In the car again on a warm day sun above us as we drive, shhhh! my mum blurts out as she turns the news louder on the radio. I look silently out the window wondering what my father is doing watching the trees pass by the car window and the odd man in his mini shorts peddling a bike. Suddenly my mother tells us, ‘we are here’. The car stops outside her new boyfriends house. Her current boss is now of course her new boyfriend and we are forced to smile and play nice around him. Every accident my mother sees as an attack on her happiness with him and every question she hears as ‘talking back’. Once again our lives have been turned upside down and around in a circle to make some random man happy so he thinks we have the same values and interests as him.
My Mum wants to watch golf when she use to believe it was as interesting as paint dry. The hours she spends watching golf and whatever else they did we got sent to a room alone with no toys or anything just a bunk bed and told to have a rest. Of course we did as we were told.
Being scolded for not brushing the butter knife along the butter correctly or for scooping too much jam from the jar it felt like everyday things weren’t as they use to be everything was wrong and my mum took it as a sign of rebellion punishing mostly me. My brother could get away with blue murder as they say.
Days turn into weeks, weeks into months now my Mums new boyfriend is our weekend company the reason my mother is late home most nights and needless to say the cause of much turmoil. My Mums birthday rolled around and ‘D’ decided to take us with her to a Golf Club to have her birthday dinner. Still playing her mother role but it was unfolding fast enough in front of ‘D’ as I accidentally spilt some expensive glass of wine reaching for a balloon. ‘You stupid idiot ‘ Shouted ‘D’ while my mother grabbed me and pulled me outside to tell me how embarrassed she was of me for my ‘stupidity’. I guess she failed to teach us the etiquette of fine dining while spending all that time with us. * sarcasm *
As we entered back inside the restaurant being scowled at and feeling very awkward as every eye was searching me up and down I sat at my seat and didn’t talk much the rest of the night, yes please and no thank you was my vocab after that.
Not long after we started spending nights at ‘D’s’ house which most of the time wasnt so bad anymore at least we got home cooked food. Until my one day upon returning from the beach ‘D’ insisted on us showering as we had sand all over us. As I enter the shower and adjust the water I hear the door to the bathroom thinking its my mum I just continued until I hear the shower door open. I turn around to see ‘D’ standing there in his underwear. Confused as to what was happening I just turned my back to him and said, ‘get out!’ He simply replied, ‘ no!’ baffled by his response I became scared. He told me to sit down on the floor in the shower and look at him . I sat down but refuse to look up at him as he put his hand down his underwear. When he finished he took off his underwear threw it into the shower, put a towel around his waist and walked out. I sat in the shower for a long time numb, angry and unable to move. I was still too young to understand what had occurred but I knew it wasn’t right. My mother came in shouting how I was wasting all the water and ‘D’ was going to have a high water bill.
After dressing I sat in the room with the bunk bed staring out into the backyard that had budgies and quail. Missing my dad I cried and wanted to just run away I felt any place was better than there. Playing memories in my head of what happened at ‘A’s’ house and now this while my mother wasnt even in another country or state. I simply felt abandoned, alone and such a loneliness that isn’t filled with the company of people or sounds of things but a loneliness that is so empty that words became something I disliked, people’s faces I avoided to look at as I felt everyone was ‘A’ or ‘D’ I felt no one really cared and everyone knew how easy it was to do these things.
The following week I attended school, I went to one of the most expensive upper class schools where everyone seemed perfect and hardly anyone’s parents had gotten divorced. Every night before I slept my mum would do her nightly shouting routine, ‘ go put your pajamas on, brush your teeth and get into bed.’ Then she would come upstairs say she loves us and kiss us goodnight, every time I replied in my head, yeah right when she said she loved me. I promised myself when I saw my dad that weekend I would tell him about ‘D’.
When friday came my father sent the limo to school for us, routinely everyone in the pick up zone watched in envy as we climbed in with my head down and panic setting in, no one knows what that little girls life was like as she climbed into that limo. This is it, this is my moment to tell my dad I have 2 days , I can do this. Our driver Ray was one of the best people I ever met, he would laugh about how stupid teachers are and ask how school was. Almost as if we had 2 dads. He dropped us off to our dad as usual and we ran into his arms, safety at last I hugged him so tight I actually felt like I hurt him. My dad looked at me and asked how school was, seeing straight into my soul every time he looked into my eyes I saw his face turn as if he saw a car accident unfold in front of him. I grabbed him and hugged him again as his hand rubbed the top of my head his fingers wiggled into my curls he picked me up and carried me into the house as we walked he said, ‘ its ok we will talk later.’
My Dad is the best cook, other than bike rides, horse riding, camping, archery, shooting, swimming and the other activities our father did with us he made the most amazing home cooked food with love just for us 3 to sit down and eat.
