In summary, The following case (described in the child's own words) is about a family that initially broke up During the separation and specifically during visits with the father, the child was repeatedly molested.   This was discovered by a CPS worker, who investigated the case. The end result was to remove the child from both parents, place the child in a foster home. The mother was eventually able to gain custody after two years. The father was convicted of the molest, but is now asking for custody.

The child's attorney is suing the mother in Family Court in San Diego to have custody taken from the mother. This action is currently taking place in spite of the fact that the child is completely happy with her mother and does not want to return to life with her father.

The following was transcribed 11/22/95 by a member of Cal-Arch
from a paper written in pencil. The only changes are corrections
in spellings. This child has chosen to use the pseudonym of
Sarah to protect her privacy, at the urging of a Cal-Arch
member. (Cal-Arch is California Alliance for the Rights of
Children.) ...

Sarah's Story

My name is Sarah. I'm 11 years old, have long dark blonde hair,
skipped a grade, play the piano and I'm in the gifted program at
my school.

I was sexually molested by my dad when I was 8 and I want to
tell you what happened to me. The reason I want people to know
is because I hope no other girl will have to go through all the
bad things that I did. I want all those people who say they help
kids to read this because I think there are a lot of people who
think they know everything about kids but they really don't know
anything at all.

I've sort of divided my life up into chapters. It was during
chapter 3 that I got molested. Chapter 3 was when my mom went to
court to get some child support money for me and I got a
visitation schedule with my dad. I didn't know him very well
when visits started and I hadn't seen him for a long time. There
were lots of bad things that happened after my mom and dad
separated and then things got worse and worse.

I don't remember when my dad first started molesting me. At
first I wasn't sure that it was really happening. I thought
maybe I imagined it or that it was an accident. Before my mom
and dad split up he always used to tweak my nipples. He thought
it was funny but my mom didn't. I sort of thought it was just
one of those stupid things that some people do to kids. He
always ran around naked.

When I started having visits with my dad it was really boring.
We only did what he wanted to do and he really didn't know how
to take care of a little kid. At his apartment I'd watch TV
while he stayed in his bedroom and did drugs. I knew when he
used drugs because I remember my mom and him fighting about it
all the time and he'd look and talk funny after he used drugs. I
used to see drugs around his apartment all the time.

I told my therapist about my dad rubbing my chest and giving me
a bath even though I was 8 years old. She told me I should tell
him not to do that anymore. She didn't know what it was like to
try to tell my dad anything. She wanted me to spend more time
with my dad so she was trying to force me to want to spend more
time with him. She told me I shouldn't say anything bad about my
dad. She didn't seem to understand what I wanted and didn't
really listen to me. I thought she was a stupid therapist and
didn't want to go to her anymore.

When I visited him we'd sit on the couch together and he'd rub
my back while we watched TV. It felt good and it was nice having
some attention from him. He usually ignored me when I was there
unless he was mad at me. He'd rub my chest like I was a dog.
Sometimes it would be outside my clothes and sometimes
underneath my shirt. Even though I was 8 years old, he'd come
into the bathroom and give me a bath or dry me off. He was rough
and it hurt. I tried to tell him I could bathe myself but you
could never tell him anything. One time after a bath my vagina
really hurt a lot. When I went home and told my mom she said he
shouldn't be doing that and told my therapist, Dr. Newton. He
always made us leave the bathroom door open when I was there so
I didn't like using the bathroom at his house.

When we watched TV together he'd rub my back and tickle it. That
felt good. Sometimes I had on a nightie and he'd pull it up so
he could rub my back better. sometimes he'd rub more than my
back. It was sort of like it was a mistake. Sometimes it felt
good and sometimes it hurt. The couch made into a bed and he'd
sleep with me most of the time. Sometimes I'd feel something
hard against my butt while we were sleeping.

After a while when I had to visit more and more, we'd be sitting
on the couch and he'd put his hand down my pants and give me a
quick rub. I was kind of confused. Then he started rubbing me
with his finger and he started sticking it in me. I felt
embarrassed and dirty. It would hurt. I'd feel like I had to go
pee but I couldn't go. It started happening more and more and I
kept hoping he'd stop doing it. I liked the backrubs and
watching TV together and he wasn't mad at me then. But I didn't
the rest of the stuff.

