There once was a young lady and a young man who had a relationship for 18 months. They started out as friends, and should have remained that way, but alas, the young lady was dumb and allowed it to develop into more. The couple broke up. The young lady was driving up Rt. 95 North one day and was very sick. She stopped in at Alexandria hospital because she knew she could not make it through the afternoon. She needed medicine. She needed to find out what was wrong with her. She was a single parent and had a child at home. She found out that she was pregnant. The father of her child had no idea she was pregnant and she wanted to keep it that way. After speaking with several very close friends, and prayers sent frantically to Heaven, she ended up telling the father, which in her mind was a big mistake. He did not want anything to do with it. He later changed his mind. She doesn’t remember it that way, but it was over twenty years ago so perhaps he did. At any rate, she was ostracized in every way by family and friends, had no insurance, went to the clinic for prenatal care. Anyone that was not in her boat was thrown out. She was on her own completely with a small child at home. It really was not anything new, being alone, but she did have the problem of finances and twenty some years ago there were not the services available that there are today for single mothers. She found acceptance and love in an Assemblies of God church and attended regularly and went on her merry way. She was carrying a mixed race child which today is quite commonplace, but back then it was frowned upon. The mother did not care at all, she only cared about the child she had and the child she was carrying. The child was born, a beautiful little girl and the mother was joyous and if there was any racism at all in her life, it was from the African Americans that were her little daughters’ relatives. The mother did not care about that either. The father breezed in and out and the mother did not care about that either; he refused to sign the paternity papers, giving the little baby his name. No matter. The mother waited three months and gave her her own name. Three years later the mother got remarried. Her husband embraced both of her children, neither had consistent fathers and they were a family. Soon, in the course of 18 years, four more children followed, for a total of six. Life went on. One day the little daughter was in middle school and the mother received a call from the school around the time that her daughter would usually be coming home. The mother figured she missed the bus, which she was apt to do. The lady on the phone was a social worker. She told the mother that the little girl was inappropriately touched by her father. Now the mother froze of course and tried to reconcile what the lady on the phone was actually saying. She quickly called her best friend to watch her other children and she took off driving like a maniac to get to the school.
To back up, the father and mother of this child played tug of war with this girl for nine years and the girl was the rope. Court cases and court costs were normal in this family. The girl saw her father on a regular basis, as is the case with visitation, and always seemed down when she came home and the step father and the mother of this girl did their best to figure out why. Much later they were told by a family therapist that the child thought the mother did not like the father, so therefore she acted like she did not want to see her father, to please the mother, but she really did want a relationship with her father. Confusing and stupid but there you have it…If the parents would have handled things differently from the beginning – the father paying child support and having visitation, everything would have been different, but he never wanted to pay any support and therefore the mother did not want him to see the child. Again, stupid. On both of the parents’ sides. I digress…
The step father was the mediator between the mother and father, was always the one with the cooler head and always tried to look out for the child. He would be very concerned when she came home from visits and probably asked too many questions and probably made a big deal out of nothing. But he loved this little girl like his own blood and still does. The step father was the one that took care of her when she had the chicken pox or ear infections. He would walk the floor with her when she cried at night. He was the one that handled her night terrors, which were frequent when she was little. He was the one that made the appointment with the doctor about night terrors, and how to handle them. When she needed glasses, he took her to his eye doctor, the family doctor was not good enough. He taught her to wear contacts. He paid for and encouraged having her hair done, because she wanted it straight like the other girls. She always had the piano and dance lessons and the step father was there for every recital, play, parent teacher conference and anything else that concerned her. She was half African American and when the two of them would go out people would ask him if his wife was black and he would dead pan: “no”. No further explanation. He thought it was hilarious. The eldest son was part Native American, the first daughter was half black, the 2nd daughter looked like her mother, the 3rd daughter had red hair, the fifth son did look like the step father (his father) and the last son looked like his mother. This family was very diverse and they never saw one another in terms of color or race. They were just who they were. Prior to this incident, the step father and mother wanted to buy a family farm some day and give each child a piece of land with a house on it. They wanted to adopt troubled teens. One day a friend told them that if they adopted, the state would pay them money. The step father did not want the money. The friend said the state would send it anyway. The step father replied it would go into an account for them to go to college. He loved his children….all of them.
