Editor’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my manuscript detailing my own abuse. Please see “My Story of Abuse” under the category link.
It was the summer that I was twelve, and we had just moved out on one of the ridges. The house only had two bedrooms, but Crystal was to be married in just a couple of weeks. So, she and I continued to share a room, and Darcie’s bedroom was in the basement. We had three acres of ground with an above ground swimming pool. We were thrilled over the pool. It was a constant fight to keep the pump running and filtering the water. It had a small diving board that we loved! There was a small pasture for Prince, but I had long ago out-grown him. I didn’t ride him too much anymore and wanted a horse that fit me.
I started my period about six months after we moved. One night Dad came in drunk as usual and instead of getting in bed with Mother; he got in bed with me. He woke me up when he crawled in. I lay there quietly waiting for him to pass out. When his breathing changed and I knew he was out; I took my pillow and went to the couch for the rest of the night. I think Mom and Dad had a huge fight over him crawling into bed with me. He came and apologized profusely to me. And, that is when the sexual abuse stopped.
A few months later, Dad woke the whole household at 4 o’clock in the morning for us to meet one of the guys on his crew. He was telling the guy about the new place and we had a pool when we walked into the kitchen. He introduced us to Clay Richards—both of them were drunk as hell.
Dad told Mom he thought he’d go with Clay back to his old hometown and visit his mother. Mom raised hell and said, “You’re too damn drunk to go anywhere.” But, he was determined he was going to go by damn. I’m not sure what happened, but Dad decided he would not go. When Dad returned to work Monday he discovered Clay had passed out while driving on a two-lane road about 8 miles from our house and hit a semi head on. He was killed instantly. Dad ended up blaming himself for his death since he had him out drinking all night. Clay left a pregnant wife and two children.
Dad stopped drinking! Our lives begin to change slowly. He would actually come home on paydays and take my Mother to the grocery store and straight back home. It was a totally different life with the fighting cut way down between him and Mom.
Crystal got married at 17 and both parents refused to go to the wedding. They didn’t approve of her husband, or the fact they were only 17. Crystal was devastated they didn’t come to her wedding. I wasn’t permitted to attend the wedding but did get to go for cake afterward. There were just her in-laws there and me. I felt bad for Crystal.