Please beware that the following piece may be triggering for some:
I do believe that our mother and her man took us out to the acreage to isolate us even further from social workers and prying eyes. I mean how much easier would it be to willfully abuse children away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Stony Plain was a nightmare, except for one saving Grace; Tyras bike. Every time I listen to my white bicycle by Nazareth I have a smile come to my face. “My white Bicycle” although it was a rusty old red broken down bike, this song reminds me of her. Her hair flowing in the wind and a huge grin on her face. The only thing wrong with the bike after she pulled it from the junk heap and fixed it the best she could was it didn’t have a seat. She would ride that thing up and down that gravel road hour after hour, I would watch her at times and her grin became even bigger. I feel bad for laughing at her when she wiped out and hurt herself, but that was the way we were raised, laugh at pain and don’t speak of happiness. So little joy, We found joy in the simplest things, an old junk bike cast off by the previous owners was a treasure to be sure!!
I remember, borrowing a tape from my mom. It was a Kendall’s tape. I liked them cause they were a father daughter team and that appealed to me. I had a old tape recorder, I would play that tape over and over, unfortunately it ate it!! For those that do not know what that means, it means it unwound the cassette tape in the recorder machine. Oh My God!! I was so scared what do I do. I seen my mother fix tapes that did this before, so I tried to fix it. I tried to fix it, and failed, this failure scared the life outta me, I was so scared of a beating! You never knew from one moment to the next what set our mother off! I didn’t dare go to her current lover as I avoided him like the plague. What to do? Hide the evidence, and say I lost it, how this made it better I do not know. However, I recall losing a hundred dollars of moms grocery money and she didn’t get angry, so I figured losing something was better than inadvertently breaking something. Does this make sense to you. I suffer extreme anxiety, I am starting to understand why! I threw the tape out my window as hard as I could. I lied to my mother and told her I lost it some were. She just shrugged her shoulders. I started to relax and breath normally.
However, guess who found it!! You guessed right if you said her current lover, the very man who abused me for years.He brought it in to show me with that awful grin he had when he had the upper hand. He showed it to me and just looked, a silent communication passed between us. I knew exactly what he was saying, with out saying a word. Keep your silence and I will keep mine…. He bought her a new cassette and mom never knew about the cassette he found. Now I felt he had something over me, a dam cassette doomed me, because I was so scared of what my mom would do if she found out I wrecked her cassette.
To understand how unpredictable she was, I will share a couple of instances of cruel and unusual punishment. One time I was in the shower and I slipped, I grabbed the shower curtain and pulled it down, to save myself from a nasty fall. I was so scared of what mom would do… I was right I heard her coming up the stairs and I locked the door. That was a huge mistake. Through the door I tried to explain what happened, but her rage was already provoked. She yelled at me “open this F’ing door now or it will be twice as bad!” I knew then there was no escape, she had already made up her mind she was going to beat me. I opened the door and she had a long wooden spoon. I was naked, wet and very vulnerable. I could not help but scream, I didn’t cry but I sure screamed, I am surprised no one called the police, I was so loud! However, with good reason, she hit me all over my body, except my arms and face. She was so dam smart, looking back I can see the precision and maliciousness of her abuse towards me. After she was done, it seemed like hours, but was probably only minutes, she was sweating with the exertion of her beating me, I went to my room to get dressed, in pain and with a broken heart.
The second incident, was like Oh My God help me she is sure to kill me this time!! I took my window out of the frame to clean it on both sides. I carefully laid it on my bed.. the unthinkable happened! I fell and my knee went right through the glass!! Can you imagine my terror? I bet you can, I was paralyzed with fear! There was no way I could hide this, she would notice it was gone if I threw it away, and she would surely see it if I took it out to the garbage! I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances.. I called my mom to show her what I had done. The unbelievable happened!! She looked at the broken window as I explained, I was trying to clean it to make her proud of me. She looked at me and said ” awww, you are such a good girl for trying to clean your room”. “It was an accident, don’t worry we will replace it!” I was floored! When I saved my self from falling in the tub by grabbing the shower curtain, and pulling it down, I got a wicked beating. For doing something I should not of been doing, taking a window out of its frame, I got praise?! This was so crazy to me, I did not have any idea what was right and what was wrong any more. If some one asked me if I knew the difference between right and wrong, the honest answer would have been no.
So you can imagine my fear over that stupid cassette tape, was I going to be beaten or not.. I had no idea, but even the thought of a beating paralyzed me with fear. You know that song she’s got the look, that was my mom’s song, well that’s who I think of when I hear it. All she had to do was give us the “look” and we towed her line. I say “her” line, because that line always changed from minute to minute.
All these years I tried so hard to not be bad, and now I was trapped. If being good did not make Mom love me, I could only imagine how she would feel after I did something bad, to what I thought was her favorite cassette. looking back, I now realize Mom’s favorite was Conway Twitty, not Kendall’s. Who was I to believe that I was so privileged to actually play her favorite cassette. That dumb cassette was nothing, sometimes I wish I would have found out what she would have done,so I wouldn’t be under “his” thumb, any more than I already was. However, the beatings she would give us were so vicious I couldn’t gather the courage to find out what she would do to me. Especially after she got those dam horse whips from the auction mart across the road. I didn’t believe Tyra, who saw them first. To put into context why we were so terrified of those horse whips, was when mom was enraged she would beat us mercilessly. We did not have any animals with which to use the horse whips on. They were for us.
