Friday, March 2, 2012

My return

Well I have been away almost exactly a year. I think it became too hard finally.
The memories started to become more of a part of my present rather than part of the past where they belong. But I am here to finish what I started... I need TO... I need to learn to acknowledge these transgressions that have been done to me but not allow them to take over.
I also enjoy reading all of your blogs, I have been perusing them about a couple of weeks now and I am ready to jump back in the fray. Oh remember I asked whether I should let certain people see this, trying to get advice and while I have not shared with my family, I have given the link to two people. One is a coworker that I have become very fond of and understands a fucked up family as well. Lets see if he still talks to me when he is done ;-}

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Guilty

In the end, about two weeks after the trial started, the jury found my mother not guilty, she was the first case of battered women's syndrome, in our State, before it actually had a name.

That day, in that Court room, were all of the people in my life that I loved.  My mother, My grandmothers from both sides, aunts, uncles, long time family friends and of course, some outsiders, media and such.  When the verdict was read, as a child I can tell you that I felt so torn.  I saw half of the people I love break down in tears, crumble, defeated, others, screaming, cursing, yelling, calling her a Murdering Bitch, and that was the side I was sitting on.

Not by choice mind you, at that point, my grandmother had taken physical custody of my brothers and me.  Then the other half of the folks I loved, crying just the same, but tears of joys, sighs of relief filling that side of the room, hugs, and smiles.  I have never again been surrounded by such a physcial presence of emotion, in total conflict.  I remember the room feeling as if every bit of the oxygen had been sucked out of it.  I remember being relieved that my mother had been set free, but at the same time feeling anger and resentment towards her because during all of this she had changed, I felt she had abandoned us.

I thought when daddy was gone, everything would be better, we would be with mom, and live a normal life, one without fear and eggshells.  Instead, it was as if my mother had become someone I did not know.  She looked as if she had aged a decade in mere months.  Aside from when I saw her in court, she was always drinking.  That day, part of me wanted to go home with my mom, wanted my life back with her.  The other part of me did not because I feared the things that happened to us now in mom's new world, they men, what they would do to us.  Not that they were any worse than my father, but I knew what to expect from him.  All of the sudden though, as I wrote about before, there was Hank, being mean to us, threatening us, locking my brothers in tiny dark closets, us spending the weekend at their home, no heat, no one watching us kids, no food being prepared, while the adults all stayed shut up in this one big room that had the kerosene heater in it.

I remember calling my mom into another bedroom one weekend and flipping out on her, tearing the room up, slinging things, asking her why she was the way she was now.  But even at ten, I could tell by the glazed over look in her eyes that she was not capable of answering that question anymore than I was.

After that day in court, aside from a handful of brief visits, where she would show up intoxicated, smelling of cheap beer, I never saw my mother again until I was 16 years old.  When I found her at 16, she did not even know who I was at first.  Those years broke me and I have never been repaired. Now, that all this time has passed and she has changed and we have a great relationship, the hardest thing for her is knowing what happened to me while she was gone, while she left us with my grandparents.  I think she blames herself for what he did to me all those years, for what he stole from me,  For the mental and physical fortress that no man has ever been able to penetrate that he built in me everytime he touched me.

Oddly enough, I do not.  Because as I have grown, I realize that she was broken too, she was programmed to follow, and not think for herself, and why I thought that would change once my father was dead is beyond me.  It certanly did not "fix" me once I was away from my grandfather.  My mother was as broken as any person can be.  When we fill ourselves with self loathing there is only one direction that our lives can possibly take.  It is not something you can take a pill to correct, it is not depression, it is not anxiety, it is not mood swings, it is a hatred of yourself, a shame that you wear like a shaw, that wraps itself around you and fits like a glove, as if it were tailored, just for you, because it was.  It was created just for you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Trial is wrapping up

As the trial wore on, it became apparent everyone knew how important my testimony was, after all, the question was did my mother kill my father in self defense or not?  Was he sleeping or awake?  I said he was sleeping.
Mind you, I honestly believed he was at that time.  Again, I cannot explain why, other than even at that age I knew the gravity of what that could mean.  When I say I woke up years later, at 16 yrs old in the middle of the night, soaking wet, and remembered for what was the first time, that my father was awake, I mean it.  By then, my dreams of him had stopped, but this was so vivid, I dreamed that whole afternoon, start to finish, and I rememberd walking in the room the last time, him being asleep, her holding the gun he made me bring in there, and her telling me to get the hell out and putting her finger up to her lip, as if to say Shhh.

I feel like my grandma blamed me for things going badly.  She wanted my mom to go to jail. At first, they supported her, they knew she was abused horribly, but because she went so wild afterward they turned on her and thought she killed him for another man.  But I know she didn't.  My aunt, my dad's own sister, testified that day she got behind the ambulance, miles from our house, and it kept heading her same direction her thoughts were "Oh my God, He has finally done it, he has killed her, and my kids are in there, has he killed them all" 

See I understand she snapped. This woman had lived her whole life as a caged animal, locked away in the houes, no make up, no job, no skirts, no hair cuts, no life outside the house, no drivers license, and here, she killed the man she loved, the father to her children and was facing life in prison, so I think it was more than she could mentally handle and she decided to live and do what she wanted to do, while she could, with what little time she may have.  I think her fear made her turn to alcohol, which made her unfit for us.  I know she could have handled it better, but do any of us know, how we would have behaved under the same set of circumstances?

When it came to tell about hwo the other two men died over my mother, one of my dad's friends started screaming "they didn't drown, He pulled them under!!"  See where those two men drown was my dad's favorite fishing hole, and since one of the men that died was the one they all said my  mom killed him for, the one she had ran away with at 14 before meeting my father, they thought it was karma.

It was so hard to tell those stories about my father, and h ave to look at my grandma, knowing how it hurt her.  But damn it, she knew so much of this anyway.  She knew he left us for days with the power cut off and no food, because he was shacked up with his girlfriend at my grandma's rental house next door to her, she would bring us food because we had none, everything in the fridge would spoil.  I remember my crazy uncle, mom's brother and him getting into it one night over mom, when she was pregnant with my youngest brother, and somehow they BOTH ended up turning on her, we were all outside, I was crying, my uncle got the shot gun and put it to my mom's belly and told her he would kill her, she was so scared she peed on herself.  I remember her crying, begging.  My dad doing nothing.  I often wonder if her fear was so damaging if that was not why my brother was born with so many problems and did not grow for a couple of years.

