Margaret got her new house and though it didn’t seem much larger than the old one, I’m sure getting away from the memories of the old house was a relief.
I wish I could say that life improved for Maggie but while she might have thought she was on a good path, she made a very large mistake. She became desperate to prove that she was desirable to men. She started dressing provocatively and going out with one man after another. She finally settled on a merchant marine. I found him to be creepy and couldn’t understand why my parents would have anything to do with him. My mother’s explanation was that they put up with Doug for Maggie’s sake but I think they just didn’t want to see what a useless creep he really was. Maggie’s biological children were adults and had their own families by then but her five adopted children were still at home. Margaret married Doug and he moved into the house with her and her adopted children.
There was a lot of heavy drinking in that house and my mother and Gayle got into a habit of going by there after work to “have a drink”. Maggie and Doug lived in the same town where my mother worked. We had moved to another town a short distance away and had to drive to their town or another one for groceries etc. My mother would often go to the “grocery store” after work and then go to their house and drink. It was very frustrating for my sister and I because we would have to track mom down if we needed permission to do anything. We felt lonely and abandoned waiting for her to come home and when she got home, she was usually drunk.
Reading my stories would make it easy to put my family and family friends into a “white trash” category but they weren’t. The fallacy of this kind of dysfunction is that it doesn’t happen to decent people. Not true. If you follow my blog, my hope is that you will see that dysfunctional families often don’t know that they are becoming dysfunctional or are dysfunctional because their lifestyle is no different from those in their social circle. It’s kind of like, “If its o.k for them, its o.k. for us.”
Eventually, one of the Maggie’s adopted girls told her school officials that Doug had been molesting her. The other girls were questioned and at least one other, maybe two admitted that he had molested them as well. When she was notified, Maggie called the children liars and Children’s Protective Services split the children between her biological son and daughter. This is a woman who I loved and spent so much time with, who was as much a part of my life as my own parents. How could she do this to her kids? How could she choose that asshole over her kids? Why couldn’t she see who he was or why didn’t she want to see what he was? It hurt.
When I worked for a police department, I saw first hand that women will betray their children so often to hold on to a man. I don’t need to tell you that though, do I? Constantly we read or hear in the news about the boyfriend or the stepfather physically or sexually abusing the children or even worse, killing them. Yes, I know that women do it also but it is different. Men don’t have the same desperation to have a woman be a part of their life as women have a desperation to have a man in their life, its ingrained into women. Our mothers push and prod to get us married and have children and if we want more, if it isn’t a priority, then there is something wrong with us. Yes, we are progressing but not entirely. There are those who do not have parents encouraging and supporting their need to become individuals before they become a wives and mother. Those women can easily fall into the get married, have kids and struggle mentality, after all, that is what we are supposed to do. Some religious zealots believe it is our sole purpose based on bible teachings.
Every year on Christmas Eve, my parents had a big party for family and friends. That year, my brother, sister, sister-in-law and I could not believe that my parents allowed Margaret to bring Doug to the party. He tried to talk to me but I excused myself and walked away. The next day I asked my parents why they invited him and told them how I felt when he was around. I will never forget my dad saying, “He would never do anything to my daughters.” Hello Dad, is anyone in there? He would molest Margaret’s children but not yours? Was my dad that naive or did he just feel guilty for exposing me to Doug in the first place? Needless to say, I felt angry that my feelings were dismissed so easily. My dad did not know that I had ever been molested because my mother never told him.
Margaret’s daughters missed her and and it being Christmas…they told Children’s Protective Services that they lied so they could go back home. One of the daughters was in my computer class at the community college and she told me that they didn’t lie, they just wanted to go home. I didn’t ask any questions, I just let her talk as she told me what they went through with Doug. By then Margaret was dead.
Continued Part Three