This is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to write about because I remember so much more and the closer I got to puberty it seemed like the worse it was getting. The abuse was really beginning to be different. He had different goals.
I don’t know what happened or who called but DHS came to my school. My mother was there as well. I think I was in sixth grade. I believe this because I remembered looking down the hallway toward my class. Sixth grade was in the same wing as the office. I was standing in front of the office with my mother. My heart was racing. I didn’t know what was going on. The only thing I really remember was that I was asked if I was being abused. Well, shit. Why couldn’t they ask these questions WITHOUT a parent present? Of course I said no. My mother was burning a hole through me, staring at me, hoping I wouldn’t say anything. Soon after that they scheduled a counseling session with a family psychologist. I honestly don’t know what spurred it. I might have been acting out or depressed or something at school.
I remember always being so tired because of the damn cat. She went into heat and my mother forced her to be locked in my room. For HOURS that cat would claw at the door. Not just swipe a paw at it either. She would jump up and grab the handle with her front paws and sliiiiiiiide down the door with her back. She was doing the deep-throat cat calling that was LOUD. She would race around my bed and claw at me. I had to start stuffing all sides of my blankets down into the bed… even the top. I had to sleep under the blankets. We lived in a small apartment so it’s not like my parents didn’t hear it. I wasn’t getting any sleep. To top that off, I had to get my little brother ready in the mornings on the weekdays so my mother could get ready for work. I also had to take care of him in the mornings on the weekends so my parents could sleep in. They never once considered that I wasn’t getting any sleep.
Back to the counseling session… My parents had to agree for the counselor to speak to me in private without them. I knew at this point that I couldn’t say anything about the sexual abuse. This was my chance but I couldn’t do it. They might have influenced me beforehand. I did however, highlight a little into the abuse from my mother. I made a point of telling him how I wasn’t getting any sleep and then had to get up in the mornings to take care of my brother. I had to feed, clothe, and babysit him. He was a very active toddler and rarely was ever disciplined. I had no idea how to handle him but it was my “job” or else I’d either have my head bitten or slapped off by my wonderful mother. Dave wasn’t usually around on weekend mornings because he had to get an early start to mowing lawns. That’s why so much of the burden fell on me. I don’t think that I would have had to have a problem with helping but there was zero gratitude for doing so. It was definitely my “duty.” The lack of sleep played a huge part especially having to take care of him on the weekends.
After my session with the counselor, he then met with my parents alone and then all of us. I don’t remember the rest of the conversation. I do, for some reason, remember what I was wearing… a long, white skirt with overalls and a blue t-shirt (it was the early 90’s). When we got home all hell unleashed. She smacked me. “How DARE you tell the counselor that I deprive you of sleep! I guess I’ll just let you do whatever you want so you can get your fuckin’ beauty sleep!!!” Beauty sleep. That’s what it was. Not the necessary sleep that my body needed to grow. Fuck that healthy shit… my 12-year-old just wants beauty sleep because she’s such a bitch! She didn’t really say that last part but that was definitely implied. I was then lectured and yelled out for what seemed like hours. She treated me like utter shit in the weeks following. If she said or did the wrong thing she would turn to me and say, “you gonna report that too?!” That was the only counseling session that we had. Ever.
We had gone to visit a different set of grandparents that lived a couple of hours away. This was Dave’s biological father and his step-mom. (His parents divorced when he was a kid and remarried, so I had two sets of grandparents on his side.) When we visited, we would normally spend the night and stay a few days. I loved visiting them. Those visits were some of the best memories that I had. It was here that my mother couldn’t let her true colors show. I was safe… for the most part. One morning my brother and I got up before my mother. He was hungry and wanted a bowl of cereal. I accidentally poured him a little too much. It really wasn’t that much, it was just more than a 3-year-old could eat. He took foooorever to eat. He had finished up by the time my mother rolled out of bed. My grandparents had been up with us for a while. She came to the kitchen table and noticed that my brother had left half of his cereal. Since he took so long eating, the milk was warm and the cereal soggy. Also, he was 3. There’s no telling what else was in the bowl: boogers, slobber, anything! She got mad at me for pouring too much and made me finish it. I complained that it was gross and that I didn’t want it. She threatened me and forced me to finish it. I thought that I would puke. I’m not sure what she thought she was teaching me but she sure did make herself look like a terrible mother in front of everyone else.
Dave had a friend that had come over for dinner one night with his girlfriend. As they were leaving we all began talking about my little brother. Our joke around the house that he was a little terror. We called him “Scotty the terror.” He was a wild child. My parents had no energy or desire to learn how to communicate or function with him so he pretty much just ran wild. They asked me what I thought of him and jokingly I said, “yeah, he’s a little horror.” What did my mother hear? “he’s a little whore.” Nice. So, in front of everyone, she begins to interrogate me if I knew what a “whore” was. I told her that I said “horror.” Something that is very typical of my mother is that when she has an idea in her head and gets fired up about it, she is relentless and will not shut the fuck up for anyone else to talk. She didn’t care that I corrected her or myself. Instead, she made me pull out the dictionary and recite the definition of “whore.” She totally meant to humiliate me. That she did but I don’t think she realized how much she was humiliating herself as well. Our company was trying to leave. They were uncomfortable and embarrassed. She just kept at her preaching and ranting for about 15-20 minutes.
I had mentioned earlier that Dave lost his two kids in a divorce. Well, his ex-wife was giving him a chance and my step-sister was able to come visit. I was so excited! Summer had just begun and I didn’t want to be alone. (I might have been 11 here, I am still fuzzy on the time) My mother gave me a long list of chores to do. I wanted to goof off with my sister not do chores. We did all kinds of silly things. She took the list seriously and would do some of the stuff. I did some too but got distracted easily. I wasn’t used to having another kid with me without my parents. After she left, my mother somehow caught wind that my step-sister did a big handful of the chores. In order to punish me, she went crazy. Like, the craziest I’ve ever seen her. Of course I got yelled at and slapped. What would punishment be like if that didn’t happen? THEN, she went through my entire room and dumped out EVERYTHING. All of my dresser drawers, any container containing anything, everything in my closet…. everything… dumped on the floor. Oh, and a lot of it was thrown at me and some of my most favorite things she broke. Some of those things were from aunts and grandparents. I was called ungrateful, hateful, lazy, worthless, etc. The big name was “ungrateful.” She threatened to give most of my stuff away to my step-sister because she was more deserving than me. Many of the things she was threatening were clothes and jewelry that my god-mother and most favorite aunt gave me during a recent visit. I cherished those things. I actually still have the jewelry. I was crying and sobbing. The harder I cried, the more stuff she threw at me. The more she told me to shut-up. I had no right to cry. I was a horrible person.