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Chapter 23

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Chapter 23
Validation and the Cusp of Justice

Not long after I moved to Florida, a police officer came to my house. He asked who I was, and then told me that he needed to see my ID, and confirm that it was definitely me. When I asked him why, he informed me that it was because someone from my past, one of the Robertsons, had been arrested in California on murder charges. They’d found dismembered body parts in his shed, and they wanted to be certain that it wasn’t me.

I don’t remember how it came about, but the Sheriff in Idaho ended up inviting me to come there and see if anything jogged my memory. I took a few days off work (when murder is involved, bosses can be surprisingly accommodating). Then I landed there, and I stayed with the Sheriff. I do have to say that he was incredibly nice, and kind, and considerate. His wife as well.

I worked hard to remember what had happened. The problems that I had, though, were that the memories were disjointed. I couldn’t put them in order and I often couldn’t be sure why I was where I was at the time. This disturbed the officers, who wanted a clear, understandable story from me. So I struggled to disseminate information that came to me from a child’s mind and memory.

The real shock came in the form of unexpected validation. I’d accepted the likelihood that what I remembered was mostly false. Movies, as my grandmother had told me. Not real, not true. But as I slowly began to give them memories, they began to validate things. The mustang and the fuzzy seat covers. What color she was said to be wearing when she went missing.

The largest validation of all, of course, came when they pulled a sawed-off bone, wrapped in a teal t-shirt, from under the house’s foundation. I could no longer lie to myself. I could no longer accept people’s angry denials. It was all there in front of me. And even later on, a forensic psychiatrist told the officers that actually, my memories were all the MORE believable because they were disjointed.

Something deep inside me shifted through those days. I let go of some of the belief that everything I said (no matter how true) was a lie. I’d gotten so used to everyone thinking that my life was all a lie, that while I knew my memories were real, I also felt that somehow they had to be fake, too. As if I really remembered something, but not really my life.

The media were all over it. It was a big case, tied to an even bigger one. Well, local papers, I mean. I don’t think it was national; it was too old for that. But they dug up the foundation where the house used to be, and they found that evidence. They sent it away for testing, but the testing, I learned, was inconclusive. If they’d been able to prove it was human, they would have gone forward with a trial. But they couldn’t, so they didn’t.

I also confronted my mother’s husband (at the time of her death) while I was there. He was still living in the area. He agreed to take a polygraph about the sexual abuse of me during visitations, but the Sheriff was going to throw in a question about my mother’s murder. He agreed to come in the next day, and disappeared overnight.

If you noticed a recurring name here, you’re right. Bill is the name of most of my abusers. Even Alex’s actual first name is William… he went by his middle name.

So anyway, I went to Idaho. Nothing came of it from the standpoint of breaks in the case. But at the same time, it really did a lot for me personally. The validation really eased my heart a great deal. I felt better about myself, and it was validating also to have someone, however late, give honest effort to my mother’s case.

You might be interested to know that Bill Robertson thinks he’s haunted, too. Gosh, I wonder why. Maybe it’s really my mother (I think not), but more likely it’s his own guilty conscience. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

Guilt and shame are killers. They kill the soul when they can’t kill the man.

There was also a Mustang that I remembered seeing sinking into the waters of the bog behind the house. It had black and white upholstery… and one of the boys’ car was a mustang with a fuzzy “cow” seat cover… more validation of my memories as real, not imaginary.

After all of that, I went back to Florida. It was strange to go back, as if the world had altered slightly, shifting somewhat. In a good way, though, in a good way. Mostly, that is.

Written by sandit4glp

July 30, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Posted in Chapter 23