part nineteen

from part eighteen: Just writing this brings the weepies. I wonder what would have happened to me as a small child if someone had been that kind and caring about my situation. I had no memory of my childhood at this time. I didn’t tell anyone in the congregation what happened to my daughter. I wonder why. I didn’t realize it until sometime last year, but this incident with my beautiful child was the trigger for the chain of events that began then and continues for me even now 14 years later.

Since the police got involved in the molesting incident, our neighbors got really pissed off. Isn’t that rich? Their son tries to poke my daughter with ‘his pee’ and his parents get angry with us? To say I was confused would be an understatement. I still had absolutely no memory what-so-ever of my childhood and I simply didn’t understand the psychology that goes with something like this. I did all I needed to do. Filled out the paperwork, held my daughter down for the vaginal exam she did not want to have, tried to contain my temper and still finish school while mothering my 6 year old and my 6 month old as well.

Somewhere during this time I came down with pneumonia and my mom ended up with severe gangrene in her hand and needed emergency surgery to save her life. Added to all the excitement that was our life at the time, the neighbors were still unhappy with us and began encouraging their children’s misbehavior. Actually misbehavior is an understatement. My children could not even go outside to play anymore because the other kids would throw knives at them. Yea, we lived in a very cheap part of town and their were some ‘interesting’ people there. The time had come for us to move somewhere else. Sooo, in the midst of it all, I found us a new home. My husband was not the least bit helpful and in fact was more of a hindrance than anything however we got a house and moved and tried to move on.

I did not tell anyone we were moving except for a friend who was not a JW. After we’d been in our new home a few weeks, we did finally hook up with a new congregation but I have to admit, my attendance was sporadic. There was so much to do and with almost no help from my husband, it felt impossible at times. I was 28 years old and had three children. I was in school and my husband had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder a year or two earlier. I spent my days in school, my evenings taking care of children and every other moment of time either studying, cleaning, working or waiting for whatever unbelievable thing my husband would do next.

To make things even more interesting, my 6 year old daughter was ummm…difficult, to put it mildly. I’d received a phone call from her kindergarten teacher 8 months before our move telling me that my little girl had run out of the classroom screaming that she was going to kill herself. It seems the children had all been given something earlier in the day and E could not find hers when it was time to sit down. She became hysterical and inconsolable. The teacher told me “I’ve never, in all my years of teaching, had any child behave like this and I think she’s run off the school grounds.” I quietly asked her why on earth she was talking to me on the phone instead of finding my girl and it was only then that she told me someone had gone to look for her. I’d like to say that was the first time my oldest child had behaved in such a way but it wasn’t. It did, however, begin her years in the mental health system in our city.

Moving turned out to be a very positive thing for my children. The school where E began 1st grade was wonderful and she had some amazing teachers during her 4 years there. She was quiet and withdrawn and odd and weird and all those words that kids call other kids who are different. This girl read the newspaper by the time she was 2 years old. Her question to my aunt about the news was “Aunt Bonnie, what’s Afghanistan?” She was TWO. She knew more about Jehovah than most children and she was well on her way to feeling inferior and not good enough for anything or anyone like most good little Witness children.

It makes my stomach cramp to think of it. I never felt like I was a good enough mother. I was jumpy all the time and irritable and convinced that I was a bad wife, horrible person, inferior christian, worthless daughter and much much more. Still I was determined to do more, to be better, to serve Jehovah and stay faithful. I had no idea that I was about to experience a complete meltdown. Time was marching on and my life, my psyche, my entire belief system was about to be turned absolutely, stunningly and unbelievably on it’s ear.

added: I’ve had this part written and re-written for a few weeks now and keep looking it over and changing it. I have finally figured out that I need to stop doing that already! I just need to write it down and get it out of my head. So, no more editing for me. Whatever comes out is just gonna be what it is.

to be continued


6 responses to this post.

  1. {{{{{{{{Traci}}}}}}}}


  2. Whatever comes out is probably best. Hugs, Traci.


  3. The more I read of this saga, the more kudos I have to give you for being so sane and sensible. You have clearly got your battle scars, but you have also weathered the storm like a trouper.


  4. No need to edit or sugar coat the truth. It’s usually best to just get it out and let the universe take it from there.


  5. my turn to stop by and show you some of that loyal love of mine..;-)
    miss you sista…


  6. With each installment of your story, my picture of you gets broader and more focused, all at the same time. How have you turned all of these experiences into such beauty, my friend? You are brave and beautiful, Traci, despite your bruises. And with each truth that you set free, I believe the bruising heals just that much more. I hope so, anyway. Love to you!!


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