Biographical Non-Fiction posted February 13, 2009 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 


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Nothing changes. Life as goes on.

A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind

More of the same

by S. Pumpkin


Painting by author of her sister Teresa
“We have to distrust each other.  It is our only defense against betrayal.”
Tennessee Williams


Several weeks later, Teresa had the nerve to ask me for my help. She said Daddy had been bothering her again. Still angry over her continued refusal to back me up, I respond by throwing the contents of my glass of milk at her and yelled, "Go to hell!"

Ignoring the milk dripping down her face and onto her blouse, she said, "Valerie, I am serious. I cannot take any more."

"Please, I promise, this time I will back you up."

I shook my head and waved her off with a wide sweep of my hand. "I told you NO, and I meant it! There is no way in hell I will talk to Mom for you. Besides, it will not do any good. You have done too good a job convincing her I am a liar."

"This time will be different," Teresa promised.

I lost count of the number of times she begged me to talk to Mom, and then reneged on her promise to stand by me when the heat was on. I swore I would never do it again. However, the tears in her eyes tugged at my heart. I understood all too well the anguish she was going through.

We never talked about the specifics of what Daddy was doing; always using the proverbial "it" when talking about him. Daddy's doing "it" again or, Daddy's at "it again" seemed sufficient to convey the full meaning of what he was dong.

"Teresa, what makes you think I give a damn what Daddy's doing to you?" I asked.

"You have never acted like you care what he does to me. Only when it causes you a problem do you come to me. Every time I have asked you for help, you have done nothing but make it worse for me. So, tell me, why should I help you?"

With desperation written on her face and in the tone of her voice, Teresa said, "Daddy is getting worse."

I found it hard to believe that anything could be worse than what he was already doing.

Teresa continued. "He follows me around the house saying disgusting things. I cannot get away from him. I don't know what else to do."

"Talking to Mom won't help," I said. "She does not believe me. You made sure of that."

"This time I will back you up." Teresa promised.

"How many times have I heard that?" I responded with an intentional tone of sarcasm.

"This time I really mean it." Teresa was now begging.

I understood what she was going through. However, I also knew that nothing I said or did would make the slightest bit of difference Thanks to Teresa, Mom considered me a liar and troublemaker.

I purposely remained silent for several minutes just to make Teresa squirm.

Sufficiently satisfied I had achieved my intended response, I finally said, "You need to go to Mom yourself. Maybe she will listen to you. I'll back you up, but you need to do all the talking."

Reluctantly, Teresa agreed with the added stipulation that I swear on the bible I would back her up. I knew it was a mistake, but I agreed.

Teresa did talk to Mom but, much to my annoyance, she described Daddy's behavior as nothing more than the irritating ranting of a vulgar alcoholic.

Mom's response was the predictable, "Try to ignore him when he gets like that."

* * *
A few weeks later, I caught Daddy going into the girls' room after everyone had gone to bed. When I confronted him, he quickly left the room but I knew he would be back.

I had no choice but to tell Mom. I prayed that she would listen to me this time, but as she had done before, she refused to believe Daddy would harm the girls.

I began sleeping on the floor in the girls' room to prevent Daddy from doing anything to them. After school, I went directly home instead of stopping at Bonnie's house as I had always done. My biggest concern was that despite all my vigilance in protecting the girls, I knew it would not be enough. I tried to talk to Teresa but she insisted Daddy was not capable of doing anything so horrible. She even criticized me for suggesting he could stoop so low.

"You are out of your mind!" Teresa screamed at me. "I don't want to hear about this any more! Daddy would not do that!"

No one listened to me. No one believed me. No one cared.


Earned A Seal Of Quality


Valerie's strained relationship with her sister is put to the test when Teresa asks her for help. Valerie catches her father sneaking into her little sisters' room. She has no choice but to tell mother.
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