I Was An Abusive Homeschooling Mother: Brook Leyzorek’s Story

4 Jun

2 Responses to “I Was An Abusive Homeschooling Mother: Brook Leyzorek’s Story”

  1. John Leyzorek August 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Lies go down easier when seasoned with a little bit of truth.

    No child of mine was ever “beaten”, or bruised, ‘though they were occasionally switched, when they had done something clearly and wilfully wrong and knew it, the switch of choice a goldenrod stem, smaller than a pencil.

    Physical discipline does work, to make happy and self-controlled people, when it is applied in an atmosphere of unquestioned love and clear justice. Brook is a person whose capacity to love was crippled long ago by her insane mother, and I had no idea until long after she took off with a truckdriver boyfriend, that she was long confiding her resentments to our oldest children, teaching them to resent “abuse” rather than accept discipline.

    Do I like to “argue”? Only as a way to approach the truth, and I am never so happy as when I “lose”, thereby learning something I did not know. The self-reliant and “simple” life Brook left was based on principles of sustainability, low-impact, responsible frugality, and learning-by-doing the skills that built civilization and may be needed to save her. Brook now deprecates those choices by implication, embracing the contemporary suburban “norm”, but if she has actual rational reasons to support her altered tastes, she keeps them a secret. You might also ask her where she got the money that finances her new lifestyle, her land purchase, house-building, world travel, plastic surgery.

    Despite the drag of Brook’s dark spirit, our life was largely joyful. Our oldest child, who will not now talk to me but says she hates her mother, too, said not long after Brook’s departure, and long before she rejected me, that her mother had “broken our invincible home”.

    Our oldest son did spend a lot of time with me, was my good helper and “right hand”.We talked about everything, and did abundant math and language and history explorations and exercises in the truck as we travelled to and from jobs. He was mostly fully engaged in the work we did. If his help was not needed or some part of the job at hand was dangerous, he played nearby. I took care that he was dressed as warmly as I, and if he left the house without a packed lunch, so did I, and where was his mother? Getting a job done, even if the work runs through a mealtime, is part of learning to be a man, which I am not ashamed to believe is still important. Should we prefer our children to learn to persevere through discomfort, and be proud of it, or to feel sorry for themselves? Brook and I split on that issue, for sure!

    Brook told me she wet her bed until she was nine, and four of our children apparently inherit her deep-sleeping/late bladder control.. My oldest son got a lot of midnight-frog-marching to the potty, and it was often hard to tell if he was truly unable to make it all the way or being lazy. But NEVER was he spanked for incontinence, NEVER was ANYONE “whipped with the belt”.

    It is true that my two oldest children, who now want nothing to do with me and spend all their time at Brook’s house, are still very angry and struggle in school. The four younger delightedly spend half their time with me on our farm where they were born. As the Court Order Brook sought allowed, I have home-schooled two of them at times, I constantly lecture and play word-games and look things up and teach them to think and question and dispute, and indeed they are all four at the top of their public school classes…..’though this is a dismally low ceiling, and I surely will not give up trying to get back for them the hours that the clumsy institution steals from them, and bring them back, with their equally determined stepmother, to the freedom , breadth, depth, and richness of home-based parent-led schooling.

    Brook has no principles , nor did her mother’s emotional abuse of her leave her with self-insight with which to find them She borrowed mine for a while and I was happy to lend them. Her co-dependent passive-aggressive sociopathic mother missed no opportunity during our 12 years of marriage to undermine it, and the honeyed words of a serial-adulterer gave Brook the “strength” to “break out” in March of 2008. Now she looks back, and tries to make what she has done into a better story. Probably, she believes it. She has to, or the anguish of our older, and occasional confusion of our younger children, as well as her own persistent pharmaceutically-controlled depression, become her own fault.


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