Wow, this is going to be hard to write. I know this because I've been thinking about this for months and each time I end up not doing it. Part of this is because it is so painful to think about; but if I'm being honest, a bigger part is because it really conveys how terribly I failed my children and I was hesitant to put that out there. I'm beginning to realize though that in order to begin the process of healing not only myself, but my family, I need to acknowledge and make amends (as much as possible) for the evil they have survived as well.
Jordan was just a year old when T and I got together. In the beginning, T was fabulous with him. Playing with him, doing the things a father should do with a son--things that Jordan's own father couldn't be bothered with doing since he was so busy sleeping with other women. He was 4 when Alexis was born and immediately things changed between T and him. I didn't understand it because T wasn't exactly loving and warm with her either, it just became a fact that he was distant and detached from both children.
When Alyssa was born, Jordan was 5. We moved in with Timmy when she was 3 months old. Things immediately became horrible. He became horribly physically, mentally, sexually, financially violent and abusive--not to the children, but to me. He just ignored them and pretended they didn't exist. For that, I was thankful. He did however expect the kids to be silent when he was home. As in, whether it was 2:00 in the afternoon or 10:00 at night, the kids were to remain in their rooms and not make a peep, or he was going ballistic about how I was allowing them to run wild and it was horribly disrespectful. I was raising our children to be little animals like my mom allowed my siblings to be. Jordan was older, and he was privy to many of the incidents between Timmy and I that I pretended he wasn't. He was right there in the mix during the encounter when he locked himself and the girls in the house, then dragged me back by my hair into the house, while my young son cried and got dragged back with me. He was there, locked in his room while the beating resumed and I'm sure he heard more than I ever believed he did. It was after that that he began to refuse to come home. His attitude changed and he became difficult to handle when I would try to pick him up from my mom's house. Timmy had me believing that I was doing something wrong, or that my mom was planting ideas in his head and allowing my son to be disrespectful. I didn't believe that, not wholeheartedly, but in my head I wasn't sure. After all, my brothers were out of control. Maybe I was wrong.
For a long time, things went along like this. He would take his friend's son to the race track with him, but refuse to include my son. He would have his nephew down to work on cars with him, but my kids were expected to stay out of the garage. As Jordan became older, he began to make derogatory comments about my son and how he was growing up to be a hoodlum and a loser like my brothers and his father. These "conversations" would go on in our bedroom with the door shut, and I kidded myself that my son never heard them, but I'm sure he did. It's not exactly like Timmy was trying to be quiet. I learned early on not to disagree with him, even though inside I was seething with the unfairness of what he was saying and the way he was acting. I did this because I thought it would make it easier on the kids if I pretended to agree. Maybe he wouldn't attack them personally. Whenever he would see me defending them, or think that he wasn't winning, he would go after them, saying mean and horrible things, so to protect them I took to just listening. Now, I can see how my son may have thought I was agreeing with Timmy because I wasn't defending him.
When Jordan became a teenager, things went downhill fast. Suddenly Timmy was saying things to him, intentionally trying to incite him to react so that could be his excuse. I could see it. So...I let my son stay at my sister's every weekend. I knew he was safe there; safe from the constant baiting that was going on. I couldn't figure out why Timmy was suddenly so pissed off at Jordan. Why everything he did had an ulterior and bad motive; why every look he gave him was disrespectful. I was so confused, now I have learned that as he got older he posed more of a threat to him, that's why the abuse escalated.
When my son was 14, he went to stay at his friend's house one night. Apparently Timmy just "happened to be driving by this boy's house" (which is bullshit, he lived off the beaten path), and found the boys walking down the street with their airsoft guns at about 10 pm. He literally drug my son home and what followed was the first time Timmy laid hands on my baby. I had to separate the two of them because Timmy was trying to choke him. Afterwards he berated me that I had interrupted a necessary lesson that he was trying to teach my son. Apparently, kids need to know who's boss and the best way to do that is to physically abuse them. This way they never question your absolute authority again. I called my sister to ask her to come get my son because I was terrified for him to be there.
When we moved to Ocean City, things were looking up. That is, until Timmy started coming over there. My son started getting into trouble at school again. Timmy would come up on the weekends. I worked at a Lenscrafters so I worked most weekends and late into the evening much of the time. I get a frantic phone call from my daughter at work one Friday night that Jordan has disappeared and that he and her father had been fighting. When I rush home, I see my son outside walking through the darkened neighborhood and insisting that if I don't get rid of Timmy he is leaving. Apparently, some words were exchanged and then Timmy pushed him over the back of the couch. Timmy insisted that Jordan was out of control; he had come in and asked him where the girls were and Jordan had lost it on him calling him names and such. Of course, the kids all had a different story. I believe my kids, but I didn't know how to handle the situation without my kids being put into more danger than they already were.
We moved back and my son broke his hand punching a locker at school. He had to have surgery to repair the bones. That evening it was sleeting outside, he fell asleep (still groggy from the anesthesia) with his light on in his bedroom and the door locked. Locking doors is considered a bad thing to Timmy, and the fact that the light was on was another no-no. He busted into Jordan's room and began screaming at him. My son jumped up and got in his face. I then had to get in between the two of them to prevent an actual fist fight from occurring. He then tells my son to leave "his" house and not come back; go find your father if you can. I call my sister and she comes to the house in a sleet storm to pick up me and the kids. Timmy was pissed off that I left too. We stayed gone for a week before he threatened to take me to court to get the girls because I was staying with my sister in a one bedroom apartment. Jordan stayed there and I pulled him out of school. It seemed easier that way.
Occasionally, my son will say something to the effect of me having chosen Timmy over him. I wish I could go back and change it. I wish I could explain to him that I was not choosing Timmy at all, I was trying my damnedest to keep us all safe and Timmy is scarier on the outside than the inside. Now, Jordan talks about how "Timmy is the only father he has ever had" and crap like that. He is just as mixed up and confused about what a father and a man is as one would expect him to be. Granted his father has never been around, although part of that is Timmy's doing apparently--he told me all kinds of stories about the things Troy and his parents were saying about me and Jordan; I can only imagine what they heard from him about me. If I could have just one wish, one do-over, I would go back to that time when we left the first time and went to Florida. I would have taken my chances on fighting him for custody and stayed there. The most painful part of this entire thing is realizing the horrible damage that has been done to my kids. In my mind I've been thinking that I was protecting them from the worst of it, but in reality I haven't. Okay, it's out there.