The day I told…. The day they took me away, the day my world changed:
I was in 7th grade, 12… no, I think I had just turned 13, a BIG milestone, but nothing was done… No celebration, I am not even sure if my birthday was acknowledged by my Parents…
We were living in an apartment complex in Riverdale, We being my sister, brother and me…I am sure my mother lived there as well. But she wasn’t really staying with us, the memories I have of her being around were of dropping off groceries or paying the rent…..You know memories they can be cloudy. Plus being a single mom with 3 kids you have to work….So we were left alone A LOT.. We loved it.
Anyway…. sometime in the early spring, maybe late winter she came to us and told us we were moving back to my Dad’s (MERRILL, the DEVIL) … I was ANGRY, how dare she take us back there, we were fine. My sister was in 5th grade and my little brother in 2nd grade, maybe 3rd.. I didn’t have a problem helping get them up and off to school, making sure they had dinner. We were fine! I didn’t want to go back… we had gone almost a year living like that, spent Christmas with just us kids, I remember really liking it, because we didn’t worry about any abuse… at 12 and 13 you don’t understand what “Neglect” is….My Mom was angry at me, I had snuck out of the house, I had to find a solution…. We COULDN’T live with him again…. She caught me in the parking lot, she was yelling and screaming and knocking the crap out of me, and the cops were called…. They took me to the Police Station….
I told them, I told…..
I am not really sure what I had said to them exactly, probably something along the lines of me not wanting to move back with my Dad, because I was tired of him touching me, I was tired of him crawling in to my bed….
I don’t want to be a “good” daughter, it hurts..it hurts when I have to go to the bathroom
I really didn’t understand that this wasn’t what every Dad did.. I do remember the faces, the look of horror, I was so confused…
Can I just go home now. It’s fine.
I remember asking them to just tell my Mom that I was sorry that I would go back, that I would be a “good” daughter…. I was so scared for my little sister and brother.. I needed to protect them, if I wasn’t there, what would happen to them? I was told she wouldn’t be picking me up….
You won’t be going home….
In fact I never went home again… I would “age” out of the foster care system. After the reports were filed. Someone either picked me up, or an officer dropped me off to the “24 hour emergency” care center, I didn’t stay for just 24 hours, it turned in to a couple months….
At a very young age I found out that when you are speaking out about a wrong, it is hard, I had NO ONE, I was alone, in a shelter, having to go see District Attorneys, going to the Doctor for examinations, no longer able to go to school or see any friends. All contact had been cut from my little sister and brother. I was called a LIAR! I was so scared and so alone, and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t just go home. Merrill (my biological father) eventually plead “no-contest” in Juvenile court, the day it was going to be transferred to District court.
Merrill would get charged again, he was diagnosed as a Pedophile…
Don’t be afraid to speak up, and “tell”… Even though I went thru HELL, I am so glad I told, in speaking out, we are helping others.
The thing about secrets, is that they keep you in a prison. Once you share, WHOOSH, there is a release.
PS: You should read a letter from Me now, to my 13 year old self. Find it here.