I am dead, I have been murdered, condemned from my earliest years to being trapped in the tomb composed of the scenes from my abuse, the abuse of my parent and my siblings, replaying over and over in my mind.
I am hopeless, despondent, trust no one and in despair of ever having the education, career, love I once dreamt of before the abuse took over, controlled my life, put an end to the person I once hoped to be.
I know that I am not to blame. I know who is to blame. I know their names, their positions, the authority they wield, and the cold callousness of the decisions they made, despite the pleadings and begging of me and my loved ones.
A client of the FCVFC gently asked the court to consider giving her unsupervised visitation after her daughter was removed from her custody to be placed into the custody of the child’s documented abuser. The judge ordered no visitation for six months, following visitation supervised by an individual of the father’s choice .
The mother said, “You are answerable to God for what you have done.”
Where was God that day in court? Where was God when my preacher, revered by the community, kicked my dog to death before our disbelieving eyes? Where was God when each of the despicable acts that occurred did not kill us but left us to suffer another day, some of us siblings to become just like him and others to become bitter and angry, to marry but not to be able to give love to our spouses and children, leaving them hungry for the kind of love they craved?
But then God let me know why I am here.
I truly do know and recognize pure evil in its many forms.
I truly do know great suffering, torture and helplessness . . . but . . . I also know that the remedy to all of those things is sunlight, exposure, truth, fearless reporting and standing witness to evil without becoming evil, without being personally destroyed, without becoming drained, enervated, hopeless.
I stand with overcoming, becoming, restoring and using the terrible experiences to recover and nourish myself, to enjoy and even love life with a vision and purpose for a better future of which I am a contributing member.
This is my story. But as I tell my story for the first time I am discovering my truth, my future and gratitude.
In memory of Tamara Fabre, in the words of her sister, Tracy Fabre, her interview at the NAASCA site:
Tracy: I’ve only known abuse. I was born into a violent household, and I was the youngest of seven children. And my sister Tamara was 22 months older than I am. And her and I shared a lot of the same experiences growing up because we were so close in age and as children, Tamara and I were inseparable. We developed a strong attachment to each other and it produced a lot of fear related anxiety when we were separated. But even as young children, what bonded us together was our terror of our father. We lived in fear and had learnt early on not to provoke his volatile or his violent temper. And of the eighteen years I spent growing up in that house, I have maybe a handful of memories of my childhood. And all of my memories are of violence perpetrated by my father. So, I wasn’t surprised that eventually my father murdered one of us. I was surprised that it took him so long and I was surprised that it was he actually killed one of his favorite kids. But my father, he had brought seven children into this world, and he never assumed responsibility for any of us. My father never worked. We were on government assistance. My whole life. And my father was the biggest consumer of the welfare check. I remember many occasions crying with Tamara because we were so hungry and growing up, we were only allowed one meal per day. And before we were able to eat that one meal, my mother would have to serve my father first. And he would get a serving platter out for himself because a regular dinner plate wasn’t big enough for him, and he would go through the line first and put the majority on the plate.
Tracy: And Tamara and I would cry. We’d know we’d go to bed hungry again that night. But my father didn’t care. It was all about him. He was very narcissistic, and he thought of only himself. And I remember Tamera fainting. She would go to school and she would always faint and her and I were in school together, and I would see the teacher running down the hall carrying my sister and my father and mother would just brush it off and figure Tamara was just trying to get attention, but she actually was suffering from malnutrition, so she was starving to death. My father got more than his share to eat and that was just always really painful for me. I knew hunger and Tamara knew hunger too. And many nights, many a day we would be starving and we’d go to school and. We were teased. We were teased. We were not allowed to take more than one bath per week, which until we were 11, 12, 13 years old. We took a bath together and we smelled. We had lice. We suffered from scabies. We had chronic strep throat. We never were taken to the doctors, constantly sick with strep throat. We had two outfits a year that we would get to wear and her and I would change them. But we were we were often teased because of our smell, because we were dirty. We did smell of urine. And in turn, we were, I was a bully. I turned that into acting out a lot in aggression towards other kids and. My sister was really starving.
Host: Yeah. Let me ask you. Let me just interject a thought here, because I want to make sure that the audience is following along. Your sister’s case, she was killed, as you said before, she was murdered by your father?
Host: It was a very it was very well known and very well publicized and very sensationalistic, wasn’t it?
Tracy: It was yes.
Host: It was all over the news for quite some time and people followed it. But what you’re telling us tonight is the back story that no one ever knew. That’s the point I want to make.
