Host: Sheryl Glick R.M.T.
Special Guest: Tom North
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Sheryl Glick, author of The Living Spirit: Answers for Healing and Infinite love welcomes Tom North, author of True North which is his story of being one of the eight North children who together with the ten Beardsley children, became the family extended family which was featured in the 1968 film, “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Tom will share his story of how what appeared to be one big happy family as the movie depicted was anything but that. Tom will share intimate details of his stepfather’s violence and abuse which created a life of intimidation fear and depression for the North children and how Tom traveled on a journey of self-discovery survival and healing as he reclaimed his own identity and self-esteem. We know things are not always as they appear and on many shows for “Healing From Within” we have addressed the need for responsibility by medical practitioners teachers family and friends to intervene and help those who are being hurt by violent or abusive people. In an evolving society we must assume responsibility to speak up for injustice and criminal activity in any form in order to help those who may not be able to help themselves.
Tom speaks of childhood memories and what he writes below is so typical of a sensitive spiritual child one who almost still remembers home or eternal soul life before incarnating into this life….
“Our home was two blocks from Penn Cove Beach and I was drawn to explore the beach’s natural treasures, as if each find was a nugget of pure gold…clams oysters prawns and crabs abounded. Every discovery I made was a moment of wonder. It was on these walks at the seashore that I remember having reveries, indulging in the excitement of just being alive…I believe we all have this sense of magic of life itself when we are children.”
Sheryl feels that is an accurate sense of feeling life at an inner soul level and in her book The Living Spirit, shares her discoveries as a Reiki energy healer/medium of connecting to this higher field of information love and eternal source that is all around us and within each of us… and which is in truth the reality of what Tom felt and Sheryl felt as children…it is the connection to energy, creation and eternal life and it is our birthright and also our destiny to remember and appreciate our uniqueness as spiritual and physical beings while we travel through the physical world of sensation and conquer the many challenges offered to us by a physical life experience. Yes some of us still know these truths and awareness that was so simple for us when we were children.
Toms remembrance of his birth father’s love for his mother sustained him through the difficulties that he observed when his mother married a very different kind of man…“Tom felt as a child that his parents were very much in love. They laughed a lot, kissed a lot looked at life as an adventure and generally displayed affection to each other and to their children. In the dynamics of the family Tom as an independent child generally only received attention as a result of accidents, crisis or emergencies as was needed…Janette as chief mischief maker had to be watched all time and the other children with their unique issues got their attention according to their needs as should be the way most caretakers respond to their family.”
Toms stepfather Frank Beardsley was very different in temperament and nature than Tom’s birthfather. “Being in the dining room or any other room with Frank Beardsley was like sitting next to a road-side bomb, an incendiary device that could go off at any time. Time after time my aunt and uncles tried to point out to my mother the danger she was exposing her children to Mom would protest though insisting that bringing some degree of love and security into the Beardsley children was more important.”
Tom says that the story of his extremely large family unit made in the decade of Leave It to Beaver, Ozzie and Harriet and My Three Sons centered its attention on the idealized sitcom of the Caucasian Suburban family but in the case of your family it was more like the Urban Upbringing of children in dysfunctional families in our modern day city life now. Living with an alcoholic military stepfather and with so many children which is in most cases unnatural and unsustainable for providing a good quality of life for each child was a very difficult lifestyle for Tom and all the children.
“The challenge of raising twenty children under any set of circumstances at the risk of sounding simplistic is virtually impossible for any human being or set of human beings to succeed at simply by virtue of the numbers. Raising a child to the status of well-adjusted adult is a Herculean accomplishment for anyone….there are simply not enough hours in the day or ears and eyes to hear and see what 20 kids are up to and need in any given moment. The leadership of any family will dramatically influence the experience of the children for better or worse and in the case of the North-Beardsley family they were left at a significant disadvantage in the parents department.”
Sheryl wondered where the medical people, teachers and religious people who dealt with his family were. How did they not see the problems Tom and his family was experiencing and why did no one step in to intervene and offer psychological counseling to Tom’s parents? “At school the assumption in the student body was that the North-Beardsley family merger was a great success…we were rich and celebrities and this was the belief in the community and across the country. How could I tell anyone that my mother had made the biggest mistake of my life and that the man she married was a tyrant and that living in his household was like living in a war zone and I was never sure when the walking land mine name Frank would go off and who the casualties would be.”
At one point in order to protect Tom’s sisters Colleen and Janette he went to see the priests at the Mission up the street. It crossed his mind to go to the police but he thought the police would come to the house and Frank would deny any accusations and when the police left he would kill you all. At the church rectory where the priests lived and where you had been an altar boy you spoke to Father Dudone about Frank’s violence screaming and the beatings and were told…”Tommy you are committing the sin of calumny. You should not speak ill of your father. Now go home and apologize to your father and ask for forgiveness.
