Writing a Blog is all very new to me, and I really appreciate your patience as I navigate my way through this.
I have always found a certain peace in writing about my life and all I have been through. I have actually written my life story several times, only to put it aside.
In the past I was always trying to protect certain family members. Today, I protect me. I speak my truth, and I know that somewhere with all this writing I am healing inside, and maybe, those that love me learn a bit about me through this. About who I am, what I have been through, and why I may react a certain way.
I also hope that maybe this helps someone else to heal. Maybe a foster parent is feeling frustrated, and reads some of my words, and realizes how difficult it is for a child on the other side.
I had a recent comment on one of my Blogs... By the way- thank you for your private messages, and comments, they are very appreciated. This person said they hoped I had found love, that they wished for me to have love in my life.
Yes, I am very blessed to have four amazing grown children, and a grandchild who I love more than anything in this world. They bring pure joy, and unconditional love and laughter into my everyday. They all have incredible partners now, which means our circle of love continues to grow...
I have a lot of happiness in my life today, and I choose to be happy and see the world a certain way, through positive eyes.
With all that we are going through with this virus, that is so very important.
I am also very close with my sister and my dad, they mean the world to me, and I know I mean the same to them. I stay in contact with wonderful cousins, aunts, uncles...it has been quite the journey to get to this place of joy.
My gosh, I have really got myself sidetracked here...
This Blog, well, it is about something that happened to me when we were living in Fredericton New Brunswick. It is a time when I felt a whole lot of fear and confusion. Being a teenager is difficult enough, without abuse in your own home. I never had a safe place to go where I knew I could just be me and that would be okay. School brought anxiety, and home brought fear and anxiety. I really could not win back then. Add to that, extreme hormone changes, and peer pressure. Being 13 1/2 years old, was almost too much at times. I was always a bit eclectic in my attire. I was mature for my age, and my body had developed way too early, making me look a lot older than I was.
I received a lot of male attention, unwanted attention. I never looked for it, and almost shied away from it. It was confusing for me. The example I had as far as men were concerned in my life, was not great. My mum's husband was evil, and my dad, I barely got to see him with us having moved to New Brunswick.
On the street where we lived, there were many kids my age, and a little bit older. Shauna, she lived with her parents and 3 younger brothers. Her dad was a bank manager in our town. She was always trying to get the attention of a guy named David. Like literally, she would throw herself at him, and behave in such a promiscuous way. She was friendly to my face, but saw me as a threat to her connecting with him. I personally had no interest in him, or any other guy at the time. I was more focused on just surviving.
Lee Ann, she lived around the corner. I loved her family, as they seemed to all get along, and were often smiling and laughing. She was so much fun, and we did some really silly things together. I remember going for a walk and we saw a dead bird. We both cried looking at it, wondering what happened to take it's little life. It was a robin, and I remember it's reddish belly. We prayed over it, and then we buried it. We spent the rest of the day talking about that poor bird.
Lee Ann, she had 3 siblings who were all much older than her, and had already moved out. We were so goofy together, which was a nice reprieve from my own life.
One time, we were walking down the street, in a high traffic area. We thought it would be really funny to point up at the sky and act like something incredible was up there. That only we could see. Oh my goodness, we waved our arms around in excitement, and squealed like we were seeing aliens. The traffic came to a complete stop, and people were getting out of their cars to look up at what we were looking at. It caused such a ruckus, and we laughed about it for days!
One day after School, we decided to go to the Fredericton Mall, which was across the street from the High School. We often hung out there, walking up and down the mall, back and forth...doing a lot of nothing. There was a place there called Orange Julius, and we would share some of the saltiest fries I ever had. They were awful, yet we would finish every single one of them. We would stay at the mall for hours. So long, that the afternoon turned into evening and we would still be wandering around.
I can remember exactly what I was wearing that night. I had on tight fitted pink pants, (don't hate, they were in style back then, so were tight satin pants) and a pink and white striped t-shirt, with shoes that had a cork wedge heel.
The year was 1979, and I had fairly long hair. I had a perm in it, that too was all the rage back then. Lee Ann and I saw a couple of guys sitting on a bench in the mall. They were unfamiliar faces, and though one looked like a celebrity, he was not one. They called us over. I was so nervous, and very unexperienced on how to communicate with a boy, and though at the time I was unsure on there ages, I knew they were a lot older than us.
