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No One to Save Me Part 5
There was a remote area our father used to take us; a river under the San Jacinto bridge off hwy 59 towards New Caney. We rarely saw anyone else there. At night it was a haven for the homeless and there were a couple of large barrels used for making a fire. The river flowed swiftly and the drop off was steep. It really was dangerous for anyone to go swimming. A railroad track ran nearby. It is important to note that Walter frequented this spot, considering his pathological behavior.
One day, we pulled up there and as usual, my sister sat in front. My little brother and I sat in the back. My father got out of the car and immediately began laying a blanket on the ground. This struck me as unusual; he hadn’t ever done that before. I noticed a man off to our right who was squatted down and looking at us. He entered the woods and I mistakenly thought that he must be going to relieve himself. I didn't realize that he had entered another path through the woods.
My sister became impatient for Walter to finish with the blanket and said, “Let’s go”, as she hurried off towards the trail along the river. Walter chuckled at her. So down the trail we went, first my sister, then Walter following behind her, then my brother and I. The trail ended and my sister immediately entered the woods and Walter followed. It struck me as curious as to why they would go in there.
My brother and I hung around near the rushing river. There was a tree that my brother climbed. He fell and it knocked the wind out of him. He called out, “Daddy” before going unconscious. I began calling out to our father and he came out from the woods. A moment later, so did my sister.
Walter scooped my brother up and rushed him towards the car. I ran behind and saw him turning blue and drawing up, he wasn’t breathing. Walter placed him on the blanket face down and started pressing on his back saying, “Breathe. Breathe.” I sat beside him on my knees, thinking that he was going to die. Suddenly, he took a deep breath and came around. My sister seemed angry and ordered that no one talk as we drove home. I tried to say something and she turned around and spat, "I said don't talk!"
One day, my father took me there alone. He led me down the same trail and when we got to the end, he said he wanted to show me something just inside the woods. I was leery and hesitated but he said it was something really pretty. I stepped into the woods and saw there only a very small area where the ground had been trampled down. There was nothing there to see. As I turned to my dad behind me, a man stepped out of the woods right in front of me. It really scared me to death. I looked to my father for protection but he just stood there silent and cold and blocked my escape. He did not behave like a father, at all.
The man lay me down on the ground and pulled his pants down to his knees and got on top of me. The zipper was cutting into me so I was saying, “Ow”. This caused him to ask if I was okay and when I told him, he apologized and pulled his pants down farther. He was probably in his late 20s. It is the same man we saw the last time we were here.
When he was finished he stood and addressed my father and said, "I would really like to do this again sometime, if that's okay." My father nodded his approval like a king bestowing blessings upon those beneath him and the man replied that he would work on getting up some more money and hurried away.
I remember that I had been looking forward to my 10 birthday.
This memory, like all such memories faded from my mind almost immediately after the experience. I can still see myself following behind my silent father as we walked the trail back to the car. I didn't know why we were there or what had just happened. My mind was literally blank.
Yet, these experiences always left me feeling humiliated and depressed. Having psychogenic amnesia of my childhood helped me deal with the trauma but it also worked against me. It allowed my dad to trick me time and again. As I got older, I started to blame myself for being so stupid and gullible. These assaults also began to wreak havoc on my ego integrity and self-esteem. I felt so worthless and undeserving. It was destroying me inside. My soul, my personality, whatever it was that made me “me” was withering up and dying.
There is so much of my life lost to me, that I may never recover it all. The constant and repeated trauma left me severely fragmented. Parts of my soul, my consciousness, was splitting off, either disappearing inside of me of trailing behind, simply because I couldn’t accept what was happening. I felt so vulnerable, so violated, so worthless, so contaminated, so disgusting, and so filthy.
Through the years as these horrible things were happening, I continued to grieve for the loss of my mother. Whereas my 3 year old sister had bonded with our father who petted on her, I had bonded with our mother and did not like our father. My mother’s loss at age 4 left me stunted at this developmental stage. Even as I aged, I continued to suffer from her being ripped away and I never grew beyond it. My image of her, the perfect and beautiful mother, was frozen in time.
The nurturing and warmth of my mother was vital to my sense of survival and without her something important was missing in my life. There was no protective buffer between me and the harshness of the world and I felt exposed. My heart ached with wanting her back yet I did not know where she had gone. She was out there somewhere in this big scary world and I was incapable of finding her. It never occurred to me that my mother had abandoned me. But, it did occur to me that if I had been of any value she would have come back for me. Therefore, I had no value. To say that I lived in despair is a grave understatement.
