Pretty Little Girl

A day in the life….

Archive for the tag “craziness”

My Village

They say it takes a village to raise a child.  In my case, I guess that’s true. I found out the man who was a superhero to me, is not my father. The worst part is the story leading up to my birth. My mother is 18 years younger than Daddy, Jim. My brother, John, is 12 years older than me. He saw what happened in the months prior to my birth. He proceeds to tell me that in the later part of the year of 1973. My mother left my Daddy. She ran off with a man named Joe Aaron. The relationship is convoluted. He was her step-father’s brother. As I have come to find out, he was an evil, mean, hard drinking man. He was married; he ran around on his wife, beat her & he is a suspected pedophile. My mother left my brother with Jim, who is not his biological father, to be with Joe. That is screwed up.

Oh but wait…there’s more. In the early part of 1974, my mother came back beaten SEVERELY, and pregnant. This is where God steps in.   My Daddy takes her back, gets her taken care of and agrees to raise me as his own. He had always been sterile due to an illness in his teens. He wanted a family and the agreement was that he was to be listed as my father on the birth certificate. Now, it must be understood, that my Daddy married mother in part because of her already having a child, my brother John, who was 18 mos. old when they married. But he always carried the name “Maddox”, a separating moniker placed their by my mother. To remind my Daddy, who’s son he was. Now that kind of option was off the table. I was to be a Barnett. He would name me. I would be his child–period.

me & daddy with that damn turtle

This decision broke my heart. He knew I was the illegitimate child of my mother and this mess of a man from a very painful time. How does a man reach such a place of forgiveness in the eyes of face of such pain?  I believe this is my divine intervention. After a hard pregnancy due to the injuries to my mother in her beating by Joe, I was born. My mother stayed in the hospital for over a month so that the doctors could fix some of the damage done by Joe that couldn’t be done while she was pregnant. In the meantime, my Daddy took me home. He couldn’t take care of a newborn, give John the attention he needed and work. He was also scared he’d break me. His solution to this problem was another one that would positively affect my life forever. He went to a neighbor lady who had 2 kids–one in high school & another a little younger than John.Her name was JoAnn Warren. He asked her to take care of me. These 2 people, not related to me, would be the biggest 2 influences in my life.  This is just the beginning of my village.

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The Stories Begin….

open-bible

Just as suddenly as we were whisked into chaos, we were returned to our normality with very little fanfare. Everything was the same as it was prior to the California turmoil. The only real explanation I ever got was that my Uncle Mike was running from some really bad people who were liable to lash out at his family and then another story was the FBI was after my uncle. Depending on who told the story, the reasonings were different. When I asked our neighbor, JoAnn what she was told it was a mixture of both stories. Again, yet another version of the same event.

I felt as if my life was “choose your own ending” phenomenon.  The only thaing that was for sure was that everything was being covered up. Maybe I was too young to understand. Maybe it was too outlandish for anyone to believe. Maybe it was just a cover for something completely different. I was 8 years old but I was far from naive to the ways of the Maddox family. Deceit, pathological lies, exaggerations & cruelty was par for the course. I became convinced that I would only find out what happened when the dust settled or until I was grown–whichever came first. I asked my dad because he would be straight with me.  It became clear that he was just as much out of the loop as I was. After all, we weren’t apart of the Maddox inner circle.

Roughly 30 years later, I finally was given some of the answers. It had all been about me.

Further into the Looking Glass

It is still so surreal to recall this entire “adventure”.  Nothing about this Sunday in March of 1983 makes any sense. I woke up to a normal Sunday morning. I ended the day sitting in my Uncle Mike’s house in Long Beach. The black haired cowboy Bobby Riggs brought us to my uncle’s house but the house was pitch black. We waited in the truck in front of the house until my Uncle Mike drove up.  When he got out of the car, he came to the truck and carried me inside. Bobby and my mother followed. Ray was nowhere to be found. My uncle had taken him somewhere else. The bizarre events continued throughout the night. Bobby Riggs was our “bodyguard” as I am told. He is there to make sure no one hurts me or my mother.  Who is after us?  Why? It was just not making sense.  Once we entered the house, we were told not to turn on any lights other than the bathroom light which was on the innermost hallway in the house. Why? It’s not safe.

Being absolutely traumatized by all the craziness, I realized there was a missing element in this house.  Where were my cousins, my uncle’s 3 kids?  Where was my Aunt Dee? We are sitting in the dark with my mother, uncle and Bobby Riggs making small talk in a house in Long Beach. I didn’t change into my pajamas or brush my teeth; I was just taken to my cousin, David’s bedroom.  He was 2 years older than me and again, he wasn’t there. His room looked as if he had been there shortly before. The toys were out and things looked as if he was just in another room, but he wasn’t. No one was. My uncle had a housekeeper, a Mexican lady.  She wasn’t there. I was sitting on my cousin’s waterbed, thinking how awesome it was to be there because I’d never been on a waterbed. It was an experience, probably the only one that day that didn’t scare the hell out of me.

After I finished making waves in the bed and finally fell asleep, I woke up the next morning to a sort of panic. A realization of the insanity of the prior day. If all of that had happened in just one day, what was to expect of the next 24 hours?

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