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The Road

by Tina Marie Murdock 2 years ago in family
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Seasons of change

"Here, snort this, you will feel better and forget all about it", she says as she hands me a mirror with white powder in neat little rows on it. I looked at her quizzically, wondering what this magical white powder could do to me. But, I did as she said, being her daughter and all. Moments later I felt numb, my lips felt numb, though it burned a little as I snorted the white powder up my nose. Little did I know this was going to be a long journey on a road I will have to navigate, alone.

It started in the spring of '81 when I was 6. I went to the playground with my brother and his friends. We were all running around and decided to play on the newly erected monkey bar set, it was shaped like a dome and looked inviting for all of us kids waiting for the school bus to arrive. I began to climb like everyone else and as I reached the top of the monkey bars my foot slipped, I should've known better. I was wearing those cute little black dress shoes girls my age would wear, the ones with the slick bottoms and the strap across the top. It was a bad idea to say the least because when my foot slipped so did the other and I came crashing down on the bar. I blacked out from the pain. I was told later by my brother that it took him and 7 of his friends to carry me down to the trailer we lived in.

Upon waking up I heard my mothers voice, "If you ever touch my daughter like that again I will slit your neck from ear to ear." I opened my eyes and there she was, holding a knife to his neck, her own brother, my uncle. I looked down at myself and all over my dress was blood. I began to cry because I had no idea what was going on. My mother saw this and pushed him out of the way. "It's going to be okay baby, let's get you cleaned up and to the hospital so the doctors can look you over." Little did I know this road I was on was going to be a bumpy ride, full of potholes and ruts.

Years later, I look back on this and remember how confused I was and how one person would drastically change my life, how one person could steal something from me that was so precious, so personal and private, how one person would shatter my trust of all humans.

On the ride to the hospital I just kept crying because of the pain. My mother had me dress in loose fitting pants and gave me a pad to put in my panties so the blood wouldn't get all over the place. She kept looking over at me shaking her head. To this day I wonder what she was thinking. We arrived at the hospital and she hopped out to grab a wheelchair for me and said "This will be over soon I promise." Those words stick in my head to this day, but it was far from over, it would never end. She got to my door and opened it and I slid into the wheelchair and she wheeled me in. I could barely hear what she was saying to the woman at the desk though I remember the lady saying real loud "OH DEAR, let me get someone," and as she was leaving I looked up at my mother with tears streaming down my face, "Mommy, am I gonna be okay?", I saw a tear well up in the corner of her eye and confusion cloud her face, "Yes, baby everything will be fine."

An orderly came out and all I could think was, this is going to hurt, and hurt it did. He grabbed the handles of my wheelchair and began to wheel me to another room. I tried my hardest to see where my mother was but in all the confusion I guess I blacked out again from the pain. It was bad, really bad. I woke up sometime later to a woman in a nurses uniform standing over me asking if I was thirsty. I said yes and she went to get me a drink. I tried to sit up but my body wasn't having any of that. I felt a sharp pain in my groin area and in my stomach so I laid back on the bed again and yelled out for my mother. She came running in and almost tripped over something I couldn't see. She put her hand on my arm and just looked down at me. It felt like an eternity before she spoke to me.

"Mommy, what's wrong?"

"It's going to be okay, I promise, you will be okay," she said as her voice trembled.

Another person came into my room a short time later with a smile on his face, I discovered he was the doctor that looked at me.

"Hi, I'm Doc Miller," he stated as he was looking at my chart, "seems we have a little issue here."

I choked back screaming and just let the tears run down my cheeks as I looked at him feeling very scared and small. He looked at me with sympathy in his eyes and smiled.

"It's going to be okay though, we did an ultrasound,"

"What's that?" I asked in a small voice not knowing what any of this was.

"The ultrasound is a device we use to see inside your belly and what you did did some damage inside you." He stated.

I looked at my mother with fear written all over my face. "It's going to be okay honey, you're not dying, you just hurt your insides."

"It's a little more complicated than that but yes you hurt your insides" the doctor said and the tears starting flowing even more, I began to sob and it hurt so bad.