That poor woman was beat more than anyone I have ever known, if he made a sudden movement, she flinched and ducked.  I can remember her brother leaving one night and him beating her, swearing that he saw her playing footsy with her own brother!  I can remember him saying all these things in front of us, and me trying to keep the boys calm.  He would call her such ugly names, degrade her, tell her she was fat, so she would not eat, she took laxatives, and my mom was not fat, she was pretty.  To this very day, 27 years later, she will NOT eat in front of people.

It makes me sad, to know how this is still affecting her.  Side note, my sister in law jsut called me, My brother is drunk, again, she wants me to come over, but I ask her what can I do? I can't make him not drink. I wish i could.  But he has become increasingly violent with me and as some of you have  pointed out, I cannot keep putting myself in that postion.  While i am not willing to kick him out (they are current on rent) I just do not have it in me tonight, to rush over there, pass judgement on him and take the emotional abuse that comes along with it.  I told her she is probably going to have to leave him, the only reason I hate that is he will become my problem, and I KNOW he should not, and i would try to keep it from happening... but the past has a way of repeating itself.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Trial Continues... Pose for them honey, show 'em you are a woman

I had been on the stand for so long, at times, it felt like I was going to explode in flames, I was ten years old and felt like everything rested on me.  I can remember several times up there, almsot passing out, things got fuzzy, and started to look snowy, like a tv channel with no reception. I could not hear what the attorney was asking me, he sounded far away, muffled. 

Even though I was sexually molested as a child by several people, that was one way my father did NOT hurt me, but he did do sketchy things.  My moms attorney asked me about an incident, I had just gotten my first training bra and my dad and his buddies were in the living room, smoking hash and drinking, he called me in there and embarrassed me in front of them, told me to "stick my chest out" and then made me go put on my bra and come back in the living room.  I started to cry, shake, I was sick to my stomach.  I did as I was told, I put on my purple training bra. I remember that bra clearly, It was lavendar, with darker purple trim and a small bow in teh center.  Of course there was no padding, just thin fabric.

I walked into the living room, praying I would only have to "pose" again, but no, he told me to take my shirt off, I started to cry.  There were 3 other men in the living room.  I said, "daddy, please, no, it is embarrassing"  Of course, he insisted, said it was "no different than walking around in my bathing suit"  They were all laughing.  I could feel the heat coming off of my face, red as a beet.  I do remember one of the men speaking up, but I do not remember which one. I was crying so hard that I was almsot chokiing.  He said "Larry  man, come on quit playing, she is really upset"

But dad didn't care, it seemed to take forever to get the shirt over my head, I was stalling, acting as if I had somehow gotten it tangled up, but in the end the shirt came off.  I had to stand there, feeling so exposed, as if  were naked.  Looking back, it really was not different than having on a bathing suit, in terms of coverage, but in reality there was a huge difference.  My father should be protecting me, not showcasing me.  He saw how devastated I was, I mean I was sobbing, begging him not to make me, I had myself very worked up as he said.  In the end, he made me stand there all of 15 seconds, made a comment to the guys about my nipples showing through the bra, they all had a good laugh, and I ran out of the room.

Oddly enough, dad had done far worse to us in terms of physical abuse, but telling this story on the stand is what "broke" me.  I remember everything going dark, I could not hear, I knew something was happening, I could see people's mouths moving, I could see them all looking at me, I could see my mom, sitting at the defense table crying for me, and then I don't remember anything else.

They say I blanked out, I was awake but "not there" not responsive, I jsut stared off into space, pupils were dialated, and was gone.  The Judge ordered them to go find a Pyschologists immediately.  He was afraid they had broken something in me that could not be fixed, those were his exact words on teh transcript.  A doc came, checked me out, we recessed, at some point I came back to reality.  Can you believe after all that they did not give me the rest of the day off? When we came back from lunch, I went BACK on the stand and finished the day.  I testified the entire day, no one else stepped foot into that box.

What kills me the most is remembering my mom.  Looking out at her, so afraid for me, so scared for her, so angry and hurt at what both sides was doing to me, but as usual, she was helpless.  My mom and i are best friends now, she is no longer helpless, there have been times of recent, that I needed someone, but could not trust anyone, but I did trust her and she took care of me.  It may have taken her a long time to find her own will, her backbone even... but she found it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Trial

Of course, the defense needed me to say as many bad things about my dad as possible to help my mom, and the prosecutor needed  me to paint my mom as "bent" for the very same reasons.  At this point we were living with my fathers mom, grandma which made things very awkward for me.  I knew what they wanted, expected from me but I could not give it to them.  They wanted me to help hang my mom out to dry but I could not. They knew what I knew, they knew how mean and crazy he was.

Problem was, somewhere during all of this my mom lost herself and stopped caring for us kids so they turned on her.  But looking back, if I were 27, just killed the man I had been with my whole adult life, facing life in prison, losing my kids, when I had already lived as a caged animal the last decade, I do not know that I could have kept it together any better than she did.

I mean, she was forced to quit school, could NOT work, could NOT get her driver's license, she could NOT wear skirts, could NOT cut her hair, could NOT wear make up, and had her ass beat many times for any man she looked at, including her BROTHERS, she was acutally accused and beaten over her brothers for christs sakes, so I  think, in that brief time, that few months, while she was awaiting trial and was a "free woman" for the first time ever, she kind of lost it, did not knwo what to do, how to act.  i cannot say I blame ehr although it was really hard on us kids during an already difficult time.  As I said before I was the first witness, all day, 8 hours.  Now, my staying power was not that great, let me tel you.  They started out asking me about specific "horrible" incidents that had occurred with my father that my mom had already told them about.

For instance, my brother cut his thigh, to the "white meat" as they say, my dad was drunk, and decided it would be a good idea to "fix it" himself to save money, so he held him down, took a sewing needle, and fishing line and started to sew him up. My brother screamed, my little brother, it made me want to throw up it was so bad, mom knew we had to do something, my dad was like 5 rows in, so 10 stictches, going through his little leg with that needle, thick fishing line and no pain killer, so my mom and I started screaming at dad, breaking dishes to distract him, he jumped on her and I called 911 to get ambulance there.  To this day, my brother has a horrible scar, with several dots where the line went through.

Then one day, we had a headboard from a bed sitting outside (white trash i tell ya) and it had been there a while, my brother, very young, maybe 7 yrs old, carved "ASS" in it. My dad made him stand by the street, licking the word until he "licked it off" needless to say many hours later, it was still there.  I had to continue to go through these stories, all day.  I will go into the ones that most affected me in the next blog, but this was what my day was like.  At some point, they continued to call me a liar, because I had changed my story regarding whether or not he was awake when I last entered the room, which was really the most IMPORTANT factor into whether or not it was self defense, I faltered on this for some reason.

