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Unforgotten Angels - Child abuse and child sexual abuse

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Mon, 04/15/2013 - 11:52
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Unforgotten Angels - Child abuse and child sexual abuse

In your email you’ve asked if I was abused as a child. That’s a question that has been asked many times and I will attempt to answer, you can decide for yourself.

I’ve been asked many times if I have been abused or what made me decide to write about child abuse and child sexual abuse. In most cases I have given a flippant response or not really responded at all. There are very few people who know anything about me personally. I’m very private, even in real life I prefer to be left alone a lot of times, partially because of medical reasons but also because that’s just who I have become in the last few years. Of course I love my friends and family and enjoy their company at times but I’m ok staying at home, reading or babying my dogs.

I recently had someone email me and ask the same question many others have asked. They also wanted to know exactly why I started my website and a few other questions. After thinking about it for quite a while I’ve decided to write about some of my life experiences. It’s not that I have anything to hide, I don’t. As much as I can write about any given subject I have never written about my own life,I don’t know how, it took me days to write this and really it only touches on a couple of situations. Nonetheless, it’s unfair that I ask others to share their own story’s when no one really knows anything about me. So here is a beginning and perhaps I can write more when I can figure out how to put it into words….

I’ve just begun my journey and at this moment my focus is making sure as many people as possible know about the atrocities that go on in the lives of children that are abused physically and sexually. I do that by studying their cases and detailing them in the articles I write. I put those articles on as many different locations on the web as I can and although my stories are often very graphic I feel that they need to be. The media does not talk about what really goes on and only reports a small percentage of abuse cases. My long-term goal is to open a non-profit, however, I am not naive and I know I have a lot of learning to do before I will even attempt this because I refuse to fail.

I’ve never written about myself other than small details here and there in my articles so I hope it all makes sense. It’s a long story and not easy to explain so please bear with me.

Let’s see, I’m a 35-year-old mother to 3 teenagers, 13, 15 and 18 and I’m married twice over. I finally found happiness when I met and married my second husband 9 years ago.I was formerly in Account Management for over 10 years but due to my health I now stay home.  Staying home has allowed me the time to find my real passion, writing and giving others a voice who cannot speak for themselves. This is where I am now in my life but I am sure you want to know what got me here?

I was born in W. Texas and the oldest of 3, I’m also the only girl so I was somewhat spoiled, meaning my dad never really disciplined me much. My brothers got spankings but we were not abused physically. At the age of 5 we were sent to foster homes for 6 months because my dad went to jail and my mom couldn’t afford to take care of us. We were all split up but I was fortunate enough to stay with our aunt and uncle while my brothers went to strangers. My mom visited every weekend or we visited her.

I remember being so hurt because my aunt made me throw away the dresses my parents just bought because they were not good enough for her, she said they didn’t fit. We were poor, the dresses were used but I loved them, I remember one was white and almost floor length with very small gray flowers. Mother’s day came around and I made a coffee cup in school, I was so confused and didn’t want to hurt anyone. I didn’t know who to give it to. I loved my aunt and my mom. I never blamed my mom for anything, even from a very young age I knew she was as helpless as we were. My dad beat her down emotionally and mentally like he did all of us. These were some of my first memories.

After coming back home at age 6 things seemed good. My mother has always been very religious regardless of my father and she always kept me in church and tried to teach us to do right. They were never right for each other, my mom didn’t even drink. It wasn’t long before it was time to move, this move would be one of hundreds. We never stayed in one house, in one city or in one state for long.  My dad always had an excuse as to why we had to move and it never made any sense to anyone but him.  He thought FBI, DEA and Detectives were always after us. One time he swore our house was bugged.

There were so many times that we had to pack up and leave without any notice or hardly any notice. We were not allowed to tell our friends we were leaving; we were not allowed to tell anyone. We couldn’t take anything with us except clothes most of the time. The one thing I have left from my childhood is a photo album that has my writings in them. It’s funny now but I used to collect a square of toilet paper from every city we stopped in. I don’t know why, it was just something to have of my own.