On the way to the school that awful day the mother was rolling all of this around in her mind and as much as she did not particularly care for the father of her daughter, she could not fathom him touching her inappropriately. He just would not do that. The mother knew that. She thought about her husband, the child’s step father. He would never touch nor hurt a child in any way. He would not do that. The mother knew there had to be a mistake. She called her husband en route and told him what was going on, and figured that if by some off chance he had touched the child, he would never show up at the school. It was a federal offense. He would go to prison. By the time the mother arrived, the step father was already there.
The little girl was in a separate room with her friend. Apparently the girl told her friend and her friend told the principal and the principal, by law, had to call the authorities. The daughter took off running and they brought her back to the school. The step father, nor the mother was allowed to speak with the child. The step father was accused of touching the girl inappropriately maybe three times. The mother was in shock and unable to function in any way. The step father figured it was all a misunderstanding. On the night in question, the step father was drinking and one of the other children was up with him playing a board game. The mother had gone to sleep. The other child saw her dad go to bed. The child said that there was no way that her dad touched her sister. To this day, her siblings do not believe that the child was touched by their father. (her step father). Social services arrived, spoke with all of the children, and the step father was worried that if he was drinking, maybe he did get up in the middle of the night and did something completely gross and out of character to her, like touch her inappropriately. He called the district attorney and asked for a lie detector test which he failed and he went to jail. A lawyer was brought in and asked to see the lie detector test and it had disappeared. The mother contacted a psychologist that specialized in profiling and dealing with pedophiles. He was very expensive and told the mother that if he found that the step father was capable of this, the step father would go to jail. The mother understood. The doctor was well know in his field and worked with the government and with a prominent University. He performed many tests on the step father and was going to court with his findings, that the step father was not capable of this crime and was ready to testify to that. The lawyer asked the step father if he was willing to take another lie detector test done by an independent person and he said yes. All of this was told to the court and the charges were mysteriously dropped. The daughter ended up living with her father and step mother and new sister. The step father became a broken man and still is to this day. The mother was placed on medication and intense therapy and could not manage to live a normal life without this child although she did pay child support and visited the child. This family has somehow weathered this storm. The children are grown up and do not discuss it. The step father and mother have never had a normal marriage since. They will never adopt a child. Their family will always be broken. The children have for the most part moved on. The step father will, with God’s help. After many, many years he is shattered. Sometimes the mother thinks about these past times and cries. Sometimes she questions her husband in her mind. She never questions her daughter. She does not believe her daughter lied. She can not wrap her mind around her husband doing this. She does not know what to think. She is haunted. She is in pain. She is fearful. She hates this part of her life. She hates living with it day after day. She hates the fact that she feels such heaviness and guilt. She knows that it was inevitable. She knows that the father of her child would have taken her to court and obtained the child. She is thankful that he took her in, grew into a man, and became a good father to her. Her daughter’s step mother was not kind to her daughter in the beginning and her daughter experienced such pain. The mother still feels that pain deeply. The mother still cries alone at night and asks God for the truth. She asks for peace. What would she do with it the truth? I don’t know. I do know that she will suffer for the rest of her life. I do know that she could not breathe without this child in her life for many years, that many medications were prescribed, that the story had to be told over and over again to the point of exhaustion. I do know that there is a part of her that feels sick all the time, like she wants to vomit. I do know she hates herself. I do know she questions herself. I do know she knows all about being touched inappropriately and worse things than that. I do know she is capable of killing. I do know she was molested but not penetrated by her own father for over four years. I do know she hates men and women who hurt children. I do know she wonders how in the world she could not keep her child safe. I do know all of this because I am very close to her.
Why I am writing about this? Because I know this family. I knew what they were. I do not know the truth of what actually happened. The mother’s second daughter stepped in at the tender age of nine and held her mom while she cried. She fixed meals because her mom was stuck on the couch and the second daughter became her mother’s parent in many ways for many years. Her second daughter lost friends and heard the mean things that people said about her parents. They moved to another town. She has seen both of her parents cry and have break downs even though her sister is grown up now with her own family. She knows her father still says he says six children. She knows he will never be the same, nor will her mother. She misses who they used to be.
This is a true story.