Friday, May 25, 2007

My Story - Part 5 - The Aftermath

To read the other parts, see here - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, & Part Four.

I can't believe I'm considering writing more after last night. It took it's toll on me. But I don't want to leave the ugly part sitting out there. I want you to know the ending. Well, the ending will actually be in Part 6 - that's the good part. Really, there is a good part in all this. I promise.

Telling Mom
Again, timelines are really foggy. My Sister says that when she hit age 12, I warned her to be careful. Toilet got as far as the wet kisses and inappropriate tickling (I didn't write about that part because, while I vaguely remember some of that, it's not clear enough to write about). However, he didn't touch her further than that. Good thing, because I would have had to kill him if he had.

At some point there was an argument between Toilet and me. Perhaps Sister and Mom were involved too. I had forgotten this part for a long time, but Sister remembers it clearly and has filled in some blanks. We were all sitting at the kitchen table. Mom said something about respecting or minding Toilet. In a fit of rage, I blurted out "If you knew what he had done to me, you wouldn't say that." I then ran downstairs to my bedroom and collapsed on my bed. I was there a LONG time before Mom came downstairs. Sister says there was more to that conversation. I don't remember any more - she says that Mom looked at her and asked if she "had anything to add." Sister had seen that Mom didn't react to what I had said (again I have no memory of this) and had seen the rage on Mom's eye so she said "no." Sister told me recently that she has felt guilty about that for years -- guilty for not supporting me.

I do remember Mom coming downstairs. She said something about Toilet having denied everything and then finally admitting. To this day I don't recall what specifically I told my Mom or what he admitted to. I often wonder if Mom only believed me after he admitted things. So I have no idea the extent of what she thinks happened. I think Mom was going to think about things or something. I remember a conversation later. I was given two choices - I could tell in which case Dad would probably try for custody and I'd have to go live with him. He was a good parent in some ways, but I knew without a doubt, that while he was a decent weekend father, he wouldn't handle being a full-time father. I knew the drinking and violence would continue (later facts from my sister would prove my intuition right). The other choice was to stay. Stay in the house and Mom would make Toilet go to counseling. I "chose" to stay. It really wasn't spoken of again.

I later learned that Toilet got 2 sessions of counseling. Mom said something to me later (I don't remember when) about it being due to his increased drinking and some issues Toilet had with his children. (his children had stopped visiting at that point. My Sister years later, ran into one of them, and learned that similar things had happened to them).

The "Faking It" Years
If I wrote out everything that happened, it would take forever. So I'll hit the highlights. And fill in some of this stuff later.

I became the "good girl" ....somewhat. I was an excellent student. I knew my ticket out of there was a scholarship to a school far, far away. Toilet never touched me again. The exposure, inappropriate comments, etc continued. Mom knew - she saw and Sister & I told her - but that wasn't a big deal to her. In high school I began acting out a bit. I drank some, had an older boyfriend, was a bit promiscuous, got pregnant at 15, had an abortion (spare me the "pro life" comments on this please), got sent away to my grandmothers for a summer, snuck out at night, and lied to cover up weekends spent with a boyfriend.

I was sent away one summer to stay with my father's mom in New Hampshire. Mom and I were fighting horribly at that time. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got away from my family for an entire summer. I hated leaving my sister there though.

Sister moved out the summer before my senior year in high school. She went to live with Dad. We partied hard that summer. Dad had dumped his girlfriend and was gone a lot. I got my license at the end of the summer. We drank every weekend. Ran around in the neighborhood and were wild. I dumped my long-term boyfriend that summer and started dating Sister's friends. They thought I was great because I was an "older woman."

I started my senior year in highschool and Dad called one evening and wanted me to come meet someone. It was an odd conversation. I went over and he introduced me to his "fiance." I had never met this woman. I met her and her 4 children. They married and Amy was moved over to her house. It was cool at first. She had a horse farm and I loved horses. But Dad's Wife (DW) was odd. She had two distinct personalities. One day she was our best friend. Another she was wicked witch. One time I brought a guy over and she started talking about she and Dad's sex life and quizzing me about mine.

