It was 1992, I was working at Pizza Hut as a waitress and living with a couple who took me in. I met her after committing myself to a mental hospital after being raped by an ex-boyfriends uncle who I thought I could trust. He kept me locked up in the bedroom for weeks. I would try to escape and he would come find me. I tried to tell my boyfriend but could never seem to have the courage to tell him. He was in a tech school miles away and I would have to go to a pay phone to talk to him that was right around the corner from the uncle’s home. I found a way to escape and I was gone, never to return, he never found me again.
Thank God. I moved into the home of the couple and tried to make normal. She had HIV. She contracted it from her former husband thru IV drug use. Her man at the time knew this and loved her unconditionally but they were safe. I would go to the local county health dept and get bags of condoms for them. We had a nurse come by and teach us how to safely live in the home without risking each others lives. It was hard at first for me, young and uneducated about the world of HIV I didn’t know what to do so the nurse eased our concerns. She had four children that were taken away from her when she found out she had gotten HIV. She was getting them back and I witnessed the hardships of the family trying to live a normal life while their mother lived with HIV. She didn’t deserve it but dealt with the cards she was handed.
Even though I am Irish the alcohol part of my DNA just kind of skipped over me so I have been designated driver most of my life. Not complaining just merely stating the fact. So while living and working I managed to meet people in the immediate community. One of them called me one evening when I wasn’t working and asked if I wanted to do them a favor and be the designated driver and join them in going to this local ”hole in the wall” club. I was young so what the hell. I said yeah. I got ready and they picked me up.
Young white female going to a hole in the wall club I stood out. So started dancing and carrying on. Two young men started dancing with me seeming to ”compete” for my attention. Well one of them won me over. After the night ended he gave me his number because I didn’t give mine out. I called him in the next few days. He lived with him mother and siblings. He was 17 about to turn 18. I look back now as I look at my own daughter and know I was way too young for all that.
I started visiting him at his house more frequently in the coming months and eventually ended up moving in with him. Time went on…he seemed to be the prince, so loving and caring…hook line and sinker. After the first phase had passed it was like a light just switched…he changed. The first time he hit me was like no other. The apologies came, the so-called compassion, the let me help you’s…they all faded. The black-eyes, the bruises, I couldn’t keep them covered up anymore at work. The constant looks I would get, the questions. It forced me to leave my job. I no longer had a life of my own. I was there 24/7. Seeming to create a normal existence somehow while feeling like I was in hell.
I can remember the feeling of fear every time another man came in the house. One of his family members would make it worse. When he would get home from work that family member would make it out into something more than it was even close to being. Somehow I was ”looking” at these other men and that didn’t go over well with him.
I can remember him having another female staying at the house. I was pregnant at this point. For several nights I slept in the room by myself. He in another room with the other female. Once I was brave enough to say something I went downstairs and he was laying his head in her lap pretending to be asleep. I called his name several times. He finally responded. I asked him was he coming upstairs. He replied If he did she was coming too. Well I went back upstairs.
I can remember one time he got me cornered in the corner of a doorway and the wall. He was drunk as usual. I was pregnant still. He was kicking me, hitting me.
One of his family members stood there and did NOTHING to help me. NOTHING!
The image of that moment one of many burned in my mind. How could they not help me? Just to tell him stop? That is all they could do? Why? Knowing I was pregnant. Why? That moment has had an everlasting effect on my decisions to have contact/no contact with the family.
The one person I felt that was on my side was an elderly lady that lived right up the path from us. She made sure I ate. She cooked me whole turnips in butter. Day in day out. I didn’t have contact with my family for about 2 years. They didn’t have clue what was going on. I was so afraid to let anyone else know what was going on in my life. I thought this was something he would change. After all, every time I got my ass beat he would apologize repeatedly, help cover up the bruises, nose bleeds, etc. I thought he truly cared and just couldn’t help it.
I saw doctors like I was supposed to but did what I had to make sure they didn’t know the truth. I covered it well for a good while. I started going into labor early. The doctor put me in the hospital several times and I befriended a nurse. She knew my pain. She saw right thru me. I would go and come every time. I had the courage to leave one of the many times I did while I was in the hospital. That nurse helped me. My mother and step father came and took me.
When he came back to the room after I was snuck out of the hospital he went asking where I went. As if he was concerned. They lied to him and just said I was just there a few minutes ago. Even though the only one at the time who knew was my friend the nurse. My parents took me to a friend of theirs house. I stayed in their attic knowing he would come to my parents asking of my whereabouts. He never knew. I honestly don’t remember how I ended going back after that.
my story continues on my next post….please bare with me as I write these. There will be times that I cut the post short to deal with life as I know it. Whether it be to go take my son to a doctor’s appointment, to respond to a seizure(s) he had, dinner, dogs, business, whatever the case may be I will return. Only thing is if I can remember where I last left off or there is something else that comes to mind. I will try to do the best I can. I do appreciate the time you (the reader) are giving me and my family as I unfold the layers I have folded up all these years. I imagine over time and the more I do this the easier it will be to release it.