I didn't want to go on visits but I had to. I wanted him to act
like a real father is supposed to act and I wanted him to be
nice to me. Sometimes he was real nice to me I wanted him to
know that I was smart and think I was pretty and to know about
all the new things in my life and be proud of me. That's what
parents and grandparents are supposed to do, and take care of
you. Sometimes I'd pray that I wouldn't have to visit anymore or
that he'd become a normal father. That didn't happen.

I didn't tell my mom about it at first because I thought it
wouldn't happen again the next time but it always did. And when
I came home from the visits I was always so rushed getting
things ready for school that there didn't seem time. The rest of
the time I had a normal life and would try to forget about my

My lawyer, James P. Clark, never listened to me. He wanted me to
spend more time with my dad. He never wanted to listen to me
when I said I didn't want to spend so much time with my dad and
he'd tell me " those are just your mother's words." I thought
that was a stupid thing for him to say and I thought he was
really stupid and didn't know anything about kids at all. I was
too embarrassed to talk to people about what my dad was doing to
me and I felt that there wasn't anyone that I could talk to
about it at all. The more I complained about having to visit my
dad the more James P. Clark would make me spend time with him.
He was so stupid.

My mom was tired all the time and going to court all the time.
She was worried about money a lot. With James P Clark and Dr.
Newton interfering in our life my mom and I weren't so close

Sometimes my life was normal and I tried not to think about any
of it. I liked school and I liked being with my friends and
liked being with my mom. Then it would be time for a visit with
my dad and I'd start worrying and crying and my mom would force
me to go. I just wanted to stay with my mom.

When I came back from the visits I'd tell my mom about my upset
stomach and feeling like I had to pee but couldn't go. I kept
hoping she'd be able to protect me but she'd just tell me to
drink more water or cranberry juice or rest and relax for a
little while. I'm kind of mad that she didn't figure out what
was happening and do something about it.

I did want to see my dad but not for very much time. Besides
getting molested I couldn't see my friends when I was with my
dad or spend holidays with my family. He wouldn't let me go to
birthday parties or my soccer games. I couldn't go on Girl Scout
activities and I was mad that I didn't get to do anything that
all the other kids got to and I had to hang around his boring
apartment and get molested. I didn't like being around people
who used drugs and sometimes people would come and leave with
secret bags. I was afraid to make my dad mad because he would
get real scary and scream and hit me or throw something at me. A
few months before I reported the molest he moved in with
Christine, his girlfriend. There was a restraining order that
Christine even wasn't supposed to be around me but it didn't
seem to matter to them. At first I thought maybe he wouldn't
molest me there but she was always in the bedroom sick or mad
because they were always fighting. They'd fight a lot and do
drugs and tell secrets. Christine always said mean things about
my mom and she told me I was her daughter now. If I talked back
to my dad he'd tell me I better be good or I'd never see my mom
again. He'd say he'd take me away from her if I said anything he
didn't like and I believed him because I knew James P. Clark and
his own lawyer Lorraine P. were trying to help him do that.

One weekend my Girl Scout troop went camping to a real fun
place. Of course, I couldn't go. My mom was marching in a parade
with a bunch of other kids that weekend. I asked James P. Clark
if I could go camping and he said "No." I was mad at everyone
and cried for days before I had to go on my visit. I hated my
life. Kirk, my dad, wasn't very nice to me and he molested me
again. It really hurt.

When I came home I wanted to tell my mom right away but she was
really busy. I didn't feel good at all. Finally she asked me
what was wrong and I told her about Kirk rubbing my vagina
really hard when I'd go to visit him and how it hurt. She asked
me about it and asked me if I was sure. That made me really mad.
I'm not stupid and I wouldn't lie about something like that.
Then she called a couple of people she knew and asked them what
she should do. That night she called CPS and told them about it.

This is where Chapter 4 of my life starts. Ellen Gardner came to
my school and asked me about my dad molesting me. I told her
about it. I thought that after I told he wouldn't be able to do
it to me anymore and I could have a normal life. I had to be in
the principal's office for a long time while everyone in my
class was having a party. Then she said that she was taking me
away and followed me to my classroom while I got my backpack.
She said she was going to make me safe. I didn't understand that
because I was safe with my mom and at school and with my
friends. It was only with my dad that I wasn't safe. It was
embarrassing to walk in and get my jacket and my backpack  while
everyone stared at me. She told me I'd probably be home in a
couple hours.