One weekend Sister was visiting my Mom. We got a call from Dad and DW screaming. They had found Sister's birth control pills. I had bought them for her. I drove Sister back to Dad's and went down to talk to him. I told him about what DW had been saying and that I wasn't comfortable with it. He agreed it was inappropriate. We heard screaming from 2 floors up and went up. DW was screaming at my Sister who was screaming back. In moments, DW was throwing my sister's stuff off the balcony and telling her she was a bitch, whore and slut and to get out. I tried to diffuse the situation and she called me a slut and a whore too. I started to yell back and Dad came after me. To this day, I don't know where I found the strength. But I stood up straight, looked him in the eye, and said "go ahead and hit me. You'll regret it." He stopped and told us to "get the hell out of his house." We did. I haven't seen him much since.

So Sister moved back into our house. She did get to bring her dog. She started her freshman year, second semester in my high school. I made plans to go 500 miles away to college. Sister was dating a guy at that time and he was keeping an eye on her, so to speak. I left for college, after a bad experience dating "Dave"

I was a wild child my first year in college. Partied hard on the weekends. Tried marijuana for the first time, although I'm proud to say that I limited my drug experimentation to that particular plant! Ended up with alcohol poisoning my freshman year after one particularly lovely night. Went home at the end of the summer not sure what to expect.

I decided that since, at college, I had become a new person, I would continue that charade at home. I pretended everything was fine. Faked a pretty good relationship with Mom and Toilet. My sister had hit the rebellious stage at this point. I've written about her boyfriend before, so I'll just summarize here. Her boyfriend died that summer of alcohol poisoning. Burying him was the hardest experience. Leaving my sister at home alone and going back to college was the worst thing I have ever been through.

In February of my sophomore year I was attending Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I accepted Christ and life changed. I thought everything was "over" and I was "cured." I got a call a few months later that my sister had attempted suicide. She wasn't talking to anyone. I started dating a very nice Christian guy and then went home for the summer.

Next school year Sister and I were distant. Looking back I can see where my Mom kept us apart. Called me when Sister wasn't home and other things where we didn't get to talk often. I found out that Sister had pressed charges against Toilet. Actually she had mentioned something off the cuff to a school counselor (she was seeing one after her suicide attempt) about Toilet exposing himself. It was reported. Charges were brought and he was convicted of lewd conduct. I was never called or knew much about it until it was all over. Toilet had to move out and wear an ankle bracelet - he was on house arrest.

I went to visit him at his apartment. I remember napping on his bed while Mom and he watched TV. I remember thinking "What the hell am I doing?" Sister and I never talked about it. He moved back home later.

I returned to college and Sister moved out and left home. She went to stay with my Dad's ex-girlfriend who took her in and cared for her. Later she got her own place. She struggled for awhile - was raped by a guy she went on a date with, was into drugs pretty heavily, etc. But she settled down, got pregnant and got married. Today, she is a Christian, married to a wonderful guy and has three gorgeous children. She is truly a Survivor. She still struggles on occasion. But she has really come far in her healing process.

I continued to play the "happy family game." Since Dad was out of my life, I began referring to Toilet and Mom as "My parents." I wanted to desperately to have a normal family. Toilet went to my high school graduation, my college graduation and my law school graduation. My sister didn't come - because he was invited. My Sister didn't attend my wedding either. Because I chose to have Toilet escort me down the aisle and give me away. I have a lot of guilt over those choices.

I'd like to say Toilet was "cured" but he wasn't. When I was engaged, a friend and I flew home for a bridal shower. Mom was working and Friend and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie. Toilet was on the chair. I looked over and his hands were down his pants playing. I was stunned. I waited up until Mom came home, took her downstairs and yelled. She cried and said "what do you want me to do about it?" I told her it wasn't like we could call the police because what he did was probably not illegal give we were all adults. I went back upstairs. I heard them yelling. The next morning Friend asked what the commotion was. Mom told me that Toilet says he just had "jock itch" and was scratching.

I let that man walk me down the aisle and he is in all my wedding pictures. He, instead of my sister.

I met my husband and after having a bad experience with the guy I dated 2 years in college who couldn't handle "my past", I was really up front with Husband. We visited Mom and Toilet but I didn't go alone very much at all. Toilet behaved himself in front of Husband. Guess he knew better..........

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Enola, I know what it is like to try to just put it all behind you and live a 'normal' life!