She had never felt so humiliated, so embarrassed, so absolutely mortified in her entire life. Half-propelled, half-carried by the Boy’s Vice Principal, she was sped through the corridors of the school, listening to the man mutter imprecations under his breath that she could just barely hear but did not fully understand.
“Miss Cornelius!” he shouted, coming to a halt in front of the school nurse’s door. “Miss Cornelius, open the door!” She shuddered in his grasp, reminded of Mother.
Like an animated Impressionist painting, indistinct colours began to wave and pulse behind the pebbled glass in the top half of the door. Pinkish flesh tones surged and receded with a swath of sterile white as Miss Connie unlocked the office door, releasing a wave of antiseptic and clove oil scents. She felt herself thrust forward and she stumbled weakly into Miss Connie’s surprised embrace. “I found her in the telephone booth, draped over the stool. She can barely stand. I think she’s drunk,” Mr. Rathburn’s sternly disapproving voice floated in and out of her ears. “Report to me when you have this under control.” She heard the glass door pane rattle and felt the concussion of Mr. Rathburn’s slammed exit.
“What’s wrong with you, dear?” Miss Connie said gently, wiping her straggling damp hair back from her eyes. “You don’t smell like you’ve been drinking.” Miss Connie helped her to a chair where she gratefully sat down, her knees being unaccountably unreliable today.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I just feel real tired. I can’t hardly stand up.”
“What were you doing in the phone booth?” Miss Connie inquired.
At the nurse’s puzzled look, she mustered up the effort to frame a more complete reply. “I was on my way here. My legs were just so tired, I had to rest for a minute. But Mr. Rathburn caught me.”
Miss Connie nodded in that slow, comforting way of hers and drew a thermometer out of the little glass beaker full of alcohol in the nearest cabinet. “Open up,” she said. “Let’s see what is going on.”
She sat quietly for a moment, then sat up with alarm. “I need a sanitary pad,” she said urgently, pulling the thermometer from her mouth. “Right now!” If she got blood on another pair of panties, Mother was going to kill her!
Miss Connie looked puzzled for a moment, then handed her the necessary supplies, waiting at the door of the tiny antiseptic closet of a bathroom for her to come back out.
“Lie down on one of the cots, dear,” Miss Connie directed her, popping the thermometer back in her mouth. “Tell me about your periods…”
She wasn’t sure when she dropped off to sleep, but from a fuzzy, hazy place she could hear Miss Connie’s voice in the distance, soft and quiet. “I was right about the pneumonia last term, wasn’t I?” she was saying. “Believe me, Mrs. Janssen, your daughter is quite ill and needs to see a doctor immediately. Her period has been going on for three weeks and this is simply not normal.” There was a pause and then the nurse’s voice resumed, stronger and more commanding this time. “The child is haemorrhaging, Mrs. Janssen. I have seen it with my own eyes. Now, if you are not prepared to take her to a physician this afternoon, I will call Child Protective Services and they will pick her up and take her to the County Hospital for treatment. Do I make myself clear?”
She sighed. She wished Miss Connie had not called her mother. There was going to be hell to pay when she got hold of her, and probably another spanking for tattling to the nurse. She sighed again and pulled up the blanket. She was cold. She didn’t care. She was too tired to care.
* * *
Mother had a death grip on her hair and her head was yanked back so that her neck felt like it was breaking. “All right, you little tramp, who was it?” she hissed.
After silently helping Miss Connie put her in the car and carefully pulling away from the curb, Mother drove a mile or so away from the school then pulled the car over with a jerk. “Don’t pull that Miss-Innocent-I-Don’t-Know-What-You-Are-Talking-About act on me, you little slut. You may be able to fool your father and your grandparents and even that dimwit nurse, but you sure as hell don’t fool me!” She had no idea what Mother was talking about, but her eyes spouted tears as her head was dragged even further back.
Mother jerked her head back and forth by the fistful of hair she gripped. “Who was it?” she shouted. “I swear to God I’ll get his name out of you and I will sue his parents for every dime they have and ever will have! You are only thirteen years old and that’s statutory rape, your consent doesn’t mean shit in a court!” Mother thrust her suddenly away, her head banging painfully against the window.
“I don’t understand…” she began.
“Do not give me that!” Mother raged, pulling the car back out into traffic with a sharp yank of the wheel. “You Goddamned well understand, and perfectly. I was not born yesterday, I know the symptoms of a miscarriage when I hear them, and you, missy, are well and truly caught! Hoist by your own petard!”
“I called your father…do you think I have the money to pay one of these big-time doctors to take care of this? Your precious father,” Mother sneered the words “said that if you were pregnant at thirteen, you were no daughter of his. How’s that for you?” Mother finished with a smug, cat-that-ate-the-canary smile. She was too tired to care.
The doctor was a stranger. She wasn’t sure why Mother had chosen a strange doctor in Las Brisas…this guy had to be expensive---everything in Las Brisas was expensive…rather than Dr. Byrd, their regular doctor. Mother hurried her in through the back door of the office and directly into an examining room. Just as well, she didn’t want to fall over asleep in the reception room. She was so tired!
She struggled out of her clothes and into the stiff white examining gown and sat shivering on the table. The doctor came in and spoke quietly with Mother in a corner for a moment and Mother handed him a white envelope, which he put in a drawer near the examining table. When he came to the side of the table he looked at her briefly, then back at Mother, who nodded silently. “Lay back on the table,” he said. “Bend your knees and scoot your bottom down to the edge.”
* * *
Someone was screaming. She could hear someone screaming. Why didn’t anyone help? She couldn’t breathe, something heavy was on her chest, and her arms and legs were tangled up in the blankets so she couldn’t move. She hated nightmares like this, where she couldn’t move, she couldn’t cry out for help…wait…that screaming…she was screaming. What was going on? Another lick of fire stroked through her lower belly and another scream boiled up and ripped its way out of her throat. It was Mother on her chest…that’s why she couldn’t breathe! “Mommy! Mommy!” she cried desperately. “Mommy! It hurts! Help me!”
Mother just pressed down harder and fixed her with a look that promised murder. “Shut your mouth!” she commanded in a deep, hushed voice, hazel eyes boring into blue. “If you make another sound I will beat you absolutely stupid when we get home, do you hear me?” Before she could nod a streak of searing fire blazed through her belly again but when she opened her mouth a tongue depressor was thrust between her jaws and a strange voice said “Bite.” She bit the stick in half, the muffled shriek finding its way out through her nose. Another wave of pain washed over her but before she could make a sound she saw stars and black and then nothing at all.
“Her hymen was intact,” she faintly heard a man’s voice in the distance, “…just an infection…sometimes just happens....” She thought she heard Mother’s voice but she wasn’t sure, for the blessedly soft blackness came back and embraced her.
“Get up and get dressed, you goldbricking little bitch,” Mother hissed in her ear. “Knock that shit off…they didn’t give you any gas, so I know you’re not knocked out. Stop with the dramatics and get your clothes on!”
She struggled to a sitting position on the narrow table, a thick wad of something jammed between her legs. Her wrists were sore, her throat felt torn open, and her lower belly was on fire inside. She doubled over with a sudden cramp and Mother caught her by her long hair. “Do not try any of your little tricks on me, miss,” Mother said with menacing softness. "I have never been so humiliated in my life with that screaming act of yours…everybody in the waiting room thought someone was being murdered in here! Just you wait until I get you home…”
It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.