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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Southern-Style Faith (Our Story Continues)

The meeting with Detective D was set for Wednesday afternoon at 2. I called my husband, told him, and he arranged to be off from work that day. Feeling that this was just a gathering of information on J's earlier life, her time in the system, and what we'd seen transpire over the last month, I returned from Denver and put the data I'd collected over the years on one of the desks in my office.

I spent Wednesday morning doing what I always do. I worked. When 2:00 was nearly upon us, a wave of nausea swept over me. It made no sense. I had absolutely no dread of the meeting, but now, suddenly, as if the Spirit was alerting me in the way He always has ... I felt sick to my stomach.

I tried to do something "normal." I told my husband I was going to let the dogs out so they'd not have that need once the detective arrived. Outside, the nausea continued. Swelled, even. Inside, I fed the dogs and was just returning their food to the pantry when my husband said, "How many detectives did you say were coming?"

"One."

"Well," he said looking out the front window, "there are three cars and four people standing in our front yard."

My heart beat a little faster. "What are they doing?" I asked, unable to move.

"Just talking."

A moment later, the doorbell rang.

Dennis and I went to the door together, opened it, smiled. Our dogs stood at our feet, tails wagging. "Come in, come in," we said, graciously.

Three women, one man. Dennis shook his hand. "I believe I met you at the hospital," he said. Then he looked at me, gave me the "I told you so" look.

Detective D, who was clearly in charge, suggested we sit at the dining room table. They had notebooks and files; it would be easier for them. So, we did. I offered them something to drink. They declined.

I honestly cannot remember how the conversation started. Perhaps they asked us what had occurred on that awful night (as we then knew) when J  had planned to kill us. What had caused us to send her to the friend's farmhouse for a month. What had happened (the cutting) to lead us to being forced to Baker Act her again. I don't know. Because what happened next, I do remember. And I remember it well.

There was a moment of perplexity between the detectives by something I said. I was clearly innocent of any wrong-doing and so I presented as such. I knew about the allegations of cameras in the bedroom and bathroom. And I was honest about the odd things we had found around the house, things that psychologists and therapists had explained to us were signs of early sexual abuse. I spoke as though I were giving them the information they had come for. They'd asked us simple questions (Question: How do you discipline? Answer: take away privileges. Question: Does she have a bedroom door? Answer: Of course she has a bedroom door! Reply: You understand that as the parents in the home, you have a right to remove her door. Answer: But we haven't. We don't allow locked doors for long periods of time, but we allow closed doors. And, we knock and ask permission to enter, even for our children.) Simple questions. Simple answers.

But that was not why they had come, I guess. And thus, the perplexity.

"Perhaps," Detective D said to Detective SJ, you should read the allegations to the Eversons.

"Allegations?" I asked.

"That J has brought against you."

"Okay." I turned my head to the left, to where Detective SJ sat. She flipped open a manila file and began to read.

She wasn't allowed to take a shower unless we watched.
She wasn't allowed to have a bedroom door.
She wasn't allowed to dress unless we watched.
I forced her to pull down her pants so I could look inside her.
Cameras in the bedroom.
Cameras in the bathroom.
We punished her by hitting her.
She was kept prisoner in her room. (Which I found odd, considering she "had no door.")
I was touching the dogs sexually and smiling.

(There's more, but you get the point.)

I looked from the detective to my husband. Everything moved in slow motion. Whirring inside my head blocked most sound in the room. When my eyes finally reached my husband's face, I saw his eyes rolling to the back. His hand was at his mouth, fingers laying gently against his lips. They quivered.

"Oh my gosh ..." I breathed. "Oh my gosh." This could not be happening. Not our little girl. Our precious precious J. Our funny child who we loved and who loved us with such depth. No!

Then I remembered. I looked back at the detective. I had reports from years before, I told her. Reports that proved she was "transferring."

"Do you have that where you can show it to us?" they asked.

"I sure do," I said, jumping up from my seat and then darting into my office where I'd carefully stacked the old files. My legs felt like they were made of jelly. My hands shook. My head ached. My heart shattered. My vision was blurred by tears. How could she have lied. How could she have done this to us? To us, the two people who had loved her so much. Protected her? Adored her? Gave her everything she could have ever wanted? How could she not know the truth?

I managed to get everything back to the dining room table. They looked over my files, asked for copies. I returned to my office where I made the copies. Just then my phone rang. I looked at the Caller ID. The caller was her new doctor who had performed the psychological.

I answered, said, "I can't talk right now. Detectives ... charges of abuse ... I can't talk right now."

I know now that I shouldn't have answered the phone. I should have just let it ring.

19 comments:

  1. Reading this is making me sick to my stomach. The J I remember, loved her Miss Eya and Dennis Daddy. She was so thankful to have a stable home with two loving parents, and made it clear to anyone that spoke with her that she was happy in her home and wanted nothing to do with her biological parents because of the abuse she suffered at their hands at an early age. It was obvious to me that she was rewriting history and making herself a victim, once again. This just breaks my heart.
    KJ

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  2. I am so sorry you have had to go through this, and that J has so much difficulty. We continue to pray! *hug*

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  3. I'm so sorry that you're having to relive this all again.

