Reminder: the monsters don’t always look like monsters.
In fact, most of the time, they look like someone we know, someone we love.
Please, please remember that.
The following was written by Tiffany Holder.
Woman: I love beautiful days. Not just pretty days. Days that life just seems to sing to you. When was the last time you remember a day like that?
While I am sure that I have had many of these life-singing days over the years, only one really comes back to life in my mind. June 13th, 2005.
Why? Because that would be the day that would change my life forever. It changed the way I felt about everything. It changed my perspective on life and love.
Why is this day so altering? Let me set the stage for you.
(beginning to dream to herself)
My husband and I were college students. We actually had met at college 4 years before. I was a single mother of two wonderful little girls. He was a wonderful man. My sister and her husband, who were skeptics of everyone, labeled him ‘the nicest guy in the world’. Everyone loved him. We got married and began our lives together. Life was beautiful.
About 2 and a half years later, in March of 2004, a doctor told us that he could not have children. We decided that someday we would try, but for now we were content. I was in my 3rd year of college, and that summer I was going to Greece to work for the Olympics.
Well, the day before Father’s Day, we found out that I was pregnant. God had given us a child, without us even asking. I don’t recall it very well, but that was a beautiful day.
Another beautiful day was August 30th, 2004. The day I came home from Greece. I had been away from my daughters and husband for almost a month. My little family was waiting for me at the gate. We all cried as the hugs went around. That was a beautiful day.
My littlest daughter was born on February 8th, 2005. It was just my husband and I at the hospital to welcome our baby into the world. She was lovely, as was that day.
But these are not the beautiful days that I remember the most. There is only one that comes to life in my memory. One that I actually, physically relive every time I remember it.
June 13th, 2005.
I woke up that morning to a warm ray of sunshine pouring into my room and my loving husband telling me good-bye. He always kissed me before he left for work. We loved each other so much.
It was summer and our little duplex was settled on a hill. I loved to open the windows of the house and let the breeze sweep the air clean. That morning, my house was actually clean.
My father-in-law had been staying with us due to some marital problems and he was doing all the house work. Like I said, it was a beautiful day!
The girls and I got up and ate breakfast. My mom and I had been talking on the phone about our living situation. We had three daughters and two bedrooms. My father-in-law had been sleeping on the couch. There isn’t a whole lot of privacy in that situation. Also, something was weighing on our minds. Now, no one really wants to think of this, but, you know, it’s important. So my mother suggested that I have a reminder talk with the girls. You know. That talk that you really don’t want to have. As parents, we want our children to feel safe, especially in their own homes. We don’t want to tell them that there are people out there who can and will hurt you on purpose. We want them to grow up free from those thoughts. We want to be free from those thoughts. We want to think that we can protect our children from the bad people in the world. The people who are sick. The people who don’t have self-control or boundaries or whatever it is that keeps us normal people from doing horrible things. But what if the bad people aren’t ‘out-there’? What if they are lurking in our homes?
What do we do if they are lying in our beds? What if they are in our heads?
So into the bedroom we went; my 3 daughters: 8, 7 and 4 months, and myself.
After about an hour, I emerged from my room, alone. The only sounds coming from the other side of the door were the television and a small click from the door being locked. The day was no longer beautiful.
I went to the phone and called my husband home from work. He said that his lunch started in a half hour, and he would be home then. I knew what time his lunch started! He had worked the same job for three years and always had lunch at noon, but this could not wait. You need to come home now! With that I hung up the phone and went to the basement garage.
The five minutes of waiting lasted an hour. I didn’t know what to say, how to tell him. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. I wanted to fix things, but they were broken. I wanted to stay, but I had to leave. I had decisions to make, but no choices. Roads to go down, but no ground beneath me. How do you take a first step with nothing under you? You just fall. I was falling, but in slow motion. The world could not have moved slower if it were going backwards. Then he walked in. A look of terror filled his eyes.
My heart could be heard down the street. Then I began to speak.
I was calm. I might as well have been sharing local gossip. But there was something about my voice. Have you ever heard someone speak in a tone that sent chills through you? One that let you know that you would die a horrible death if you did not give the person breathing those words what they wanted?
As he was kneeling on the floor, I never felt more in control; of myself, my life, my world, his world. I held his life in my hands. What would I do? I became a killer. I took his life, the way that he took my daughters’. Not that very day, but I did take it.
June 15th, 2005. My husband lost his life. He died, in my mind.
The conversation behind the door that day? It went something like this:
“Girls, you know that no one is allowed to touch your body, right? Now, I know that we have talked about this before, but I want you to understand that you can always tell Mommy.”
With that ‘8’ covered her head. I continued.
“I know what it is like. Someone touched me when I was little and it made me uncomfortable. I felt like I was bad. I felt guilty and embarrassed.
But it wasn’t my fault. And if someone does that to you, it isn’t your fault either.”
Then, from under the covers, a tiny voice came from ‘8’. Momma, Daddy did that to me. As she began to cry and tell me everything her little heart had been carrying, I didn’t breathe. My beautiful day was broken. And I could not fix it.
- Click to email (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
~ by omgrey on August 31, 2012.
Posted in Lost in the Aether
Tags: author, broken heart, children, daddy, family, father, fear, grief, guest post, healing, heartbroken, love, molestation, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, polyamory, rape, sexual assault, tiffany holder