Tracy: Right, exactly.
Host: So, I just want to put it on the record first that we’re talking about something that’s extremely public knowledge, the murder of your sister. But you’re really revealing for the first time in a lot of cases, you know, and you’re doing this very publicly, you know, what was really going on behind the scenes for all those years? Fully 50 years have passed, right?
Host: And it’s a whole family history that led up to and culminated in what we think we know. But we don’t know. The back story is there to tell. Okay.
Tracy: Right. And nobody really knew. But everyone has a lot of opinions about it. And even within the family, there’s a lot of the division and divisiveness. But this is the true story and it’s the back story. It’s what led up to my sister’s brutal, brutal murder.
Host: Tracy, I just want to, I don’t want to interrupt your story too much, but there’s just. I really wanted to go to Jill for a second because something you talked to, things that you talked about, and I just wanted to kind of comment on them. One is the starvation, because I think that that is one of the most intensive tools you can use for control and abuse, because, you know, it’s a need, a basic need to survive, to live. And the second part, Jill, that I’d like you to comment on that she brought up is the fact that her father did make them go to school, you know, unbathed, not dressed properly, lice, scabies, being ostracized and bullied at school was basically an extension of the abuse at home. And he could guarantee that it continued on and they couldn’t find support if he sent them to school like that.
Jill: Right, exactly. One of the things that’s interesting is that he had a sense that the school and that social community would, you know, in a sense, back him as opposed to embracing the children. It’s horrifying. It’s horrifying. You know, that that social consciousness would not immediately reach out to these children. And why were they allowing her to faint? I mean, how did they. Explain, you know, how do they not inquire into her fainting and not realize that she was malnourished. Her stomach must have, your stomachs must have been distended.
Tracy: Well, looking back at pictures, looking back at pictures of Tamara, she was very frail. She had hollowed eyes. I’ve got a, I’ve got pictures of her now. I don’t know how this wasn’t recognized, but looking at my sister’s pictures now, fast forward 40 years. She had very frail. Her skin is sallow. Her eyes are deep set. I don’t know how it had not been recognized. I don’t know how it was not addressed.
Those are classic signs of malnutrition. I mean, just as you said, I mean, both of you, both of you must have been you know, you were just little girls. I mean, it is so horrifying.
Tracy: Right. It is. But no, that was the thing we smelled. We were taking baths until we were 11, 12, 13 years old together, sharing the same bathwater. In fact, Tamara got to a point where she was starting to physically develop. So, she would say, Tracey, go ahead and take a bath and then I’ll take a bath in your bath water. You know, and I remember that that she would go sit in my filthy water and she would take a bath. Because we weren’t allowed regular hygiene. Our clothes were washed maybe once or twice a week. And we had our two outfits that we shared.
I just want to comment how much we deeply appreciate your eloquence and your bravery.
Tracy: Yeah. I do it for her. I do it for Tamara because she can’t. And the family has kept secrets all these years and have these secrets not being kept. Possibly there could have been different outcomes. We will never know. We were not given that opportunity to change the outcome.
Jill: You should never have been in a position to have to speak up for yourself. The evidence was there and the community failed you.
Host: Let me let me interject a thought here, Jill. Deborah tells me that she’s never spoken publicly before. This is exclusive to us. The only time she’s told the story was that her father’s sentencing which will come along in the telling of the story. But again, want to reiterate that people think they know the story and they don’t know the story. And what we’re hearing tonight is a really special presentation from Tracey about her, about her, her sister. And she, you know, the family experience that led up to this. She’s never talked about it before in public.
Jill: Yeah, I just wanted to mention that. . . But we owe as a community, we owe when we see a child suffering on pain, we owe it to step up and do something. And the fact that there is bullying and ostracizing when there should have been people helping, I hope this really, really time for people the next time they think, oh, I shouldn’t interfere or this is someone else’s phone know. Because when you see someone suffering and hurt and I believe you have an obligation as human beings to step up. I think too often people think it’s none of their business and that they shouldn’t interfere. And that’s when we need people to step up, to step up to the plate.
Host: Okay. Sorry, ladies. I want to make sure Jim Singer knows I’m going to open his microphone and you guys can call on him when you want to at that point. But I’m opening it for the first time. So, Jim, you’re on the air now, too. Jim, of course, is psychologist and can give us a perspective on his experience in that area whenever we want him to during the show. So now everybody’s microphone is open. So, everybody just be aware of that because we do hear. Somebody told me they heard me typing. I told them, I’ll stop. Back to you guys.