I was taken to Hillcrest Receiving Home right after lunch on
Thursday and I didn't get to go home until dinner time on
Monday. I didn't understand why they were locking me up
somewhere.  I thought maybe Dr. Newton had been right when she
told me I shouldn't ever say anything bad about my dad and I was
being punished. I was scared and wanted my mom.

On Friday night I talked to a social worker named Donna Carr.
She wasn't very nice. After I told her about the molest she let
me call my mom and talk to her for 3 minutes while she listened
in. Hillcrest Receiving Home is a terrible place but it was
better than being at my dad's. I never talked to Donna Carr
again and didn't get to see my mom until Monday evening or even
talk to her on the phone. Some nights I had to sleep in the day
room because there was no place else to sleep. They gave me a
Barbie doll while I was there but they lost it so I didn't even
get to keep it.

When we got home my mom called the police and I had to tell a
policeman what happened to me. I've had to tell 20 - 25
strangers what happened to me. It's pretty embarrassing but
after awhile you just say the details and don't think about it
and pretend you're just talking about something real boring that
doesn't have anything to do with you.

I had thought that maybe God had listened to me and was going to
protect me now. I didn't know that things were just going to
keep getting worse.

When I went back to school on Tuesday the kids thought I had
done something bad and had been suspended from school.  I told
my best friend about the molest and what had happened, She
thought my dad should be locked up in jail. I didn't care what
happened to him if I could have a normal life and not be
molested anymore.

I had to go to a police station in Chula Vista and talk to a
detective. He asked me how many times Kirk had molested me. I
didn't know how many times. He asked me how often it happened
and how often I had to visit  my dad and then he multiplied and
figured out the number of times. He made an appt. for me at
Children's Hospital right before Christmas.

I told a social worker what happened. Then I had to have an exam
of my private parts. That hurt and was embarrassing. The Doctor
asked me questions and wanted to know if I had ever had any
accidents down there. My mom and I both told her "No," She said
I had an injury but I didn't need any treatment and I would be
normal. that made me feel better because I was worried that
there might be something really wrong with me or I might start
my period or have a baby. She made me feel better.

I never talked to James P. Clark, my lawyer, about any of this.
I felt like I was finally going to be safe. I thought my life
was normal again. I started to relax again. Then came the day my
dance teacher had to order costumes for our June recital. I
called James P. Clark to see if I could be in my dance recital.
He said he'd have to ask my dad. I thought that was stupid. He
said he'd call me back and let me know. I called him and he said
he didn't believe me that they had to order costumes for the
dance recital in January and a lot of other stupid things. He
said he'd call me before 3:00 that day and let me know if I
could be in the recital but I probably couldn't. I was crying
while I was talking to him and he said I was just upset because
of my mother. I told him I thought he was stupid, didn't know
anything about kids and didn't want him as my lawyer anymore. He
said I couldn't fire him. I got depressed that I was never going
to have a normal life.

This is very hard to write about all of this. It makes me so
angry and so sad I want to explode. Sometimes at night I think
about all the bad things that have happened and wonder why all
this had to happen to me. Maybe I should never have been born
because this isn't fair. I still remember the bad things but I'd
just like to pretend none of it ever happened and forget all of
it. I've talked to other kids who have been molested and a lot
of us have had things get worse after we told. At school when
they teach you about bad touch and good touch they tell you to
tell and things will get better. They lie. The girls I know who
know what happened to me say they'll never tell anyone if they
get molested or raped because they know what happened to me. I
think it's best if you don't tell anyone because things get
worse instead of better. I hate thinking about all of this
because I feel so upset but I hope by letting people know what
happened to me that things will change and they won't hurt any
more kids the way I've been hurt. Sometimes I want to go talk to
everyone and tell them what happened and how mad I am about it I
am and tell them things have to change and sometimes I just want
to put it all out of my mind. I thought that if I think about
all of it and write it all down that it might help me or someone

It seemed like my dad and the stupid lawyers were all trying to
screw up my life as much as they could. One day a social worker
named Fred Wahlig came to school to ask me about the molest
about two months after the first social worker. I didn't trust
him because I knew that every time I talked to someone who was
going to help me, or so they said, that things got worse. I was
right. I told him I was molested but he didn't ask many
questions and I was embarrassed to talk to him and didn't like
him very much.

