After I got old enough to sit on my own, and then walk and feed myself—people for the most part left me alone. It was almost as if I wasn’t even there—almost. I was noticed if I got in someone’s way and shoved to the side. I was noticed when I cried and sometimes my cries were quickly suppressed by the closest person to me. I realized early in my life that no one was interested in hearing my voice—for any reason. This was made abundantly clear when I started talking—the response I heard most was—“shut up!” My mother tried, I guess to the best of her ability, but she was outnumbered and was not always around to see what was being done to me. Left at the table unable to get down on my own, locked into the bathroom, unable to leave when I finished doing what I was supposed to do, and left out of feeling loved and wanted—because no one wanted me, not even my mother, I began to think.
As time moved forward and I began to sprout—up and outward—my brothers began to pay more attention to me than they should have. They began touching me and making me squirm with the comments they made. I told my sister and she just shrugged it off saying, “That’s the way they are. They’ll stop sooner or later.” My sister was three years older than I was so I thought she knew what she was talking about. It turned out she didn’t. The boys were all older than us—the oldest one was seven years older than me, the next one was five years older than me and then there was my sister. By the time was ten—I had been molested by both of my brothers and no one believed me when I tried to tell it. My sister just rolled her eyes, my mother didn’t have time to hear it, and my daddy—he looked me real funny-like. Things got so bad; I simply stopped trying to talk and learned how to fight. I left so many scratches and bite marks on them, they finally left me alone, but there I was—left to think that this is what life on the outside was all about.
Right after I turned twelve another trap was set for me. My daddy finally noticed me—at least he noticed my budding bosom and started teasing me. At least I thought it was teasing me until he started touching me—telling me how pretty I was and how I was going to have to fight off the boys. When he said that, I remembered thinking, “I’ve already had to fight off my brothers, how hard could it be?” I was going to learn.
While Mama was at work one night—she worked two jobs; one during the day and one at night—my daddy decided to play a game with me. It wasn’t a game that I liked since it involved him touching me and grinning at me. I remember his eyes clouding over as if someone had turned on a fog machine and the fog lingered in his eyes and his fingers groping me in places where they should never have explored. He always told me our game was a secret and no one else could know, but I didn’t trust him and I certainly didn’t like his game. I tried telling my sister, but she just told me shut up and deal with it. He had played the same game with her. “And there’s no point in telling Mama,” she warned. “I tried and she didn’t believe me.” I found that hard to believe so I tried telling Mama.
“Shush, girl.” She said. “You know yo daddy didn’t do nothin’. He was just playin’ around with you. He’s like that.” She sighed and went to her room and went to sleep.
For two years, I endured “daddy’s game” until one night he forced himself upon me. I was a big girl, but I couldn’t keep him from entering me and when I screamed—he quickly covered my mouth so tight that I passed out. I remember drifting off into another world where people wanted me and kept me safe. When I woke up, the sheets on my bed were bloody and tangled and I screamed, and screamed until my mother came into the room. All I could do was point and scream. When she saw the blood, she visibly paled and walked out the room. I couldn’t believe she just walked out—never attempting to comfort me or to reassure me things would be all right. Her reaction unnerved me, but I finally got up and went to the bathroom to clean myself—horrified at the thought of my daddy had done to me. Before I could get out of the bathroom, I heard the sound of pistol shot. Terrified, at first I could not move, then when I heard my sister scream, I catapulted out the door. I could not see anyone, but I could hear crying and as I walked down the hallway, I saw my daddy lying in the floor and my mama standing over him with a 45 revolver in her hand. I didn’t even know we had a gun in the house. I think she heard my stifled gasp and she turned around.
“I’m sorry. I should have listened to you a long time ago. He’ll never touch you again,” she said woodenly, tears streaming down her face. “I’m so sorry, I wish I could change things, but I know that I can’t, but I am truly sorry.” She stood there still holding the gun. By the time we heard the sirens in the distance, she had already made up her mind. She turned the gun on herself and pulled the trigger.
This excerpt from my latest book, Trapped, will be released by Mid-February. The book reveals the lives of nine women who feel trapped by circumstances, until they discover a way to overcome. If you’d like to read more of this fantastic fiction, please stay tuned and don’t be afraid to offer some feedback. Blessings to you!