Part 2 of a Story of Late Dawning Realization

September 18, 2009

The significance of Lucille’s behavior only popped into my consciousness a couple of years ago, though it should have been apparent to me about 45 years ago, as I shall explain in part three of this post.

About six years after the Rockland County episode with Beelzebub, I was living in Los Angeles, after flunking out of college and going out with Mrs. Random to be. One day I learned that my parents were having great difficulties with my sister D. They decided that she needed to get away from home.

There was a precedent in that they had sent me to live with my aunt Rose (mother’s sister) for a year when I was four years old. I suspect the year with Aunt Rose saved my youthful sanity.

However, my parents told me that my sister was going to stay with Beelzebub for a while, which struck me as very strange. Also, my sister was about 16 years old at the time, instead of four years old as I had been when sent to live with my aunt.

A while later, after I had been married for a little while and our own daughter had been born, I learned that my sister was pregnant, and that Beelzebub was the father. My sister came home, had the baby, raised her daughter as a single mother and never married.

Beelzebub never suffered any consequences for this statutory rape (as it should be described as my sister was underage when she became pregnant) and never paid any child support. As far as I could tell, my parents never took any action to hold Beelzebub to account.

As a young, immature married person I thought of my parents, What were they thinking? but mostly I thought about my my own marriage and my own child. “

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8 Responses to “Part 2 of a Story of Late Dawning Realization”


  1. OK, now I’m officially slack-jawed. For so many reasons. I mean, I knew your parents weren’t exactly exemplary nurturing types, but this is really unforgivably awful. Not that some of the other stuff you’ve related hasn’t been in that category, but … good grief.

    Poor Lucille. I can only hope she escaped her criminal father without a child of her own, though I’m sure it’s too much to hope that she escaped untouched.

  2. modestypress Says:

    Yes, David, this is horrifying, as was the time when I was teaching high school in Oregon and one of my students blurted out to me that her stepfather was regularly raping her.

    As I mentioned when I spoke of meeting someone who had lost his life saving at the age of 60 to Madeoff, it is one thing (bad enough) to encounter such stories on the news, it is another to encounter them in person.

  3. Pete Says:

    What David said.

    Do you ever see your “Niece/nephew?”

  4. woo Says:

    Bloody Hell. How completely, unmitigatedly awful. Your parents are making mine look like paragons in comparison.

    • modestypress Says:

      Well, yes, woo.

      My wife and I did not intend to have children. Although hers were not as awful as mine, they did have problems. (Perhaps they were about on the same level of your paragons.)

      When I learned my wife was pregnant (having become pregnant on our honeymoon), I was absolutely horrified.

      What if I turn out to be as awful a parent as my father? I thought to myself in despair.

      The one slight ray of hope I had was that I thought I would have a slight chance of being a decent father to a daughter, but there was no chance if I had a son. I am not a religious believer, so I do not pray. But I desperately hoped the child would be a daughter. (In those early years it was not possible or at least not usual to determine the sex of an unborn child before it was birth.)

      Also, in those times, it was not usual for the father to be present at the birth of the child. I feel a little guilty about chickening out, but I did not.

      The birth was very sudden (though not premature). My wife’s water broke suddenly in the middle of the night with no early warning. I drove her to the hospital which was not very far away. She went right into labor and it was very brief (as births go), the child was born in less than three hours. When the doctor appeared and said, “You have a duaghter,” I felt like jumping up and down and yelling “Hurrah!” even more than a typical father, for slightly different reasons.

      I then thought, “I don’t know how to be a parent. All I know is that I won’t be a parent like my parents.”

      And I was not.

      My daughter is now in her forties, and still speaks to me and still visits me voluntarily without my whining about it, and seems to have a decent life. I have always been prouder of being a decent (if not brilliant) parent than of anything else in my life.

  5. modestypress Says:

    Oops, forgot to close the italic tag. Oh, well, as faults go that is not so bad.

  6. Karen O Says:

    Yes, that was truly awful…& stupid…sending a 16-yr. old girl to live with a grown man.

    But I’m also puzzled as to why they would send a 4-yr. old away for a year. Do you know why they did that?

    • modestypress Says:

      Karen, I have wondered about the same thing, and I do not have the answer.

      My Aunt Rose told me once that she felt my father had ruined her sister’s life (my mother). The little that I can remember of myself at four years of age was that I was not behaving very well. I was scared of the dark, and would come downstairs and insist on getting into bed with my parents so I could be near my mother. My father was very angry about this. My guess is that Aunt Rose indicated she could help me get over these childish fears; and my father was so desperate to get his marital bed back to himself he decided to “go for it.”

      Even so, it is very odd. As I indicate in another comment reply; if I had a middle name/initial (which I don’t), it would be “O” for “Odd.”


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