We talked about weather, why we were there, if we were shopping for something. It was all so weirdly awkward. The guy that looked like a celebrity, he resembled Rick Springfield. Who was a really good looking guy. As I am writing this I can remember the smell of his aftershave lotion or cologne, it was an odd scent, not a good one. I made a comment about needing to leave, that I was ready to go home. I honestly was never ready to go home, but was not comfortable in this moment. Lee Ann and I said our goodbyes and turned to walk towards the exit. The Rick Springfield look alike guy was hot on our trail. He asked if we wanted a ride home. Now, again, you must think of the time here, we often hitch hiked places, and it did not come with the same fear it does today. You just appreciated the ride and went on your way. You never expected to be hurt or worse. Times have changed a lot, and we were probably really lucky.
The guys name was Frank, and he drove a gorgeous Camaro Z28. It was a pleasant surprise when we walked out to the parking lot and saw it. Under the glow of the street lights it shimmered, majestic and black, with a hint of silver in the paint. I have always loved cars, and a hot muscle car, heck yeah!
My son's would tell you I took them to all the local car shows when they were growing up. I raised them to also appreciate a great car.
Frank, he asked Lee Ann where she lived and he took it upon himself to take her home first. It really did not dawn on me, that he was interested in me. I was very naïve and not ready for any kind of relationship. We dropped Lee Ann off and then he asked where I lived. He pulled up to my driveway and we sat in awkward silence. I told him I liked his car, and he said he did too...more awkward silence. I said a weird bye and pretty much leapt out of his car, and ran into my home. I had many things going through my thoughts when I laid in bed that night. I guess it was typical girl thoughts, wondering about this mystery guy. My childhood had been filled with magazines like Tiger Beat and Teen Beat, where Donny Osmond, Leif Garret, ,Rex Smith stared back at me from the front cover. Rick Springfield was older and not as familiar to me. I thought it was cool this guy looked like him.
Monday soon arrived and life was back to what I saw as normal. School, home, chores, dinner bed. The nightly yelling once my mum's husband arrived from work. That was part of my daily routine. He hated me. He would give me a disgusted look as soon as he came through the door. I never knew what to do with myself when he was there, as nothing I did was ever right in his eyes.
The only time he was somewhat pleasant was when he wanted me to get something for him. Bring him the newspaper, get him a drink, clear the dishes after dinner. In between he would yell like a crazy person, then it was like he had no memory of the horror he put me through. He would then again ask me to do something for him, then yell again. I felt like his slave. I waited on him, did dishes, took care of Adam if they wanted to go out, cleaned the house...
On the Friday of that week it felt so good to come home with no homework. This was a first in a long time. It was early in June, and Summer was already presenting itself. I enjoyed the hot sun on me as I walked from the School bus.
As I came around the corner where I could see our home, a familiar car was in the driveway. My stomach took a queasy turn, as I got closer I really thought I was going to be sick. I saw Frank sitting in the driver side and he leaned out to say hello to me. His huge toothy grin greeted me. Hi, I quietly responded and asked why he was here. I knew we had not made plans to see each other. I actually did not think I would see him again, and I was okay with that. It was to be another one of Lee Ann and my crazy times together.
He went on to tell me that he spoke to my mum and that she gave permission for me to go to his folks cottage with him for the weekend. I kid you not, that is exactly what he said. I was dumbfounded and stood staring at him thinking now what do I do. I told him I would be right back and I went to talk to my mum. I figured he was lying and I was probably in trouble for a guy being at the house. I braced myself for the storm as I went through the front door.
My mum was sitting on the couch, watching TV. I said hello, and asked what was going on. She said Frank came by, lovely guy she said, and they chatted. She said he asked if he could take me to his family's cottage. She thought it would be a good idea if I went with him and his family for the weekend. That the fighting in the house was all too much and this would be a good break for everyone. Some things in my life, as I look back they just baffle me. As a mum of four, I cannot imagine agreeing for my daughter or son to go away with a stranger...but then she gave me up to one when I was barely 8 years old...wow, I just put that all together as I am writing here. No wonder it was no big deal for her, and the break was for them, their perfect family of 3!
I hated my life in their home, but I also did not want to go away with someone I met for 20 minutes. I was so confused. I packed a few things into a green, small overnight bag that I had, and I left. Little did I know how different things would be when I came back.
The ride to Frank's family's cottage was about an hour or so away. It was a beautiful day for a drive and I accepted I had no choice but to go. Frank talked a lot, about his sister, his parents. He said they would like me, and we would probably play some card games, that all would be fun. What I got from that was, this would be a family thing, and we would spend the weekend with his family. I thought okay, that could be good, and if they are a loving family I would welcome that. We drove on to a dirt road that made you feel as though you were being enveloped by the trees. There were beautiful Maple and Beech trees every where.