After this, He became even more grievous to me. I had my own room with a pink carpet. Some would think that would have been the coolest thing, to have your own room, for me it was a nightmare. He would tell me to go into my room and play with my self. I told my mom and she told me to leave the door open, she slammed it shut just as he put his face in my window. Of course I wasn’t playing with my self, but I wonder how sever a beating I would have got if I was. The look of shock on that mans face was priceless to me, I know my mother saw him, now it would stop.
I was wrong it only got worse. There was no fighting or arguing, nothing, just silence. no one came to my rescue, I was betrayed, the one entrusted to care and love me betrayed me again, for the love of a man, who only wanted to abuse her children. I just did a lot of chores, like mowing the grass, doing the dishes and vacuuming, pretty much home making, nothing new. I was such a skinny girl, but was changing and it wasn’t passing his notice at all. My relationship with him was becoming even more ominous as time went by. this mans mind was so warped, any time I try to place myself in his shoes I am incapable of doing so, therefore I have no empathy for him what so ever. If he reaped what he sowed, I can not say that makes me unhappy or happy. I just feel a cold indifference for this travesty of a man.
We did a lot of camping back then. going all over the county side, I hated it, I still peed the bed!!! How shaming is that. Oddly neither my mother or her lover ever said anything to me about it. I always got up in the night to put my sheets in the wash and to put dry linen on. the only real thing my mother did to acknowledge there was a issue was to put plastic covering over my mattress. I would wash that down, let it dry then put clean linen on. I thought I was hiding the accidents so well, probably not. Do you think my mother knew why I was peeing the bed? Of course she did, which is why she never said anything about it in anger or support. Just silence.
The fact that my mother seen him in my window, but did nothing to protect me seemed to embolden him even more. He and my mother had some pictures, of them participating in oral sex. My mother confronted me and accused me of looking at those pictures, while he stood behind her and grinned that awful rictus grin. It always felt like I was looking into death when I saw that grin so sickening to me. I of course did not know what she was talking about since I did not see any pictures. She told me exactly were they were in the garage and when I went out there to check there was nothing there. Were did this accusation even come from?!! Him? I believe it was because he seemed to be enjoying the fear I felt about being confronted by my mother, and the ensuing and inevitable back hand, from her, did come. The shock just stunned me into silence, none of us children ever cried, unless we wanted to hear our mother say “shut up or I will give you something to cry about”, as if what we already endured was not worth crying over… I really hate that saying.
I do not know why I went back into the garage a second time, but I did and there like my mother said were the pictures she was all up in arms about facing up. the top picture showed her giving her man oral sex, gross!!! I thought geez I have to put these away before any of the young ones see these awful pictures!! I did not look through them, why would I seriously?! For my mother to even think that I would want to see that disgusting act between the two of them makes me so very angry!!! Who the hell did she think she was, that I would want to see her having sex!!! I simply put them were she said they were supposed to be and said nothing more about it, but that picture was forever burned into my mind!!
We did a lot of camping when we were with that “man” as I stated before, and, bad things happened. One of the things I remember is falling on one of those camping heaters and burning the side of my leg bad enough that I could not put anything against it. Instead of letting me wear bikini bottoms or anything my mother did not let me wear anything on my bottom. Remember when I was little and I didn’t want to go play outside with out a shirt? You can imagine how I felt now that I was like eleven and had no bottoms on! I was horrified!! Her man loved it though, as she would bring me out of the tent to put me across her lap and slather on cream on my leg. I struggled but after a few slaps I just submitted, shame coursing through my veins. All the while him watching with that evil rictus grin. No we did not go home after the accident, I remember people walking by the camp and looking at me and my mom when she was putting lotion on my leg. How.. how could she do this to me, my anger for her grew, but I was helpless to do anything about it.
Another thing he would do is give me a flash light and tell me to kiss the end of it and think of him.. what a gross pig he was! I knew what he meant when he said that, but still It boggles my mind how any man could be attracted to a skinny girl, who obviously was not even close to being womanly in any way shape or form.
Due to written letters by this mans twin daughters I firmly believe that he sexually molest his daughters as well, so not only was he a pedophile he was incestuous as well, a dangerous predator, no child was safe from this man!
I do not believe my mother was a pedophile, however she was a active and willing participant in the abuse. She was deranged and I do believe some what insane due to all the drugs and alcohol.
I still hid food, one night I was hungry and I snuck out to the kitchen and stole two pieces of bread, and was sneaking back to my room. I froze when my mother called out to me and asked me if I wanted to put some butter on my bread, I was caught but her kindness made me cry. butter on my bread!! Her kindness hurt my heart, maybe because it was so far and few between, or maybe I thought how could this woman show me any kindness after what she had already done to me! I did put the margarine on my bread, it was so good! I slept peacefully that night, food was such a comfort to me ….Food made me feel full, filled that emptiness, took away that pain, never made me feel bad or unworthy, Food was comforting, as I grew older finding comfort externally was to become my mission and my master.
“Do not look for healing at the feet of those who broke you” Rapi Kaur