Ah, the truth. The truth is what makes this whole disgusting situation even more grievous. Finally, late in my adult years the dots have all been connected. My dear sweet mother, my goddess, was a whore. While her children were left behind with a psychopathic serial killer, she was working in topless clubs, dancing in titty bars and selling herself to men. Oh, the irony. So there you go, I’m the daughter of a psychopath and a whore.
Here is how it really went down. Apparently, after mother left us, she continued to secretly see our father. He was paying her to have sex. One night after we had been asleep, I awoke to hear my father entering the house. I heard a woman’s voice say, “Be quiet, I don’t want the kids to know I’m here”. I wondered who she was but for some reason didn’t recognize her and fell back asleep.
The next day, my mother entered the house and went straight for our father’s room. She hadn’t come to see us but had come to retrieve a set of titty-tassles she had left the night before. I met her in the hallway and wanted to go with her. I told her that I didn’t like my dad, “he was mean.” Mother answered by saying, “Maybe next time”.
Then she showed me the tassels and asked me if I knew what they were. She held them up to her breasts, shook them and laughed. She had borrowed them from her friend and wanted to buy a pair of her own. Her friend liked to tease the men with them. She asked me if I knew how to do the twist and gave me a brief tutorial; I was 4 years old. To my horror, she left me there and I never saw her again.
I had heard as a child that one of my aunts had hired an investigator to tail her and together with the judge in the family, gained custody of us kids to our dad. I remember there once being a beer joint at the end of our street, right across from the elementary school we attended. Our older brother had overheard that his mother worked there so walked down there to see her. My aunt found out Roy had gone down there and she managed to get the place shutdown. She warned that other elementary kids could easily sneak in to watch the topless women dance.
I remember another time; apparently it was before mother left Walter because we kids were with her. She pulled into a bar and told us to stay in the car while she went in to get her paycheck. It was a very hot day and the windows were up. We quickly began suffering in the heat. Poor little sister was red in the face and her with the heart condition. Roy got up in the back window to use his body to block the heat and we had her get into the floor board. I was in the front seat and a strange man came over and started trying to get me to roll a window down. I flatly refused. He turned out to be the private investigator hired by my aunt to follow my mother.
The real clincher came the day I was with this same aunt as we drove down hwy 59. “You see that building over there”, she asked. After I had looked and saw it clearly, she added, “That’s a motel where your mother takes men.” I was shocked and mortified and immediately hung my head down in shame. My aunt didn’t say another word. It is possible that our outing was for the sole purpose of showing this to me. There is no other reason that we would have been in that area. It is hard to know how old I was but considering my size in the seat, I was very young. I took this information in with a feeling of shame and once again my consciousness faded from me and the memory was lost to time.
It has occurred to me that this could have been around the time my mother was working at the 59 truck-stop, because this motel was called the 59 motel. That would mean that she was selling herself to truck drivers; another bit of bitter irony.
Another shocker that I realized as an adult is that our mother had lived around us all of our life. She moved a lot but never went far. She eventually remarried, an alcoholic but good man, and had 5 more kids. She divorced him and remarried a third time, also an alcoholic but good man. This is with when our older brother found her, quite by accident.
There was a family in the area, a trashy family, who had several boys who were Roy’s age. He had befriended them from school and would go visit. He had known them for over a year when putting two and two together they discovered that they knew our mother and right where she lived; within walking distance! Roy struck out to find her and I finally met my mother when I was 16 years old.
It wasn’t the type of reunion you would expect. She sat at her kitchen table sipping iced tea while her 5 filthy kids ran unsupervised in and out of the dirty, cluttered house. A pile of dirty clothes lay in the floor behind the bedroom door and from this they dug out their school attire.
She didn’t hug me and there were no tears. There wasn’t any apology or inquiry into how my life had been. All contact with her would be due to my efforts. I would visit for tea, we would chitchat and I would leave. She still never called or made any other effort to get to know me. If left alone, she would have simply faded back out of my life.
I never accused her or challenged her as to why she left. I never asked her why she never came to see us. I don’t really know why, except that it would have been confrontational and I loved my mother and didn’t want to ruin things. She was sweet, soft spoken, and very pretty. She wore her soft brown hair up in a teased bun, and her green eyes twinkled. Her role became more of a friend and confidant than a mother. She listened to anything I cared to talk about but she never spoke of herself, her life or her hopes and dreams. She moved frequently without warning and I have no idea how I continued to find her.
But long before I met her, there would be many more years of abuse and psychological trauma at the hands of Walter.