Monday, February 2, 2009

Who Dunnit!?!? (1980)

"Divorces between Kings and Queens inevitably pull children in half,
tearing their love and loyalty to their parents apart
Christine Ann Lawson

So, Dad wants us to move in with him; my mother wants us to live with her while she starts a new life with her new boyfriend (my Dad's best friend-- well, ex-best friend). Dad was miserable and seeing him like that was hard to bear. My mother seemed to enjoy her new found freedom and that was hard to bear too.

One day I got home from school. My mother and brother were in an argument. The argument continued, and she demanded him to go outside. For a brief moment, I couldn't see them as no windows were on that side, but I heard a scuffle, a yell, and more screaming. By the time I saw them again, they were on the back patio with my brother breaking free from her, running inside with his hand on his face. He was yelling that she hit him and knocked his tooth out. And sure enough, he pulled his hand away, and he had a bloody mouth with a tooth missing. I about flipped out. What the heck is going on!?

I immediately thought that I should remove him from the situation, so we got on our bikes and went to the neighbor's house. We let them know what transpired, and then we rode up to Dad's apartment where he met us there (the neighbors called him at work). My brother was taken to a dentist who informed my Dad that the tooth had to have been knocked out by force as it was not a baby tooth that could have been "pulled out" as it wasn't ready to be lost. Dad had the private detective take pictures of the missing tooth, my brother's face, and the tooth itself. At this point, my Dad had us so scared of our mother that we had no intentions of going back to the house with her.

My mother claims that she never struck my brother. My brother testifies that she did. My mother never spanked us, never hit us, and never laid a hand on us ever in the past. My brother had a history of pulling out baby teeth when they were just a little bit lose to be able to get some money from the Tooth Fairy. The dentist said that the tooth was not able to be pulled out by hand-- especially in that minimal amount of time. I don't know. I don't want to think that either of these people had it in their power to do either thing-- my mother to hit a tooth out, my brother to extract a tooth.

We stayed at my Dad's apartment, and without any spare clothes except what was on our backs, our Dad took us to a family friend's house who had some clothes up in their attic for us to wear. The situation was very stressful-- thinking of our mother sitting at home, alone, and missing us. Not having the comforts of our own clothes and things. Being in a completely uncomfortable situation where we didn't know what was lying ahead.

The time was around the holidays, and after staying at my Dad's apartment for a while, we were supposed to go to decorate a Christmas tree with our mother at the house. After talking to our Dad about it, and him stressing that we didn't have to go if we didn't want (after all she was violent to my brother, and after all she created this whole mess, he reminded us), we decided not to go to visit our mother. I don't remember who called her (I think my Dad did) but I do remember it was dark outside, and I was left with this empty feeling in my stomach. A deep pit, hallow and sad.

I was terribly conflicted as to what was going on. I didn't feel that either parent should be chosen over the other. They are my parents. How can you choose one parent over another? And no matter what you do, you hurt someone (see subsequent blog entry: Adult Child of Parental Alienation). After all if I had chosen to leave to decorate that tree with my mother, my Dad would have felt betrayed. He definitely made it clear that there were sides to be picked. I couldn't win. I was feeling ripped in half. And being on 12 years old, this was a TOUGH pill to swallow... I can only imagine what my 10 year old brother felt.

My mother disappeared after this. My Dad played it up that he tried to find her but couldn't. My mind would wander as to where she was, what she was doing, how sad she must be. Less than a month earlier, I was having the same thoughts about my Dad-- my mind wandering back then as to him alone in his apartment, visualizing his tears when picking me up on the way to school, and being alone without his kids. All of this was splitting me in half.

One day Dad got a call from a neighbor near my mother's house saying there was a U-Haul in the driveway. Bring on the craziness. Dad took my brother and me to a friend's house near my mother's house, and he told us that he wouldn't let our mother take our things-- that he would stop her. He then got together the neighbors together at different look-outs and spots around the neighborhood. Some had walkie-talkies and would report what she was doing.

My mother was packing up her things to move. Her boyfriend was with her too. Dad went to confront them, and he reported back to my brother and me that the boyfriend (his ex-best friend) pulled a gun on him. My brother and I were petrified. Once my mother left with the U-Haul, my Dad reportedly inspected the house. He took my brother and me down to the house to show us all that my mother purported did. Dad even went to the extent to show us the empty cabinets. "Look, she even took the TOILET PAPER", I remember him telling us. He showed us windows that were smashed in and the disarray in our house. One question that has never been answered is why would my mother (who has a key) smash the windows? My mother says that my Dad broke a window to get in, and then to make the scene look more dramatic and scary, he broke more windows. I don't' know, but NONE of it makes sense-- and all was very scary to two little kids.


  1. Obviously you have spent a great amount of time learning. I'm like you - it helps when I write. I hate that you have had to deal with any of this - you are too special of a woman to have to. But sometimes I wonder -when things happen or an understanding occurs - what is my job? what am I supposed to learn and pass on? So with you putting your experience out there, you are fulfilling a purpose - this info will help someone else. I think it's incredibly wonderful how your brain works-- that you would actually put in the effort to research and that you are a strong & confident enough person to then put it down for others. There's not many people like you in the world.

  2. I do hope that I am able to help, guide, or comfort someone in a similar situation. We learn from each other-- and find comfort as well.