I am not really sure why because I had the story down pat as I believed it to be true until I was 16 and sat up in bed from a nightmare and "saw" the real story from that day.  But I think the anger I had in me for my mom changing, partying, and not being a mom made some stuff change without me even realiznig it over the course of the trial.  I was so hurt, so scared, I just did not know who she was.  I can remember it being winter and there being NO heat, nd the grown ups being in a room with the kerosene heater while us kids had to make due with no heat in the remainder of the houes.

When she came out of the room I started to tear everything up, throwing cards, games, clothes, asking how she could do this to us, how she could be this person, I had to take care of my brothers. Even though we had went to live at grandmas due to her changing behavior we were still wth her on weekends.  I hated Hank, I had caught them fucking and he had threatened me, I hated this life we were living. At first I was so glad to be free of "hitler" I could wear make up, use the phone, not be afraid, or so I thought, then I realized there were many mean men around to hurt me. Suddenly daddy didn't seem so bad.  At least I knew what to expect from Daddy and he was only one man....  I did not know what to expect by all of these other men we were surrounded by that suddenly wanted my mothers attention....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Is There A Place For Me? Foster Care, Family, Friends?

I am going to do a little housekeeping with this blog, and answer what I consider to be an important question that David posed.  Do I think I would have been better off in a foster home?

First things first, Philip, I came to your page to get your email, but I cannot get in now, like i am blocked.  What did I do to make your bad list?  :-P

Ok, on to the foster home thing...

Well, it is hard to say.  I think in most cases, it is ideal for the children to end up with a family member, when possible.  Being torn away and put with strangers can be devastating.  The problem is you never know what type of person will be caring for the child in foster care.  Unfortunatley a lot of crazies, make it through the screening process and they foster kids for the money, or they are the type that like to make them miserable and use them as "staff"

I know my brothers would have been better off in FC, if they were kept together, because they were younger, and could have adjusted better, but I could not have stood being apart from them.   Who knows, my grandparents did not drink and they took good care of us, but my grandpa had two sides, he could be mean sometimes, but it was not too  bad for the boys. 

I was severely abused there, and that is for another blog is coming soon. The abuse was so bad that it did more long term damage to me than everything that happened with my parents.  I do know that had we been taken from my family when we were young, foster care may have been the right option, we would have had time to bounce back from it and not be so tainted by what we saw.  But by the time my mom killed my dad, the damage was done to my brothers and I.  And it was just up to us, when we got older, to make our lives different or keep them better.

David, I know it seems as if I have not given a direct answer, but that is because I don't really know how.  I know my dad was a bad man, and hurt us and I would loved to have been away from him but I could not have imagined not being with my mother, she was my world, up until she changed after the shooting.  I think the only reason I survived being separated from her when I went to live with my granny is because of two things.  1.  I was close to my grandma and loved her very much and my aunt, her daughter, was like a second mom to me and kept me with her a lot too.  and 2.  My mom had changed so much that I had started to be bitter and angry towards her, so that helped to mask the pain and saddness.

If we could ensure the screening process for foster homes, and regular FOLLOW ups with the foster family when the child is placed then I can see it being better, but I think we need to make sure these folks are not doing as much harm as the people they were removed from.  And making sure the siblings stay together is of the UTMOST importance.  At least in the "bad" home, the child knows what to expect. 

So, after going through ALL of that, I think that honestly yes, we would have been better off in a foster home, especially in light of what happened to me when I moved to my grandparents home.  Being with strangers would have been hard, but we would have gotten use to it.  As long as I had my little brothers with me, I think we would have been ok we could have taken care of each other, and I think we would have turned out better.  I look great from the outside, but on the inside I am a mess, that bastard (grandpa) really fucked me up.
We moved a lot too, I never really felt rooted, and that is the case in a lot of these situations, which also makes the transition into foster care easier than for a child who had a stable, steady life.  I went to 4 different elementary schools IN THE SAME TOWN.  Then when I went to live with my grandparents, due to everything I was going through, I started getting in trouble at 12/13 y.o. so I was juggled back and forth from my grandma to both of my aunts, to give folks a break so to speak.  I moved out at 15 years old.  Then it all changed, I went back to straight As and never skipped another day of school.  Probably because working  50 -60 hours a week and going to school kept me wore out.  After that, I still moved every 6 months, apartment lease would be up, and I would move to a new "ghetto" apartment complex because they always run specials for new tenants so that is how I kept my rent to something I could afford.  I mean I was working a lot, but back then I was not making but $4. something per hour...  The longest I have ever lived anywhere was 4 years and I am 37 years old... most places were no more than a year, and often less.

I am not sure what I would have done with a strong, steady place to call home.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Black Widow, One Killed but Three are Dead!

During my mom's trial some folks had started to refer to her as the black widow.  My mother, the meek woman she was, had now, within 3 months, been tied to the death of 3 men.  The man I mentioned in another blog, Hank, was my mom's boyfriend when she was a teen.  She ran away with him at 14. 

When he and my dad met, and became fast friends, my father did not know this.  He was insanely jealous so they hid ever knowing one another.  After my dad died, my mom and hank began to sneak around having an affair. He is the one I caught my mother in bed with, and because his live in girlfriend was also my mom's best friend he decided to make sure I stayed quiet, so he ran out after me, threw me in the car, drove me down a dirt road and threatened to hurt me if I ever told.

Anyway, people, like my grandmother started to suspect something was going on between them, and then they found out that my mom and him had known each other and hid it.  So people started to say  my mom killed my dad so she could be with Hank.  Now, I know this is not true, I was in that house, I saw how crazy he had become, and I can tell you beyond a doubt, it had gotten to the point of him or us.  But with my mom's trial coming up she needed to throw people off and she did not want to lose Pam (his girlfriend) as a friend.  So she started seeing  his brother.  This also allowed her to keep a close connection with Hank and hang out as "couples" often.

Well, a few weeks  before the trial, they were at Lake Michie, my dads favorite fishing hole.  They were fishing off the bridge.  There was no swimming allowed there because the water was very deep and
Tumultuous which was odd for a lake.  I guess Hank let jealousy get the best of him, and he could not stand seeing his brother touching my mother any longer.  His brother, had also grown jealous, seeing how my mom and hank looked at one another, and I think he began to suspect he was a cover.

