In 1968 a film came out with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda about two widows with eight and ten children respectively coming together and making a large merged family. It was a box-office success. And it was based on a real family, but it wasn’t the real story.
Tom North, child number eleven of twenty in the Beardsley family, tells the full story in his book, True North – The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours.” The loving family portrayed in the film differed dramatically from the actual Beardsley family. The North children were adopted and their names were changed to Beardsley. But, it wasn’t one big happy family as the movie depicted. The stepfather’s violence, abuse, and even sexual abuse created a life of intimidation, confusion, turmoil, fear and depression for the North children. All hope seemed lost as Tom realized that he was caught in a prison and there was no way out. When he finally left home, he traveled on a journey of survival, self-discovery, and healing. Tom shares what it was like to grow up in that family, taking the road less traveled through child abuse, domestic violence and despair, to hope, and eventually to self-discovery and a fulfilling life.
Listen in as Tom talks about his experience, the book, and how he is now dedicated to helping people realize their true identity and their potential for healing. Tom is an Official Supporter of National CASA for Children. Buy Tom’s book here and 10% of National CASA Voices for Children.
If you are a child experiencing abuse, know you are not alone. Visit Ginger’s site 4URKids for more information and resources. If you are in immediate danger go directly to law enforcement, dial 911, call The National Child Abuse Hotline (800-4-A-Child, 800-422-4453), or go to your local Department of Child Services or Child Protective Services Agency.