Chapter 8: Back to whence we came

“Maybe this isn’t home, nor ever was- maybe home is where I have to go tonight. Home is the place where when you go there, you have to finally face the thing in the dark.” ~ Stephen King, It

Who says you can never go home? After the fire in the fuse box in Elkton, my grandmother decided that we should move in with her in Hopkinsville. So off we went to live with her.

All of our stuff was boxed and put in her garage. She had more rooms in the house than she new what to do with, so space was not an issue. Of course, being in Hopkinsville meant that my cousin had more access to me and so the abuse continued.

Living with my grandmother was ok. My mother’s mental state deteriorated much more rapidly living with her though. One day, my grandmother had gone to work, she was a teacher’s aide, and my mother was in one of her moods. I was trying to do my school work, which she never helped me with even though she was my “teacher”. She demanded that come out of the room and vacuum the floor. I told her that I needed to finish this one problem and I would. That was not good enough. She came in the room grabbed me by the throat and started choking me. I managed to struggle free and started running down the hall toward the back door. She grabbed the back of my shirt and tried to use my shirt to choke me. The shirt tore and I tried to run again. She grabbed what was left of the shirt and pulled me back toward her. As she did, I turned and my fist hit her nose. It was not intentional, just happened in the frenzy.

She fell back and let go of me. I ran and did not look back until I was a good two blocks away from the house. I walked the streets for most of the afternoon until it was time for my dad to be home from work. I walked back in the house and he decked me. Pulled me up by my pants and threw me on the couch. There sitting in the chair across the room was my mom. She had changed into some clothing that was torn and tattered. She had bled on the shirt. She had her nose packed with something.

My dad began to threaten to have me put in jail, shipped off to the army and various other threats. At this point, I was hoping he would follow through. My mother had told him that she was sitting in the chair minding her own business when I came up to her and starting hitting her with my fists and tearing her clothes. Why? No reason. I just did it because I was a demon. I was evil and I wanted to see her dead. None of this was true, but my dad bought it. As my dad pummeled me, my mother sat in the chair behind him grinning from ear-to-ear. She enjoyed every moment of it.

She milked that broken nose for months. Even years later, she would try to use that to control me. I finally began to understand that she did not just make up stories, she started believing her own lies.

Eventually, things returned to normal. Once or twice a week, my mom would cry about how I had mistreated her or how I had cussed her out. Dad would use his belt or hand on me and mom would smile and giggle as he did.

Finally, my cousin stopped his raping and abusing me. I guess I was too old for him by this point. I would learn years later that he had moved on to my cousins. Today, he sits in prison, not for abusing us, but for child pornography. I guess it is better than him being able to abuse anyone else.

I think that after a while my grandmother began to get tired of having us in her house. Either that, or my mother was tired of sharing the lime light. My grandmother could be an attention hog too. So my mother started hunting for a home to rent or buy. After several months, we were moving again.