They started to fight and argue, Hank was a lot bigger than his brother Ed, and he picked Ed up and dangled him over the bridge.  I assume his intent was to only scare him because he knew his brother could not swim.  Somehow, Hank lost his grip on Ed and Ed fell down into the water.  He started screaming for Hank to save him.  Hank was an excellent swimmer, so he jumped in to save his brother.  By then Ed was struggling hard, going under mostly and no longer screaming. 

My mom was yelling for Hank to save Ed, and I will never forget until the day I die, when Hank looked up and said "I can't even save my damn self".... He knew he was dying too.  Within a minute, they both were under the water. no one could see them.  There were only a couple of others there, it was winter, very cold, and no one was willing to dive in.  We had already seen two of them vanish.

My mom went crazy, screaming, crying, fighting the air it seemed....  The dive team came out and they found Ed that day, but not Hank.  I know this sounds horrible but I was glad he was gone.  I felt he was responsible for the change in my mother and he had hurt me and my brothers in what little time my dad had been gone.  But every night I would have nightmares that he was not really gone, that he made it out of the lake and that is why they could not find his body and he came back to get us.  (There was actually a similiar story line on General Hospital, one of my moms soaps, When Luke went over the side of the ship on him and Laura's honeymoon so I guess that is where I got the idea from)

About a week later, his body washed up on shore, I felt a sense of relief, but again, my mother went nuts.  At the funeral, even at ten years old I was so ashamed of how she behaved.  I swear I thought she was going to get in the coffin with this man.  And to make it worse, his girlfriend was there witnessing this.

I understand why my mom killed my dad, I do, but I can't help but feel she was also partially responsible for the death of brothers, Hank and Ed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ten year old testifies...

I was the first witness on the stand.  I was there ALL day.  I will never forget feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest, I thought they would be able to hear it on the microphone.  I was catching hell from both sides, defense and DA. 
My first statement to cops was good for my mother, the ones afterward, leading up to the trial, changed some and did not help as much.  So both sides saw their chance to make me look like a liar or bend me to their will.  It made me so sad to hear my moms attorney calling me a liar and just tearing me apart and watching my mother sit there and do nothing.  Looking back I see she couldn't, she was paralyzed by fear and knew the only way to avoid life in prison was to possibly throw me to the wolves.  And honestly, I am ok with that.  It was scary then, and hard, but now, I understand.  The ONLY thing you have to do to walk away free is create reasonable doubt.
I will start with the defense...

Of course they wanted to know about all the horrible things my father did.  The beatings, the drunken rages, the drugs...  They asked me about things that I had knowledge of but honestly had pushed away until they brought it up.  I remember them asking about what he did to my little brother one night, over leaving the light one.  My younger brother was about 5 and for some reason he was scared of the dark at the time.  He was crying and wanted the night light on but my father would not hear of it.  He was drunk, so when my brother peeked around teh corner of the bedroom door, trying to get my mothers attention, my dad saw him.  I will never forget, he jumped up, grabbed my little brother by the throat and lifted him up in the air, several feet off the ground.

He started slamming my brother against the wall, calling him a little pussy and that real boys did not need night lights.  My brother cried, his little feet swinging frantically, hitting the wall.  He couldn't really make any noise though because my father was cutting his air off.  I knew I had to do something, so mom and I started screaming at him to put him down, knowing if I could just turn  him on me, he would let go of my brother.  So, I hit him in the back, with all the strength my 8 year old arm could muster.  It worked, he dropped my brother right there, I mean just opened his hand and let him fall to the floor and he grabbed me, I was smart, I tried to run but he caught the back of my gown.  He took his leather belt off and grabbed me by one arm and held me there while he hit my legs and butt over and over with the belt.   I was so sore the next day, he left welts, but then he always did.

I could see the hurt and disappointment in my grandma's face, my fathers mother, as I told these stories over and over, and it broke my heart.  We had been living with her, and I know that she felt I was betraying her and my father, but I had to tell the truth, they asked me about each specific incident, my mom had already told them about these things, I was just the vehicle the defense used to tell the story and get sympathy from the jury, to show what a monster he was.

It was so hard each day, going home with my grandma after all of the things that were coming to light that she did nto know about my father.  But she did know he was a drunk, she did know he beat my mother, and she did know he did not take care of us, so no matter what she may have chose to believe, she knew he was a bad man.

They almost broke me on that stand.  They thought they did when I just "went out" not passed out, I was still awake, but I was not "there" anymore.  But, more about that next time...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Murder Trial

My dad was killed in December 1983 so the murder trial did not start until 1984.  I was ten years old.  It was winter and I remember where we had to park was a long walk, or seemed to be to a kid.  By this point several months had passed and my mom had kind of gone out of her mind, so we had went to live with my paternal grandmother and my grandfather.  He was my step grandfather but had been married to my grandma since before I was born so to me, he was Papa, the real deal.

I think the stress of the upcoming trial, the fact she had killed her husband, lived like a caged animal her whole life, and was now facing life in prison, all contributed to my mom sort of "losing it".  She had always been a good mother, but the last few months I had seen things I would never wipe from my memory.

No one wanted me at the trial but I was the state and defenses *STAR* witness.  I was scheduled to testify first but I was determined to see it through.  I told my granny that I had lived through everything thta had happened, I  had been there when he was killed and sat by him waiting for police to arrive, so there was nothing that could be said that I did not already know.  So against everyone's better judgement, they let the ten year old run the show, make my own decision and allowed me to sit through the entire two week long trial.

I will never forget the bailiff that handled the case.  Everyday I came in, he had a paper water cup under my seat waiting with a few pieces of candy and a silver dollar.  I wish I could find him and thank him, he has no idea how much that helped.  Oddly enough, I work for the County now in the very same court house that my mothers trial was in.  I had lunch with the very Judge that presided over my mothers case twice last week.  I see the man who was the district attorney at the time and prosecuted my mother, daily in the elevators.  He is now a judge himself.  I sometimes go upstairs to the old jail (we have a new one now) that housed my mother.  That floor of the court house has long been deserted and it is eerie up there, but I can assure you if those walls could talk, they would tell the most horrific stories.  I think of my mother, as bashful as she was, having to use a commode in the corner of a cell, completely exposed where a dozen other women were housed, with cells holding dozens of others all around, open to see.  How frightening that must have been.

You want to know the really eerie thing? My mothers case was the very first of it's kind in our state at the time (I will explain that more later) so turns out, it was pretty important.  Anyway, I work in one of the divisions there, and the perspn before I came there kept EVERYTHING and one of my jobs when I first started in 2008 my boss wanted me to do was clean out the predecessors files, 30 years worth of paper!!  When I was doing this, I ran across a picture of my mother with a front page caption from the trial.  It had been cut out from the newspaper.  My stomach flipped, I thought I would be sick.  My boss asked me what was wrong, I started to shake and was white as a ghost.  I did not know what to say, what to tell him, I mean I did not want to lie, I know they do extensive background checks upon hiring so I felt he may know already and was testing me. 