I had to go see a lawyer named Ana Espana who was my new lawyer.
She told me she was going to help me and I thought maybe she
would because she was a mother and said she had a daughter about
my age. I told her my dad had molested me and I wanted to be
with my mom. We talked about my 9th birthday party at an ice
skating rink the week before. She didn't want to talk about my

The next thing that happened is that I had to go see a lady
named Amy Lamson for a psych eval. I had to leave school early
to go see her. I didn't want to go. Some kids told me she was
going to see if I was crazy. I didn't like her. she talked real
fast and was in a hurry and kept getting my name mixed up. I was
nervous and I didn't trust her either. We finished early and I
got to go back to school to practice for the Science Olympiad
since I was chosen to be on the team and cheerleading practice.
I thought Amy Lamson was crazy. She asked me about the molest
and kept trying to get me to say I hadn't been molested.

A couple weeks later Fred Wahlig called my mom and said they
were going to come get me and put me in Hillcrest Receiving Home
again. I felt like I was going to die. I prayed to God. I wanted
my mom and me to run away from all these stupid people. I
couldn't believe this was happening. I cried all night long. The
next day someone else came and picked me up at school and took
me away. She told me it would just be for a couple hours but by
now I knew they all lied.

My mom and I were both crying when she dropped me off at school.
I didn't want to let go of her. I didn't understand why they
kept doing all these bad things to us and why we couldn't just
lead a normal life. I didn't believe any of this was really
happening. It was like it was a horrible nightmare and any
minute my mom would come in and wake me up and hold me. Why
didn't God even listen to me? Why couldn't my mom help me? Why
couldn't these stupid people quit messing up my life? I was a
good kid. My mom was a good mom. I hadn't done anything wrong.
My dad was the one who did all the bad things. Why did they keep
locking me up and taking everything away from me? It wasn't fair
at all.

I didn't get lunch the day I was picked up the second time. It
didn't matter since I didn't have any appetite anyway. I was
like a zombie. I was locked up again. It made no sense. What had
I done wrong? Was I locked up because I got molested? Because I
told? Because I loved my mom more than my dad? Because I felt
more comfortable living with her? I didn't know. Fred Wahlig
told me it was so I'd be safe. That made no sense. I thought he
was an idiot. Sometimes I thought he was going to make it so my
mom and me could be safe but he didn't.

At Hillcrest the food was yucky but I didn't care. I was like a
zombie and didn't care about anything. I was in the 4th grade
but I did 1st grade work at their school. I had a sinus
infection and it took about three months before they had it
treated. We could only have 2 sets of clothing at a time and it
was always dirty. They give you toys so you won't feel so bad
but they always get stolen. Everything my mom gave me while I
was at Hillcrest got stolen. My mom came to visit me every day
and called me every night. When she visited I sat on her lap and
couldn't stand to let go of her. Sometimes she would cry during
visits and the aide would tell her she would have to leave. They
didn't like me to cry either. They do the most horrible things
to you and you're not supposed to cry or feel bad. How stupid
are these people? I thought any day my mom was going to take me
home. I thought they would say it was a mistake I was there and
let me go home. The worst things in the world had happened to me
and no one would help me. I couldn't think about anything or I'd
want to die. I think I was depressed and like a zombie for a
whole year.

I was in Hillcrest for 3 weeks. Then Fred Wahlig told me I could
go stay with my biological grandfather and his wife. I wanted to
be with my mom but I thought if I went there I could at least
see my mom all the time and go back to my school.

I was only there for 2 days and then Fred Wahlig told me I had
to be moved. I cried and cried until I was sick. I felt like
killing myself.

I had to go live with Patty and Greg Houser. Patty was my
biological grandfather's wife's daughter. I'd only seen her 2 -3
times a year at my biological grandfather's house. I didn't know
her husband at all.

