As I was wheeled out of the hospital with my mom and dad beside me, I was filled with fear, resentment, along with a boiling sensation of anger. There was that always hacking question yet with no answer, "How did I end up here, how did I end up like this, what happened to me"?
As I sit here pouring my every detail of what I went through my head is just spinning of emotions that have been so buried deep and now that I revisit it, my head is swarming with memories that frighten me. I can see my life back then through my writings and my memories and now I can't help but think if my life is in fact any better than it was back then.
I truly believed for so long no matter who it was, so many others were thankful that they were not in a similar situation as myself. Even though I was in my early thirties, I felt like I was ninety years old. There was no amount of makeup or mascara, lipstick, changing of my hair that could take me out of the funk that I was in.
Back at home, my dad told me that he was going to make sure that the proper papers were filed against Rick and going forward in the failure to pay child support was placed before the proper authorities as well as charges brought before him. I climbed into my bed and just laid there numb, numb to any feelings, thoughts, emotions, I felt almost dead.
My mom and dad took both the girls out so I could rest and that is exactly what I did, I don't recall what day I fell asleep but I do remember waking up the next day. My body was aching so badly. The swelling on the different places of my face had become smaller but the pain was still very prominent and the stitches in all the places on my face just ached if I moved let alone talk. Both my girls just looked at me wondering who this person was looking back at them.
Savi reached up and touched where the stitches were and I jerked back from the still burning pain. I just told her mommy took a fall and the doctor had to glue me back together like Humpty Dumpty that sat on the wall.
After days of healing and rest I was beginning to feel better. And then it happened.....
Savi was so sick with the flu. As she rocked back and forth from the pain in her belly I was determined to sit up next to her rubbing her back while trying to console her. That was when I suddenly smelled something strange. It seemed to be the smell of a burning cigarette wafting in the air. I became very alarmed at the fact that somewhere someone was smoking. I chose to ignore it but it still lingered in the air. The backside of my parents house there was this enormous deck along with an wooden awning that give shade during those very warm summers.
It was a very sturdy awning because when my mom had the windows cleaned the windows guy would stand on it to clean the upstairs windows. The closet doors in the bedroom all had those mirrored sliding doors. As I continued to sit with Savi as she moaned and groaned filled with discomfort that was when I saw out of the corner of my eye a bright beaming red color with once again the smell of the lingering cigarette. The streets lights outside the house never were able to give a hint of who was out there. Just a very bleak deep darkness with no light.
I quickly sat up from the bed to walk towards the window to see what it was when I suddenly heard the slamming of feet running down the awning. I ran downstairs to wake up my dad telling him that someone was standing on the awning while watching me through the window.
He of course grumbled and growled as he climbed out of bed then down to the lower area of the house to glance outside only to tell me it was nothing that I was over reacting. He of course was pissed as hell that I woke him up followed by my paranoia.
I kept telling him of the burning red light and the smell of someone smoking and he just continued to tell me that I was freaking out and to knock it off. He stomped his way back to his bedroom where my mom laid there then asking what it was. He grumbled his words that it was nothing then ordering her to go back to sleep.
I of course climbed the many stairs to the top level of the house going back to see Savi only to find her finally sleeping. I finally tip-toed back to my room to find Sara snoring away. I climbed in bed pulling the covers over me letting sleep take hold of me and before I could count to two I was gone.
In the morning my dad be-raided me about waking him up and that the paranoia was more then he could take. I kept telling him of the smell of the burning cigarette once again over and over trying to persuade him that I was not freaking out, that I was not paranoid and he just continued to tell me over and over that I need to knock it off.
As the day was ending, the girls had their baths and dressed for bed I couldn't help but wonder if I would hear or smell what I did last night. Savi was feeling somewhat better and she finally fell asleep. Sara of course, I just put her down in her crib and off to La-La land she went. I climbed into bed exhausted from the entire day as well as barely sleeping the night before and once again I was gone.
