Over the next six weeks I will be detailing the events of my life from 1981-1985 and the 2015-2016 Repressed Memories which sent me straight to my hometown police department.
Later that afternoon my friends mother informed me, “Your mother is home from work.” She also let me know that I could return if I didn’t feel safe. I left my friends house thinking I should just turn around and go back inside but I saw my mother outside of our home. I walked across the street, “I’m not going inside with your boyfriend there,” I yelled to her. “Get in,” she snapped at me as she got into her car. I sat in the passenger seat and questioned, “Where are we going?” But I was answered with a question, “What the heck did you say to her?” my mother questioned me. A bit confused, I questioned her answer with a question, “Say to who?” My mother quickly answered, “Your friends mother.” “She called me at work,” she continued. Like a light bulb shining bright above my head, I quickly answered my mother, “Oh her,” I said with an ear to ear smile. “I told her everything,” I continued. The remainder of the ride went quiet as my questions of where we were going went unanswered. We pulled up outside her cousin Terry’s house where I was sent upstairs to say hello to the teenage twin sisters. After a few minutes, I went downstairs to see my mother but she was gone. “You’re staying for two weeks,” Terry informed me. “Didn’t your mother tell you?” she continued. I looked at the green trash bag sitting on the kitchen floor as I answered her question, “No she didn’t tell me.” I grabbed the green trash bag which contained items my mother packed and headed upstairs to the bedroom the twins shared. Inside the bag were winter clothes I had outgrown. Luckily the twins had some clothes to hand down to me.
I had passed my 6th grade school year due to my injuries preventing Dave from assaulting me and allowing me the time to complete my school work which my mother had picked up on a weekly basis. But as the date of my 6th grade graduation came and went, I realized I was abandoned by my mother. I was never able to return back to school nor did I attend my 6th grade graduation. Those two weeks went into two months and my mother never called me nor did she return any of her cousin Terry’s phone calls.
In late August 1981, Terry caught me and her daughters swimming in the above ground pool while it was raining. Her daughters were grounded and I was being dropped off to my mother on Pleasant Street. She informed me that I was a good kid and she was only returning me because, “Kids belong with their mother.” My mother was outside on the front steps as Terry pulled up and the look on her face only showed how upset she was to see her cousin and I in the car. I was excited to see my friends and actually glad to be home. I quickly got out of the car, grabbed my duffel bag of new hand me down clothes given to me by Terry’s daughters and made a quick run up my front door steps. Just two steps up, I quickly stopped as I saw through the screen door, Dave’s feet sticking up from his recliner chair. “Why is he still here?” I yelled at my mother who was talking with Terry shortly before she drove away. I moved away from the steps and questioned my mother again, “Why is he here?” “You need to call Sandi,” my mother answered me, “Her freaking mother’s been calling all summer,” she continued. I immediately began running towards Sandi’s house when I heard my mother yell, “She moved.” I then walked back to where my mother was standing. “I’m not going in there with him there,” I said. My mother told me to wait on the sidewalk as she went inside to get Sandi’s phone number. I felt so heart broken as I waited outside of my home, while Dave sat comfortably inside. My mother soon came outside and informed me that Dave was sleeping in his chair. “He hasn’t seen you,” she told me. “Go in quietly and call Sandi,” she said with a smile. “Get her address and ask if you can sleep over,” she continued. I grabbed the paper she handed me and I quietly sneaked into my own home and walked into the kitchen where I called my friend Sandi. I felt so insulted and unwanted while I talked quietly on the phone. As I headed back out the front door, Dave had awoken and stood up from his chair when he saw me walk towards the door. He charged at me as my brothers blocked the doorway. My mother yelled for me to be quicker and she hurried out the door behind me. We got in her car, I gave her the address Sandi told me and as she drove away, she started hitting, punching and smacking me. At one point, I grabbed her arm and screamed, “Stop hitting me.” My mother was so mad, “He wasn’t suppose to see you,” she snapped at me. She continued yelling the whole ride about the trouble maker I was. All I could do was ask her, “Why do you hate me so much?” But she never answered me. That one night sleep over turned out to be a ten month long stay as I lived the reality that I was shunned by my family because I didn’t want Dave to hurt me anymore.
