Technically, I didn’t tell as much as I admitted it to another human being. I think there is a difference. I told later on in the evening, right after I admitted it, but here is how it all came out one night.
I had just turned 17, and met Tony at The Freewill Baptist Church in Vandalia. He was nice, a little bit older than me by two or three years, he played guitar, lived at home and drove his mother’s car. Basically he was at a stage where he looking for his place in life. Our dating consisted of being at church, eating dinner after church at his parents, visiting other churches and once I remember we went to the North Star Drive In.
One night after church, he was dropping me at my house. We were sitting in the car, when he asked me if there was something going on between my dad and me. He said” Your Dad doesn’t act like other Dad’s of girls I have dated in the past, he acts like he is jealous, like he’s your boyfriend. He’s not like any Dad I have ever met before. Is there something going on?”
I froze. I stopped breathing briefly.
I nodded and admitted “Yes, there was something going on.” We both digested what I had admitted. The first thought I had, what seeped into my frozen brain, was the question “What have I done? I am going to get in so much trouble. “I wanted to tell him more but nothing would come out.
“Does your Mom know?” Tony asked.
“No”, I didn’t think she did. (Cause, Jack was adamant about making sure I didn’t tell, that’s how I knew for sure).
He told me “You have to tell your Mom, she needs to know. You have to tell her tonight.”
What I wanted was to die, but based on past experience, that wasn’t going to happen. Next best would be Tony would tell her, but I felt sure he wasn’t going to do that for me. I remember hearing him say, something about me needing to find someone who would help me. I got out of the car, went inside to face the telling. I thought I would die. My guts were twisting all around. There was this sense of doom, just on the edge of happening. That sick feeling as you realize your about to fall. Hard, and there was nothing to do but go with it. Even though I thought I had experienced the worst life had to offer to children, things could surprise me by showing me something else was possible. I had to face something I would regret.
Mom was gone, probably at work. Jack, no where to be seen. I sat down on the couch trying to figure out how I was going to tell Mom, when Jack came in the front door. He had been out drinking with his friends while he was supposed to be home watching his children. But he really just wanted to go back out and was relieved that I was there so he could leave again. He didn’t want to look too eager for it, so he yelled at us for not being in bed. Actually we were all okay with him leaving again; it was easier with him gone. Told me to get the rest of the kids in bed, while he was going to go out cause he couldn’t stand it being in such a noisy, messy house. When he got back, we had all better be in the bed, asleep. Or we would all pay for it. He stomped out of the house, leaving me to get everyone settled in. My youngest sister was only a few months old so she was the easiest. Later, Connie and Scott followed suit, and then Jackie, who usually fought the hardest about doing anything. Then I went back to the couch.
I couldn’t understand what happened in Tony’s car. How was this going to happen? Me telling Mom what had been going on for years.
It didn’t seem that long before Mom came home bringing unclaimed pizza from work.
I waited until she settled in then said I needed to talk to her. She got a drink and headed outdoors to the back yard. She was probably glad for the cooler breeze after being in front of pizza ovens all night. Truth is, it was probably fitting that we sat in the back yard, in lawn chairs only partially lit up from the kitchen light shining out the back door. I worried about her seeing my face.
After I sat down, I waited a moment, and blurted out, ”Dad and I have been sleeping together” as if I had been a consenting adult. I looked at my feet, since it was the only thing I could clearly see. After a bit, she asked did anyone know what had happened. Nothing else, no details, no “oh no’s”, nothing remarkable. Just “Does anyone else know? I want to make sure your not lying”.
“Yes, Uncle Brian, Uncle Barry”, I left out Uncle Vic, thinking he wouldn’t have told her the truth anyhow. She got up and left the chair, left me sitting in the back yard, wondering what I should do. After a while, I just went to bed.