I received a text message from Kim not too long ago. Apparently an aunt of mine informed her that I didn’t want anything to do with her or my sister Suzie anymore. So Kim decided to send me a text. I shouldn’t be mad or hurt at what the text said but sadly, I am. It’s a hollow kind of pain that makes me feel like there’s a big part of me that just went missing. A Text Message From Kim:
Don’t bother texting or calling me ever again because as far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a daughter.
I didn’t respond. I didn’t feel that it was worth a response but for whatever reason, I can’t get over this hollow feeling in my chest. I’ve always known how she felt but this is the first time that it was said to my face. I guess that is where this pain is coming from.
Bring me the sunset in a cup for I want to drink.
I want to bring in the happiness and beauty, to make it my own.
To hold it close to my heart, never to let it go.
I wish to look into the glow and witness my future.
My past too dark and bleak
Bring me the sunset in cup so that I can taste freedom.
I wish to leave my cage and shackles behind,
To hopefully be forgotten.
The nightmare is right on my heel.
I can feel his breath on the back of my neck.
His hands forever holding me back and holding me down.
Bring me the sunset in a cup so that I may drink of freedom and the future.
Have you ever noticed that around October, the shopping season actually begins to take off. It starts off slowly and it starts to slowly build up to the major shopping event of black Friday. Black Friday has become a separate and almost religious holiday in and of itself. People go to the stores and fight to the death over the most coveted items just to hurry and wait in line. I don’t have to mention that people are waiting in line for almost four hours and some times even longer. This is all part of the holiday frenzy and once the black Friday holiday phenomenon is over, a quiet and stillness sets in. The stores quiet down for a temporary lull until the day after Christmas. In which, that day people flood the stores with their gift receipts to return the things they don’t want for the things they do want. The sad thing is that most of these people will tell the person that gave them the original gift how much they loved it; too ashamed to admit that they returned the original gift. What happened to giving and receiving and being thankful? For it to mean something?
I remember being a kid… seven or eight years old on Christmas morning sitting in front of the tree opening Christmas presents. I guess I received something that I didn’t like. I believe it was a sweater. I remember saying thank you without any real enthusiasm, setting it down, and moving on to opening the next present. Things became quiet. The next thing I knew was that Jack A. was standing over me. He questioned me.
What, you didn’t like that present?
He said it calmly and quietly and I knew by his tone of voice that I had made a mistake. Scared, I did my best to sink into the floor and disappear. Of course this is impossible. He went and sat back in his chair and told me to open the rest of my presents. Which I did. It was hard to get excited about any of the other presents because, as I opened them, they all felt like a bomb ready to explode. After all of the presents were opened, Jack A. got up and came to tower over me a second time. He handed me an envelope and told me to open it. It was a polaroid picture of a fluffy golden retriever puppy.
I got all excited and jumped up and down squealing like little girls are prone to do. Jack A. smiled and said:
We’re supposed to go pick him up tomorrow.
He proceeded to walk out of the room and came back to the living room with the phone in his hand. He made motion toward the picture of the puppy which I handed to him. He turned the picture over and dialed a phone number listed on the back of the polaroid. It took a few rings before Jack A. gave his greeting. All I heard from his end of the conversation was that we weren’t going to be picking up the puppy after all. When he hung up the phone and said:
Until you can learn how to appreciate what you are being given, you will not be given any more presents. So don’t expect anything for your birthday either.
I was sent to my room. Kim and Jack A. took all of the presents I had opened back to the store. I was left at home while they went to my Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas dinner and gift exchange. I was not told what happened to the presents that I was given; nor did I ask. I wasn’t brought home any dinner and I went to bed hungry. Jack A. held true to his word that I wasn’t going to get any birthday presents. I don’t even remember being told “Happy Birthday.”
From that point forward, I know that I was overly enthusiastic about what I got. I stopped believing in Santa Clause that year because the Santa Clause presents that I opened that year were returned to the store. Something that I took notice of as well was that my mother stopped getting in between my step-father and myself… It was almost like she started being a spectator at a bull fight. I cried myself to sleep that night. I cried until I could see the early rays of dawn peaking through my window. Only then did I fall asleep.
Whenever Jack A. would find something to punish me for, he would get this smile on his face. I know I have mentioned this before but there is something that I didn’t include. He was someone that could make my blood turn cold… there was just something that changed when he would come home from work and he would close that front door behind him.
Like a coin there were two sides to him. When he had to be around others, he put out this warm and caring persona that most people bought into. He could fake a genuine smile and it would actually connect with his eyes. When he would introduce his family (specifically me) to people, I would always be told that Jack A. talked so highly of me. People bought into his strong hand shakes and friendly face.