In a way it was better being at Hillcrest because I got to see
my mom every day. When I went to live with the Housers I didn't
get to see my mom for a couple weeks and then only once a week
at CPS with a supervisor. Patty and Greg didn't want my mom to
call me every day. Fred Wahlig said if I went to live with Patty
& Greg that I'd still get to see my mom a lot and talk to her on
the phone and talk to and see my old friends. Another lie. I
didn't get to see my mom hardly at all and I didn't get to talk
to my mom that much. When I did Greg would monitor the calls and
butt in all the time. Patty & Greg didn't want me to see my mom
at all or talk to her on the phone. When my friends would call
they wouldn't let me talk to them and told them not to call. I
only got to see my friends once when I made a big deal about it
but they were mean to my friends. About the first week I was
there they told me where I would go to middle school. That
scared me because I was only in the 4th grade and I wanted to be
with my mom. I ended up being there for a year.

At first I would cry when I went to bed every night. Sometimes
I'd fight with Patty & Greg or cry and say I wanted my mom.
They'd tell me she was a bad mom and I couldn't talk to her. I
was so scared and lonely the entire time I was there. I wanted
to be with my mom. I felt like a guest or prisoner the entire
time I was there. I didn't feel safe. I didn't feel better. I
felt depressed.  After a while I quit crying all the time and
just quit thinking or feeling. It was like being shipped off to
a foreign country. A few months ago I saw the movie "A Little
Princess". I cried all through that movie because I know what
it's like to live with mean strangers and not be able to be with
the people you love.

Patty & Greg said mean things about my mom and told me lies
about her. They didn't want me to talk to her or see her. They
were real nice to my dad. I couldn't see my real Grandpa or aunt
or cousin for a year. I couldn't talk to or see any of my
friends. I'd known some of them since I was a baby. I couldn't
see or talk to my mom on holidays. Fred Wahlig and Ana Espana
wouldn't let me & my mom talk about anything together. After a
while it was like I didn't even know her anymore.

I didn't have my mom anymore. I didn't have my old friends and I
really never had any friends when I lived with Patty & Greg. I
was the "foster child" and people treated me like I was weird.
They all acted like I had lived a deprived life before and was
stupid and had a bad mother. Everyone who knew my mom thought
she was a good mom. She was on the PTA. She was a Girl Scout
Leader. She tutored kids. She was a Big Sister in the church
program. She did all those things even when I was gone from her.
I'd had lots of nice clothes and looked pretty and had gone to
private school and taken lots of classes. But people thought I
was different than what I had been. The only thing that was
better with the foster parents was that they had a bigger house
than my mom and I had. When I left my old school I was a
straight A student. I was co-captain of the cheerleading squad.
I had lots of friends who were also in the GATE class. I had
been elected to the Student Council. I was planning on being in
the school talent show with a couple of my friends. I lost out
on everything. My dad got to stay in his home and didn't lose
anything and he was the bad guy.

Any time I'd say anything about the molest Greg would say it
didn't happen and Patty would say I shouldn't think about it or
talk about it. Ana never asked me about the molest  and any time
I brought it up she'd change the subject. Some lawyer! I finally
got a social worker who did ask me about the molest. She asked
me if my mom had told me to say this happened or if it really
had. I told her the truth and she was the first person, besides
my  mom, and the people at Children's Hospital, to believe me.
By then I didn't trust anyone and didn't think my life would
ever be OK again.

When I first left Hillcrest my mom sent all my clothes and toys
over. I had a lot. Patty wouldn't let me wear my own clothes and
made me wear really ugly clothes. I looked ugly the whole time I
was with them. Other kids thought I looked weird, too. My mom
gave me lots of clothes when we'd have our visits but Patty
always said they were too big and I couldn't wear them. My mom
had sent me a photo album but they took that away from me too.
They wouldn't let me eat anything my mom brought to the visits.
They took all the cards and gifts away my mom gave me. They told
me I wasn't allowed to tell my mom anything and I had to come
back and tell them everything she said and did. They were always
saying bad things about her and after 8 or 9 months I started to
believe them. I felt so empty inside.

Patty & Greg were always yelling at me or getting mad about
everything. Patty was always telling me I was ugly and stupid
and what a problem I was. When she got mad she'd dig her long
fingernails in and scratch me. She worked nights and slept
during the day and I had to be very quiet while she was
sleeping. During summer I'd either have to stay in my room or
watch TV all the time. Even her mother, Dee Tate, would say mean
things about my mom. Patty told me that her parents and Greg's
were my grandparents now. Patty was mean.

