November 18th. 1987
As part of my recovery therapy; I’m being urged to get my GED. So on Wednesdays I’d come here to the Long Island Consultation; it feels funny coming here and being with a whole bunch of kids who are here to get help with their homework. Months of working on re-learning working through this GED-Prep Assessments and Practice-Test Textbook and with months of so much of going to my groups and individual appointments trying to gain back some sense of stability… working on much of what’s been; and trying to provide a decent life for Joe and Annamarie?! I had full hands; I worked when I was up to it and I’d try to find a place beyond this emptiness which is my life, now.
Finally in November of 87’, I go down to take the test. But, when I get there I’m told I wasn’t allowed to take the test!? They told me that the Birth-Certificate I have is invalid; they tell me, “The child of this certificate was never given a name; There’s no way to verify just who this Certificate belongs?!”
Stunned, I go into the city to 125 Worth Street to order a new copy of my birth certificate which I was sure would be fine and would have my name in the front; the one I have did have a stamp on the back from the board of health in Jamaica with my name handwritten on it?! I had the number from off of my original and the person at the counter hands me my new certificate; I look down onto the paper and there in bold print is my real first name…, Female; my name is Female Rose, my date of birth is correct??? And, my parent’s names are where parent’s names belong??? But me…; how appropriate I never felt much more than… and here’s proof!? I am nothing more other than female. I was told if I would like I’d need to get a hold of the vault-copy to add a name to it or be Female Rose for the rest of my life?! It took several trips but January 14th. I had a name on a certificate and made a new appointment for the test and I received my GED in the mail six months later.
Entering home; I run straight to my room! … Quickly, put the latch down; I need to hurry… opening the both draws of the captains’ beds. A knife comes through and unhitches the latch and as it does an arm pops through and comes around the door; her hand comes towards me as it pinchesinto my skin the knife falls and she pulls her arm back out and she’s bangs herself upon the door crying?! I’m safe of her… banging, pushing; if she makes it in… If she gets the door open far enough I will be dead.
It’s been months since I have had any real sense of safety around her…; she seems always ready to pounce; but, I still have no doubt that little Joe is safe around her; but, this is about to change.
I begin finding letters around the house; these are letters to Joe?! They’re letters of apologies to him; telling him reasons in why she had to **** his mother… For her, I care to believe, she was unaware she was even doing this… About why … she perceives me to be… she transfers her thoughts and feeling about her mother onto me?! Her purpose, her reasons… all these desires in having this want to see me gone? I don’t really understand, nor does it matter …; it matters not, if there’s a danger to the child?! And, now, there is reason to worry?!
We were waiting for Joe to come home from school. Annamarie and I were doing the wash and arguing; about something I don’t remember what… but, I must have said something??? Because, suddenly she snaps?! She begins beating on me?! She’s yelling and biting… She’s calling me Elaine, Mommy and this time she wouldn’t snap out of it?! She wasn’t going to stop…unless I’m dead on the floor; this time it wasn’t going to end?! I called Steven; Steven would hang-out with me so he could be close to Annamarie, I call him to get his help; I need help get her to calm-down before Joe comes home and see her this way?!
Steve arrives but it’s simultaneously with my Joe arriving home and when they both got to my bedroom door… she on top of me on my bed with a knife pressing down hard against my throat, just a split-second more, there would have been a slit and puddle… and it would have been my last breath in this life?! Joey, yells, Theresa!!! Dear God in heaven, it snaps her back… Joe’s voice reaches her; the knife falls to the side of my neck it lands beside me on the bed and she runs out and runs into Joe’s room crying. My Joe clutches a hold onto me and I try to tell Joe everything’s alright and… Steve begins yelling at me “Whatever this is happening here; what ever made her act this way… It has to be something you did?! “
I brought the letters to the courthouse;
After that day I had to go to the court and get an order of protection; I told Annamarie there is no way life can continue this way and we could no-longer live under the same roof anymore?! Telling her,” You could have the choice of staying here in this house and I’d move out … You could find a new place and I’ll compensate your rent; and, there’s no problems, no worries, you won’t lose time with Joe. But, this life the way it is must change?! I will pay your rent and you can have Joe here while I’m not home all of this is just about you and I not being able to stay in the same home together.
At first she says she would like to find a place of her own… I was rather proud of her doing this on her own; weeks pass and then she tells me she hadn’t looked and I could leave instead?! I told her, “No; we already told Joe he would keep his room and he wasn’t going to have to move to a new place?! I won’t be the one moving! You had the choice now that’s it you go!
I sent Joe out to a camp for four weeks through The Fresh Air Fund. My sister moves her stuff out taking all but Joe’s bedroom set and half of his toys other than these things it was an empty apt. Oh yeah, she does leave a bed for me; it’s an old GI.Special military cot…I never saw it before but there it is in the kitchen broken?! And she left this old television-set which I thought she had thrown away months ago when I gave her a new one, it must have been in her hoard down in the basement. Not one thing was left in the basement? I hope she found a good place; I can’t see any place could afford on her own where she’ll be fitting the amount of stuff she had pulled out of here?! She refused my help telling me I threw her out for no reason… She says we had no fight the way I said and the only thing that’s happening is I’m throwing her out like garbage???
