Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Day 7 of NaBloPoMo

Today's writing prompt is "Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Describe the scenes surrounding a particular event ."

Hmm, yes stuff pretty traumatic has happened to me. I had a pretty traumatic childhood. So do I pick a story from back then? My adult life has been fairly tame in comparison to the first 13 years or so of my life.
I'll give it a shot...

I grew up in a small town in the Ozarks. One of those places were everyone knows everyone and everything. If something bad goes on in your family...well, they're more likely to look away then try and do something (the movie Winter Bone depicted the type of people I grew up around very well). My mom married my stepfather when I was four years old. Everything went down hill rather quickly afterwards. I'm not going to tell about everything that happened the 7-8 years they were married, that would take too long. The one I'm telling is probably the only time anyone came to our rescue.
I was about 11 I think. Mom had just came from the grocery store and unloaded the groceries. They were still in bags, when everything started. My stepfather was an alcoholic, a violent person prone to erratical outbursts of anger. This day happen to be a bad one. He started yelling at mom asking where his guns were. Apparently she had hidden one or two out of fear. He started slapping and pushing her and I guess this day she had enough. She told us kids, there were three of the five of us at home that day I think. I know my brother was at our grandparents, but my memory fails me if one of my sisters was there too.
We each grab an arm full, my sisters being so young an armful was a bag of chips or marshmallows. We run down the driveway and start running down the highway we lived on. It didn't take long for my stepfather to get in the van and chase after us. He pulled the van sideways on the highway trying to block our path of escape. My mom and other sisters make it to the field beside the road. My middle sister didn't make it. My stepfather had her and was trying to take her to van. I pull her loose and we get to the ditch. A car drives up and asks if we need any help. Mom hollers "Call the police!" My stepfather yells at the man to stay out of it and yells at us that he's going back to the house to find his guns and kill us all. My mom tells me to run to the store for help. I was gone before she finished the last word.
I'm running and crying, going as fast as I am able. I fall in the gravel parking lot of a trailer fabrication place that is on the corner of the two highways near were we lived. I see people staring at me, I'm too worried that if I don't make it to the store my family will die to stop there.
I cross the highway and burst in telling the kindly owner of the store to call the police, my stepfather is trying to kill us. I'm sure I freaked everyone in the store out. My long dark hair all straggly, a knee scraped up and bleeding, my eyes wild with fear and I'm out of breath due to the run. The store owner puts me in the apartment attached to the back of the store. I'm imagining all sorts of terrible things happening to my mom and sisters while I'm safe. Waiting anxiously for them to appear. It doesn't take long, but feels like forever. We huddle back there waiting for the police to show up. My stepfather shows, we can hear him yelling at the store owner asking were we are. Finally either he leaves or the police ask him to leave. The police give us a ride to our grandparents(my stepfathers parents) home. We stay the night there then go over to a friend of the families home. We're there for a few nights before he finds us. In truth he probably knew where we were the whole time. He takes the van my mom had went and gotten from home and leaves us with an old jeep type vehicle that didn't run well. The next day we get police escort to the county line so that we can stay with another family member.
This hiding and worrying that he is going to find us is terrible. After a few days here we end up at my grandparents home two hours away. This running doesn't last long, and when I finally feel we are in a safe place...he calls. He feeds my mom the line "He's sorry, it' won't happen again. He's changed." blah, blah, blah. Typical of an abused woman, she believes him and goes back. We have two more years of torment before he finally dies of cirrhosis of the liver.

My childhood is also why I'm slow to trust, quick to distrust and believe people never change. I've never seen any evidence of it anyway.

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