Dad was a chronic drug addict, his preferred drug of choice was speed and he shot it up. I always found needles and spoons lying in the garage. Drugs allowed him to work extremely long hours as a carpet layer and make a lot of money.  That money rarely ever went towards any of us though. He also drank a lot at times. There were times when we lived in a few very nice places for short amounts of times; he was never able to keep the payments up though.  He even owned a couple of businesses but lost them due to his habit.

I can’t count the number of times we slept in our car on the side of a road or a truck stop, lived with family, spent nights in a homeless shelter and one time met a Pastor at some church and slept at their house while we were on the road.  When I was really little my mom told me we ran out of gas in some little town and the sheriff let us stay the night at the jail because it was winter. We lived in a KOA campground in Kingsport, TN. for almost a year. We started out in 1 tent and eventually got a trailer in the campground. That was actually a fun time, the manager of the campground, Belinda, had a daughter my age and we were good friends. Her mom let me join her clog dance lessons with them.

While travelling my dad would stop and help people who were broken down on the side of the road and charge them. This worked especially well in Nevada and Arizona with people whose car would over-heat. He would just pop the thermostat real quick and make a few bucks. This paid for our gas and food and sometimes a motel room. Other times he would steal out of the back of trucks and sell or pawn the stolen merchandise. My brothers were also encouraged to take money out of water fountains at a young age. No one ever said anything because they were so young.

I remember befriending a girl, she was about 18 or 19 while my parents were at a casino in Laughlin. My dad was good at playing blackjack or whatever it was he played and we kids would play in the game room. Anyway, I don’t remember why but I remember mentioning that this girl’s family was rich. I probably just thought they were compared to us. My dad tried to force me into going and asking them to borrow $50. I was to tell them that we were expecting a wire transfer the next morning and could pay them back. That was a lie and I honestly don’t remember if I ever asked for the money, I just remember the feeling of my dad trying to push me into his scams.

My dad would also steal gasoline from other cars while we travelled and run a short change scam in convenient stores. He was certainly not an idiot and he knew how to get away with whatever he wanted. There was a time we left Manchester, N.H. and was heading back to Lubbock and we had no money. He stopped and hit every church and shelter he could and would drag us in saying we were trying to get back home for whatever reason. Sometimes the Pastor would ask us to attend service in return for help and we did. We always got a gas and food voucher. He was a con artist.

I hated the way people looked down on us or even worse was when they would pretend to be nice because they pitied us.

When we weren’t moving around my dad was disappearing. He would tell my mom he was going out for a pack of cigarettes or a loaf of bread and we wouldn’t see him for days. He would show back up like nothing happened and everything was normal. I remember from a very young age my mom calling hospitals and jails to see if he was there until it became normal and she finally quit. Luckily my mom always kept a job to support us and hid money from him. She would also wait until he passed out and take money from his wallet, he never knew.

He also loved to threaten that he was moving out. When we were really young he would tell my mom that he would take us from my mom if she tried to leave him. Later he just threatened to leave all the time. It was a game.

One time he sat me on his knee, my brothers were sitting on each side of him and his tool box was on the floor. He told us he was leaving us, he was crying and we begged him not to go. I was about 10. He didn’t want to tell us bye but my mom told him if he was leaving he’d better tell us something. Thinking back, I wish he would have left because our lives would have turned out much differently.  Right after that we moved again.

When I was 15 he planted cocaine in my bedroom and told my mom he found it. I was pissed, the one thing I am NOT is like him! I dared and pleaded for them to take me immediately for a drug test. He refused and backed off, my mom knew the truth and he never mentioned it again.

At 16 I became pregnant and at 17 I had my daughter. I swore I would never raise my kids the way he raised us and I would never make them feel like the worthless piece of trash like I felt growing up. When my daughter was just a couple of weeks old we were evicted and had to move into a motel. I knew I had to get my daughter and me the hell out of there but didn’t know how yet and felt like I was stuck.

We weren’t in that roach infested motel for long before my dad moved us to a small town about 45 minutes outside of Lubbock. He actually dumped us there in a trailer and disappeared again. When he showed back up he said he was leaving for good and paid 6 months’ rent. My mom was really upset and my dad asked me to come out to the truck.

