BW: When did he start molesting you?

Darlene: Well, from age three, up. He’d take my brother coon hunting and beat him in the head with stuff. He beat me with the horse whip so bad that I’d have to tell the people at school that I fell down the stairs. It wasn’t like now. I didn’t have any help. My mom was scared to death. She didn’t know what was going on. He had her all messed up. 

I got married at 15 to get away from him. I got pregnant. The guy I married got put in jail for breaking and entering so I had to go back home. I ended up getting pregnant and married again at 17 to get out of there.

It took a long time to put my dad in prison. I couldn’t tell about what he’d done to me until later but he’d molested cousins and other people too. He was a real nut.

BW: Have you forgiven him?

Darlene: Me?!? I’ll never forgive him! I had his ashes in a black box. I was gonna put him in the sewer or something but I ended up giving them to his sister to bury him.

BW: Are you close to anyone in your family?

Darlene: I didn’t answer my son’s call for mother’s day.

BW: Why?

Darlene: I’m too upset. *crying* My daughter was murdered after the sheriff dropped her off in a motel room, then my husband divorced me and my brother was murdered three months later in New Mexico. All that happened in a year. They don’t know how I’m not on a bunch of pills and stuff.

Darlene’s son and daughter.

Darlene’s son and daughter.

BW: That’s a lot for anyone to live through.  Have you ever been diagnosed with anything?

Darlene: I know I have PTSD, I know I’m probably bipolar, and I have anxiety. I need an advocate to get me back on SSI. Then I could get me a truck with a camper. At least then I’d have a place to stay.