… In late August 1981, a young girl disappeared from Lowell. I went off to live with another family while the home on Pleasant Street remained happy for my birth mother. In April, the young girl’s remains were found. By May, my birth mother was moved out of Pleasant Street but my abuser, oldest brother and a hole in a cellar wall remained. In May and June 1982, two more girls disappeared. Though the remains of one were found and one remains missing thirty-nine years later, all three cases remain unsolved…
In late June 1982 after school was out for summer vacation I was returned to my birth mother, but she no longer lived on Pleasant Street. She now lived on Butler Avenue. I was given a wobbly cot, a spot in the upstairs hallway and a reminder that I wasn’t wanted or welcomed back.
The next morning I questioned where my abuser was. My birth mother informed me that my abuser David Umpleby was still living on Pleasant Street with my oldest brother and that he would be going to jail in a few weeks for what he had done to me. As a twelve year old, I was happy to hear that. I then questioned where was all my stuff from my bedroom on Pleasant Street. That was when my birth mother explained all the photos, film and sex toys were buried inside the cellar wall on Pleasant Street and the rest of my belongings went out to the trash. I had a bowl of vomit resting in my throat as I heard my birth mothers words, I was horrified yet feeling so worthless and small. She always reminded me that people look down on kids who were abused and this day was no different as she explained her reasons why she let Dave bury what he did. She emotionally, mentally and psychologically shamed me into silence since 1975 and as a twelve year old in 1982, she was no different.
A week later my oldest brother moved into Butler Avenue and our mother went to retrieve the house key from Dave before they took him off to jail. ( Being only twelve years old, that made sense.)
When she returned to the Butler Avenue apartment, she ran straight up the stairs and grabbed me by my arms as she yanked and pushed me into her bedroom. She shut her bedroom door and immediately became horrified. “He took those freaking rocks out,” she yelled before breaking down in tears. I was confused as I stood before her but before I could question her, she jumped up, wiped her face and became flustered as she paced her bedroom floor. “What did he do, what did he do?” she questioned herself out loud before grabbing me by my cheeks and squeezing so hard her fingers slipped into my mouth. “You keep your mouth shut about that cellar,” she screamed into my face. Then she told me she put all the rocks back into the wall and how it was all buried good. “No one will find it,” she said in a bit of reassuring herself. She then insisted that I would be the one in trouble if the cellar wall was found because it was me in those photos and film as she again reminded me, “It’s all buried good.” I just looked at her in confusion, disbelief and horror. “Like my body would have been,” I said to her before running out of her bedroom and into a life given to me.
Within one month, I found myself living with the neighbors on Butler Avenue where I lived for two months as my own mother informed me I was dead to her. (I told a lady I babysat for what kind of mother I had) I went off to live in a few more homes before living back with my friend and her family after they found out I was abandoned again.
My abuser dug that wall out for me. He was not finished with me when I ran in the summer of 1981 nor was he finished with his evil ways. I was not his first victim nor was I his last, but I may be his only surviving one.
Did my abuser really go to jail?
Why was my birth mother so mortified over the rocks being taken out of the cellar wall a second time?
What else did Dave Umpleby bury inside that wall?
If I didn’t go inside that wall, then who did?
Forty years ago this week I was in excruciating pain from injuries I suffered in the hands of my abuser. The emotional, mental and psychological abuse from my own family were still in the beginning stages… Join me next week for Part 3 Punished and Abused: When Repressed Memories Speak
Week 1… 1981
Week 2… 1981/1982
Week 3… 1984
Week 4… 1985
Week 5… 2015/2016 repressed memories
Week 6… Unsolved murders
You can catch my full story, conversations and secrets in my soon to be released two part memoir…
Part one: A Childhood Tragedy Under A Mother’s Watch details the years 1975-1982 will be available in Fall 2021
Part two: A Life Given To Me picks up where part one ends 1982-2019 and will be available in summer 2022
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