He parked the car and turned to me, and told me he thought I was really pretty, that he was so glad I was with him. It was strange to have a guy talk to me like that, as that was unfamiliar territory for me. We got out of the car and I grabbed my things. I was nervous to meet his family. We walked into a small, cozy cottage, that sat on the water. The view was quite spectacular. No one was in the cottage but us. Then within a few minutes an older couple came through the door. They were full of energy and very chatty. Frank introduced his parents to me, and his dad took my hand and held it for what seemed like forever. A cold hand means a warm heart he said, more than once. I just sat smiling, unsure what to say.
They chatted with Frank for a few minutes and then they were gone. They never came back. I have no idea where they went, where they stayed, I just know it was not there with us.
Dinner time had come and gone and I found myself not hungry and wishing I was somewhere else. Frank showed me around the tiny rooms and made reference to one being ours, where we would sleep. I felt that same sick feeling inside me. I felt afraid. I wanted to leave, but it was now dark, and I had no idea where exactly I was. We had no cell phones back then, there was no landline there. There was no TV, just walls and Frank. As night settled in, we sat on a couch. We barely spoke to each other as what was there really to say. We did not know each other, and I was still confused at why I was there. What had he really said to my mum and his own folks, that made this experience okay with everyone.
Did they know I was only 14?!
What happened next, well, I have asked myself over and over if I was ready to share this with you. What will my children think reading this. It hurts reliving it, it hurts so bad. Why in God's name did no one protect ME!
This Blog has taken hours to get to this point as this memory is so difficult for me.
Frank sat on the couch uncomfortably close to me, and took a bag out of his jean jacket pocket. It had white powder in it. That was the first and only time I ever saw cocaine in person. I was terrified. He must have felt my stare as he looked up from what he was doing on the coffee table and laughed at me.
You okay, he asked, amused by my reaction. I never spoke. Do you want some, he asked. I shook my head side to side, and said no. He did a line of coke and sat back, letting it take affect. I wanted to run so far, so far from everyone. I was so done with my life!
What happened next changed me, took away any childhood I had ever hoped I would have. It brought fear and anger towards him, and towards my mum, for not caring about what happened to me. Frank grabbed me by the hand and dragged me into the bedroom. He proceeded to yell at me to shut up, and he raped me over and over until daylight. I never slept that night and I was in so much pain I could barely walk. I will not go into the details on what exactly he did to me, as I will never reveal that to anyone.
I did not want to spend a second night with him and I begged him to please take me home. He once again seemed amused and told me to relax. We had a great night last night, he said. Then he told me that there was no reason we could not have another. I was so scared and I knew I was trapped there until he wanted to leave. The second night was an exact replica of the first. Except, I cried through it. The tears would not stop. I felt so defeated by life and so disappointed in everyone including myself. I felt like I had done something to be treated this way. I wished for his parents to come through the door and save me from their son. I never wanted to see him again.
Sunday morning brought rain and dark clouds. It was very appropriate with how I was feeling. The heavy sadness I felt inside. I was in physical pain, I was bleeding, and I was exhausted. He did his drugs the whole time we were away and we never ate a full meal. He had snacks and his cocaine.
The drive home was in complete silence. He got what he wanted and had nothing to say to me. I certainly had nothing to say to him. He dropped me at my door and screeched his tires as he left.
I walked into the house and went straight to my bedroom. It was after lunch and my mum, her husband and son were sitting out back. I laid on my bed and I cried so hard. My whole body cried. I knew I could not tell anyone about what had happened. I knew no one would believe me. As a mum, today, I am surprised my mum did not pick up that something was wrong, different with me. She was so disconnected from me, she was oblivious to my pain, the changes in me. I would go to jail if someone hurt MY children.
Summer break eventually arrived and the sound of kids playing outside was everywhere. My anxiety attacks were so intense and I tried so hard to not hyperventilate on a regular basis. I was so mentally drained and I had stopped caring about a lot of things, including myself. I had gained some weight. I lived in a house unnoticed. I did not exist, even though I lived with 3 people.
It was in August that my mum told me we needed to talk. I assumed I was in trouble for something. I often was. I sat beside her on her bed and waited to hear what it was, I was in trouble for. She told me her husband had decided to change jobs and that they were moving to Calgary. I told her it could not be any worse than Fredericton had been. I asked her when we were going to move. She then hit me with a bomb. She told me I was not allowed to come with them, and that her husband wanted it to be just the 3 of them. I thought my head was going to blow up! Are you serious?! You fight to get me back, drag me across Canada, bring me here, allow an ass I did not know to take me away, and now you are saying I have to stay and you are moving away?!!!
