That day began like every other day as of late. Nothing told me this day was going to be different.
After two weeks, I was still living at my friend’s house, the second house I found refuge in. After going to class that morning, I was called out of class about the 3rd period to go to the office. In my innocence, I had no clue why I was being called down, nor was I afraid. As I rounded the corner, I saw my father and my assistant principal having a discussion. Fear immediately overtook me.
They asked me to stay in a holding area they had nearby. There were windows and at times as I walked by or as I stood there reading lips I could barely understand what they were talking about- but it was not good.
Then I was confronted by my father and my assistant principal. Besides being accused of drug use, I was accused of being a whore, a cokewhore, a slut, a truant, and a social deviant. My father was livid and my assistant principal fed right into it. They both turned to me verbally attacking me, without mercy. During the attack I was frightened. The fear that I was going to be forced home, or get hurt, kicked in again. But what happened in some ways was worse.
After my father degraded me repeatedly and gave my assistant principal- who already disliked me- all the ammunition to make my life pure hell for the rest of high school, then they dropped the bombshell. They had called and were sending me to the psychiatric hospital. I was being involuntarily committed to cover up the rape and the beating.
There was no one there to protect me. My world began to crumble around me. My breathing raced as my heart beat out of control. Suddenly I had a thought. A desperate thought, but one I hoped would work.
Let me call my mom.
But you are under your father’s care, what he says go.
I am over 12 years old. In this state I can choose who I want to live with, and right now I am choosing my mother. Let me have the phone. I’m calling her.
The principal was trying to argue with me, but he had to relent. As much as living with my mother was hell, this had just gotten completely out of control. In choosing between an involuntary commitment at a psychiatric hospital and my mother, it was only slightly better to go live with my mom, but it was still better.
Oh God, Mom. Please answer.
The phone rang a number of times, and right before the answering machine answer a voice answered the phone.
Oh Hi Maggie.
Mom. Come get me now.
Maggie, are you ok?
No, Mom. Dad is trying to cover up Oran raping me and Dad and Sharon beating me by putting me in the state psychiatric hospital. They are going to try and commit me to cover it all up. You have to come save me now.
I’ll be right there.
Ok. Tell my principal that so they don’t send me before you get here.
Handing over the phone, I crumpled in nervous relief. Until I got away from school today I would not be able to relax. My father sounded like he had heard the craziest stories and believed them. My stepbrother must have been trying to cover his tracks by offering up this ridiculous story. What disturbed me was not that my father was overstimulated by bad information and emotions, but that my principal ate up all of this ridiculousness like it was the Gospel. The look in his eye scared me. He looked at me as if he was going to destroy me, then he set his jaw as if in stubborn resolve. It was as if he was happy to ruin me.
Within the hour my mother was there to take me home. That was how simply I could change custody between parents at my age. However, living with my mother was hardly a picnic. She was not coming to rescue me from my father; she was there to get my father’s goad. She never cared about me; this was a personal vendetta between my father and her. But in this case, it was necessary to enlist her help. It may have been the only thing that saved me.