Greg ordered me around like I was the maid. I had to do
everything his way. He spanked me twice and was always
threatening to spank me. He acted like he was a king. I was
afraid of both Patty & Greg. He wanted to be in control of how I
breathed and everything about me. He'd say bad things about my
mom and his ex-wife all the time. He was also a racist who hated
his neighbors and everyone who wasn't just like him. Nether
Patty nor Greg were very smart or knew much about being parents
but they were good at being bullies. One time when his son came
for a visit he pushed him down the stairs and Adam called the
police. He thought men had the right to smack people around. He
never wanted to spend any money on me or his own sons. One time
he picked me up after a visit with my mom and we followed her
car all over town. When I asked him why we were following her he
told me to shut up in a mean voice.

He used to drive me places on his motorcycle. I was always kind
of afraid of riding on it but one time he took me to Phoenix on
the back of his motorcycle. It was cold and so scary. Life just
kept getting worse and worse and no one would do anything.

I was afraid to say anything to anyone about Patty & Greg
because I remembered what had happened when I told about my dad.
After a while I thought maybe I just deserved to be treated this
way or that there was something wrong with me. I tried to do
whatever they wanted because at first I thought I'd get to go
home to my mom sooner and then I thought my mom didn't want me
anymore because that's what they were telling me and I'd better
be nice to them or else I'd be homeless. I guess I could have
told one of the social workers after Fred Wahlig but I didn't
trust anyone by then.

Ana Espana, my lawyer, would come to visit sometimes. She didn't
like my mom you could tell. Her assistant Nancy Price would come
visit me at Patty & Greg's and they'd feed her lots of food and
she'd eat it because she was so fat. Ana just wanted to protect
me from my mom. I didn't know what she meant. I didn't know why
she didn't want to protect me from my dad or Patty & Greg? They
were the people I needed protection from. Patty & Greg would be
nice right before I was supposed to talk to Ana or before a
court date. I'd finally started to believe them that my mom was
crazy, a bad mom and didn't want me. Before we went to court Ana
told me I had to go back to see Amy Lamson for another psych
eval. I didn't want to talk to her at all. We had another quick
session and she didn't even listen to what I said. She still was
trying to get me to say that my dad hadn't molested me. Even
though everyone was trying to get me to say he hadn't I knew he
had and I was still going to tell the truth. Then Ana told me
what I should say in court about my mom and exaggerate all the
things I had said about her. i did and now I'm sorry because I
made a lot of little things sound like a big deal. No one asked
me about the molest when I went to court.

Finally  I got returned to my mom after 14 months. We had both
been so depressed for so long and hadn't been able to have any
kind of normal relationship for that long so we were like
strangers by then. I had to stop thinking about how much I loved
my mom to be able to stand being taken away from her for so
long. I might not have had any feelings at all by then.

We had to get to know each other all over again. i thought when
I came back my life would be just like it was when I left. I
couldn't go back to my old school because it was a magnet school
and I had to go on the bottom of a waiting list. All my friends
were at that school. I had to go to a new school for 6 weeks. I
didn't want to keep going to the school I had gone to with Patty
& Greg. When I came back it was hard to make friends. I guess I
had a negative attitude about things. My old friends had sort of
forgotten about me while I was gone and now they have new best
friends like I used to. I hadn't seen my cousin or Grandpa in
over a year so I had to get to know them again. It was hard
starting a new life.

When I came back to my mom they only let me take a few things
and said they'd send the rest. My mom had to go out and buy me
new clothes because I really didn't have anything. Finally after
about 6 weeks one of the social workers got mad and went and got
my things. They only gave me a few old, dirty clothes and a few
toys. They never sent back my photo album, any of the clothes my
mom had bought me that were new, any of the toys she had bought
me, my walkman, my piggy bank with my money, anything expensive
that I had, any of the "gifts" that they had given me, or
anything that was mine.  I had bought my mom some soaps for
Easter and they took the soaps and sent the box back empty. So I
had to do without clothes or toys for a long time and my mom has
been trying to replace what she can. Ana didn't try very hard to
get my things back.

All I can say is "thanks" to all the stupid people who have
tried so hard to mess up my life! You've done a good job of
trying to ruin everything I had and cared about! My last social
worker who got me home told me she believed me and that they had
made a mistake. No one said they were sorry for all the bad
things they did to me. No one can make it up to me. I shouldn't
have had to suffer because of so many stupid people.

