The Last Black Unicorn(11)

He told me this.

I did not know what to say or do. I did not know if I was supposed to believe him or this was some weird fairy-tale horror story he thought would make me want to live. I was totally in shock. I had no idea how to take it. Later he would say that it was not true, he hadn’t done any such thing. But it was too late to get it out of my mind.

After that, I started dating police officers. I started fucking police, trying to figure out how can I find out if this was real. And if it was, how can I get him prosecuted. How can I get him sent to jail?

But all the police were like, “Well, there’s no way you can prove it. Where’s the vehicle? It’s just him saying it. He could have just been saying it to make you feel better when you were depressed. There’s no way you can prove it in a court of law.”

Fuck it. I didn’t care. How much would it cost? I tried to get lawyers involved. I was dating lawyers, dating everybody, still trying to find out if this was real, if he should be prosecuted. But everybody said the same thing: “There’s no way you can find out now. Too much time has passed.”

It was pretty depressing. Had this man tried to kill us, ruined my mom’s life, and for what? Or was he just so perverse that he had put this horror show into my mind thinking it would help?

You know what’s funny? I could have set him up, if I really wanted to. Because he did it again. Years later, he asked me if I wanted my physically abusive ex-husband killed.

StepFather: “Your sister told me what happened to you, with your husband. Do you want me to have this motherfucker put to sleep? I can have him put to sleep. You know I was in Vietnam. I got motherfuckers that’ll put him to sleep.”

Tiffany: “Nah, I don’t think you’re really good at putting people to sleep. You’re good at fucking up people’s lives, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to put them to sleep because you didn’t put my mama to sleep. I’m still awake. You’re not good at that. I don’t think so.”

StepFather: “All right. Well you let me know if ever you need me to put somebody to sleep. I ain’t got nothing to lose.”

So either way, this dude was messing with my head.

I try to forgive him. I really do try to find a place of forgiveness in my heart for him.

That shit is hard, though.

Foster Care

I was in foster care from the time I was thirteen until I was eighteen. We was taken from our mom when I was thirteen. I was moved around a lot in that one year. By the time I was fourteen, my grandmother got custody, but she kept us in the system so that she could have the money to raise us.

The reason I went into foster care in the first place was because my mom got in a fight, and she hit a baby with a two-by-four. For real.

It’s a long, complicated story—as crazy family stories can be—but it boils down to this:

We had some neighbors that were all messed up, but my mom used to talk to the lady all the time. Her husband would always try to holler at my mom. One day, my mom got tired of the man and told him, “You leave me alone. Leave my kids alone.” And they ended up getting in some kind of fight. Now mind you, this is after her accident, and she was mentally sick, of course.

When I got home from school, there was police everywhere. My mom was in the police car. The social worker was packing up my sisters’ and brothers’ clothes in trash bags. She told me to get a trash bag and put my clothes in the bag, ’cause my mom was not coming back home. That we gonna be placed in a foster home.

Tiffany: “Why are you all taking my mom away?”

Social Worker: “She got in a fight with the man, and she hit him with a two-by-four, and she accidentally hit his baby.”

The baby was fine, but it caused all of this ruckus. The police showed up, and after talking to her, the police ended up taking her to the hospital, and diagnosing her. They gave her a 5150, so she had to be there for a seventy-two-hour hold. Then the doctors decided she’s schizophrenic. They diagnosed her with that. She ended up being hospitalized for a year.

StepFather was there, though. He showed up when I did.

Social Worker: “If he wants to take you guys, he could take you guys. At least take his biological children, and then I don’t have to place them.”

StepFather: “Oh no, you take ’em. I don’t have nowhere for ’em. You take ’em all.”

So my mom went into a state mental facility for a year, and all my sisters and brothers went into foster care.

We didn’t get to see my mom when she was in there. I remember we went to court one time and she was at court, and it didn’t go well.

Judge: “You have to take your medications, you have to take a parenting class. You have to do all of that, it’s the law.”

Mom: “I don’t need to do none of that by the law of God. Them is my kids, and y’all gonna give me my kids back.”

She did not do any of those things, and so she did not get us back.

My grandma ended up taking the parenting class and doing what she had to do to get us. They wouldn’t let her have us at first. I guess they felt like ’cause my grandma was there during that time that we were in danger, and she allowed us to be in danger, they didn’t let us go to her right away. But, eventually, she got us.

But not before I had to spend almost two years in foster care.

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