"It will heal over time, but, you must be careful" he stated.

"Yes, no more playing on the monkey bars for a long time" my mother stated in her not so friendly voice.

"What did I do to myself?" I said more to myself then to them.

"Well you see, when you fell you broke you're pubic bone. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to scare you. When you did this you also broke some membranes inside you." He stated, which was very confusing to me, though later I learned all about the female anatomy and realized all that I had done to myself. "You are going to bleed for some time, and you will more than likely hit puberty early."

Now I was totally confused, I had no idea what puberty was. I looked at him through teary eyes and asked "What's that?".


"No, No. I will explain that to her when we get home." My mother was good at interrupting others when they tried to explain things to me.

"Okay then. I will give you a prescription to take home with you for the pain. It shouldn't last too long. I would like her to see an ob-gyn as soon as you can make an appointment."

He left, shutting the door behind him, leaving me feeling scared for my life. I don't know why I was scared for my life but I would soon find out.

"Okay, let's get you dressed and out of here. You can stay home the next couple of days from school. I will let the school know you are ill." My mother stated as she gathered my things and began to help me get dressed.

We left the hospital and on our way home she stopped at Mcdonald's and ordered a couple of happy meals along with a bunch of other food. She told me I could eat in the van on the way home. I guess she thought I was hungry. Later on in life I would look back on this and realize just how wrong I was, it was a pity present and she knew it.

As I walked in the house my brother ran up to me and asked if I was dying and in typical kid fashion I told him to shut up and mind his business. I made my way to my room and laid down on the mattress on the floor. I looked around my room. Empty as usual except for the clothes in my closet. I felt alone, scared, empty. My mother came to my door with a cup in her hand.

"Here baby, this will help you sleep and will take the pain away." as she handed me the cup and a little white pill.

I took the pill and shoved in as far in my mouth as I could, drank the water to wash it down and laid back down on my bed covering up with the one blanket I had.

"You will be okay baby, I love you." she stated as she walked out of my room shutting the door.

It was a bit chilly in my room so I pulled the cover up as tight as I could around my chin and shoulders. It seemed like it took forever to fall asleep, my head was swimming with questions, my stomach hurt like someone had shoved a sword through my mid section and I was cold. I began thinking about what happened when I woke up in the bathtub seeing my mother with a knife in her hand against his throat. To this day I still wish she had killed him.

I woke up the next morning and crawled to the kitchen which was just down the hall from my room. No one was there, except him. He came racing towards me and all over again I felt fear, fear for my life. He scooped me up in his arms and laid me gently on the couch, went to the kitchen grabbed some water and came back with my pill.

"Your mother asked that you take this for the pain."

I took the cup of water and the pill and just sat there for a moment looking at them in my hand. I then looked up at him with fear or anger, I'm still not totally sure which then shoved the pill down my throat and drank the water to wash it down. I tried to lean forward to place the cup on the table but of course my body was having none of that. He grabbed the cup before I dropped it saying, "It's okay, I've got this." taking the cup back to the kitchen. "Are you hungry? You should eat to help that pill settle."

"No, I'm fine." I stated, maybe a little to forceful. I saw the look on his face when I said it. He furrowed his eyebrows together and got this look on his face. One I would learn later was a look of "You're going to regret this".

I sat there for hours waiting for my brother to come home, watching daytime soap operas or whatever he put on the television. Every once in a while he would reach over and pat my leg or arm and ask if I needed anything, each time I said no.

Weeks passed by and I soon got better from the whole ordeal. My birthday was coming up and I wanted to play outside again so I talked my mother into letting me with her words ringing in my ears "No monkey bars!" as I ran out of the house.

It had been what felt like forever since I was able to play outside with the rest of the kids. That first day however, was one I would remember for the rest of my life. All the kids were interested to see me back outside, though it was more the girls that had questions than the boys. I tried to answer what I could, though it was hard, but they were all happy to see me back outside. I stayed away from the monkey bars, scared I would hurt myself again. Most of the day I played on the swings listening to the other kids giggling and running around. I still felt weak and tired but I wanted to be outside and away from him.