Now I'm going to therapy and Safe Paths. I'm in a new middle
school. I haven't seen my dad in over two months now or heard
from him. When they told him he was only going to  have
supervised visits and would probably have to pay for them he
didn't want to visit any more. He's always been that way. He
never wanted to see me or talk to me before my mom went to court
to get some child support for me. I probably won't get any
birthday or Christmas gifts from him or his family this year
either. I only get presents from them when they want me to do
something. I don't know if I'll ever see him again. I have a lot
of anger at him for what he did to me and that I was the one who
suffered because he did something bad. The therapist tried to
explain to me that my dad has lots of problems and there's not
anything wrong with me.

Although Patty & Greg and Dee were telling me they were my
family and how much they loved me I haven't heard anything from
them either. They have our pager number and know our P.O. Box
number so they could contact me if they wanted to. I guess they
only cared about me when they had something to gain and now that
they have ripped off all of my things they don't care anymore. I
really don't want to see Patty or Greg ever again. They were too
mean and I can't stand any reminders of them.

I did have a Voices For Children person. Her name was Joyce
Hartlay. I think I saw her 2 -3 times. She was a weird old lady
and really didn't talk to me about anything. One day when my mom
was painting our garage I was trying to find some things to do a
school project and I found a couple of her reports that weren't
true. She said I said things I had never said.

I don't understand adults who lie, who purposely try to hurt
kids or who steal from them. I know I don't trust anyone
anymore. I don't think I ever want to get married. I don't know
if I want to have kids now. I wouldn't want them have to ever go
through all the bad things I went through. I try not to have
feelings of love or wanting things now. I don't know if I
believe in God anymore. I don't have real close friends anymore.
My mom has been trying to make up all the things that were
ripped off  from me and that I missed out on during the past 4
years. I would probably have been on point now if I had been
able to continue my ballet lessons. I used to be very
self-confident and know what I wanted. I'm more shy and scared
now and don't know what my goals are now. I used to think I was
pretty special because my teachers all did but I'm not now.
There's a kind of barrier between my mom and me like we're
afraid to love each other again because someone might start
messing with our lives again. Out of all the people I saw during
all the bad stuff there were only 2 social workers who helped at
all. The mediator, judges, lawyers, psych eval and a couple of
therapists and a couple social workers all made things worse for
me. One therapist and my current therapist have helped.

I don't know what can be done to keep kids from getting so hurt
and having so many bad things happen to them. Maybe they should
put mothers in charge since they seem to really care and all
those people who think they're experts really don't know
anything. Maybe all the people who messed up my life will feel
sorry for what they did but probably not. Maybe people should
start paying more attention to what kids say and what they want.
Maybe my dad wouldn't have molested me and my life wouldn't have
got ruined if these people knew anything about kids. I hope
Chapter 5 of my life will be better.

I forgot to tell you about Chapter 1 and 2. In Chapter 1 my mom
and dad and I all lived together and we were a family. Except we
were never like other families. My parents were always fighting.
I remember how scary it was when my dad got mad. He'd scream and
sometimes hurt my mom. He'd do the same with me. It was scary
because you never knew what he might do. I remember the last
Thanksgiving we were together my dad locked my mom up in the
bedroom all day because he didn't want us to spend the
Thanksgiving with my mom's family. My mom cried and my dad
brought home some turkey lunch meat for our dinner.

Even when they were trying to be nice to each other I was always
afraid he'd get mad about something and you never knew what he'd
do. He wasn't at home very much which was good. Sometimes he'd
even live somewhere else for a while. I loved him because he was
my daddy and kids are supposed to love their parents and
sometimes he was nice. The good times I remember was when he'd
come home from work and we'd watch cartoons together while mom
cooked dinner. He didn't eat with us. He'd eat his dinner in
front of the TV.

We almost never went anywhere as a family. He'd usually get mad
and scream bad names at my mom and everyone would stare at us.

It was more like my mom and me were the family and he was
someone who visited. My mom always took care of me. She did
everything for me. She and I went to church together. Even
though I was little I knew my mom was the one I needed to take
care of me. They used to fight about him using drugs. I knew
that using drugs was a bad thing. My grandparents and aunts
didn't like him. I had friends in our neighborhood who couldn't
play at our house if he was home.