After dinner and our chores my dad asked us how things are with my mum and her boyfriend, the typical parent questions I guess without implying anything he just wanted to know whats up. Which as a parent I can appreciate how hard it is to ask a question and not put replies into your child’s mouth. As my brother rambled on about how amazing time is with ‘D’, I wondered had him and I been in the same house all this time? how was he not upset and bothered as I was? granted he was my mum’s ‘favourite’ but I would have thought he would have been bothered more than me that mum was not treating him the same because of ‘D’
My father turned to me to ask why I wasnt saying anything to which my brother promptly replied for me, ‘ oh she’s upset mum keeps shouting at her.’ My father pressed me a few times to answer but I refused to say anything. Before I knew it the weekend was finished and our mother was there to collect us. My father at some point spoke to her during the week about ‘D.’ My mother in all her glory and legal jargon that she did when she would complain about how much of a scumbag of a dad my father was, sat there in front of us and in earshot talking about how dare he have the audacity to call her and accuse her of not looking after us and something not being right with ‘D’. My father accused him of something.
My mother sat us down in front of ‘D’ and quizzed us what did we say to our father and what did he ask us etc. My brother was of course the golden child, sat there saying I was pretending to be sad and acting as if ‘D’ is bad to us etc. Both of them turned and scowled at me. My mother sent me to the bunk bed room alone as I heard her quiz my brother then resorted to ignoring me for a period of time until it was time to eat. I felt that loneliness again creep back in but this time I felt a need to get to my father as he was the only one who knew something wasn’t right, although I didn’t tell him.
Weeks passed and my mother kept us from our dad and spent more time at ‘D’s’ house. conveniently he would catch me in the shower every time I was told to shower. He now wasn’t scared of my mother walking around and being there he would tell her to let me shower in his en suit so I can change in his room while my brother can use the other bathroom. He now was trying to wash me and make me touch him in the shower. My refusals led to him trying to force my hands places until one day I screamed. He became so scared he pulled away my mother came in and he said he needed to pee and forgot I was in there. When he realised he said he thought I wouldn’t notice. My mother simply accepted his story and told me to get out the shower.
I spoke to my school counselor as my mother wouldn’t allow us to see or speak to our father since he told her something was wrong with her current boyfriend. My counselor asked me what was wrong with him, my reply was simply,’ I don’t like him and my father knows why.’ She contacted my father and my father contacted the Police. He reported my mother for child endangerment and I guess ‘D’ for child abuse or molestation.
I was taken into a police station and made to sit with a police officer, my mother and another person as the police asked me ‘indirect’ questions about my home life and ‘D’ to each question I was asked my mother looked at me with her eyebrows high and a tight lip look. Feeling like I was about to be sick I said everything my mother wanted me to say until the officer asked about ‘D’ I choked back tears, forced myself to keep my head from sinking into my shoulders and until this day Allah is witness I don’t even remember what I said. But I didn’t tell the police the truth. When we left my mother brought us Mc Donald’s and was quite the whole way home.
That night I heard her on a series of phone calls some to friends others to maybe ‘D’ or her mum. Saying all kinds of things about how my father has planted a seed in my head, it’s all lies and I’m just a liar and trouble just like my father. My confusion as to my mothers awareness of the situation quickly changed into suspicion if she actually knew and didn’t care. If she didn’t know then why did she scowl at me, why did she give me the raised eye brow look? why didn’t she sit me down and ask me? why didnt she keep him away just incase? why wouldn’t she let me see my dad and see if I opened to him instead of her as we didn’t really have a relationship, between her busy work hours and boyfriend schedule. Why didn’t she care and protect me or even want to figure this out and get to the bottom of it?
I felt that loneliness like a black hole this time empty, completely hollow, nothing filled it not even the fear of not seeing my father again, just complete emptiness. It was a long time before I saw my father but when I did I was given clear instructions not to talk about our home life or ‘D’ otherwise my father will go to prison for filing false reports to the police.
Yes, my mother was a family lawyer and pulled every string in the book to get her way instead of doing what is right by her own child she wanted to protect her reputation and her Boss since he compensated her so nicely. My father though, he is relentless when he saw us he took me to his room sat me down on his bed. I remember my feet almost touching the floor with my black buckled shoes on and white frilly socks. He said,’if anyone touches you in any way you don’t like you tell me, no matter where I’m if I can’t get to them I will make sure someone does even if I go to prison it’s not ok for anyone to touch you in any way you don’t like.’ Feeling like someone just took the world off my shoulders I breathed out as if I hadn’t breathed in months. Upon seeing that my father asked me, ‘ who touched you?’ I said, ‘no one but if they do I’ll tell them my father will come get them.’
Yes every girl thinks her father is a super hero but my father was a well known black belt martial arts expert. The videos of my father training and the times people had tried to fight him, watching his ability to avoid a fight by simply twisting his hands around to make a grown mans lips touch the floor and make it look effortless. Yeah I felt like the world was on my side and ‘D’ was just a little piece of algae somewhere unknown to me.