When that door closed behind him, he turned into the complete opposite. The smile mentioned would not meet his eyes and when I would look into them, I saw a real and in the flesh nightmare. I would see my reflection in his eyes but it was the one that he would see. The me that he saw was this vessel for his evil satisfaction. I was an object for him to play with and abuse at his convenience. I know that he would become aroused when he would punish me. This was usually in correspondence with his smile for me. His teeth were rotten and completely decayed. The second that that grin would stretch across his lips… those blackened and jagged pieces would show… in those moments of my life I would try to mentally check out to protect myself as best as possible. I knew in those seconds that there was no place that I could ever hide. There was no way I could ever escape him.
A few nights ago I had this very real nightmare. In it, I was talking with a therapist and telling her about being molested by Jack A. in the dream , I made the decision to tell Kim about what he had done to me when she wasn’t looking.
The memory that I possessed in this dream shattered every ounce of security I had in my blank and faulty memory. This will make more sense later in this entry.
The things that I told Kim, trying desperately to make her believe me… were of being very small… being violated without choice… screaming and crying for Kim. Screaming “No!, No!, No!” through my tears.
I have two daughters … and they have to both taken a piece of me into their personalities. Aisha wears her heart on her sleeve and her emotions so close to the surface. Clairy on the other hand has this cheeky and happy attitude and its her voice that I hear screaming in my head saying “No!, No!, No!” being raped of her innocence, shattering my heart and soul. As much as it sounds like her, its me. She took that piece of me.
It didn’t matter how I explained it to Kim. She sat there shaking her head, disbelieving and sitting firm in her resolve that I was lying. Like in real life, in my dream she went to Jack A. and told him every word that I had said.
I was then transformed into my toddler self running from that I was then transformed into my toddler self running from that bad and evil man. Knowing that I would never get away. In what seemed like seconds, I was caught. He was towering over me turning my blood to ice with that grin. I woke up with what sounded like a scream in my head but was merely a whimper in my throat. My face was drenched in sweat and tears and a new realization dawned on me.
The memory on the molestation is real. No longer something hidden from me by my subconscious. It is no longer something that I can run from.
Over the last few days I have been pondering this question. Am I a better/stronger person in spite of Jack A. and Kim or am I a better, stronger person because of Jack A. and Kim? Alexander Pope was the one that said “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” For now, forgiveness is not in my future for Jack A. and Kim. This may or may not change but inside this self-centered mentality is an unrealistic pride that circles around this question. I do not, and at this time, will not give them credit for the person that I am today. However there is this niggling thought at the back of my head that won’t let me forget that without the experiences of my life, I may not be where I am today.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this question. Please let me know what you think…
The reason why I have titled these entries as “A New Anger” is because of the stark differences in parenting between my sister and I. In reading and re-reading this first sentence, I know that I have gone over this issue before. This is a different, new anger that I haven’t figured out how to deal with yet. I’m not sure that I will figure it out anytime soon.
I have learned that there could be some sort of sexual relationship going on between Suzie and Foster (foster-father). When Suzie went to go visit my aunt before flying out to help me with the surgery, Foster drove her. She doesn’t have a license. When they pulled in the driveway of my aunt’s home, Foster got out of the car and walked around to my sisters side. He supposedly opened Suzie’s door, stuck his head into the car, and kissed her on the mouth.
I didn’t learn about this until after she flew home and therefore was unable to confront her or Foster about it. With this knowledge, a new seed of anger has been planted and watered with the aftermath. The feeling that I have is extremely hard to explain. I can put the blame on Kim for about 40% of Suzie’s problems, 50% of it on Suzie, and 10% of the blame on me. I have already gone over Kim’s problems and probaly have beat that horse to death. The bulk of the blame rests on my sisters shoulders now that she is an adult. She has not made any effort to progress from being the selfish teenage adolescent into a responsible young adult. I put ten percent of the blame on me because I don’t have the time, patience, or availability to teach her how to be a well-adjusted young adult. That was my mother’s responsibility. She failed. Now, with Suzie possibly having SEX with Foster to get the expensive toys that she wants… I am now left with an anger that I have never felt. I used to stand up to Jack A. in order to protect Suzie and now Foster (a grown man possibly close to 50 years of age) is possibly having sex with her. I can’t describe the pain in my heart.
Now that I have pre-faced this entry with that explanation I am now able to continue with the events that occurred during her stay. Prior to the even where she made Clairy cry and prior to Conall going on his work rotation, Suzie and I decided to have a girls day out so that we could bond as adults. We have never been able to have that opportunity and I have to say that I had a blast. At one point in our conversation that day, I was curious about her money situation and asked her how much she makes babysitting. Her response was that she only sits for one family but she makes $800 – $1,000 per job. My first question to that was… “How many kids are you sitting for?” Her response was two boys and a girl. This was such an outrageous number that I couldn’t help but ask “Who in the world would pay her that kind of money.” She said that it was for a government official and his wife of the town she lived in. I pretty much knew she was lying but I wasn’t going to point fingers and accuse.
