I can’t think of a more appropriate nickname for Beloved and Essie together than “The Gruesome Twosome.” (AKA "The GT") It just fits. Apart, they were difficult to deal with, but together, they were the perfect storm. The girls fed off each other, and they managed to get in lots of trouble together.
We had finally decided on a church congregation to call home. We were going to place membership on the upcoming Sunday. However, the Gruesome Twosome quickly changed those plans.
It was Wednesday night, and I had taken the girls to church. My family was in Brandon (of course), so it was just me and the crazies. After church, I could not find the girls, when normally, they came and found me right away. Finally, I found them coming down the stairs from the upstairs youth group area. They were both acting weird, but that wasn’t unusual. We headed to the white bus and got in. As I drove home, both girls were very quiet. That WAS unusual. I asked what was wrong, and they wouldn’t answer me. Finally, Essie started telling me a tale of a teenaged boy trapping them in an empty room and touching them. (We’ll just leave it at that, but you know what I mean.) As the story was told, the facts were not adding up. First, there were two of them and one of him. How had he held both of them in the room at the same time? Second, I had seen Beloved when she felt threatened or got mad, and I was pretty sure no one could hold her in that state. I pointed these facts out to them, but they both insisted that he had been inappropriate with them and they were the victims. Then, they began to accuse me of not caring because they were just foster kids. I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue, because if I had spoken at that point, it would not have been nice.
When we got home, I called the social worker who was on call for the weekend. He came over to the house, and we discussed what had happened. He agreed with me that the circumstances were unlikely, but he said we had to treat it as though it had happened. I pointed out that, while I wanted to make these girls feel valued and listened to, I also did not want to ruin the life of a boy who was most likely innocent in the situation. The social worker said the justice system would have to work that out. I said that was horrible. He said he didn’t care what I thought.
We took the girls to the police department to file a report. I had never actually been inside a police department before. It wasn’t nearly as exciting as you might think it would be. This police department visit happened late at night on a Sunday night. The detective told me I would have to have the girls examined at a rape center, but he said it could wait until Monday morning.
First thing Monday morning, the social worker gave me the address of the rape crisis center, and I drove the girls there. I was warned numerous times never to give out the address or location of the center as it was classified information. I had never thought about it before, but I’ve never known where a rape crisis center was. Have you? Probably not because they are hidden from the general public to protect the victims. I sure learned a lot during this little adventure.
At the crisis center, Essie was anxious to go first in the exam room. I found that disturbing. Beloved tried to back out and said she would not be examined. She cried and yelled and refused to be seen. By this point, my blood was boiling as I was sure they had brought this situation on themselves. I stepped outside and let the poor volunteers handle it. At least they knew what they were doing, because they managed to examine her. Nothing was found in the examinations, and we knew this would be the case because the “attack” had not gone that far. However, they said the exams had to be done just to document the situation.
Charges were brought against the boy. His court date was set for sometime in April. By the time the date happened, we all knew the whole thing was a farce by the way the girls had acted since the “attack.” They had all but admitted that they made the whole thing up. Coincidentally, the boy’s date in juvenile court fell on the same day that I went to testify against Margarita, the third girl who lived in my home. I’ll tell you about her tomorrow. (Sorry. I know I said today, but I had to confess what I was holding back…) I got to hear this boy’s court case, and he was found innocent, thank goodness.
From hearing about this incident with this unsuspecting boy, you can see how the Gruesome Twosome could be. They’d both had horrible things done to them when they were younger, and because of that, they were highly sexual. It was only because my family was gone most of the time that we lasted as long as we did while living with them. The administrator’s words that my kids would “of course” be safe kept running through my mind. He told so many untruths during that job interview. I wanted to believe he did not mislead us on purpose, but it became harder and harder to believe.
Beloved never messed with my kids. I never got the feeling that I had to protect them from her, although I never dared leave them in a room alone with her. Essie, on the other hand, scared me to death. She went from playing Barbies with the Goose to trying to hug on and rub on the Beetle. I was in constant turmoil as I was trying to balance my role as caretaker of this child with my overwhelming “Mama Bear” instinct to rip her face off. That’s probably why I never managed to love her in a motherly way.
One day, both girls complained to the social worker that I never took them anywhere. He actually called me into his office and explained to me that teenagers needed entertainment and they needed to go places and have fun. He said he wanted me to take them shopping or out to dinner or roller skating. I told him that if he thought I was taking the Gruesome Twosome in public, he was out of his ever-loving mind. He then basically ordered me to take them out, and since he was one of my bosses, I had to listen. So, I took them out. I took them to a local dive of a restaurant, and we went during the early bird special. (And in case I’ve never told you this, I tend to be a little passive aggressive.) The girls never complained about not going out again.
With as scared as I was of the Gruesome Twosome together and as much as they worried me when my kids were near, they were nothing compared to what was about to hit. Margarita. She lasted less than a week before being arrested, and then we were out of there. I really will tell you about her tomorrow. -Al