Why were people so afraid or unable to address these problems of alcoholism sexual abuse and other family Issues during the 60’s ???? ……Sheryl Says…..Of course in the 60’s parents who had lived through the depression as children and WW II wanted only to live and prosper no matter the moral or lack of morals that was needed to achieve that also the thought that each family unit had the right to do whatever they wanted within the confines of their family unit and home sent a message to not get involved and so many people lived in secrecy and fear…in other words most people were in denial and living the American Dream and the media at that time was sporadic and reporting only partial reports of how life really was. So news stories were not complete or trustworthy…
Tom tells us of his first grade teacher in Oak Harbor Washington at the Department of Defense Grade School who came to visit him in Carmel after his mother remarried. He could see how withdrawn, reserved and frightened he was. His first grade teacher told Tom that he was the smartest student in her class. Tom says, “That’s not true I answered. My new Dad tells me how stupid I am all the time and even if I had been intelligent just a few years before my intellectual abilities had certainly suffered serious decline and my step father said I would never amount to anything. “ It is that kind of childhood patterning and abuse that sets up the restricted and limited view of self that will damage an individual severely either making them a victim or creating a deep inner sense of courage which will overcome this negativity. Still it takes help from many sources to correct this damaging behavior experienced in childhood.
Sheryl wonders what Tom’s mother’s most important priority was and what public image of the Beardsley family she sought so hard to project to the world. As a battered wife, the public image of the Beardsley family had become mom’s most important priority. As Tom wrote, “She would protect the image of our God-fearing, traditional Catholic family at any cost. Mom wanted the world to accept the fantasy promoted by “Yours, Mine and Ours.” She needed to believe in the success of the merged family, so that she could justify the treacherous path she had taken us on.”
Tom you write… “Your luck wasn’t much better at school than at home as you attended a typical Catholic parochial school heavy on religion, heavy on discipline and short on practicing the humanitarian standards of gentleness and kindness that are now becoming so much a part of the Spiritual Evolution NOW after the Mayan Prophesy of 2012 which predicted great change and enlightenment and changing philosophy about childrearing and the rights of each individual including children to talk up if there is abuse or corporal punishment there are many social agencies that will investigate domestic abuse sexual abuse childhood trauma and abuse and agencies therapists and organizations to help challenged people.”
Tom believes fear of communism affected the teachings in his Parochial school. Representatives from the John Birch Society lectured on the dangers of Communism showing pictures of North Africans with severed heads. How was a student to question this perverse exposure and talk up about it being inappropriate. Tom also remembered learning about original sin and felt bad that because of that Jesus had to relive the vivid details that the Roman soldiers inflicted on him when they pounded nails and thrust a spear into his side… this repeated brainwashing went on year after year for Tom and others…we could say it was the severity of the generation after a depression and World War which left the older adults traumatized and fearful and they thought raising tough children teaching them that life was hard and cruel was doing them a service.
Sheryl feels that thought influences what manifests in a person’s life and emphasizing the best possible scenarios and outcomes and loving life thinking everything is just the way it is meant to be and dealing with whatever presents is what we should help the younger generation to focus on. The body believes what the mind tells it and our lives reflect our actions and behaviors mirroring both the most sensitive or insensitive parts of our human psyche and soul reflection. In her book The Living Spirit she writes, “ Many people live in denial about the challenging circumstances in their lives. Moreover, most are not even aware that they are often hiding or deceiving themselves. God’s greatest gift was the free will to make our own choices, but with that gift comes an awesome responsibility for what we have called forth in our lives. Until we truly accept this responsibility, it is easy to pretend our lives are happening to us: once we do accept our role, we realize the truth: that it’s happening for us.”
Tom tells us of the sexual abuse his sisters experienced and how he was also almost pulled into Franks madness. Tom writes, “Frank had a sick sense of entitlement which he believed gave him the right to impose himself sexually on the women in his family. Although I was not aware of it at the time, as they reached puberty, my sisters became objects of his unrestrained lust. Frank’s attitudes toward the girls was that they were chattel. They were not human beings with their own perspectives wishes and destinies but his property to do with as he saw fit. Mom did nothing to stop it. Soon it was as if Mom began feeding her daughters to Frank to keep him away from her…”
This is all an unthinkable idea but in the beginning all the religions and the patriarchal system that took hold for the last 4,000 years have allowed power and control of assets, land and people especially women and children to be used as the means to procuring material gain This limited thinking not honoring all people as equals in soul energy has been at the root of all the unjust wars and power struggles of the past and continues to exist …change is happening more rapidly now to correct this thinking and way of living and the way into the future will provide a greater equality between men women and children honoring the wisdom of our soul power and eternal essence hopefully finding the Oneness in unity to Universal Source.
