Be careful, this is not a happy story. This doesn't even start in the summer or even in 2017. This starts in the Spring of 2016. I was 15, had these dreams of moving to LA and going to FIDM and becoming this famous fashion designer. My mom and I were going down to LA over spring break to see the FIDM debut show, which is this fashion show that showcases all the most talented fashion interior design and textile design students and their pieces. The night before we leave I'm bouncing off the walls with excitement, I couldn't sleep. LA was the place where my dreams were and I was going and touring the college of my dreams and meeting people I adored so the entire night I was having these fantasies in my head about what will happen when I'm there and what I will see. Then I heard my parents bedroom door open, that meant it was 4 a.m. that is when my father left for work. I quickly pretended to be asleep (wish I didn't) so that i wouldn't get in trouble for staying up when we had to leave at 7. I heard my dad walk down the hall, it didn't bother me or make me question anything when the garage wasn't towards the living room and thats where his motorcycle is, I just thought he was going to get his lunch from the kitchen. He didn't. Instead I heard him walk straight over to me and stand there. I could feel him staring at me for what seemed like hours was probably only a couple minutes. Then I felt it, his hand. It touched me in ways a man should never touch his daughter (I'll spare details of what it was for my own sake) and I felt so completely disgusted with everything. "this isn't happening" "this is just him placing his hand weird when he is trying to lean over or something right?" "then why is it moving" no. My eyes were squeezed shut, I could feel my heartbeat in my ears, but I was frozen. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, but I couldn't even hear it over the disgusting placement of his hand, which was taking up any available brain power in my head to think of how it could be explained. But it couldn't be explained. He left after a while of lingering. I didn't move until I heard the garage door shut and the high pitched engine noise go down the street, then I opened my eyes. Summer 2017. It was over a year later, it was eating me away because I started to notice the way he stared at me and the way he forced me to walk in front of him, then I found out how he stared at me when I was standing in a store and a lady approached me and told me to watch out because there was a guy that was staring at my body in a "weird way" in her words and was following me, she didn't know he was my father. School was out and I knew I was going to have to be honest eventually because things were getting harder especially since I noticed everything he did. June 9th I told myself that the next time I go to therapy I was telling my therapist and my mom. The same day I started to write in a notebook about how I was feeling about opening up and telling my mother and I wrote down predictions of how she would react, little did I know I would be right with them. 10 days and one suicide attempt later was the day.
June 19th.
I knew I was going to tell my mom that day, I planned it. I thought it was just going to be us that day so I felt okay telling her at my therapy appointment. We were going to the dentist first, my dad was supposed to come but he cancelled, that is the only reason I felt okay with telling her what he did to me. Plans changed when morning came, he decided to come with us. I wasn’t aware until we got in the car and he came into the car also. I asked my mom what he was doing and she said she convinced him to come. I hate how much hate I felt towards my mother at that point. We went to the dentist and I remember sitting in that chair fully engulfed in the food network show that was on, they were talking about different ways to use spicy peppers for people with spice sensitivity. I don't have a spice sensitivity, in fact I love spicy foods, but I was willing to wrap myself in whatever distraction I could in order to not talk myself out of what needed to be done. If it wasn’t June 19th it wasn’t going to happen at all. At the dentist I took the last picture of my mom before it happened. That picture gives me nightmares, not because she looked bad or anything but because she didn’t, she looked happier than she ever has and looking at that picture makes me feel like the worst daughter in the world for ruining that. After the dentist we went to chili's, our last meal as a “family”. I ordered a salad and cheese fries but the meaningless flavorless chewing meant nothing to my stomach that was riddled with fear and anxiety. Every time my mom laughed, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the chest and twisting the knife.
We went to the therapy office. He was with us. My mom never had me go into therapy alone because she was always worried and concerned about me, that was her first day she said she was going to leave me, it showed the complete trust and happiness that she felt that day, she was willing to let me go in alone. The first step of the difficult time to come which was just the tip of the iceberg was telling her “You need to come in”. Right then she knew something was going to happen, her face went pale, her mouth dropped open, she started shaking reaching for her purse, that was all she let me see of her panic then she covered it with anger because that is her default. She asked me when we were walking “is this about to ruin my day?” in the least considerate way it could be asked. I said nothing, silence answered it. We went in and I told my therapist what happened with my father a year before, she cried. I made a therapist cry. My mom was brought in and I had to tell her the toughest thing that i have ever told anyone. She broke in ways no one can fix. We didn’t tell my father until we got home, the car ride was painful, my mom was trying to suck out any last decent interaction she could have because she knew it was the last. She forced me to tell him at the dining room table what I told her and the therapist. I know she wanted me to chicken out and say it was a lie because we both know how my father is when he is mad, but I didn’t. I block out a lot of what he said to me and the nauseating words that spewed out of his mouth like he had held them back for so long.
My father and mother had been together since she was 14, he was all she knew. It didn’t come as a shock when she took his side. I was kicked out of the house and sent to live with my grandma. I thought it would be better there. I was wrong. My grandma was on vacation when I told my mom so I was moving in when she wasn’t there. My grandma had multiple phone calls explaining the “misrepresentation” and the “deceit” I spread about my father. My grandma took her side. The police and CPS visits aren’t nearly as bad as the daily lecture from my grandma. I'll give you the sparknotes version of what she says everyday “how dare you ruin this family, you should have kept your mouth shut, it wasn’t that bad” and sometimes it switches to “own up to the lies you have spread”. I saw it coming when my mom went to pick her up from the airport and I was looking at my mom's GPS the entire time, they went to see my father first and that's when I realized I was on my own. One thing I can take from this is that I am strong, and all I have is myself, school, and my friend. I use it to remember how strong I am and if I doubt myself I remember that most of the people around me would not have made it through what I experienced.