Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Almost Raped...," from memoir KIDNAPPED TWICE


While I was still living at Aunt Jennie’s house, I started dating a boy from New York City. I don’t even remember his name or how I met him. His family had a summer home by the Lake, but not on my family’s property.

I was working at American Felt Company at that time, and the women there were very nice to me. This guy wanted me to meet him halfway between New York City and Cornwall, where I lived. I was shy and timid during those years. The women at work said, “No way! Tell him he has to come up here.”

He did travel to Cornwall, and he did seem like a very nice young man. One night, he came up from the City and told me he needed to pick something up from his family’s summer house. We pulled into their garage, and he said he would be right back. A few minutes later, he yelled for me to come upstairs from the garage. I did so, and when I entered the living room, he was lying naked on the couch and told me to sit on him. I told him, “No!”

He started grabbing me as I tried to get out through the door. He kept pushing me down, and he got me into a bedroom, at which point he told me to go ahead and scream, as no one would hear me. It was a fight. He was grabbing me and pulling me down, and I was kicking and punching to get back up. I guess I tired him out, because he finally let me go, and eventually he drove me home.

Because I was so upset when I got home, I told Aunt Jennie. She told my father. As it turned out, this guy’s uncle owned a bar and pizza place my father patronized. My father called the uncle, who called the father of the boy, at which time the father made the son write a letter to me stating how sorry he was and that he hoped that he would some day be lucky enough to marry a girl like me and hoped that his daughter would be a good girl like me. This was the only time I appreciated my father’s calling anybody on my behalf.

You think I would remember this guy’s name, but I don’t. Perhaps it is just as well I do not.


While I was living with Aunt Jennie, I found a man in his car who had shot himself in the mouth, committing suicide.

I was taking a ride up into the mountains, which I did a lot before I went to work on the late shift. The man had parked his car just off to the side of the road, so it was not easy to miss. I approached it cautiously and was shocked by what I saw.

Once I knew what I had seen, I drove to the Police Department as quickly as possible, shaking all the way. I walked in and told them what I had found and then ran out to get to work. They were running after me to get more information, but they let me go, as they knew who I was and could come to my place of work if they needed more information. I saw that dead man in my imagination for years afterwards. Even now, if I see a car parked on the edge of the road and it does not seem right to me, I call 911 instead of walking up and looking into the car.


Before I ran away from home, when I lived with my father and Ann, my stepmother, almost every day I had to wash and dry clothes. I would fold or hang them all, and Ann would put them away. When it came to my room, Ann would wait until I was asleep, come into my room, put the lights on, and wake me up! If I acted as if I were still sleeping, she would grab the back of my hair and lift me up to make sure I was awake.

Sometimes I try to think of something good I could say about my stepmother. I cannot.

Every night at bedtime, we would be expected to kiss my father and Ann good night. I would rather have gotten a beating than kiss either of them. I remember going to school with two black eyes. They made me wear dark glasses and say that I had poison ivy in my eyes. The last thing I wanted to do was to kiss either of them.

This attitude rolled over to my adult life. Some of my in-laws seem to hug and kiss everyone within reach. It seems that they could hate a person and still hug and kiss that person. I used to not hug and kiss my closest friends, unless I had to. I’ve gotten a little better at it, but not much. When I do have a genuine affection for somebody, then we do hug and kiss.


Approximately a year after Aunt Jennie took me in, my father came to Aunt Jennie’s house and told us that Ann had changed and that I should come home. Aunt Jennie started crying and told me not to go!

That day, I moved everything to my closet at my father and Ann’s house. The next day I received a telephone call from Ann, saying the house was on fire. When all was said and done, the fire started in my closet. Ann had been going through my things with her cigarette hanging out of her mouth and the fire started! I lost everything but the clothes on my back, my car, and my dog. My father and Ann had their house redone, making it better than it had been. My losses were not repaid.

Sometimes, when I hear on the news of a child who has killed a parent, I think I wish that I had mustered the courage to kill Ann.

I think about Ann’s going through my things that first day after I had moved back home from Aunt Jennie’s house, because my father said that Ann had changed. Ann had her cigarette hanging out of her mouth, which caused that fire in my closet. Oh yes, Dad, she really had changed!

It is hard for me to justify or even understand the many stupid decisions in my life. Certainly, childhood abuse played a role.

I remember a special Saturday afternoon at Aunt Jennie’s house. Aunt Jennie was downstairs, and I was upstairs. All of a sudden, Aunt Jennie yelled to me, “Mary, Ann just pulled up front.” I ran to the bathroom and threw up. That never happened before or since.


We are serializing on my blog this memoir, Kidnapped Twice, by Mary E. Seaman and me. It was published by Outskirts Press, and is available in paperback and ebook formats from and other on-line booksellers.

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