When I asked for a copy of the police report I made, back in 1983, I expected to see my words, verbatim. I wanted to see my words. I wanted to hear my voice from that time. I needed to meet the barely 13 year old me. I was surprised to get the 86 page file so quickly, and I was aghast when I read through it.
The first thing I notice is the “(unfounded)” label on my initial report. I knew they had lied about it. I knew they claimed I was having “flashback” memories of my earlier abuse. I knew they claimed I was troubled and just trying to get out from being in trouble. Don had done it before. Their modus operandi is overly familiar to me, but reading the report is a sock-in-the-gut!
THIS IS WHAT THEY DO…
As soon as Annita left for ‘Bible Study’, Don ‘invited’ me to the bedroom to ‘talk’.
[excessive air quotes, I know, but there were lots of code words in my childhood]
Invited to talk meant: come to the bedroom so I can have my way with you, even though you’re just 9, 10, 11, 12 years old.
Bible Study meant: my escape and meeting with my lover.
I got to the bedroom where Don was already unclothed down to his underpants. I did what any dutifully obedient daughter does. I unclothed myself and lay prone over the foot-end of the bed.
I was programmed to lie there as he pleasured himself over me, or if his mood called for it, he inserted himself between the folds of my buttocks or vagina, to simulate the rhythm of intercourse. He was desensitizing me and prepping me for the real thing – penetration. There were several times he ‘accidentally’ made minor entry, it was very painful when he did.
He was just about ready to begin when we heard Annita arrive back home unexpectedly.
“Hurry! Hide over there!” He motioned me to hide in the space between the wall and the bed. I did as he said and dove for protection, head deep into shame.
I could hear Annita at the bedroom door. “Where’s Terri?”
“I don’t know.” He lied.
She walked past him and as she passed the bed, she looked down at the floor to see me there, as still as your breath when it’s faced by terror.
“What are you doing down there?” She accused, as if I had done something horribly wrong.
“He told me to get here.” I was mute for any other explanation. What would she do to me if I spoke up? She once beat my brother’s butt until it nearly bled, just because he lied about breaking open an ink pen. She beat me whenever she needed an outlet for her rage. I had knots on my head where clumps of hair had been ripped out by her. Her ring landed on my lips with her backhand, on more than one occasion.
Annita asked Don for an explanation.
“I was going to spank her.” He gave some lame story about how he was punishing me because I’d done something wrong.
“Why are the lights off?”
“You know how she hates me seeing her body.” He justified.
I stood there in shock and in silence.
“I’ll spank her.”
Annita volunteered to take care of my punishment, and that was that. She spanked me and banished me to my room for the night. Months later she admitted she thought something was amiss but she chose to ignore it.
When I made my report for Don choking me (see The Journey Begins, January 6th entry), they both partnered to make me look as if I was merely a troubled girl, making it all up for my own selfish intentions. But selfish intentions is what they were guilty of most of my years with them.
The report was not filled with my own voice. It was the voice of lies, the influence of Don and Annita. Included with the report was something I had not counted on. It contained Don’s statement from when he was arrested and charged with five counts of Lewd and Lascivious acts upon a minor. Each count with $10,000 bail assignment. I heard the voice of the police, and the attorney prosecuting the matter. I heard the voice of Don’s belligerence, his defiance and deflection of responsibility, his reasons and justifications.
“I had low self esteem. My wife treated me badly. Terri wanted this kind of relationship. Terri showed me the love and respect and attention that my wife did not. My wife would not have sex with me. Terri was a willing participant. Terri enjoyed it.”
The transcript was full of the prosecutors voice, attempting to make friends with Don in order to get him to a plea deal. But in the process, they gave Don ideas what to say in order to get himself out of the most violent of charges – the one where he choked me unconscious for refusing his advances.
They instructed, “If you are violent that’s one thing we can’t ignore. But if you just did these other acts because you had a bad relationship with your wife, or you were unemployed, or it just happened to happen, and if you’re sorry – well – we can work with that to help you.” [I paraphrase].
‘I’ was nowhere to be found in this 86 page transcript. My fears looked true, I had ceased to exist (see Out From Under Tidal Waves, January 24th entry).
The feelings swirled and engulfed me. Confusion and anger filled my heart.
I’ve felt my ‘self’ going into the frozen zone again. Fleeing from The Big Thaw I wrote about on January 12th.
I have to find my voice! I have to dig out of this hole I unwittingly entered as I read the reports. I have to remind myself to trust in the Lord. Trust in the process.
Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Psalm 27:10
As I process through the lies, that say I’m responsible for what happened. As I make peace with the suppression of my voice. As I allow my heart to thaw and forgive, wish me peace and pray God breathes life into this part of my soul.