She doesn’t remember?
She wouldn’t allow me to know just where it was she lived; so I didn’t let Joe stay with her at first. I thought she lived somewhere on her own; come to find that she moved in with this man which later on she’ll end up marrying. Once I met him… and only when he would come and promise Joe’s return did I give Joe the ok to spend the weekend with her… it was hard.
And once this arrangement began working Annamarie would say I watch Joe while you work… I told her I’d give her half my pay and you could be here or home with Joe whenever I needed to go to work! Low and behold whenever I had work she wasn’t anywhere to be found!? I’d call her, get no answer?! She forgot and/or wasn’t home, you asked me to watch him? Or, she’d come to the house three hours late and tell me ok go to work now I’m here???
I began asking Anne Copland to watch Joe once in a while; I worked seldom. When, I tried to get anyone for babysitting in short order became a one hundred and twenty-five dollar job for one night’s work from 7pm to 7am. a job that nobody wants to take… no reason given just can’t do this for you anymore??? Only one who never stopped this was Ann Copland right next door… but I couldn’t depend on her alone; it wouldn’t be fair to do… she loves Joe but for the most part she’s up there in age and it is hard for her to keep up with a child for long time work? Besides she wouldn’t take the money, and, I need someone that I could call in a moment’s notice. Ann was there when she could… but there are times when she wasn’t up to doing it?!
It was really hard but we Joe and I made things work; and, we had made our home cozy once more. We brought in furniture and Painted and he was happy to have his mother around. In the springtime Joe had made a backyard garden; he planted so many things herbs, vegetables’ and he even had a long planter growing tall corn! Never got one niblet but Joe truly enjoys gardening! We got a cat… her name’s Crescent, Joe likes cats he is only so good around dogs though he doesn’t dislike them.
My mother comes to town; she and Eddie were over… that cat burrowed a hole beneath the couch into its springs and hid from my mother… never seen Crescent act this way before or since?!
My mother was not impressed with the color my son choose for the walls in my dining-room; it’s the loudest tone of orange one could imagine being able to be created and placed on a wall! And, with the big round white table and the bright red and white chairs and with the artwork that was on the walls?! Let us just say my mother could not eat a thing in that room without needing to toss her cookies; Eddie smirked, when he entered the room, saying, “This would wake a person up!” My mother seemed very surprised by the fact that my house is so well furnished!? She did just come from Annamarie’s and it hadn’t been all that long since she moved out of here… my mother perhaps thought I’d be sitting in the middle of the floor??? And be without food or a dish or a place to eat??? My sister did take everything; but…
At least Eddie says, “The place looks nice!”
I never seen a woman so disappointed?! I rather think she’d been way happier if she found the house empty of anything good and the two of us living in squalor?! Do not get this wrong, not for nothing, but I think she was hoping to have me and my son crying out and needing her help. No mother wants to feel completely unneeded!
Though, I must say, after about two hours my sister and her boyfriend drops-in to bring my mom and Eddie to my Aunt Barbra’s house and Annamarie’s face said it all…; she hadn’t seen the house in a while and she wouldn’t or couldn’t say a word!
I do not know what Annamarie told her mother about why she had moved out?! Of that, it doesn’t matter to me; I only hope life becomes better from here.
Well, this is her father, he dies; Annamarie and John, my brother, go to Florida!? My mother calls and offers to pay my way if I want to go with Joe down there… I told her, “He’s not my problem??? I have no wish to go there!”
“Risa; you shouldn’t be like that maybe Joe would want to say goodbye?”
I thought,’ I’m sure he would have four years ago when it was instead of “See you in the morning, monkey!”??? Now, what? We should spend money to go plant the man???’; “No thank you mom Joe has school; which is too important! Besides that… like I just finished saying, he’s not my problem!”
“You know he’s your father; you may regret not going some day?!”
“I very-much-doubt-it!” I look to the phone as if it just turned into a turnip???” Mom, keep your money; it’s not happening!”
“Mom… We both know better?! I do thank you but no; Not going!”
When John and Annamarie returned to New York she was cruising off the deep-end??? She kept seeing him floating around calling to her to go with him; if we weren’t watching her she probably would have walked off the earth; poor girl’s hallucinating…
“Daddy’s floating over there; don’t you see him? He has no eyes! He needs me to help him to get around!”
His eyes were given to the eye-bank?! And, this little churp-bird is…
“Annamarie; He doesn’t need your help; his being he is so you can know he doesn’t need you? He can see even without eyes now!”
“No, He needs me!?”
“Annamarie, how did Daddy get, all the way, up here from Florida? How could he without his eyes if he needed them to see? ”
It took her awhile before she stops acting so lost; there were a few times when Joe was out with her when the poor kid had to help the two of them find their way home; Joe wouldn’t go out with her alone again for a very long time. Joe would always ask her if his Uncle Al was going to be with them. Poor kid has aspersers’ and he has to watch-out for his Aunt?!