Chapter 4 – A Safe Place

I knew and felt sure that if I could reach my “safe space,” I would be okay.

I ran until I found my “safe space,” an old, burned hollowed out tree. I squirmed my way into her bosom and sat reticent, knowing Ducky and the others would be looking for me. This is the only place I could escape too when Ducky was a drunk and/or I was in trouble. I spent many hours within her warm bosom. Nothing could hurt me while I was in her warm, dark embrace. Sometimes, I would spend a day or so out there. I knew, with the creek nearby that I could get water when it was safe. I found this place one night running from Ducky. After a couple of stays, I realized I needed food and a blanket. I had packed an old He-Man metal lunch box with munchies pilfered from the pantry. I took one of my favorite blankets, an old wool military blanket, and rolled it up, placed it into a black garbage and took it out to my tree hideout. There was not a lot of space, but it was perfect for a small child like me. Enough room to place the goodies, a place to hide and to stay dry, and wide for me to curl up. The opening was a slight crack, big enough for me to squeeze into. I always dreaded on returning to the house. I knew I would spend the next few days in the root cellar, after a good beating and screaming match with Mother and Ducky.

This is where I went that fateful Halloween Day. I hid within my tree: quiet, sure that they would hear my heart beating. After what seemed like an hour, a police officer came into view. He tried at first sought to coax me out, but I remained silent, still, and pushed up against the back of the hollow. The officer soon realized that I was not going to come out and backed away. I heard them talking and agreeing to return to the house. Someone with him stated that I would eventually come out. I waited for what seemed like a long time, an hour or less. I carefully, quietly inched toward the opening and peeked out. Seeing that no one was around, I slid out, went down to the creek and drank some water. As I was drinking and washing my tear stained face, I heard a “SNAP.” A twig or some underbrush, breaking under a heavy foot. Like a hunted animal, I stood up slowly and turned toward the sound. I saw a different police officer, a rather robust officer, standing a few hundred yards away. He brought his chubby hand up in a surrender sign. He spoke calmly, “I’m not going to hurt you. Come with me, back to the house.” I charged into the creek, as his hand went to his radio. I knew I could not get back to my tree because he was blocking my path.

I headed into the creek, to another side, and up the embankment to what I thought was a clear field. Oh, how wrong I was! As soon as I crested, I realized that it was too late. At least four more police officers were looking at me. As I came crashing into the clearing, I realized it was a trap. I ran nearly into one officer, who tried to grab me. I ran, screaming, and throwing rocks and branches at the police. I turned and saw one of the officers pull out what looked like his gun. All I could think was these people were no better than Ducky nor Mother. I made a sharp turn to head back to the creek embankment and POW!

It felt like I got hit by a lightning bolt. My body felt like a thousand fire ants stinging me. My body contorted. My back arched, legs and arms went numb. My body started to twitch violently. I had no control over anything it was doing. 

PAIN

They had tasered me. They pounced on me like a pack of rabid, wild dogs, grabbed and wrestled me to my stomach, all the while I was screaming, fighting the “fire ants,” my body, and the police officers. One officer put his knee on my back, while another wrenched my arms back to cuff them. They kept saying to stop fighting, and things would be better off. 

PAIN.  

I screamed for Mother to help or do something, but she never came. I shouted to the world to help, but no help came. I thought the hitting, belt whipping, the throwing and other physical abuse by Ducky and his daughters was bad, but this was worse than that. After they had me restrained, like someone dressing a pig for a roast, (I now understand why this is called “hog restraining”). The same lady in the dark blue blazer, appeared and jabbed a needle in my upper arm. My world went weird, fuzzy, and then black.

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