One day they had a big fight and he stormed out. I didn't see
him for a long time. This is Chapter 2. When he and my mom would
talk on the phone she would get frustrated with him and cry
after they hung up. I missed him because I wanted to have a
daddy like everyone else. I wanted us to be like other families.
He didn't want to talk to me on the phone or he'd yell at me
about my mom. He'd say he was going to come see me and he
wouldn't show up. I hardly ever saw him. When I did he'd use
drugs around me. My mom would get mad about this. I invited him
to a father/daughter dance and was supposed to meet him there
but he never showed up. One time he said he'd meet us at the
skating rink but he never showed up but when we got home lots of
our things were missing, including my birthday money. Sometimes
we'd come home and turn on the answering machine and he'd be
saying scary things. Sometimes when my mom would go to take me
to school in the morning we'd have flat tires or something wrong
with our car.  Sometimes my mom would have to take me to school
on the bus. Once there was a bullet hole in the side of our car.
One time he brought me home from a visit early when my mom
wasn't there and took her computer. My mom would always say my
dad did these things because of drugs. I got used to him not
living with us. My life was busy with family and friends and
school and fun.

Then Chapter 3 started. About a year after he had been gone my
mom filed for divorce. By this time I really didn't miss him
anymore. My mom said she needed some child support. My mom took
me to a therapist named Ruth Paul Newton. I've been in other
therapists offices since and her office was really different.
You had to be really careful in there and she really didn't have
any toys. She was nice at first and would make popcorn but when
I wouldn't say the things she wanted me to say she wasn't very
nice. Then she decided to experiment with me like I was a guinea
pig. She said my dad should try having me for the month of July.
It didn't matter that I didn't want to spend that long with him.

I wanted to talk to the mediator, Ken Wilcox, but he wouldn't
talk to me. I wanted to talk to the Judge, Bianchini, but he
didn't care about anything I had to say.

I couldn't talk to my mom or see my friends when my dad had me.
I was so depressed when I had to spend July with him. He didn't
like my friends because they had seen him and all thought he was
crazy. They were afraid of him. In July I lived with his
girlfriend until they had a big fight. Then I lived with some
lady in El Cajon who was real mean to her kids and would chase
them with a belt  and make me baby-sit them. Then I lived with
my dad's roommate John for a few days after he had a big fight
with Kathy. Then I went back to Kathy because James P. Clark was
coming out there to interview me. He thought everything was
great there and didn't pay any attention to anything I said.
Then Kirk and Kathy had another big fight after she got drunk
and dented his truck. Then I went and lived with my dad's
girlfriend again. She'd call the police and say my mom was
calling her and making threats or coming to her house and it was
a lie. I kept telling Dr. Newton I didn't want to be with my dad
and I wanted to be with my mom. She didn't care that I was
depressed and crying all the time. That's when my dad started
putting his hand down my pants, sometimes after he rubbed my
back or started tickling me.

The judge said James P. Clark had to be my lawyer. I didn't hire
him. I didn't like him. He said I should call him anytime I had
a problem and every time I did he'd get mad at me. He said
really stupid things all the time. He didn't know anything at
all about kids. He never listened to me when I told him what I
wanted or about all the problems I was having when I was with my
dad. He didn't do anything to help me and he really messed up my
life. When I told him about my dad using drugs he told me I was
making it up. I took some of my dad's drugs to school one time
and gave it to the principal so he'd believe me. He still
didn't. I don't think he should ever represent children because
he just messes up their lives. He's a bad lawyer. I think all
lawyers are bad and don't know anything at all about kids.

My life was terrible in Chapter 3 with all the bad things my dad
was doing and the stupid judge and lawyers and mediator.

I think they should listen to kids and pay attention to what
they say. I don't think they should keep messing with your life
so you hate your life because it isn't what you want. They
should ask kids what they want. They should know something about

This is my true story -- "Sarah"

9/15/98 - Side note - Patty & Greg Houser's son - Aaron Houser - is currently under indictment for murder of a 12 year old girl - Stephanie Crowe.

01/15/99 - The murder trial of Stephanie Crowe is still pending against the three boys, but a new suspect has been identified.

Sarah's Update - January 1999

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