Jul. 14, 2019


In 1959, my brother, Jerry, married a 17 year old girl who’d been raised by strict, overly-religious grandparents. Kaye Brassell had never been allowed to dance, play cards, attend Teen Town, or drive a car. As soon as she became Jerry’s wife, she went “hog-wild.”

Despite Jerry’s best efforts, Kaye never grew up--never found her “footing.” She learned to drive but had one wreck after another. Soon after their first year of marriage, my brother and Kaye had a baby, a little girl. Once she’d recovered from childbirth, Kaye left her daughter with sitters while she “played around” with drinking, boyfriends, and lots of shopping. No one could spend money better than Kaye…with little to show for it.

My brother was forced into bankruptcy twice because of his wife’s endless love of spending. After the second bankruptcy, Jerry decided he’d had enough.  Kaye’s multiple addictions now included drugs and her reckless spending continued to escalate so…Jerry moved to an apartment and filed for divorce.

In less than six days, Kaye called me, begging for my help in getting Jerry back.  But Jerry was determined to move forward without her.

About one week later, I received a phone call from Baptist Hospital in Little Rock, saying my sister-in-law, Kaye Miller, had been admitted as a patient to the Psychiatric Ward and listed me as her next-of-kin. I was told that Kaye was scheduled to undergo Electric shock Therapy the next morning at 7am and, as her closest relative, the staff was requesting my presence at the procedure.

I called my brother immediately. Jerry was a compassionate, caring person, but he had been pushed beyond his limits. He couldn’t believe Kaye was taking such extreme measures. It was the first he’d heard about her seeing a Psychiatrist and was in disbelief that Kaye was willing to undergo Shock Treatments!

The next morning, I arrived at the hospital very early, determined to question Kay’s doctors. I received very few answers to my many questions.  When I heard the details surrounding Kay’s first Shock Treatment, I felt physically sick.

Over a period of an eight week hospital stay, Kay received a series of 12 Electroshock Therapy Treatments.  After each session, Kaye looked and acted “wild”.  Being listed as her only relative, I was required to attend every Treatment and each time, after regaining consciousness, Kaye insisted on screaming violent obscenities in my direction.  My sister-in-law--who’d been married to my brother for more than 13 years-- repeatedly threatened to slit my throat as she angrily pulled fistfuls of hair from her head.  

By the time Kaye was ready to be released…Jerry agreed to pick her up and take her home. Jerry’s lawyer had advised him to drop the divorce proceedings. The attorney’s research showed that no Judge in Arkansas would grant him a divorce-- knowing Kay’s condition. Jerry had no choice but move home and take care of his wife.  Kaye was considered a permanent invalid--a mentally-fragile woman who suffered from a lifetime of serious depression.  It was clear that the “system” wouldn’t allow Jerry to divorce such a pitifully-needy wife.

Once Jerry returned, Kaye didn’t remain pitifully-needy for long.  In fact, she lost all semblance of caring for anything or anybody except herself.  Whatever happened during those multiple shock treatments changed Kaye into a Supreme Bitch--a Heartless and Cruel Monster.  I stayed far away from her remembering how she’d wanted to “cut my throat.” In fact, I never saw or spoke with her again once Jerry moved back home.

My brother died almost twenty years later, when he was fifty-eight years old. And…he was still married to Kaye. Taking one final look at Jerry before the casket lid was closed, I knew why my brother looked “at peace”.

 I’m convinced that Life offers so-many-worst fates… than Death.



Latest comments

17.10 | 01:42

I miss being Facebook friends with you! Hope you are well and happy.

Tammy Brookover Jay

15.10 | 01:28

Love all of this. I'm so lucky to be your neighbor,

30.08 | 16:26

Sally, my friend, I love your writings and sometimes they make me cry and then smile. I love you as if I had known you all my life. God Bless you each and every day in all you do.

29.08 | 19:19

Lol, I loved reading this story! As a female that dated a couple men with Harleys, I totally understand and met Harley Guy myself, many times over!
I hope you get your 3wheels someday soon!

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