As always, it has been quite a while since I have written here, but as time goes on, I have less and less to write about, in regards to my childhood, and my journey so far. But this post is relevant. It shows just how far I have come.
It was six years ago, yesterday, since I last saw my father, and last heard his voice. Yesterday, was the first time I have thought about June 28, 2012, in terms of my father and it being the last time I had seen him. Until yesterday, I had always thought of the date as the anniversary of the day my daughter, who was 14 at the time, showed me she had more strength than her mother, and pre-recorded her testimony for the trial. It was the anniversary of the start of her always blaming herself for my father’s death. It was the anniversary of the day I would name as the day my hatred of my father surpassed any previous hate I had felt by a thousand-fold – how dare he put my daughter through that!
But yesterday, I viewed it as the anniversary of the last time I saw and heard him.
The day is burned into my memory.
My daughter and I had been staying in a motel for a week leading up to that day, because there was a possibility the session would be moved forward. We were on edge and nervous, because we knew my father was also in town. On June 28, 2012, we went to the court house. My mother, step-father, brother, sister-in-law and niece met us there. We were asked to wait in the foyer in front of the court rooms. I immediately had a panic attack, because I knew my father was going to walk past us. I was terrified of seeing him.
Thankfully, the court staff were understanding, and found us an office to wait in.
Then my daughter and I met with her PACT support worker. By the end of that meeting I was falling apart emotionally and psychologically, and physically was not too far behind those. Going back to the office without my daughter, knowing what she was about to do, was too much for me to bear, as a person and as a mother. I knew in my heart my daughter was so much stronger than me. And in the time she was in the court, I came to understand I was not going to survive giving evidence and being cross-examined. It would cost me my life.
When it was over, and my father had left the building, we left the office and waited in the foyer to give my father time to leave the area.
At the front of the foyer was a wall of windows. I glanced out them, and my heart stopped – my father’s car was parked directly across the road, facing the building I was in. Almost simultaneously, I heard someone call out my father’s name. Moments later, I heard my father’s voice. My knees buckled, there was a roaring in my ears, and the ground tilted beneath my feet, at least, that is what it felt like.
That was the last time I heard him.
His conversation seemed to go on for hours, but eventually he walked across the road to his car. He got in and sat there, while making a phone call. again, it seemed to go on forever. Finally, he drove away.
We all went downstairs, and stood on the footpath while we discussed where would meet next, and my father drove past.
That was the last time I saw him.
And that is what I thought about yesterday.