I saw Rick every other weekend, and somehow most holidays, and 30 days every summer which he would usually take together. That was the divorce arrangement my mom and Rick came to.
Rick was different things to different people. To me, he was a monster. To my mother, he was a poltergeist. To most men, he was an OK guy. To professionals of psychology, he was the typical male.
I exist because Rick raped my mother. Not just once. All "sexual" contact between him and my mother was rape, and they were married for about 8 years. He told her he wanted to have a child, and when she told him she was pregnant, he left. He refused to sign the divorce papers until my Mom was aggressive and insistent enough of it.
Rick was a lawyer. Not a very good one. He only passed the bar test in the first place because my mother helped him do it. He worked at an ambulance chaser law firm. He took me to work with him, along with "my" dog Cody. He left me alone for hours, with no toys. I petted Cody. I played with paper clips. His co-worker asked me to sit in his lap... I did not. That guy gave me the heebie-jeebies... there was definitely something wrong with him.
I continue to collect paper clips to this day.
Rick was on his best behavior when we were in public. The most he did in anger was slightly raise his voice or grab me tightly and pull me to and fro. No one on the street knew what kind of man he was. I thought that people were actually okay with how he was treating me.
When it was just Rick and me, though, everything was different. He wanted to hurt me (emotionally, possibly physically, possibly sexually). He maybe even wanted to kill me. When I stopped caring for my safety, he threatened those I care about. But he tried to do good things to confuse me about him and make me think he was human.
He chose everything in "my" room at his place. I had an unsupervised visit with him when I was about 5, and I got bored. So I went to my room, and closed the door, and locked it, and leaned up against the door. Sure enough, he came to my room to yell at me and make me feel worthless.
I fought with everything I had, leaning up against the door. He easily could've overwhelmed me, but he gave up.
He snored like a dragon throughout the night.
When I looked into his eyes, I never saw anything more than rage or anger behind them. No compassion, that thing most folks have.
He tried to each me chess when I was 5, and then got mad because I couldn't follow it. He basically explained to me that life was like chess. He meant life is a game and he gets to manipulate the pieces.
In his will, Rick left Cody half to his girlfriend, half to his mother, my Grandmama Jo. If I wanted to see Cody, I had to go to Grandmama Jo's house, and if she and I were ever alone, she wanted to talk about Rick. She loved him. He hurt me. I didn't want to talk about Rick with her.
I got a trust fund from Rick, but my parents (Mom and Dad, John) had to legally fight for it. It was messed up so that I was supposed to be a certain age (like 21) and in law school in order to get it. Rick's friend Murphy was in charge of my estate, a guy I hardly knew. Murphy was not good at investing. He lost some of my trust fund before I even got it. My parents had to legally fight to get control over my trust fund, and put it in a blue chip mutual fund so it would grow but it would remain fairly safe.
It was mostly women who tried to protect me from Rick. My mother did, Rick's girlfriend Molly did. It was women who were my therapists - a psychologist I started talking to when I was three years old because my mother was concerned about me and wanted me to be able to communicate why I was so angry after my visits with Rick, and my school counselor. My Grandmama Jo kept me safe from Rick just by being there. He would never show his true self to her.
I thought women were like, guardian angels, and the ones that came into my life were meant to be there. When I was 6, I met a girl named Abbie and instantly loved her. She had white blonde hair, porcelain skin, and she blushed all the time due to being embarrassed, or anxious, or excited. She had this glow, this inner light, that spread to everyone and brought a smile to my face. The longer I knew her, the more in love with her I was. I will go further into that later.