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.