A few days passed by and it was my birthday, I woke up hoping to see presents sitting on the counter but there was nothing, not even a cake. All that day I got happy birthdays from everyone at school, my teacher even threw me a birthday party which felt great. I started settling back in to daily routines and playing on the playground at school. I felt eyes on me all the time though and it felt strange, like everyone was staring at me, drilling holes in the sides of my head. I know the teachers watched me on the play ground to make sure I wasn't getting on the monkey bars. The day passed and we went home. I walked in the front door and saw him sitting there so I quickly, trying not to run, walked past him and down the hall to my room. I changed into my outside clothes and as I was putting my shorts on he came to my bedroom door, opening it without knocking, I didn't even have my shorts pulled all the way up. I looked up shocked and fell backwards on my bed.

"I just wanted to make sure you were okay, how are you feeling?" he asked as he looked at me lying on my bed with my shorts half up my legs in my undies. The look in his eye was enough to make my blood run cold and I didn't know why so I quickly stood up and pulled my shorts up as fast as I could.

"I'm fine," I said crossly, "now, may I go outside?"

"Your mother said to stay away from the monkey bars."

"I know, I know." I said as I pushed past him to run out of the house.

"NO RUNNING IN THE HOUSE!" he shouted as I shut the door behind me.

That evening after dinner my mother came home with one small box and a cake. We had already eaten dinner because she worked odd hours so he was the one that would cook us dinner.

"I have a surprise for you!" she said as she walked in the door "and the cake is for both of you."

My brothers birthday was only 10 days away so we celebrated both birthdays on mine. I never knew why until I became much older. She couldn't afford two cakes.

"What did you get me?" I asked with joy.

She passed me the brown box that didn't have any wrapping paper on it. I grabbed it and sat back on the couch. As I was opening it I was hoping it was the Barbie I had seen on the television ad's but to my dismay it was a fake. The arms and legs didn't bend and it looked funny. I gave her a small grin and said thank you. This was to be my life.

My brothers birthday came around and he got a dump truck that he was happy about. That summer passed without incident and it was time to go back to school. Though that whole summer the uncle would look at me with this strange gleam in his eyes. I wouldn't know what that look was for for many years. I look back at it these days and am disgusted to think about it.

That fall, just after school had started, the heater in my room had stopped working so I had to sleep in the bed with my brother in his room, with the uncle. We slept at opposite ends of the bed with my head closest to the uncles bed. I didn't like it, in fact I hated it. I begged my mother to let me sleep on the couch and she kept saying no as I would be woken up when she would leave for work and if the uncle woke up he would sit there and drink his muddy looking drink and watch television until he got tired again and went back to bed. So this is it then. Sleeping in the same room as him.

That first night I will never forget. My brother and I were tickling each others feet trying to stay as quiet as possible, but I giggled a little too loud.

"You young lady will come down here and sleep with me if you keep that up. You both need to go to sleep, now!" declared the uncle.

My blood went cold but we kept tickling each other until finally he reaches for me and grabs my arm in the dark. He pulled me to his bed and laid me on top of himself. I felt like puking all over him. He smelled funny. He smelled like musty aftershave and alcohol. He drank what he called "his medicine" which at that time was alcohol. Kahlua and cream, your basic White Russian. I could smell it on his breath and it seemed as though it was coming from every pore on his body.

I laid there shaking not able to get to sleep. After a few moments of laying on top of him I tried to slide off the bed and he grabbed me, a bit forcefully.

"You're staying right here," he whispered in my ear which made my stomach turn even more. I was so scared I had tears welling up in my eyes. All of a sudden he moved his hand and it went right for my nether region. All I could do was lay there, on top of him. He had one arm around me holding me in place and the other down there. As I felt his hand moving down there he started making moaning sounds which really turned my stomach. After a few moments he rolled me over on to my stomach and laid on top of me. He slid one hand over my mouth and nose then whispered in my ear.

"Don't speak a word of this to anyone, this is what bad little girls get, this is your punishment."

What did I do wrong was the only thing that ran through my head as I felt something push inside me. It hurt, it hurt so bad I blacked out.

No one taught you anything in those days. Not until you were much older. Not about this.

