right I think I made a great mistake and I'm crazy on one thing that I didn't do was not taking that gun just pulling it pulling the trigger right on him. All I do think it would have helped. Because he's going to kill me sooner or later and I know that and I mean it would have taken a great weight off my mother and she has tiny children to raise.
He easterly even up to this day brings nothing but worry and trouble and we know that he thought the phones are all the time and says things to her and no and writes her letters. No I don't think he does. Good girl you remember. I think I only his thing I remember. Was when I was about I suppose I was two years old and he was trying to take me away from my mother and I remember I was I just I mean I don't know Harry remember this but I remember it I was screaming. And here in the snow on the ground in the Seems like they were put me in a car. And it just seems like it was out in the country. Yes. And he was taken me.
You know steak. Yeah I guess so I mean it. First thing I can remember. Sounds like a very dangerous man and. So he. Told me from these people that my mother had me staying with. I think hidden from him or something and he found it where it was that my mother told me that he was discharged from the Air Force with one of those kind of sheets that Sicily's can wear or something and he could pass for any and. All of the chances are that you know you can use it to relieve some of the worry about. Their. Obligation to him you know something definitely an. Obligation to him you know.
I mean even the obligation of loving your parents. Well that has worried me a lot and it's one of the commandments and. You really just love anybody else. I I don't I love my mother I don't know my mother you know my kadian him but I still love her I love my sister. And I love my stepfather because he's a wonderful man. He will use. That spectrum of people. You know you're kind of all in this family trouble or volatile. Yes no want to partner with you. And on. You're just going to have to will. I don't think so. I mean I think I'm just Mark I think that I'm done for there's no hope for me.
So I mean just see what comes of it. Because I think that you know these welfare people these people don't understand that if they would just put me in a good place and give me a chance to know in my mind that I am completely away from him where he can't come to me and threaten me and say that I have to leave with him. Because if I don't these gonna get me sooner or later one way or another anyway like it did came up here last summer and took me away from my mother. Then when the court got a hold of her. First time I'd seen her was last summer since I was two years old and came up here and told me that I had to go with him and frightened me into coming with him. And oh. And if I just know completely and my mind is an ease and I'm going out of somewhere else where I want them to worry about him come in and make me go with him or her in any
circumstances. I mean I think everything would be fine. Getaway all over being real. The only. Way We aren't ever going to be completely. My mind and my mind not my heart. Maybe it is when it means day and I am not wishing Gary or any such thing or merely not plan a wish in England to be dead. It's what I feel. While I understand a collapse that's immaterial as far as I'm concerned. I don't know it just depends upon your situation what I mean what problems that arise in me I am the control over those things. It isn't. An evil thing is just an impulse thing you just do it. I mean I
don't really think that I would do that again if they can take me down there put me somewhere like they did and sister in a home and away from me and I knew I was away from you. No I don't think I would do that anymore. Again. No one wants to die for their death. I mean actually truthfully to himself. I don't believe. In beginning with a very committed suicide wanted to die. As a fact I think anyone that commits suicide is a Kmart. What do they do. If they want an easy way am I spose. To understand that makes life and death returns. And it was to die. I know it's hard to explain and I just felt that I couldn't take it
anymore and that there was no other way I would be in chickens way out. I suppose I just felt that there wasn't too much left to live for. You know some 15 years old the first time. We would mind being with him if we were somewhat close but it's not a pleasant thing. I don't want to be with him period. I mean. If you spend too much Chairman and. The scars are just too deep they can't be mended. I mean even my wife because I can never be happy just because of the money goes the Paris haunts you. All don't you anticipate getting married sometime to some decent young years. I love it more than anything else in the world. Get married but then he does well here but you fall out and there's.
No oh oh I could get married tomorrow. But then to do that. I don't think that would solve anything right now. That this boy. Has never once known he loves me and that he would let me just first of all. I knew him some namely killing me. And. Based on this one thing is tell me that you go to bed. And go to bed do it. You have been listening to exploring the child's world had a program in which the child speaks. Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology education university has outlined the features of this world and conducted the interview with the child. This is been a production of the radio service of Duquesne University in cooperation with Ukraine the
sociology department technical director Fred McWilliams program director and announcer our older man. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. Was this program was distributed by national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
Exploring the child's world IV
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on Laurie, a teenger who has an unhealthy relationship with her father.
Series Description
Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-26-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:24
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world IV; Laurie,” 1966-06-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world IV; Laurie.” 1966-06-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world IV; Laurie. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from