"I'm going to make you guys rich!" This is how one of my aunt's greeted me when I finally arrived at my grandmother's house after my father murdered my mother. It was almost 4am. The constant barrage of questions from detectives was, as they explained, so that they could get all the details of the horrific night as they were fresh in our memories. Although the interrogation was for our benefit, it felt like torture. These are details you want to forget and here I was being forced to remember. It felt as if someone pinned my eyelids back so that they could throw as much salt in them as possible.
One haunting feature I will never forget about sitting there in the precinct was this-watching my 3 year old brother playing with a Bart Simpson figurine on a skateboard (a little fringe benefit from the McDonald's Happy Meal the detective bought us). Bart Simpson kept him occupied as he drove it back and forth, back and forth. But I knew his ears were perked, listening to the questions being thrown at my sister and I. My sister couldn't stop crying. The little 8 year old looked as if she aged 30 years. Pain was scarred all over her face. I tried not to cry because I knew my siblings fed off of me, so I didn't (at least not in the police station) but my eyes, a virtual damn drowning in tears, told a different story. My head felt like it was in the middle of a nutcracker and two large men were on either side pushing against it with all their might. I just wanted to scream and never stop screaming. Years of frustration from infancy culminated in one fateful night when my father finally came through with his two decade old threat to kill my mother.
Child welfare services waited in the precinct for my siblings and I to take us to our respective orphanages. They were going to split us up because of the large age ranges. One of my uncles (my favorite uncle) stepped up and begged for us to go to my grandmother's house at least for that weekend. Luckily, his request was granted, but of course, welfare agents would later have to come to inspect the home to see if we would be allowed to stay permanently.
When leaving the police station, the throbbing in my head just got worst. I knew there would be a crowd at my grandmother's house which was the central meeting place for the family. On a night like this, my siblings and I needed all the support and all the hugs we could get. As I suspected, there was a crowd of silent sad faces everywhere. But when my aunt, my mother's youngest sister ran up to me and said, "I'm going to make you guys rich!", I was taken aback. Rich? Even if that were so, is that something that a 15 year old girl who just witnessed her father murder her mother and who barely got out of the house with her siblings alive, wants to hear? Obviously my aunt thought that money brought some sort of great, god-like comfort to the bereaved. Little did I know that was a sign of things to come. That was just a doorway into a new chapter in my little life; a chapter where greed dictated everything; including the way my family treated me and my brother and sister.
This chapter of my life is very difficult to write about because it hurts to know that the overwhelming majority of my family, people who were supposed to love us children unconditionally, really saw us as an opportunity to make money. And why not? We didn't have any parents to protect us.
Funds were kept from us such as Social Security etc. I found out that that same aunt was claiming me on her tax return even while I was a married adult. These are just a couple of examples of how my siblings and I were thrown out to the wolves when our mother was taken from us by our father. I will cover all the details to the best of my ability in this 2nd Chapter of my blog, that I have penned, "Water is Thicker Than Blood Sometimes".