After my freshman year of high school ended, we moved to an extended stay and I had to switch high schools (school 2 of 3) . In 2012 we would be moving back to Tennessee, so to save money we went to live at Legacy Suites. After moving schools and checking on the bus routes we were told they did not come out near our temporary home. Which left us with finding other means of transportation for me. My mother drove in the direction of my school often but My step father (Drico) said I wasn’t allowed to ride in his vehicles. So, everyday I walked. I walked in rain or the beaming sun to school and back home. From Legacy Suites extended stay to Tolleson High School was 2 miles one way. I’m unsure if those reading have ever been to Arizona but its very hot. 117-124 degrees on the average day. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the exercise at times and being able to get out of the house. But, at other times it was stressful and seemed Drico went out of his way to make sure my life was ran the way he wanted it to be.
I called my grandfather one day as it was pouring raining, and he came and picked me up and dropped me off at home. Drico got angry and said I wasn’t allowed to get a ride from anyone. During the rain or a heat wave I was expected to walk and to turn down a ride when offered. Walking home each day I had to cross the highway where I was honked at continuously. Being a young female especially walking alone can be terrifying. You never know what predicaments you may fall into. A older man followed me all the way home one day. Looking over my shoulder I could see him pacing behind me, as I turned around he would stop and act as if he needed service. I walked faster and faster hoping I’d make it home to be “safe”.
One of my first real bad episodes of syncope(Fainting) happened after walking to school one morning. As I was getting closer to the school my vision began to go out. I walked as fast as I could so that I could sit. When I arrived I sat at a bench with my head between my legs to try and get my vision to become clear. For a while it didn’t. When it came to I went to the restroom and cried. I felt sick and weak and knew I needed to go home. But, I knew that meant I’d have to walk to get there. No need in missing a day of school to do the same thing I would have to do anyway. And leaving also meant I’d be be home with Drico alone. So, I waited until things were clear and I continued on with my day.
Drico exercised his power frequently. In moments were it was proper and others were it was not. For my 16th birthday(Halloween) I got to take my brothers and his friends trick or treating as a “reward”My dad has a tradition of sending us birthday cards every year with money inside. When it wasn’t my birthday I still received a car with money and vice versa for my younger brother. For my 16th birthday my dad sent cards to me and my brother. My younger brother received his and I was told their wasn’t anything for me which I knew was a lie. So I called my dad and I asked if he sent me anything he said, yes. He then resent me another card with cash in it and this time Drico told me that I wouldn’t get it until he felt i was ready. When I did get my card it was after my birthday, the envelope had been opened and my card was empty. He had done this for several holidays. Any card I got on birthdays or holidays was searched and held until he felt the need to give them to me.
Spring of 2012 I did my first audition to become a model in the model mall search. I was rewarded with a proposal to join the modeling agency with an agent. I was allotted a free photo shoot, and portfolio. I did my free photo shoot and waited for my portfolio to come in the mail. The day that it did I wasn’t allowed to watch the TV featuring every photo I took. . Drico exclaimed that he felt I looked too grown and didn’t want anyone looking at me. When asked what happened to my contract he said it never came. Yet, it did I saw the box on the counter. Til this day I am unsure what he did with all of my things.
Living with Aldrick I was never able to do anything I wanted to do unless he deemed it necessary. When it came to school sports and activities if I had to pay anything it was best to expect not participating. Track and field I was allowed to participate in 8th grade because he was given title of assistant coach. He came and helped us to practice and it was also free. When high-school came around I was not given the same opportunities. Track, Cheer and soccer were sports I was interested in but Drico said I couldn’t because it would be a waste of his money. I offered to get a job even walked around phoenix and filled out applications, but I was told I could’t do that either. Why?, the question I’ve always wondered.
Power has a way of making people do things to show their true colors. Drico was a man fueled by power and he abused it every chance he got. If it wasn’t his way it was the wrong way. 3 years we lived with him. 3 years we went through hell because of him wanting to exercise his power. I built a rage for him over those years, wanted him dead at one point. But, I know me being angry is what he wanted. Its as if getting a reaction out of you excited him. Men like this I have put into 1 category and that is category of a coward. I say coward because in the years of knowing this man he never acted this way with men. He preyed on my little brother everyday calling him any name he could think of. Stupid was one he used ever so frequently. “Stupid ass” he would say whenever my brother did something he didn’t like. Or he would prey on my mother using anything he felt we did wrong as a taunt to her calling her a bad mother. Whenever my older brother or any other male family member was around though he never acted that way with them. Power is ugly and lets you see the truth. Don’t ignore the signs of a coward trying to abuse their power to justify their own ego.