A Child's Secret
by Claudberta Meador
edited: Sunday, October 06, 2002
Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2002
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Domestic Abuse and how as a family people tend to "hide" problems.
This story is true , but the names are changed to protect the innocent. This is a basic way to find out things you did not know might be going on in your town, or people very close to you.
Heather sat down with her mother to talk, a very bright 11 year old blue eyed child with a heart big as all out doors. She was worried about something and Mother was having a problem getting out of her what was wrong. But when the other children came home from school she ran off to play with them like she was ok. Mom let it go as a mood.
Mickey came in from playing and said, "Mrs. Martin, can I lay down and take a nap". Mom always said yes whenever he asked. But very puzzled if the child was sick. Everyday it was the same routine, he would come in, do his homework, play for a very short time and sleep until his mother picked him up. Today was a bit different..While he was sleeping she noticed her daughter watching him, but she was crying. Mother attempted to ask her what was wrong, but she denied anything and ran off to play.
Something is up she thought, what in the world could be going on? She was determined before the night was over to find out. As it happened it was a Friday night and when Rachel came to pick up the kids Mary asked if her daughter could spend the night. Saying yes and thinking nothing of it until seeing Mickey looking at her daughter and shaking his head no, her daughter was shaking her head yes.
Letting it go, Clarissa Martin thought she would wait until her daughter came home to find out what was up. She found out only too soon. At three am she received a call that her daughter was in tears and needed to come home NOW! Still in her pajamas her daughter left her things and ran home in the dark (although only a few houses away) this scared Clarissa.
Her daughter flew in the house crying very hard, she finally calmed her down enough to ask what was wrong. Heather then poured her heart out. " Mommy, please do not get mad at me. But their daddy was real mad all night. He started drinking when he came home. He got mad at Rachel and threw supper all over the house. It's ok though cause Rachel told me not to worry she would pick it up". Between sobs she continued "Then he told her if she went to sleep he would kill her while she was sleeping, Mickey said he says that to her all the time, and mommy that is why Mickey sleeps when he comes home so he can stay up all night to make sure his daddy doesn't hurt his mommy."...More sobs."Then mommy he hit her, the daddy hit her and pushed her down the stairs, took the car keys and they fought more and more and I got scared and wanted to come home.... " More crying and sobbing. "I am sorry mommy Mickey and his sister wanted this to be a secret, they are not supposed to tell. And Rachel has her eyes a funny color mommy where he hit her the other day. She is not tired at night, she doesn't come in to pick them up because she got bruises and don't want you to see them". Clarissa gently rocked her child to sleep. Remember those days when the same had happened to her.
The next morning she spoke to Rachel, telling her all that her daughter had said, admitting it was all true . Clarissa did one of the hardest things she had ever done, she told Rachel " I love you and your children like family, but you have to get some help. Not only you are suffering, your children are hurting. And if you do not seek help I will force the issue Rachel, as much as I love you someone has to help you see that this is wrong. Do you understand that when he is that drunk he just may do what he says he will? And your son believes this will happen. What would you do, if just by chance he does attempt to hurt you in your sleep and your son intervenes? What are you going to do if it is your son he harms? Please get help, don't make me call anyone.". There was silence for a long time. She could hear Rachel crying on the other side of the phone.
Two hours later and intervention meeting was set up in Rachel's home. Three hours later her husband was admitted to a treatment center.
Claudberta Meador 38, native of Northeastern Ohio where she resides with her two wonderful children. Enjoying the simplistic rural life. Previously published in Nurses Research Publications and Nursing Resources. Poetry currently published in Nature's Echoes ,Surrounded by Dreams, and The Silence Within .Articles featured in the upcoming e-zine everythingaboutwellness.com , Content team leader in Nursing for Fitnessheaven.com, and Page Wise.