Holding on to or denying dark secrets won’t make them go away; they will always come back to haunt you. Giving voice to them serves a purpose.-Erin Merryn
February 10, 1992
(Following comes out of my 2nd book Living For Today)
For over an hour we sat and played one game after another of Uno. Soon my grandma left to go out with a friend and it was just grandpa, my sister, and me. I was sitting on the arm of the couch when my sister pushed me back, making me fall onto the couch. She began pulling my shoes off. I began screaming for her to stop. It was exactly what Ashley’s uncle had done. This innocent act of my sister triggered a meltdown, and I cried and yelled for her to give me my shoes.
The entire time my grandpa sat in his chair, reading the paper. I’d had enough of her teasing me and running around with my shoes, so I made two fists and began banging on the glass door that led to the backyard. I kept staring at my grandpa, who was focused on reading his newspaper. I banged louder, then stared screaming, trying desperately to get his attention so that he would do something.
My grandpa had finally had enough. He chased my sister into the back of the house and then into the bathroom, where she fell into the bathtub. He retrieved my shoes, but right about then the glass door I had been pounding on shattered. My left hand went through it, and panicked, I quickly pulled it back. I stared at the now glassless opening, afraid I was going to be in big trouble.
Little did I know I had a deep gash in my wrist, though I saw the blood pouring down my arm. As I made my way into the kitchen, I ran into my grandpa and sister coming back to return my shoes. I did not say a word but held up my wrist. Evidently, I was going into a state of shock. My grandpa acted immediately and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around my wrist to stop the bleeding. He put me in the van and rushed me to the emergency room.
Once in the hospital, doctors and nurses surrounded me, poking and pricking me with needles. I stared at my sister, who sat with both our coats in her hand. Each time I lifted my wrist, which was completely cut open, she covered her face.
From where I lay in the emergency room, I had a perfect view of the elevator my dad would walk through. I begged the doctors to tell him I was asleep; I still was afraid I was going to be in trouble for breaking the window. Then I saw the elevator doors open and my dad walked toward me. He had a look any parent would have rushing to see their child in the hospital. But I was calm. For losing so much blood and having such a deep cut into my wrist, it did not hurt. The rape had hurt far worse than this. When he walked up to my side, I told him how sorry I was for breaking the window. He told me the window can be replaced but my life could not.
The doctors stabilized me enough so that I could sleep. They would operate in the morning. That night my dad slept on a tiny couch next to my bed. I got very little sleep because the nurse seemed to come in every two minutes to take my temperature and vital signs.
The surgery took place the next day. When I woke, I was in a hospital room with my dad lying on a couch next to me. The surgeon told me I was lucky to be alive. He said I could have easily bled to death, or had the cut gone a little deeper, it could have been fatal. I left the hospital with a bright pink cast on my arm. When I returned home I received a huge envelope containing get-well cards that my classmates, including Ashley, had made while I was in the hospital. My teacher had written a message on the front.
I returned to school two days later. All my classmates signed my cast. Suddenly I had appointments to see the school psychologist and social worker. All had heard about my anger exploding and putting my hand through the window. They were trying to figure out where the anger was coming from and teach me healthy ways of dealing with it. Before going into the office to see them, I started acting out and pouting against the wall in the hallway, saying I was not going to the office. Regardless, they got me behind closed doors. I threw myself crying onto the floor. They told me that this behavior would not fix the problem and that I needed to express my anger in a more appropriate way. They continued to ask me to sit in the chair, but I refused. I wanted to stay on the floor and hide my face from anyone seeing my tears. If only they had the least bit of an idea about what horror I was holding on to.