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  4. Wow. How incredibly devastating. Especially from J. When I met her she was the happiest little girl, obviously loved you. I wish I had more to say, but I don't. I 'm just dumbfounded at her false allegations.

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  5. For those of us serving troubled kids in the trenches, thank you for faithfully sharing your story. We must keep our eyes wide open. I save every piece of art work, every note slipped under my door in anger and in love, I journal regularly, and seek wisdom and counseling often. I continue to do this because you dare to share your story. Thank you, Eva.

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  6. Eva, the sweet happy kid I met obviously loved you, and you shone with pride of her. "This is our J," you said, and she grinned with delight. Whatever happened in her mind to cause these ridiculous charges is beyond sad. Obviously the police had to check, but that they ever thought them true is wrong!

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  7. I can't imagine what that must have been like for you and Dennis. Thank you for sharing your personal journey. Please know I'm continuing to pray for you, Dennis, and J. Especially for J, who needs someone to take care of her...

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  8. Eva, I am so sorry and heartbroken for you that I don't even know what to say. I remember reading your updates on J and seeing photos of a beautiful, happy little girl who was so obviously well cared for and adored. I continue to pray for her healing and for justice to be served. You are an amazing woman!

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  9. Every Thursday I know this blog is coming. Each one breaks my heart. Two people as fine as you and Dennis, Christian couple, loving enough to bring this child in your home, love her as your own ... UNBELIEVABLE!!!! I am so thankful the joy has returned in your life even though this will always hurt. New life is on the horizon, one book, one award after the other...God is lifting some of the pain... like I write agout me, the dark clouds separated, the sun came out!

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  10. Eva, We raised a young cousin whose father (with a long history of psychiatric problems - including bipolar disorder ) was in prison for double murder and mother had died. We raised her as our own from age 10-18. We also found evidence which made us fear for our lives and those of our other children. Luckily, we were able to have her live the remaining months until she reached majority with another relative in another city and didn't have to get the state involved.

    We, too, wondered, "How could our sweet girl do this to us?" Although the lies she told did not have the same consequences as what J has done to you, we were shocked and horrified. Her wonderful counselor - which I fought so diligently on her behalf to be included in her IEP- explained that she had an "attachment disorder" due to earlier abuse at the hands of her father.

    Unfortunately, she has never received the help she needs. Although functioning, she thrives on crisis - and continues to involve all those around her. Our relationship is "restored" but we are VERY careful around her - knowing she is a master manipulator and will lie at the drop of a hat. Although it broke our hearts, we had to "detach" from her emotionally knowing we did the best we could to love and help her. We found the best thing we could do to support her was on our knees - holding her up to God each day.

    I would have loved for it to turn out as a storybook - and we all lived happily ever after - but with a child who has suffered so much in her early years, this is RARELY the case. I pray for D and especially her children as I see her make one bad choice after another.

    Please know that I think and pray for your sweet family often - knowing how painful it is to see a cherished child turn on you this way. And a system more interested in self- preservation than helping the children they serve. You have acted in J's best interest a great personal cost.

    Feel free to contact me if you want to talk. In the meantime, I'm praying! Cyndy Salzmann

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  11. Oh Cyndy!!!

    You know this pain. I pray for some form of restoration, even though I wonder if I could ever be fully comfortable. The pain in my heart goes so deep. I love J with all my heart.

    When I was being affectionate with my daughter, Jessica, I would say, "I love you, child of mine." I did the same with J, first as a slip of the tongue, but it made her so happy I continued to use the endearment. She even called herself "Child of Yours."

    Yesterday I went shopping and found the cutest "onesie" for Jessica's upcoming arrival and addition to our family. The name brand was "Child of Mine." I didn't notice until I got home. Just that simple viewing nearly brought me to my knees.

    But, then I redirected. I thought, "I called Jessica 'Child of Mine' and now I'm buying her a gift by a company of that same name."

    I'm finding the positive in life again.

    We have to, don't we?

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  12. Too many tears to write, but He says to you, "Child of Mine, I know, I see and one day I will rain such mercy and beauty upon you and yours that this will seem like a second in time, a blink of the eye."

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  13. Touched again by your total transparency. Honored to know you.

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  14. She is so troubled. I pray she gets the help she needs.

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  15. Oh Eva, I cannot imagine the pain you and your husband are experiencing. J's pain must be so deep, she cannot see beyond it and it striking out at the only people who have loved her unconditionally. Continuing to pray for your entire family.

    My heart goes out for you. May the Lord touch J's heart in such a way that many will be saved through her testimony. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God bless in a way you never imagined.

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  16. Your story is heartbreaking but also such an encouragement because of your example of loving as Jesus loves.

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  17. Eva Marie, it's heartbreaking to read your story. But thank you for posting so that many can be helped in knowing what mental illness can do.

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