So I told him, the file was my mothers, and the "basic" outline of the events that had taken place. There scattered, were various newspaper clippings and notes from the trial.  You have no idea at that moment, it was like I could not find my breath, it was like running into a brick wall at 50 miles per hour, I was just not prepared for running across that information, and doing so in front of someone else.

I waas always a strong willed child,, independent, took care of others, so I thought I was ready to handle this trial thing.  I had  been a little confused, had given statments leading up to the trial that were not always the most consistent.  During the time before the trial my mother and i really grew apart. I was so angry at her for the person she had become.  I did not understand why she had changed so much, why she did n't take care of us anymore, why she stayed drunk, why she was sleeping with these men that I caught her with.  I was constantly pouring her beer out whenver I stayed with her, because I HATED the way she talked, the way she moved, the way she smelled when she drank.

My number was up, it was time.  I was so scared all of the sudden

What was the right truth? I sat down in the chair and i was too short to reach the microphone, they had to adjust it.  They told me to state my name, and I could not find my voice, I was so embarrassed.  I had planned this in my head over and over.  I was going to be a big girl.  But sitting in that chair, in front of that room full of people, cameras and media, I felt like the smallest person in the world. I felt like that chair was going to swallow me up.  I almost prayed that it would.

"Do you solemly swear that everything you say will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?"

"What is your relationship to the defendant" 

"She is my mommy"

"What is your relationship to the deceased"

"Who is that?"

"To the person who was killed"

"He was my daddy"

Monday, December 20, 2010

The aftermath

After my mom killed my dad so much changed so fast.  Of course, all of the normal things you would expect from a death but so much more.  All of the sudden, I could wear a little makeup, everyone could breathe a little easier, even though my mom was facing murder charges, there was a lighter feel about the air.

At first, we stayed with my mom, in our house (which my aunt, my dad's sister owned)  My grandma (mothers mom) came back from Washington state to be with us, it was nice to have her home.  My mom had always protected us, did things to take the heat off of us and put it on her.  She drank, but not to excess, she did not do drugs.  My father kept her very reined it.  But then she changed.  She went wild almost.

Looking  back, I realize that my mom, only 27 years old, facing life in prison after being a prisoner her whole life, was also facing losing her kids, and dealing with the fact she had killed the man she had been with since she was a teen.  I can only image what she was thinkng.  But there are "back stories" that I have not told yet.  Turns out, one of my dad's friends, that had entered our life only the year before, named Hank, had been my mom's boyfriend at 14 before she met my dad.  They were very close, in fact, she had ran away with him to SC before she met my dad.  I did not know all of this then, nor did my father.  Hank's girlfriend became my mom's BF since my dad and Hank were always together, along with another guy named Phil.

Anyway, after my mom killed my dad, somehow her and hank got "reaquainted" even though he was still with my mom's friend.  Of course, this was not good because even though my dad's family had sort of been on my mom's side through all of this, they started to feel maybe she had killed my dad for this man.  That of course was crazy in my opinion.  I do know they resumed their relationship, and I am not naive, I am sure that it happened before he died, but given the crazy things he had been doing, I do not think it was because of him.

Hank was a mean man himself.  I can remember that right after my dad died, we started staying out at Hanks with him and his girlfriend a lot.  I hated it, my mom started drinking a lot, I saw a side of her I had never seen and didn't know what to do.  All of the sudden we were not her priortiy, I was having to care for my brothers while she stayed drunk.  We would be out at hank's and the grown ups would stay shut up in a room with a kerosene heater and party while us kids had to fend for ourselves, there was no other heat in the house.  I remember fighting with my mom one night there, calling her in the room, throwing all of the cards and games everywhere, yelling at her  "what is wrong with you, you dont' take care of us anymore."  I said a lot of hurtful things, and I know she was probably scared she was about to spend the rest of her life in jail, but I was terrified too.  Not only had my dad just been killed, but I felt like we had lost our mom too.

One day, when Hank and mom were there and his girlfriend, pam was at work, they sent us kids out to play.  I went to go in and check on mom, I knew something was up, I tried to go in and the door was locked.  It was an old farm house and had several doors, I tried the next one and it was locked also, I started to get pissed and suspicious.  I went around to a side door that led to what Hank and Pam used as a bedroom and the door opened a few inches.  It had a chain on it, but the handle was not locked, so I could see in through an opening several inches.  I saw Hank over top of my mom, in the bed, naked, having sex.  I was sick.  I screamed at them and started ramming my shoulder into the door, trying to get in.  I yelled I was going to tell Pam and called my mom a whore.  I ran off then.  A few minutes later Hank comes out, chases me down and throws me in the car.  He took me down the road and told me that I was a kid, did not understand what was going on and if I told anyone what I saw he would hurt me.  Needless to say, I did not tell.

That weekendI went to stay with my aunt and left my brothers alone with them.  to this day I cannot forgive myself, for what happened.  For some reason, Hank got mad at my little brothers, who were only 7 and 8 so he locked them into a crawl space under the stair case. No light, no heat, no food.  from what they told me they were there for a very long time.  When I found out what happened I remember going bat shit,  I tore things up at home, screamed at my mom, poured out all her beer and liquor and just went off.  Mom got mad, yelled at me, told me  she was the adult etc...  I told her to act like it then.

From that point forward, I got into the habit of pouring out any alcohol my mom had.  By now, my dad's family, who had supported my mom, start to think bad of her, they started to think she did this for Hank.  And while I understand they got upset with her, I do not believe she did this for a man, I believe my father would have killed us all or at least our mom.  My grandma started telling the DA about my mom and Hank and so the DA started trying to build a case that she killed him for another man.  They all said since her and Hank had been young lovers, they plotted this together to be together again, saying that my dad would have never allowed my mom to leave him.

I did not realize it at the time, but this is what led my mom to Phil.  Phil was the other guy that hang out with  my dad and Hank.  I remember one night, my mom was drinking and Phil were partying and they were drinking, I was trying to sleep but the stereo was loud.  I will neverr forget "Islands in the stream" was playing by Dolly Parton and kenny Rogers, my mom was up dancing and singing the song to Phil.  I walked in and went off again.  My mom and I argued and I went to bed.  Later that night, I woke again, and could hear he was still there so I snuck up. We had a big aquarium tank (empty) sitting in the living room across from my door, so I could see the couch through it and I saw the two of them, on the couch having sex.