Sheryl say, “It is only in an egalitarian society with respect for both sexes that humanity can evolve past this barbaric and primitive thinking still upheld to some degree by certain factions of the three major religions that our technological and enlightened way of thinking can evolve. A new age and a return to the feminine psyche before religion made women bend to the will of men and limited the natural order of equality is taking place in the civilized and democratic nations across the globe and it is a good way to foster peace and prosperity in the days ahead.”
Tom writes that in nature… fishing, hunting, and finding a few good men as role models, he was helped as was his brother Nick to develop some good values. In the early sixties along Carmel Bay was an environment Tom felt very comfortable in. He met Fred and his wife Karen who showed them how to clean pound and cook abalone… “Then he met Mr. Schaffer and over time became quite attached to him and he and his wife Betty showed me how to catch huge eels and the fish we caught helped feed my large family. I also learned to use a rifle and hand gun and killed rattlesnakes and frogs which tasted just like chicken. Later I met Michael Tancredi who was the owner of a restaurant I worked at…he radiated confidence honesty and a whimsical sense of humor. After a while I interested him in scuba diving which I had become quite good at. And we became diving buddies and remained friends for 25 years. His positive and philosophical perspective brought me the first hint of encouraging male presence since my Uncle Bob had been banned from the Beardsley house by Frank.”
Carmel High School was a drug mecca and it affected Tom’s High School experience. He writes, “ I found smoking pot was an excellent way to escape my Frank Beardsley-induced misery…Then I discovered coke and went to more and more concerts and was living two lives: the straight one, miserable and the second one, delusional. I moved out of the Beardsley house right after High School…”
Tom began what was called Gestalt therapy or Re-decision therapy. It was in this group that Tom was able to release so much sadness from the loss of his father who was killed in a military jet crash. Tom goes on to tell us about Transcendental Meditation. He writes; “My good friend Tom Snyder discovered a way to stimulate shifts in consciousness without using chemicals. I was told I would be given a “mantra” and would repeat it internally but never say it out loud and was told the reason for this was the same way we don’t dig up a plant every day to see how much it has grown we let the vibration of the mantra establish itself in our physiology and psychology as we want the mantra to dive deep into our own being. “
Tom became aware of the great growth you experienced as a result of SCI training known as Science of Creative Intelligence course at a transcendental meditation course There are many benefits that Tom felt were possible through this practice. There is an increased tendency to let things happen rather than making them happen. Other observable behaviors are:
- Frequent attacks of smiling
- Feelings of being connected to others and nature
- Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation
- Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences
- An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
- A loss of ability to worry
- A loss of an interest in conflict
- A loss of interest in interrupting the actions of others.
- A loss of interest in judging others
- A loss of interest in judging self: a true sense of well-being
- Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything in return which makes living life a complete state of joy
Tom describes an experience he remembers that happened during a deep meditation. Tom became aware of a light that emanated from a single point, which sounded like how many people have described a near-death experience. Tom wrote “ I went towards the point through a narrow tunnel and out into a space of golden light. I didn’t just see the light but actually became golden light. As I approached the source the only thought that remained in my awareness was a desire to permanently merge into the light to be with and of the divine…then I encountered an invisible barrier and in my awareness received a message that conveyed to me that I could not merge but had to return to the physical world. This experience helped me to grasp that when we leave this world we don’t go into the ground…but rather another state of non-physical being or whatever term we can think of to describe the metaphysical reality that underlies the filmy skin of this terrestrial existence.”
In Sheryl’s new book “The Living Spirit”, Sheryl suggests in a message that she downloaded in a dream from that place of light and source that Tom described a poem or prayer that simply says “Remember your essence, your home beyond this earth and physical life, the people and places you will observe and know you are never alone as you are guided and loved by the higher beings of eternal life as you gather a greater awareness of Self and Spirit eventually returning to that beginning where we may remember you and me as one together in unity and love for all time in life and yes, in death.”
Sheryl and Tom have shared a quite unusual family history Of the North- Beardsley family and one that emphasizes that things are not always as they appear. In an evolving society of compassionate citizens and communities that seek to serve the common good we must be vigilant, courageous, and forthright and offer and secure the help needed when we become aware of any child abuse, battered wife or husband syndrome and speak up where people are verbally physically sexually or emotionally damaged. If we cannot do it alone we must seek others who will work in unison for honoring the Universal Laws of Energy which will when followed afford a better quality of life and engender the more sensitive and compassionate sparks of our divine soul nature enriching all people- collectively leading to a more refined and evolved humanity. As we might say…it is the way and will continue to be the means for us to find individual peace joy and well-being.