Around this same time, when I was still in junior high and beginning my journey into drugs and alcohol was when the final incident happened. My dad dropped my sister and me off at the movie theater; I can’t remember what the movie was. My parents, for all their faults and inner demons, were always very punctual to pick us up from where ever they left us. Once the movie was over we went to the waiting area, but no parent. I kept looking out the window; it seemed like hours passed and maybe it was hours. Finally, I see my mom’s car pull up, it looked like her but the driver was a stranger and there was also a strange passenger. Nope, must be a car that looks like hers. But then the strange driver started waving us over to the car. I was so confused and somewhat frightened. The person kept motioning. It finally dawned on me, it was my mom, but she looked so different. I grabbed my sister and we went outside. Oh my goodness! My dad had beat my mother so bad her face was swollen twice the size, bruised. The stranger in the car was a woman my mom had met in school (my mom had gone back to school to get her GED. Apparently she realized the end was coming and she knew she had to do something). Now, these beatings had been going on for years, but I was stunned, scared and in shock. I was advised that this time the police and my dad’s superior on the Naval Base had been contacted. My dad had been arrested. Finally, an action in my home that had needed to been taken for years had finally been initiated, but years too late.
My mom had also met another friend, a lively, wild elderly lady named Betty. She had a pool in her backyard and we would go over there often after this and she was funny and a source of joy, at least to me, every time we went over there. She encouraged my mom and me and my sister, though my sister was so young she may not remember all of this. I was so grateful that my dad was out of the house, but it was still a sad, confusing time. He had been let out of jail but demoted in the Navy-no longer eligible for promotions. Of course, this was all my mom’s fault according to my dad. The years of physical abuse against my mom were finally over, but this just opened a new horrible chapter in my life. You see, though the physical violence was gone the years of witnessing it and also the cruel way he would emotionally and mentally abuse me had taken its toll. No, the nightmare wasn’t over, but now I was just all on my own, trying to deal with the aftermath.