This tore my guts out. This was the second man I had caught my mom with since the two months my dad had been dead.  I realized I had no idea what to do. I could not make my mom, the mom I had always known come back to us...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

27 Years ago today.... Part II - The beginning of the End

27 years ago today, my mother killed my father.  27 years ago today, I felt sadness but a certain freedom, 27 years ago today, I was suppose to spend the night with a friend, but could not because of  what had happened, and I remember thinking - he always messes things up.  Wow, I feel guilty saying that now.

I purposly waited until today to write the second part of this since the anniversary was so close.  I was going over in my head how to put it in words, but I keep getting caught up on stuff the bastard did that I have already written about. For instance my first blog, were my brothers were just toddlers, me, only 4-5 yrs old and christmas night, he burns all of our toys, or rather makes us burn them.  My little brother being injured in the process. I have two children and I just can't imagine.

We were poor, by his choice, and did not have much to start with, so to have what little we were lucky enough to get taken that way, it makes me sick, remembering the cries, from us all, and my mother... sometimes the anger and saddness are almost in competition for which will take over during any given memory.

BAck to that day - I was sitting on the stool, in my fathers bedroom, next to the bed where he was.  My little cousin who was literally maybe a year old then was screaming and crying because my brothers were.  We did not tell them what happened, just that dad was hurt.  We did not call 911 immediately, my mom and I talked, she made a phone call, I remember pacing, I remember it all feeling surreal, I mean there was no way she had shot him, but there he lay, right on the bed beside me.  The sirens were low in the background and I could hear them getting louder and closer, until they were there.  The medics came in and made me leave the room.  I can remember my little brothers bottom lip, oh, my - this is hard... I can remember my little brothers bottom lip starting to quiver and his eyes fill up with tears.  They were 7 & 8 at the time and I think it was not until the medics and police arrived that they realized something was very wrong.  At their age, you cannot process that your mother killed your father.

My mom never told me to lie, but I can remember her telling me something about going to jail forever and not having her anymore... and somehow, I just cannot describe it, because I did not lie on purpose, I did not try to cover up, I only know that my story did change some from the day of the shooting, until court, and they interviewed me numerous times.  But it was not until 16 years old that I remembered he was asleep.  That is the one thing that bothers me, why I blocked out he was sleeping... I mean, I am sure it would have made it more likely she would have gotten life in prison... but I did not think about it, that I can recall.  This is the one portion that is fuzzy for me and it drives me insane.  In part one, when I wrote about walking in their room the last time, her having the gun and telling me to get out, and seeing him asleep, that is actually the dream I had at 16 where I realized he had not been awake.  I know this paragraph is not well written, kind of jumbled, but that is because that is how it is in my head, still.

Immediatley all of us children were ushered to the neighbors, My aunt, the mother of the child at our home arrived right behind EMS.  My aunt was screaming, she thought her child was dead.  Even though my dad ws her brother, she knew he was crazy and was reaching the end.  She would later tell police when she got behind the ambulance several miles away, and it continued to head the same way she was going that she got sick, and thought "Oh my god, Larry has done it, he has killed Deborah and my kid is there too, did he kill all the kids too?"  The police came over, talked to me at length, got my statment and I wanted to badly to get back to my mother, to help her, but they would not let me.  I was stubborn, so I stood in teh yard, the neighbors tried to keep me inside, but I wasn't having it.  I watched them carry my mom away in handcuffs and thought my world was ending.  I saw my aunt, holding her baby, screaming and crying, she was my dad's sister.  And my little brothers, stood there, crying, confused, scared, and I still cannot think of their pain without it tearing me apart inside. I wish I could go back, you know, make sure I held them a little tighter, told them more times that it would all be ok and somehow, made them a little less afraid.

Even though they do not remember much, it has to be partly why they are so screwed up.  YOu cannot go through something like that and not be.  And for me at least, the worst was yet to come.  I pray that what i believe to be true about my brothers and the upcoming years spent with my grandparents actually are true.

After everything settled down, we were taken to my other aunt's house for the night.  I remember two things more than anything about that night.  The first being when my mom walked in late that night, my aunt, the one who's child my mom kept, the one who knew how she was treated and use to come and get her to take her to the store so we would have food had bailed my mom out of jail, the woman who shot her brother.
And second... when the phone rang, I remember hearing my aunt start to cry, I heard her tell the other adults, my dad had just died.  See, turns out he was not dead exactly when they took him in, but he was in a vegetative state, so after hours of being on life support, and the docs beign sure there was no hope, my grandma and my aunts, dads sisters, decided to pull the plug....  We were suppose to be in bed, all the other kids were, but how could I sleep.  I sat up, by the door, straining to hear what the grown ups were saying about what happened.  When I heard my father was dead, I did not shed a tear. 

I can only imagine how scared my little brothers had been, laying in the other room, trying to sleep. i wish instead of being so nosy that night, I had went and laid with them, held them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Beginning of the End Part 1

My dad was killed December 14, 1983.  A few weeks before his death, things went from really bad to worse.  When my mom and dad got married in their teens, he made her quit school.  She was not allowed to have her driver's license, have a job, cut her hair, wear make up or wear skirts.
He controlled everything.  But a few weeks before he died it really got weird.  We always had a tree up before my little brothers birthday on the 11th.  On the 12th I asked dad why we did not have our tree, and he said, "We are not going to need one this year."  He had started to sell all of our things, like the stereo, saying it was not of God and we needed all of those things out of the house.  Now my father was never a religious man, he was an alcoholic, did drugs and had lots of women and beat my mother and us.  So this whole God thing was coming out of left field.

He had started pad locking my mom in the house in the last couple of weeks, so she could not get out, while he was gone, or even when he was home.  I remember about a week before he died, we needed a few things from the store and he made my aunt, his sister take my mom and told her to watch my mom, don't let her out of her sight, or use a pay phone and she was not to make any other stops, directly to the store and home.

She kept me home two days before he was killed and I remember him cussing her out, telling her that it was not going to change anything, that now he was just going to have to kill me too.  Of course, I was scared but did not know how serious things were, and I wanted to be home to protect my mom.  My mom kept my aunts kids too, after school my cousin would come home with us and she kept my nephew who was only about 18 months old at the time.  What I did not know at that moment was my dad had been telling my mom the time had come and he was going to kill her, himself and maybe us.

