Biographical Non-Fiction posted March 24, 2009 Chapters:  ...59 60 -61- 62... 


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Sarah moves out.

A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind

Tension

by S. Pumpkin

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.


Background
Sexually abusd as a child Valerie grows into an adult with severe psychological problems. Diagnosed with breast cancer she continues to work as a CI for the police. Pressure from her job & health add

"If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees."

~Khalil Gibran

 
My tolerance for disruption had never been high, but after six months of chemotherapy and working ten to twelve hours a day, Mom and Sarah described life with me much like living in a war zone. Exhausted and constantly sick, everything irritated me. 

Although Mom knew my sisters’ lack of concern for my health caused me considerable distress, she refused to admonish them. When the subject came up, she expressed anger over their cruel behavior and repeatedly said she would speak to them. However, Mom's habit of telling whomever she was with at the moment what they wanted to hear, made standing up for me impossible. Her desperate need to keep everyone happy was all she knew. When speaking to me she expressed anger; when speaking to my sisters, she expressed frustration over my demanding nature. 

We fought all the time. It did not take long for me to turn each argument into an accusation of her being a lousy mother. 

I continued to see Dr. L  once a week. I confided in him about my secret work for the police. He expressed concern about the long hours I worked but also about my obsession with the case. He worried that the stress would prove to be too much, and I would end up in the hospital again. I did my best to reassure him. 

“There is no way I am going to do anything that could possibly jeopardize this case,” I assured him. “Can you imagine what would happen if the police knew of my psychological history? I could have God standing next to me in court swearing I was telling the truth and the case would still fall apart. The world is not capable of accepting the fact that someone with mental problems can tell the truth. They wouldn’t care that I hadn’t had a hallucination in more than eighteen months, nor would they care that I haven’t lost so much as a second of time in the past two years. Once a nut, always a nut, that’s the world we live in.” 

My words fell on deaf ears; his concern only grew with each passing week. 

* * *

As I came down the stairs, I heard Sarah and Denise talking in the living room. 

"Sarah, I think it would be a good idea for you to get away from all this tension and move in with your Dad." 

My heart began to beat so hard and fast I thought my chest was going to explode. Hearing Denise give Sarah advice sent me into an instant rage. 

I leaned over the railing and screamed at the top of my lungs, “Denise get the fucking hell out of this house!” 

Shocked, Sarah said, “Mom, what the hell is wrong with you. We are just talking for God’s sake.” 

I raced downstairs and again screamed at Denise to leave. 

She laughed and said, “Fuck you. I don’t have to leave if I don’t want to.” 

Hearing the commotion, Mom came into the living room and tried to get Denise and me to calm down. 

“Come on girls, there is no need to shout,” she pleaded. “Can’t you try to get along?” 

I looked at Mom then back at Denise. I grabbed Mom by the arm and physically dragged her into the kitchen. 

“Have you forgotten that Denise and you are both responsible for what happened to Tina?” I screamed at her. “I will not have that bitch giving advice to my daughter. You either ask her to leave or I will physically throw her out of the house myself.” 

Mom returned to the living room and in her usual calm voice said, 

"Denise, this is not a good time for Valerie. Maybe it would be a good idea if you left. I’ll call you later.” 

Denise got up and stomped out of the house slamming the door behind her. 

Sarah threw her hands in the air and said, “Mom, I don’t know how much more of this I can take. You are so damn unreasonable it is driving me insane. What the hell was wrong with me talking to Aunt Denise?” 

I wanted to tell her what her Aunt had done but I couldn’t. There was so much I wanted to tell her, but I could never find the words. She saw me as a ranting and raving lunatic. She had no idea why I was angry with Richard or why Mom, my sisters, and I couldn’t get along. 

My past was something I had worked very hard to hide from both Sarah and Tina. I didn’t want them to have to deal with something I couldn’t deal with myself. I wanted to spare them the shame of knowing what my father had done to me. I had become very adept at keeping secrets and now Tina, Sarah and I were paying the price. 

Two days later, Sarah told me she quit school and that her father was on his way to pick her up. She was moving back in with him. 

I started to cry. 

“Mom, you know I love you but I cannot take another day of the constant fighting,” Sarah said pitifully. “I need a break and so do you.” 

Still crying I said, “I am sorry. I promise, I will try harder not to be so argumentative. Please, don’t leave.” 

Thirty minutes later Sarah and Richard were pulling out of the driveway. Tina and I had not spoken in months and now Sarah was gone too. I stood staring out the window, tears streaming down my face. I lost Tina months ago, and now I feared I had also lost Sarah.


Earned A Seal Of Quality


I was more like my mother than I wanted to admit. Without realizing it, I had learned from the best how to keep secrets. Unfortunately, both my daughters had witnessed my bizarre behavior, seen me drink excessively, knew I had worked as a prostitute, and were aware of my drug abuse. Not the qualities a child admires in a mother. Although filled with guilt over them kowing my many faults, my fear and shame over what my father had done prevented me from telling them about my past. This lack of information placed them at a considerable disadvantage.
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