I was born into a family of mental illness, alcoholism and unconditional love. My mother was a patient at the Arizona State Hospital beginning in the 1950’s and became friends with Winnie Ruth Judd, a notorious murderess. My father was a former Yuma, Arizona Police officer who fought in World War II, and succumbed to alcoholism and domestic violence. I had a baby at 17, after consuming the first alcoholic drink of my life. My baby’s father married me to do the right thing, but never allowed me to get to know him. He was also a wounded child. As a mother, carer, and co-worker in my husband’s faily business, I had plenty of fulfilling experiences, but nothing that could heal the pain of my family’s past, or cure my parents’ troubles. My family also had a devastating secret, that had horrifically been passed down to each generation of women, rape. My eldest daughter suffered after becoming a rape victim, just as my cousin and mother had suffered. Little Mo: Daughter of a Schizophrenic is my way of telling the truth about my family’s past and healing from it. I hope my story can bring some understanding to other victims of mental illness, domestic and sexual violence, and give them newfound hope. This mental illness memoir will help readers to find peace and a way to move forward in their lives, too. Unlike most memoirs, this isn’t simply a survivor’s tale of mental illness and trauma. It is a story of a different time, culturally and socially. My healing journey takes the reader back to my childhood in Yuma, Arizona, when early marriage were the inevitable result of teenage pregnancy; to my father’s experiences in the infamous Battle of the Buldge in World War II where he turned 21 in a foxhole; and to the way patients were treated at mental institutions prior to the 1980’s.

Little Mo Book Cover 1

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