His whole family even knew something very bad was going on and they had been stopping by a lot the week before he was killed, trying to talk to him.

The day he was killed, I was kept home from school again, and again we were pad locked in the house.  My baby nephew was there with me all day.  Looking back, I cannot believe my aunt continued to let her children come there.  Anyway, after my little brothers got off the school bus, my dad undid the locks, let them in, relocked us in the house and we sat down to watch tv.

My dad said he was going to lay down and take a nap.  He told me to watch the kids, (I was ten) and that my mom had to stay in the bedroom with him.  He told me to unplug the phone and bring it in to the bedroom to him, he wrapped it up and laid it beside him on the bed.  He then told me to go and get the 22 rifle and bring it to the bedroom.  I remember walking in with it and my mom sitting on the stool by the bed.  With a look of desperation on her face I had never seen.

He was drunk and did not take long to pass out, my mom snuck out of the room and told me I had to go call his sister for help.   There was one, long skinny window in my bedroom that would open and it took all my might, but i was able to squeeze through.  I snuck over to the neighbors and called my other aunt, his older sister. But her kids said she was not home yet, there were not cell phones back then.   I went back home, slid back through the window and told mom. 

This went on for probably and hour, she had me slide out 3 more times, I do not know why she did not have me call 911.  Anyway, the last time I came back, I quietly opened their bedroom door and she said, well more like "mouthed" because no sound came out, "Get the hell out" and she was holding the rifle.  My dad was lying on the bed - ASLEEP.  Something I would not remember until years later, at 16, when I woke up from a dream.

A few minutes past, I HEARD NOTHING and she came into the living room, crying, shaking, and said "Brandy I shot your daddy, I had to do it, he was going to kill us all, remember, or I will go to jail forever"

I did not believe her, so me being the nosy kid I was, walked into their bedroom, my dad had long reddish brown hair, so I did not notice anything at first, so I walked right up to him, I shook hiim, when I did, his head fell to the side, and that is when I saw where the bullet went in....

And then the chaos started...  I went into the living room, told mom to keep the boys out, keep them calm, and for some reason, I went back in the bedroom and sat on the stool by the bed and waited until the police and medics arrived. 

Once they were there, I gave my statement, the statement that shaped the rest of my mother's life...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Present

I have went a little longer than usual since my last blog, mainly because my intent had been to go ahead and blog about the day my father was killed.  The day my life should have gotten easier.  Unfortunatley, I went from living with one demon, to one that did far more damage to me in my childhood.

Since then some things have happened though I need to talk about.   The brother I mentioned before that fell of the wagon, has gotten worse, sunday night he was so drunk and beligerant.  He drove with my 5 year old niece in the car.  His wife flipped and called me, he would not let  them leave.  I finally got him to agree to let me get his daughter away from there, but as I was pulling out I had a gut feeling things were going south.  So instead of taking her to my house about 2 miles away, I took her to my brothers neighbors and had her take the child to my home so I could go back.  I am glad I did.

He had thrown their expensive flat screen into the yard, was threatening to burn my house down (he rents from me) was tearing everything up while his wife sit and cried, trying to stop him.  I have always been my brothers life line and he loves me very much but when drinking he turns on me and get so mean.  I finally gave up and called 911. it broke my heart but there was not choice.  They arrested him.  His wife moved ot her moms and the next morning when they released him he called me at 6am to come and get him.  I did not.  I told him until he was ready to get help I was done.  I could not take the emotional abuse anymore, did not have the money to keep fixing his messes.

I am proud to say that on his own that day he called the rehab I put him in before in the mountains. he was told there was a 4 week waiting list, which would never do.  He would have likely killed himself before then with his family gone.  So they realized the emergency of the situation and agreed to take him that day.  His wife drove him up and she told him if he completed the program that she and their daughter would be waiting for him when he got home.

It was bitter sweet.  I was kind of heart broken because I did not get to see him or hug him before he left and he will be gone for all the holidays.  I did tell him that I would make a big plate at thanksgiving and freeze ti for him as I did years ago, before he was sober and he happnened to be in Jail over the holidays.  I hate he will not be home with his family but visiting days are on the weekend, and Christmas is saturday so they will be able to go up and he will see his daughter open presents. I told him that he may not see it now but this is the best, most important gift he could have ever given either one of them for christmas.

Please keep us in your thoughts.  This year will be hard with him gone.  The last time he was there, he stayed sober for 7 years.

I will blog again in a few days, about my dad being killed.  That was one of the biggest turning points in my life, freeing me from a lot of things, but making me a slave to others.  It is hard to talk about but it is time.  I look forward to hearing from you all.  Thank you for taking this journey with me.  You have no idea how much it means.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Good, Bad and Ugly

One of my regular commentors, davidshag, pointed out that I should also blog about good memories as well. While there are not a lot, I will try to do that here.  But since I have people listening, let me vent about the present first.   I mentioned how this has really screwed my siblings up to, tonight is a prime example.  My brother that has been sober 7 years, fell off the wagon last year, tonight was bad.
He was drunk, left and I finally found him, I kept calm, I know you cannot argue with a drunk, but all of the sudden he became my father... I mean, my dad was killed when he was 7 so how he has so many of his traits is amazing.  I am only there to help him and all he did was scream insults at me, shove me down the steps and knocked me into the wall several times.

Had it not been for someone stepping between us, and me being in this situation way too many times, so I have a very good since of when to duck, or go right or left... I would have a black eye.  He is so mean and vile when he drinks, his words cut like a knife.  Usually he doesnt get violent with me physically but tonight he did.  I called his wife and begged her to just leave him be, not to call, or go after him.  I was scared he may hurt her.  I have seen him in a bad way many times, but never this combustible.

Ok... but let's see, I said my next blog would be good memories and considering what has happened tonight that is hard but here we go...

My fondest memory of my father stems from the Temptations song "My girl"  We listened to a lot of music in my house, a love I carry to this day, but anyway, my dad, would dance around the living room and when "My girl" came on he would always have me stand on his feet and he would dance me around the living room.  Out of my ten years I had with him, I can say this is when I was truly his little girl.  I can remember looking up into his face and being so happy.  I felt loved.  

My dad was very spontaneous and since he did not work he had a lot o free time.  I remember one afternoon we were riding down the road and crossed a river.  He decided it was a good afternoon for a swim, so me, my brothers, mom and him all got out and he had us strip down to our underwear (we were young so nothing inappropriate) and we went swimming in the Eno.  I can remember how excited my brothers and i were because days like this, moods like this were not often.  I can still remember the tension in my mom's body though, her wondering if this was a good idea, always wondering if something may set him off.  Funny, even as young as I was, I was always VERY aware and in tune with her moods due to her body language.