It still hurts...
I asked where was I was supposed to go? She said maybe I could ask a friend if I could move in with them. I was so scared, the thought of being 14 years old, of being alone was too much. I ran out of the house and I ran straight to Lee Ann's house. I was crying when she opened the door. In hind site I feel bad for her. What was she going to do. She did ask her parents if I could move in with them, and understandably they said no.
There was only one other person I knew that I could ask, and though I was not one of Shauna's favourite people, she did seem to have a nice family, and I was so desperate. I knocked on her door, wiping away my tears. Her mum answered and asked me to come inside. I could not speak at this point and just kept crying. She kept asking what was wrong, and should she call my mum. I shook my head no. I worked hard to gain some composer, so that I could speak, make some sense. My mum is moving I told her, and her husband said I cannot go with them. I told her I did not know where to go, what to do. She asked me to wait in the kitchen, while she went to speak to her husband.
Her youngest son was Adam's age, a friend of his, and he came to chat with me. Why you crying he asked. I told him I was okay, and he argued, "no you are not." Shauna's mum came back into the kitchen and asked me to come with her. We went downstairs into their basement and she asked me if I was sure this was what my mum had said. Was I sure she said that I could not go with them. I told her yes, and I told her to go a head and speak to my mum. I often wondered what my mum said in that conversation.
Within a week I moved in with Shauna's family and it was such a blessed relief. They interacted with each other in such a kind way. Their house was noisy, but it was with laughter and happiness.
I stayed with their family for about a month or so. I ended up quite sick, a flu bug that had me throwing up daily, or so I thought it was the flu. In the back of my head I thought that maybe I could be pregnant? I worried about that everyday, but I was so sick for so many days that I could not do anything about it. Finally, I woke one day and I did not feel sick. I asked a friend to go with me to Planned Parenthood. They were a clinic where you could take a pregnancy test, get birth control, ask questions. As my friend and I sat waiting for my results I read the posters on the walls, and went through their pamphlets. A nurse finally came out from behind a curtain and said Maxine it is positive. I thought I was going to faint.
I felt bad for my friend who had come with me, as she did not know how to comfort me. It was such a surreal time. I thanked her for coming with me, and we said our goodbyes.
I decided I needed to be grown up about everything and I went to see Shauna's dad at his work. Not sure why I didn't wait and talk to him at the house. I think I was in such shock I was not making a rational decision. I knocked on the glass door to his office at the bank. It proudly showed off his name on a gold sign. Come on in he said, to what do I owe this visit. I sat across from him, his desk seemed quite large against his small frame.
I told him I needed to talk to him. In my mind, knowing what Frank did to me, I think I felt he would have some compassion, though I was not sure how to tell him what happened.
I blurted it out. I am pregnant. Complete silence. We stared at each other, each in shock for different reasons, or maybe the same. He looked past me, over me, at the glass that divided the room between the bank and us. He looked so disgusted, and told me to leave. To go home, that he would talk to me there. I think he was embarrassed, and worried someone would hear what I had said.
I left, and I went to wait at his home. I went straight to the couch in the basement. That was my bed while I stayed there. I waited for what felt like an eternity. I finally heard him come home.
He asked his wife to come speak with him. I could hear their voices ringing through the walls. He had this idea, he wanted to drop me off at the Police station and say they found me at the side of the road. Let the cops deal with her, he said. He was concerned for his reputation at work. His wife said that she wanted me to call my mum in Calgary, ask her what she thought should be done about me. They, eventually came downstairs, and told me to call my mum. They sat watching me as I dialed the phone. My mum answered, and just hearing her voice turned my stomach. I told her I was in trouble and that I had found out I was pregnant. She was upset, and asked who it was that did this to me. I told her it was Frank. She cursed in her own way, and said she would take care of it. At the time, I did not know exactly what that meant.
She went on to make arrangements to have a friend of hers take me to the hospital for an abortion. I had no say in it. I would not have had one. Though, I am not sure how I would have raised a baby then.
A lady showed up a few days later, a stranger to me. She took me to the hospital, dropped me off, then picked me up after and took me to her house to recover. My mum never came to take care of me.
While I had lived at Shauna's house, I had picked up a part time job drawing Garfield the cat for a Pizza place, called Garfield's. I made their posters for them. I had managed to save $95.00. I decided that when my body had healed, I was going to get on a Greyhound bus and go to Calgary to find my mum...
Watch my Blog to find out what it was like for me, to be 14 years old, alone on a Greyhound bus, travelling across Canada...