From a Childhood of Abuse to a Courageous Journey of Healing
Little Madhouse on the Prairie is Marion Witte’s compelling chronicle of growing up as an abused child on a North Dakota farm in the 1950s. Her story begins two generations earlier, when her immigrant grandparents struggled to eke out a living on the unforgiving Midwestern plains. With clear-eyed compassion, Witte describes lives of unimaginable difficulty. Too often, frustration and hopelessness erupted in alcoholism and violence. Little Marion had an older brother and younger sister, but it was she who was the preferred target of her mother’s wrath. The beatings, punishments and neglect were all but ignored by her family, leading her to believe she must certainly have earned her mother’s fury in some unfathomable way. Only after making friends with a schoolmate who invited her into her own warm and supportive home does young Marion begin to sense that a different and better way of life existed outside the Witte family farm. Marion realizes that academic success is her ticket to freedom, so she works hard to put herself through college in three years and score one career achievement after another. But not even career triumphs, a wonderful husband and a beloved child are enough to quell the internal demons that prevent her from living an authentic life. To heal herself, she embarks on a solo journey to discover her true identity. After years of work, Witte finally reconciles with the wounded child inside. From this place of hard-earned harmony, the author has dedicated herself to work tirelessly for the right of children to be free of emotional and physical abuse. In 2005, she founded the Angel Heart Foundation, whose vision is “All Children Deserve A Safe and Just World.” By shedding light on the cultural roots of her own abuse, Witte sets the stage for a way out of the cycle of violence of all children. Little Madhouse on the Prairie is an impassioned plea for action to extend human rights to the planet’s youngest citizens. Witte’s memoir shares the path she took to her own recovery, and she offers hope to those who desire to heal from the wounds of their own abuse.