When we returned home my father contacted the police again and asked that ‘D’ not be allowed near us and how can they make that happen. The police replied they had simply looked into the matter and closed it. My mother was notified and became furious she accused me of lying, slapped me across the face and sent me to my room. That weekend she took us to ‘D’s’ house where he made a point to tell me a bullet was faster than my fathers ‘kung fu’ as he called it. At every moment he could he scowled at me behind my mothers back. Of course I refused to shower causing my mother to become irate, she didn’t stop to ponder why ‘D’ was insisting I shower and why I was refusing she just saw it as rebellion.
That was the moment he told her, let me talk to her take her brother out buy some ice cream and things for dinner and let me talk to her alone maybe she is conflicted because she loves her father. My mother was reluctant not because of what he may do to me but she said, ‘ what if she turns it around and lies about you ?’ hearing that I started to cry and have a complete tantrum hoping my mum would resort to just taking us home. No she left, with my brother she was fed up with me as she put it and I was alone with this animal.
He grabbed me and pushed me onto his bed, with his fat body he climbed on top of me rubbing himself on me pushing my legs apart and huffing. I tried to push him off but he held my arms behind my back underneath me while I felt every part of oxygen being squished out from my lungs feeling my face will explode. I cried daddy help, daddy with the small amount of strength I could push the words out with. ‘D’ told me to shut up as he continued that loneliness became my friend in that moment I blacked out either because I wanted to or the lack of oxygen I just didnt want to be there. ‘D’ climbed off me he smirked and said,’ That was great , like mother, like daughter.’
I got up and tried to run out of the house as I got to the stairs of the porch my mum pulled up in the car. While crying and a complete mess I fell to the floor feeling defeated and helpless I really just wanted her to hug me. She said ,’ stop being a drama queen and get the things out of the boot of the car.’ I got myself up and locked myself in the car playing whatever CD I had in the glove compartment as loud as the car speakers would play it. My mother was at a loss of what to do coming out every so often telling me to turn the car on or the battery would die. In that moment I wanted to die and she didn’t even care.
Months past and my mother had enough of my outburst, my fathers accusations about ‘D’. She couldn’t continue to defy the custody order by the court as she could get away with making excuses now and then and pulling some string but that was about it. My father wasn’t having it, he was making it so difficult for her that she would have to give in and allow him to see us.
During this time she sat me down one day and said we had to talk. A little butterfly erupted in my heart mixed with fear and excitement thinking finally she actually would ask me and want to know what has been going on. As she started speaking my inner fears of am I too far lost in this dark feelings of loneliness, will I be able to be back to my normal self or will I be a new half me half-broken being. I hear her mumbles over my thoughts say, ‘we are moving’ I jumped from my seat. Huh, what? she repeated herself , ‘ we are moving’ My brother was excited I just cried and shouted no, no, I’m not going I want to live with my father, I hate you I screamed at her until I couldn’t think of any other words to say. I grabbed the phone to try to call the police in complete rage I was ready to say everything to at least be away from my mum and ‘D’. My mother told me days later we would move to another state and make new friends, it was the same state she was born in so she preferred it there but it was also a 4 hour flight from my father.
She wouldn’t let me see my father she said because I was naughty I could only talk to him over the phone. Upon speaking to him I told him I wanted to live with him and didn’t want to be with my mother. For the first time in my life I heard my father’s voice become weak and sniffles filled the phone. He replied with , ‘ I know, I’m sorry but there isn’t anything I can do.’ I reminded my father how he said he wouldn’t ever let anyone hurt me. Then my mother came stomping up the stairs I just said,’ I love you daddy ‘ and hung the phone up.
I told my school counselor I wanted to live with my father, my brother stopped talking to me and my mother just acted as if I didn’t exist. I would walk 1 hour to school in the mornings and 1 hour home in the afternoon. Wash my clothes make food and do my homework. I would go to bed at 7:30pm around the time my mother would get home and I would lay there listening to her watch law and order on tv and talk to her friends between the adverts and news breaks.
One day my mother tells me to pack a bag and I can go live with my father scared to what she was really doing. Thinking maybe she will throw me off a cliff, I know far-fetched but it happens. I asked to talk to my father first she refused and said to pack the bag as he will collect me from school that following day but my brother wouldn’t be coming with me. I didn’t care I was so overjoyed I packed a bag with a smile from ear to ear.
Almost a month passed I remained with my father I totally missed my brother as much as I annoyed him and he beat me up, dobbed on me for everything and would get me to sneak into the kitchen to steal chocolates and cookies in case we got caught so he wouldn’t get in trouble, I simply missed him. I told my father and he encouraged me to remain with my mother telling me we should look after each other and that in that new home in a different state ‘D’ will be far away and if anyone else ever does anything to me to go myself to the police or to my school counselor and tell them.
My father gave me some of the best advice and strength that any parent can give. Granted he still didn’t really know what happened but He was sure it was something bad.
My mother collected me from my father’s house at the age of 8 little did I know my mother was taking me from my father and I wouldn’t see him again for 4 years. She took me from the one person who was on my side fighting in front and behind the scenes for me. Moving us for whatever reason from one home, school and a predator to another state with a new home, school and yet another preditor awaiting.