Tag Archives: Family Abuse

Following a Journey

14 Jul

Upper y Lower Navajo Falls in Grand Canyon

I thought writing about our journey would be linear… A story, after all, has a beginning and ending, right? The journey had its pathway and it would just be simpler, I thought, to create the outline to produce that linear path, depicting Point A to Point Z – how we started, and how we ended. Start at the beginning, and then report it in its straight-line way, the exact way it happened to us. But that just isn’t real life. Even in remembrance, “reporting” on our own story, will not allow us to follow a straight line. Because Life is still happening. And Life isn’t a straight road. Life is a river – with curves, tributaries, swells, rains, shrinkage, and flow.

This journey has many side waterways and branches, each one threatening to distract (with joy, or career fulfillment, friendship, or sadness, etc.), threatening to divert, threatening to thwart the mission to tell our story. I thought I could control the story. The story was having none of that, however. It decided that it was going to live, that it had it’s own life, and therefore, had the right to tell it’s own story. Confusing? A journey through Life has potential for great things and terrible things, for each one of us. Every day. With all of its curves and branches, possibilities of growth, and potentials of danger. These understandings have made me realize that I will not be “reporting” as I’d originally planned. I had to let Life flow. Therefore, I am going to let the story have the life it so passionately and anxiously demands. If I don’t allow it to live, it won’t allow me to live, either. It is demanding to live, to breathe, to inhale and to exhale, to cry, to yell out in pain, to beat its chest and yell out with vindication.

I haven’t written since I initiated this story in February. When I wrote “The Exam Room” and the “About” of Becoming Free in February,  I was surprised at how real it all felt – all over again. I mean it – I was really surprised. Talking about “The Exam Room”, brought me back to that room. In my mind, I was there… my living room was transformed… I could smell the room… with all of its astringent medical room smell… I could touch the exam table…and feel it’s cold steel. I could hear the doctor’s footsteps plodding – in quick fashion –  against the tile floor as she ran out of the room. I could hear my young 5-year-old daughter’s voice. All around me, I could see how dim and grungy everything looked. And in very REAL fashion, I was ANGRY all over again. Hot, White Anger – no longer was it red – it was the white searing kind – and I wanted to sear something.

I… wanted… to… S E A R… something.

I wanted to put that white hot steel burning inside me up against something and HEAR IT ACTUALLY SIZZLE…  SSSSSTTTTTTTZZZZZZZZ…..

I was in so much pain, and then June was fast approaching. June was the month that the case was birthed and became official – it is also our 10-Year Anniversary this year. I don’t know if it was starting the blog, or the 10-Yr anniversary, or the two working in conjunction together, that brought all of the details back, bringing with them all of the associated emotions, in all of their painfully exposed and open state.  I wanted to make the people who hurt us… feel that wrath, feel that hurt, the way they made us hurt. The way that some of them still hurt us… still, to this day, betray us and plot against us. Yes, they still plot against us. They actually think that If they can bring me down, “and put me in my place”, then maybe they won’t look so bad… maybe they won’t look weak or cowardly… MAYBE… no one will find out that they sided with the rapist and tried to sabotage the case, and when that didn’t work, then they tried to sabotage me and my children. One relative in particular, stirs the others in that small circle of theirs, and STILL tries to sabotage me and my children, in an effort to silence my voice.

My voice will not be silent.

More importantly, the story itself, in its effort to breathe on its own, will not be silent, either. In fact, the opposite has happened… the story’s voice has grown – and matches mine in intensity and determination. It has taken a while for me to process all of these raw emotions these past few months – and while I’m in no way, near the end of that process – at least, I can say that I’m IN the process. It is important – for me – to not waste energy on persons who don’t deserve that special kind of emotional energy that it would take to confront their weaknesses. I choose to spend it wisely… on letting the story have my energy, to do what it needs to do… on helping other victims and victims’ families… on speaking to those who can help these families achieve successful prosecutions… to helping victims reach an understanding that they may not be able to bring their monsters in, but they can still heal themselves. So now I’ve learned to let the story go… and breathe… and live.

The writing will be its own –  living to tell it’s own story – with it’s own voice.