When I got out there he said he was leaving because of me and my daughter. He was not going to raise another kid. It felt like my heart dropped into stomach. Although he’s hurt us all our lives I still loved him, he was my dad. I told him of my plans to leave and that I certainly did not expect anything from him or anyone. He must have believed me because when he couldn’t put his leaving off on me and my child anymore he told me that he met a woman and was living with her.

It was at that time that I saw my father for who he really was, I always knew but I let my love for him blind me up until then. I then realized that leaving was the best thing he could do for my mom and my brothers.

He left and we had no vehicle and no money. He also lied and did not pay the rent. My mom and I would walk all over town looking for jobs but it was a very small town and we could not find anything.  There were a lot of nights we ate fried squash or popcorn or deer meat that was given to us. I moved back to Lubbock with my daughter when she was about 3 months old so I could go to college and work.

I didn’t speak to him for quite a while and when I did we ended up getting into a huge argument and not speaking to each other again for years. I do not communicate with him while he is using meth or drinking. I also do not allow my children around him or my step-mom during these times. This has caused me to have to make the decision to not see him for years at a time during the last 18 ½ years. My children really don’t know their papaw and he doesn’t know them.

He has never told them happy birthday and I don’t think he even knows how old the 2 youngest are. My brother Travis was killed in a car accident 9 years ago, my ex-husband and I had to find my dad and tell him at 4:30 in the morning. That was the first time I had spoken to him in years and he didn’t recognize me.

A couple of years ago he accidentally set himself on fire while working on his RV and we didn’t know if he was going to live. He didn’t know I lived just a few miles down the road from him, much less the same town. My step-sister called to tell me about the accident and we were able to get to the hospital right away. Him and my step-mom had quit drugs and drinking at that time I think. With his horrific burns from the waist up though he was prescribed strong pain medication and was on it for a while. He started drinking to because of the severity of the pain. My step-mom soon followed in his footsteps. I know she tried hard to fight her addictions, I saw her trying but she failed.

They are both drinking and taking pills again. My husband, brother and brother-in-law work for my dad’s plumbing business. He’s managed to keep it afloat for a few years. I don’t go out there to visit and they don’t come here. I don’t know if they ask my husband why but they know.

It’s how I prefer it, maybe it’s just been too long to try to fix things. I have forgiven but I can’t forget no matter how hard I have tried. I really have tried but the memories come back like it was yesterday.  I’m a control freak in a lot of ways and this is the one thing I can not control.

I was finally able to establish myself in my late 20’s. I was successful in life, in my career and in my marriage. My self-confidence was great and I knew who I was as a woman, a mother and a wife. At that point I had accomplished my goals and done everything I swore I would when I was younger and I was preparing for the next steps. The only setbacks I ever had were these damn migraines.

They started when I was 6 and have become worse as I’ve gotten older. I’ve seen a lot of doctor’s and neurologist’s and they run test after test and find nothing wrong. Many of them say my migraines are from stress to which I would rebut “I’m not stressed so you’re wrong”. This has gone on for years, they’ve put me on so many medications I don’t even remember all the names of them.

Over the last several years I get migraines every day, I can’t work anymore because I’m not dependable and sometimes I have seizures when the pain is out of control. I refuse to take pain medication so instead I take a lot of Excedrin migraine against my doctors’ advice. He has diagnosed my migraines as severe chronic migraines due to stress and anxiety. When I told him that I was not stressed like I did all the past doctors he said I’ve been in this state for so many years that I don’t even know it because it’s my perception of normal.

Growing up I always said I would never have children, I planned to foster or adopt because of my experience in care and so many unwanted children. My own parent’s grew up in a children’s home. It was always in my plan even as a small child to help in some way. When I was about 12 or 13 there was a little girl named Angela McGhee, she was 9. Her mother was murdered and she lived with her drug dealing grandma in Riverside, Ca. My dad actually got his drugs from her I think. I tried to be a big sister to her and shelter her from some of the things that were going on in her home. She stayed with me a lot. I think about her often and wonder what happened to her.

A lot of people have asked if I was ever abused because of the Unforgotten Angels website and FB group I’ve founded. No. Physically and sexually, I was not. I also want to point out that we were not miserable every day either; we did have some good memories to like taking Taekwondo together. The mind usually remembers more of the negative than the positive.