After Suzie made Clairy cry, I knew for certain that it was a lie. People that have any kind of experience taking care of children would know not to act like that.
When I was at the consultation with the hand surgeon, I was having an extremely difficult time scheduling the surgery around my husbands work schedule so that he could be with me, as well as being home to help with the recovery. Sadly, we couldn’t get a time frame that worked so I had to schedule it when he wasn’t available.
Suzie volunteered to fly out and stay through the point of my recovery that I could take care of myself and my kids. She flew out a couple of weeks early so that she and I could spend some quality time together. I would say that almost from the moment she walked off the plane, it was just this wave of drama.
The girls were so excited to see their Aunt Suzie. They gave her hugs and giggled and wouldn’t leave her alone. In the first week that she was here (she was supposed to be visiting for four weeks in total), my husband, the girls, and I took her to a newly built mall in downtown that has glass roofs that are retractable. They also have this huge play area in the food court where children can climb all over these somewhat life-sized dinosaurs.
I was doing my best to please Suzie and my husband at the same time which is impossible to do. My husband has never fully forgiven her for the way she treated me and acted while she was living with us. So, while we were at the mall, I was trying to talk to Conall (husband) about the argument and Suzie wanted to get food.
I told her to go and get her food but I stayed in the playroom while Conall and I were talking things through. When Conall and I decided it was time to go, I had to go find Suzie since she never came back to where we were. From the moment I walked to where she was sitting, it was an immediate attitude. She was actually on the phone with her foster-father complaining that she was having to eat by herself. Which, at eighteen, I would think that she would be able to eat alone. I didn’t walk over to the food court with her because I was apologizing to Conall and making sure that he and I were okay.
Something my blood relatives don’t understand and resent is the fact that I will put Conall first before any of them with the exception of my one and only surviving grandmother. Everyone else will come in last place when it comes to my husband. Conall is the only person in my life that has ever been constant, stable, and supportive. It never mattered to him how bad things got, he was always there unlike any of my blood relatives (including my mother). This is why I was more concerned with my husband being upset than I was at Suzie being upset. Suzie very much resents this.
When we were leaving the mall, she made it very clear that she was upset by ignoring my husband, the girls, and I. Anytime she did talk to us she was very short in her answers. This isn’t how an eighteen year old should act. This was just the first of many issues that happened while she was here.
The next incident was a major one in my book. She made my youngest daughter cry. My youngest daughter Clairy is three years old. Suzie was trying to get Clairy to help undo her car seat because she had a soda in her other hand. If you ever had kids, you know that there isn’t a way to get a toddler out of a car seat with one hand. Instead of setting down her cup on the ground or somewhere else and undoing Clairy’s car seat herself, she proceeds to berate her by saying “Clairy, you’re such a pain.” Which, in a three-year-old’s mind, is the equivalent of someone calling her a name. This wasn’t just someone… this was her Aunt saying this to her. It hurt her feelings and doing what a three-year-old does best, she started to cry. I was rounding the bed of my truck coming around to resolve the problem and passed Suzie (who was on her way inside leaving my daughter in the truck alone and still in her car seat). I comforted my daughter and I told Suzie that her actions were unacceptable. That to treat a three-year-old that way was wrong. At eighteen, she needed to act like an adult.
I have always questioned where Suzie gets her money from since she doesn’t have a job. She has an Apple MacBook Pro that (with upgrades) cost $5,000, an $800 Sony Camera, a $300 Fossil Watch, and many other expensive things. When I questioned her on how she makes money, she stated that she babysitts and just saves her money. I was very skeptical when she told me this. She doesn’t work and has never held a job and therefore has never had to shoulder ANY kind of responsibility. I stepped back from the situation and decided to give Suzie the benefit of the doubt. I explained to her why it was wrong for her actions. I walked her through what she SHOULD have done and I let her know that Clairly is only three and in the grand scheme of a life, she’s just a baby.
When I told Conall about how Suzie had acted towards our daughter, he wanted me to throw her bags in the back of the truck and take her to the airport to let her figure out how to get home on her own. I explained how since Suzie has never had to have responsibility, she has to be taught how to handle it. After talking to Suzie about what she had done wrong, I made her apologize to Clairy so that Clairy would understand that her aunt loves her. Being three, Clairy didn’t want anything to do with it at first. She made Suzie work at the apology. Eventually, she had Clairy giggling. There was still this part of me that wanted to smack her upside the back of the head because she made my daughter cry.