Then I heard it, I heard Savi screaming during the middle of the night. A scream that would rock the dead. I jolted from my bed running down the long hallway to her room slamming the bedroom door into the wall to find her dropping tears screaming then pointing to window. My mom and dad came bolting up to her room asking what was wrong.
"Man, man, man, screamed Savi," as she kept pointing to the window. She clung to me in such fear. Her body was shaking as she kept repeating man, man, man. My dad went to the bedroom window pulling back the curtains and to his dismay he found the screen almost off just hanging.
"Who in the hell would take off the screen and why would they want to break into this house?" my dad asked grumbling with anger. I just continued to sit with Savi holding her telling her it was going to be okay. It seemed almost strange to have her clinging to me. She never wanted me, she never clung to me like that. Her small hands wrapped around my neck squeezing so tightly, her face buried into my shoulder squeezing me in fear.
Once thing settled down and my father was sure whoever it was, was gone I tried to lay Savi down in her bed only to have her fight me.
"Take her to your room and sleep with her," my mom said exhausted from the nights escapades. I gathered her blankie walking towards my room climbing into bed to find her snuggling up next to me. She finally settled down and went back to sleep as I lay awake welcoming her love, taking in her holding me as a blessing.
Days turn into weeks
Well as the nights came the same strange sounds of someone outside followed. There was continued evidence of someone outside of the house each night for weeks so a blissful night of sleep just never seemed to happen for all of us.
My dad made his way to the backside of the home walking towards the underneath area of the deck. He pulled away the board that allowed one to walk through the undercarriage of a home. He climbed in and that was when he found the evidence. My dad found blankets along with pillows, various bags of fast food strewn all over the place, cigarettes smoked and put out. A screw driver, hammer, and BOOM there it was, Ricks child support case papers that laid there.
My dad immediately came into the house with everything he could find. I was gone with both girls at the mall just to get away from home, take myself out of the tension built up from my parents and the ugly situation that continued each night. But when I came home my mom immediately swooped up the girls and told me to go to the kitchen to see dad he needed to talk to me.
I saw the fear and frustration that hung from her face. I made my way to the kitchen where I found a big over sized trash bag on the counter filled with the all the evidence my dad had found.
"What's all this?" I asked my dad.
I could see the anger all over my dad's face. He was so pissed, tension had rested so deeply through the aging signs on his face, he eyes widened in anger, his nostrils that flared, he was clearly angry and I just stood there confused to find a trash bag on the counter something my mother would never allow.
"Ya know, I know I told you that every father needs to see their kids no matter what they did. I know I said that but Rick has sunk to an all time low now."
"Rick, what does Rick have to do with this?"
"Just keep digging, you'll find it." I remember I continued to dig through the disgusting display of garbage confused at my dads request. I found a pile of papers and pulling them out then opening them I was just taken back by what I read.
"Oh my God, its our court papers." I was just stunned and very confused, "where did you find this, and why do you have the court papers for Rick?"
"I found them along with all that trash underneath our house. Rick has been living there for what seems like sometime now." My dads face twisted and turned from anger as he struggled to find the right words to say. He clenched his fist together holding so tightly I could see his knuckles turning white. He just stood there trying to find the right words to say yet never saying a word.
"He's been living underneath the house, this house?" I said with shock and confusion. As my dad paced like a lion in a small cage I could tell that he was gonna blow like Mount Saint Helen's. For what seemed like lingering minutes he finally looked at me as if this was my fault. I could see him wanting to blame me for all this, I could sense it from his facial expressions. It was so clear just like the writings on the walls. He wanted to blame me for being with Rick and never leaving him when I was instructed to. He finally took a stance learning back onto the kitchen counter letting out and exhausted sigh.
"I want you to take this evidence to the courts and present it to the judge, I am filing charges against him for trespassing and other things. Do you understand, do you hear me, I want you to go to the court house tomorrow morning demand to see the judge and then present this evidence.." my stopped talking closing his eyes letting out another heavy sigh, "no, I am going with you tomorrow, I want to present this to the judge as well."
I learned right then and there our family was now living in fear, we were living with someone not holding a full deck of cards.