I sleep in my beautiful white and blue canopy bed with its ruffles and lace, happy and content. I had let my guard down, stopped my hyper-vigilance, and I would pay for this tonight.
I awaken to deafening music, confused I stumble out of my room to see what is going on. It is around 1 am, my mother and I are now living with her new boyfriend, Ladd. He has a nice brick rancher, and I have the master bedroom upstairs, while their room is in the basement. I walk towards the den where there is a large console stereo system. I hear that the music is coming from this room, right next to mine. I know that the system is plugged into the lamp plug. You just have to flip a light switch to turn it off. So I look into the empty room where the music is blaring and flip the switch- that’s when I hear her screams.
I am frozen for a moment, so confused, I thought we were safe here!
I start to run down the stairs to see what is happening. When I reach the bottom I turn towards the direction of her screams, and I see what is happening. My mother is lying on the floor naked, Ladd is sitting on top of her choking the life out of her. I scream for him to “stop it, stop it”, and he turns to me with the evilest, ugly face, jumps off of her and tells me to get upstairs. He is coming towards me pointing toward my room and yelling for me to get back up there. He is fully clothed. As I fearfully back up the stairs he removes his cowboy boots. One at a time, he throws them at me while still yelling for me to get to my room.
What is happening? We’ve been safe for so long. Who is this angry, evil faced man screaming and throwing things at me? I don’t know what to do, so I go to my room crying hysterically. He tells me to get in my bed and not to get back up. I do as I’m told. I laid in that bed for over an hour listening to her screams…
Why did I do that? I had been there before. I knew what I was supposed to do, but I just laid there crying. I suppose that I had been lulled into a false sense of security, it had been so long since this had happened. I thought we were beyond this.
Finally my broken and battered mother comes to my room. Her eyes are blackened. Her mouth busted and bleeding. She had put on a loose nightgown. She tells me that she’s okay. She then raises her gown and shows me the cantaloupe-sized bruises where he has kicked here around the floor with his pointed cowboy boots. She whispers to me, “call the police, he is going to kill me”.
He must have decided that she had been in there long enough, he comes in and pulls her out, he starts yelling at her “you showed her those bruises didn’t you?” He starts hitting her again as he pulls her downstairs. I run over to the phone in my room and pick it up. Before I can dial 911, he is in my room. He rips the phone out of the wall.
We made a critical mistake. We had forgotten that anytime a phone in the house was picked up, the one downstairs in their room made a little chirp.
This is an on-going story of my life and some of the childhood adversities that I faced. If you would like to start at the beginning of my tale, please read Four-year-old and Mother Survive Bludgeoning by River Rock, or go to the Childhood category and start at the bottom.
He started back towards her, and I finally made my move- the move that I should have made a long time ago- I ran! Through the hall, the den, the front door, down the porch steps- he is right behind me. I reach the chain link fence’s gate and hastily open it and rush to get it closed before he gets to me. I shut it just as he reaches me and grabs my arm over the fence. The rusty chain link cuts my arm, but I still manage to get away.
I run to the neighbor’s house- oh how I’ve been here before- I ring the doorbell over and over and pound my fists on the front door. It is the middle of the night and no one is awake. Finally, the neighbors open the door, I’m crying and begging them to call the police, he’s going to kill her. I start to head back, but they won’t let me. They insist that I wait there for the police. My neighbors were a preacher, his wife, and their two kids. I sit with them crying until the police arrive, desperately wanting to get back to the house to make sure she’s okay.
She doesn’t lie to the police this time. He is arrested.
Afterwards, as we huddle together in her bed, we finally have peace and rest…for a few hours anyway…
Please read the next phase of my story: A Mother’s Betrayal