The next morning when I woke up I ran to my room and dressed as quickly as I could to get outside with the rest of the kids. I didn't eat breakfast, I just ran out of the house. I wanted to be as far away from him as I could. I couldn't walk let alone run very well but I did what I had to to get out of there.

I got to school and didn't talk much that day, not even to the kids on the playground. I sat on a swing during recess, I didn't swing, I just sat there. Things hurt and I felt sick. I must have done something that alarmed the teacher because she came running at me asking me if I was ok.

I looked at her, tilted my head, felt the pain again and must have blacked out, again. I woke up in the nurses office laying on the bed she had.

"Hello!" I yelled.

The nurse came running and asked if I was okay.

"My mouth is a little dry, may I have a drink please?" I asked.

"Yes, yes of course," she stated as she walked out of the room to get me something.

She came back with a ginger ale and a straw, handing it to me she says "Ms. Jerry said you turned white and fell over on the playground and we can't reach your mother so your uncle is coming to get you."

I began to cry. Sob would be a better word. My whole body began to shake and I just kept shaking my head side to side.

"It's okay dear, you will be home soon, are you in any pain?"

I couldn't answer her for fear he would find out and I would get punished again. Little did I know this punishment would last a few years.

He showed up and I was still crying. He talked to the nurse in her office before coming in to get me.

"Let's get you home." He stated as he was reaching for me. I pulled back quickly, a little too quick possibly, as the nurse saw she asked me again if I was okay. I couldn't answer her as I saw the look on his face, so I nodded yes and left with him.

The ride home was tense, the air was thick with the stench of his aftershave and I could just make out the smell of his "medicine". I kept my arms crossed across my chest the whole ride home. When we arrived at the trailer I opened the car door jumped out and ran in the house. I got to my room and shut the door then sat down in front of it in hopes it would stop him.

He came to my door and tried to open it and couldn't. He pushed harder which pushed me out of the way.

"What are you doing sitting in front of the door? If anything would happen to you and no one could get to you."

I thought to myself, that's the point.

He grabbed my arm and dragged me down the hall to the couch. Forcefully sitting me on the couch and standing over me he declared, "This is the way it's going to be, and you will not say a word, do you understand?"

I shook my head yes and looked down at my hands wishing I could be anywhere else. A few moments later my mother came rushing in the door asking if I was okay.

"Yes mommy, I'm okay." I said between clenched teeth, not able to utter a word to her other than that.

"The nurse was finally able to get me on the phone and told me you turned white and blacked out on the playground. Are you sure you are okay?"

I looked up at her with desperation and tears in my eyes and shook my head yes.

"May I go outside please?" I asked.

"Yes but be sure if you feel sick to come back home." She said as she looked at me.

I went to my room and changed into my outside clothes and as I was walking down the hall he met me, grabbed my arm and squeezed. I looked up at him, and again my blood went cold. I saw this sick grin on his face as he winked at me. I wretched my arm out of his grasp and quickly left the house.

Out on the playground I saw all the kids having fun running and playing, instantly feeling empty and alone. I walked to the base of the hill that was beside the playground and sat down in the dirt. All I could do was sit there with my arms and legs crossed. I didn't feel like playing or laughing, and I couldn't tell anyone what he did. All thoughts of joy had left my head. Now I felt dread and despair.

All that winter this kept happening because my mother said she couldn't afford to get my heater fixed. This became my life. Sleeping in his bed, with his hand over my mouth and nose. Smelling that musty aftershave and alcohol, breathing in my own hot air. Several times passing out from the sheer pain of what he was doing to me.

That spring we moved to the city. Away from all that me and my brother knew. All the kids we were friends with. Everything. Things got much different but still the same when we moved. The three of us were in one room together. Me on a mattress on the floor, my brother and the uncle in a bunkbed. This was the year I began wetting the bed. I still couldn't tell anyone for fear he would do something worse to me.


About the author

Tina Marie Murdock

I began writing when I was in junior high though they were only poems it just felt right to write. Over the years I have written many things but this is the first time I have shared my work with the world and hope everyone enjoys.

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