We spend a lot of time at the lake.  It was nothing for us to go up to Kerr lake for the day for my dad to fish and him just decide for us to stay the night.  Now as kids, we thought this was amazing.  I can remember sitting at the water's edge, with the big moon above us.  Everyone laughing.  Dad would give me and my brothers each and empty beer bottle and we would go around the lake and woods and collect those tiny baby frogs and stuff as many as we could in our bottle.  (I know, not nice for frogs but we were kids)  Looking back I can see how stressful this would be for my mom, at the lake with my dad, drunk, and him deciding we were not going home and us having no clothes, shelter, blankets, and not much food aside from snacks we brought, but to us kids, it was an adventure.

My father also let us do a lot of target practice with his guns and bow and arrows.  I preferred the guns, because the first time he let me shoot his bow, I was not strong enough to pull it back, so he pulled it back for me, and when he let go, I was not strong enough to hold it, so it shot, but my arm was in the way, the string on the bow hit my forearm and it was instantly purple from the hit... I can remember it hurt like hell... but it was still cool.  He took me hunting with him one day and we had a deer in our sites, we were in a tree stand, and right before we took the shot I lost my nerve and shoved the barrel of  the gun up in the air.  He was behind me holding it too, but it was still enough to throw the shot off and save the deer.  Of course, this was my last hunting trip with him, and he was mad, but I still had fun.

Usually we rode the bus, but sometimes my dad would pick me up from school and even though we had very little money, any day he picked me up he would stop at the local "Cow store" (the store actually had a big plastic cow on top) and he would get a 3 musketeer candy bar and a pepsi for us to share.  I really thought that was something because treats were rare for us. Funny thing is I did NOT like that candy bar and do not to this day.  But I NEVER would have dreamed of telling him that or asking for something else, for fear of ruining everything and making him mad, because I knew, even though I did not like 3  musketeers, this was a special treat between us that my brothers knew nothing about  :-)
Wow... Ok, that is about all I can squeeze out for tonight.  You have no idea how hard it was and how much time it took to sit here and think of random "happy" memories.  As I said, few and far between.  But David... I thank you because you are right, they are there and I guess to tell the story right, I have to include those too.  I think in the future I will try to weave them within the general blogs if they apply, it will be easier than trying to approach it as a task all on it's on.

Again, thank you everyone for your feedback and thoughts.  Even though this is still really new to me, the feedback I am getting is truly amazing and makes me feel validated, like this isn't just buried inside.  I mean, I am not the "Hi, my name is Jane Doe and I am a _________ (whatever may fit)" type but this is just as good as shouting it from the rooftops.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gather round the shotgun...

My mother did the best she could to protect us.  She was made to quit school at 16, she could not get her driver's license, she could not work, wear makeup, skirts, or cut her hair, and no, we were not amish...

My father beat her regularly for stupid shit. If he was drinking, I have saw her beaten because she put the ice in his drink AFTER she had filled the glass.  I swear to God.  She was accused of sleeping with everyone from neighbors, friends, even her OWN brother... and my father would beat her and berate her in front of me and my little brothers.

Sometimes, I would try to jump on his back when it was really bad, at nine years old I remember him throwing me against the wall.  One night he was beating her so bad I tried my best to pick up a wooden chair that went to the kitchen table and "put it over his back" like I had seen on TV.  Guess you can figure out how that worked out.

I do not want you to think bad of my mom because once she was weak.  She needed so badly to be loved. I can remember several of my dads friends or family members (male) trying to stand up for my mom and he would turn on them, fight them and then when they left she really got it.  But one day, this guy who worked wiht my dad and came over a lot, really started  to be nice to my mom, Man, I was 8 years old and I COULD SEE THIS GOING SOUTH.  I remember dad passing out drunk while he was there, and i stayed next door (duplex and walls were thin) at my friends apartment, I was listening through the wall and could hear something was not right, I could hear my mom and this man named "al" talking in the back room.  I actually snuck out from the sleepover and went back to our apartment.  Anyway, a few days later all hell broke loose.

Again,  please understand my mom had been held captive pretty much her whole adult life, locked away, forbidden everything, we were so poor, my dad would stay gone with women for days while our power was cut off and we had no food.  So this man "Al" shows attention to my mom and she ends up having a fling with him. I really don't know how long, all i know is one night, my dad passes out, and my mom and this man end up outside on a blanket making love and yes, I do believe that is what it was... at any rate, my dad wakes up and catches them.  He let's "Al" go, AT THAT MOMENT....

A few days later my dad comes home, drunk, cussing and calls me, 8 and my brothers 5 and 6 into the living room, and he starts cusing my mom, and he gets the shot gun.  He holds it to her head and tells us she is a whore who cheated.  Forever we sat there while he hit, slapped and kicked her and telling us how sorry she was.  he made my mother tell us kids over and over the same thing. I can still remember to this day, he made her tell us "I am your momma and I am a sorry whore, I cheated on your daddy and I don't deserve to be your momma"  (remember the earlier blog where she caught him in HER bed with a 16 yr old? guess that didn't matter(

Anyway, being so young I can remember thinking "Was it the milk man? Mail man? "  I just could not figure out who it could be, my mom did nothing but take care of us.  Anyway, he beat her so bad that night, when she managed to break free she ran to the neighbors and I followed her, dragging my brothers with me.  I remember she hid us in the closet while she called the police while he beat at the door, trying to kick it in.  The neighbor did NOT want to get involved but mom did not knock, she just ran in, begging for help.  Want to know the irony?  It was the neighbor who;s 16 year old daughter my mom had caught my dad screwing in their bed...

You know we went to my grandma's that night and my dad came there too, trying to beat the door down again.  We called 911 but that was 1980... you know what they told my grandma?  He has a right to his kids and if his kids are in there, he can do what he needs to to get them.  Sorry SOB, he did not want us or care about us... he just wanted to control my  mom...

His control would not last much longer though... she would break us free soon.  Only then would I realize my nightmare would truly begin.  Only then would the wounds that actually scarred me for life be inflicted...

PS... I forgot about what happened to Al.  Later he went back and beat him so bad the man bled from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth, he was hospitalized for quite some time from what I remember.  My mom was so upset by the hurt she felt she had brought upon him, I think she was hurt too because he was the first person to treat her like a human being and not a possession in a long time... not since a man named Hank that she ran away with at 14... not long before she met my father.  Little did she  know hank would return to the picture many years later... in time for the end of my fathers reign