Let’s Start at the Beginning – The Exam Room

19 Feb

Little girl in exam room

Well, this is my first post ever, on my first blog. I’ll probably make mistakes from time to time, and I’ll attempt to correct them as soon as I know I’ve made them.

I couldn’t figure out how to begin, except to just start at the beginning. I’ll be walking through this along the same sort of timeline as it happened to us.  

In the summer of 1981, I’m in the Exam Room with my oldest daughter, who is only five years old at this time. Our state had just passed a law requiring all first-graders to have a full physical exam before starting their school year, and this year was the first time it was enacted. Her blood was taken, her urine sample was handed over, her blood pressure was taken, and her height and weight were measured. She was laying back on the exam table and her female doctor was examining her genitals… yes, as if she were having a pelvic exam… because she WAS having a pelvic exam. I was standing right next to my daughter and holding her hand. I was assured this was all part of the exam process. A young man, her assistant, was standing by the door, at an angle that assured all in the room that he wouldn’t be able to see anything.

The doctor said, “She has adhesions. She has adhesions!”

I looked at her and said, “What?!” My head started to feel very heavy and the inside of that head has started to swirl. Immediately, my grandmother came into my mind and my memories of her explaining to me what adhesions were – because she had had 21 surgeries – for adhesions alone, in her abdominal cavity. SCAR TISSUE!! WHY WOULD MY 5-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER HAVE SCAR TISSUE AROUND HER VAGINA??!! The doctor was moving. She stood up from her stool and literally RAN out of the room. All of this happened in the span of two seconds. I looked over to the assistant, and he followed her. I looked straight into my daughter’s face – a beautiful five-year-old baby – and asked her if anyone had been bothering her down there.

“Packy,” she said. She was scared, and I comforted her and told her she was all right. She was okay. But inside, I knew that neither of us were going to be okay. This was the beginning of a nightmare. I don’t remember how I was breathing, I don’t remember breathing at all. The room was spinning. Not fast. Just the slow, teeter-totter kind of spin… the floors are rising… the walls are moving back and forth… it’s the kind of slow teetering spin that makes you sick with a slow, momentum-building nausea. I picked my baby up and stood her on her feet on the floor, and I dressed her. That was when a nurse’s assistant – not her doctor’s assistant – this was a different one – came in and told us we needed to see another person who was going to talk to me about my daughter’s high blood pressure.

At this point, I am numb and simply following the assistant, and my daughter is following my lead. We are ushered into a small room and I remain standing. I don’t remember exactly why I couldn’t sit in a chair, except that there was just NO WAY that I could sit down. The woman, dressed in white, is sternly telling me that I could not let one dose be forgotten. One dose? What is she talking about? I try to focus on what she is telling me, but all I can hear – in my head – is, “Adhesions! Adhesions… My God, she has adhesions!” And my grandmother’s voice telling me, “Adhesions are scar tissue…”. The woman in white is saying something… I turn my head and look at her. Doesn’t she hear the tornado spinning in my head? Doesn’t she hear that it sounds like a freight train is bearing down on me? The meteorologists were right! Tornados do sound like freight trains! 

“Ma’am? Ma’am, have you understood what I’ve been telling you?”, she said.

“No, I haven’t,” I said. “Could you explain that again?”

She has been telling me that they have referred my darling daughter to a pediatric urologist, who will become her specialist, and he will help determine the big WHY – why my 5-year-old has High Blood Pressure. Their office will be calling me to tell me when to take her for her first appointment. They handed me a prescription and told me that I couldn’t miss a single dose – because of her age and her size – she had to take 3 doses a day. If I miss a dose, she could have a stroke, which could result in her death or brain damage, which could mean paralysis, too. 

No one says a word about the adhesions. And I never saw that doctor again, she left that practice and went somewhere else. No one asks me anything about my daughter’s physical exam. I leave that medical office with my daughter, heading straight to the pharmacy. My daughter’s High Blood Pressure will begin treatment with Inderal the very next morning. 

I left the pharmacy knowing I was about to confront “Packy” – the first step. I had no idea what  was about to happen. I had no idea how long this journey would be. I thought everything would be cut-and-dry. I would make a statement… he would go to jail… the nightmare would be over. I had no idea that I was about to step into a void filled with darkness and pain. No Light. There is NO LIGHT. There is no light anywhere.

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