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.