We’re going to come back to you, Tracy. And I do want to go chronologically as possible because, you know, there’s been a lot of victim-blaming and stuff that’s going on with you. What happened with your sister, as well. And I just think it’s very important that they understand the 50 years what led up to that one moment. And so and I’d like you to go back to the childhood and some of the physical and mental abuse that you guys endured at the hands of your father.
Tracy: Right. Well, one of the things I think to while we were talking about why it wasn’t talked about, looking back now, I was engaging in a lot of trauma play. I would go to school and I would bully other kids. I would hit other kids. I was acting out what I was seeing at home. And I don’t think back 20 years ago it was recognized, but I was engaging in trauma play, I was hitting, bullying. I was acting out what my dad was doing and that was, I was actually a bully acting out. And I think that looking at kids now and seeing that she’d be able to open up that dialogue and say, we’ll look further at what’s going on and not just think that their attention seeking behaviors like Tamara’s fainting spells were. But also, in this time when I said that Tamara and I were taking baths together and we were starting to develop physically, our father started, sexually objectifying us. He would begin to make body shaming comments to us. He used language that was very inappropriate for a father to use towards his daughter.
Tracy: I remember being called very derogatory names like you stupid C U N T was a common word, to be called the c word. And he would call the B word, the bitches, whores constantly. He would tell us, you got a fat ass because god, you’re so fat. Or he would tell our mom, look at those boobs. Go, go buy them a bra. And I remember my mom took me to buy my first bra, and my dad wanted to stand there while Tamara and I were picking out our bras, and the humiliation and the shame I felt during that time of having your father leering at you. And my father would. I don’t know if my father sexually molested me, but I was sexually molested by two family members. This I have never told anybody outside of having a conversation with my sister. But two of my siblings actually did. Sexually molested me. One brother and one sister. And just to even be able to say that is like tremendous. But there was a lot of. . .
Host: I want you to know, Tracy, that that’s the kind of thing that we discuss all the time. It’s not new to us and we’re here to support you. So, you can’t say something wrong. You can’t say it the wrong way. You can feel embarrassed, and we understand that. Or afraid and we’ll understand that. We believe you and we support you and we know how you feel because we’ve been there. Too many of us at NAASCA are survivors as well. So, you know, this is this is very, very common on our show, but not common to a person that’s telling it for the first time. So, I just want to reassure you that you’re in the right place, you’re among friends, and we really, really offer. The other thing I want to say and then I’ll shut up is we really support you and appreciate the courage that it takes to come on, not just to talk about your sister, but about yourself and what you just said. That’s very special. And we don’t take it lightly. Okay.
Tracy: Okay. Thank you for that.
Host: Of course.
Tracy: But growing up, being constantly told that you’re fat, you’ve got a big ass, go put a bra on and seeing my father look at other women very inappropriately projected forward this horrible, horrible self-image that I still struggle with to this day. I don’t know if it is the language that he used with me growing up or if it was being denied food. But I have suffered with anorexia my whole life. And Tamara, when she came to visit me in May, she told me about her childhood experiences, you know, and I think that that a lot of that led to her suffering, her addiction to alcohol. And my father did the same with her very, very inappropriate language. And I do know I was with Tamara at one point when one of my siblings was sexually molesting both of us. So her and I were both sexually molested by a sibling together and then separately by my sister, another sister at separate times. When Tamara and I would get together, we would talk about it and we would say, this is what happened. This is what she did to me. And I would say, Well, this is what she did to me. And so, I do know this had happened to Tamara as well. But as far as being sexually molested by my father, I don’t know. I just know that he really used inappropriate body shaming language with his daughters. And my father, he had no boundaries. Nothing in the house was off limits to him, no matter how personal the subject was. My father, it was open. He was self-entitled to anything, in everything that he wanted.
Tracy: And he would sneak around the house and he would eavesdrop on private conversations that people were trying to have. And then he would punish us for what he learned through his snooping. He would snoop through our dressers when we would go to school, and then we would get in trouble. If he found something in there, like a note from a friend or a boy, we would be punished for that. I remember him going outside to look through the bedroom windows while Tamara and I would be getting dressed. And I remember trying to cover up because he was outside looking and he got angry about that and he says, well, you should be able to get dressed in front of your father because if your windows open, the neighbors can see you and I should be able to see you first. So that was. Yeah. So for me, that whole kind of imagery and the whole kind of mind game that he just played with me is still I still have issues I deal with around that.
Host: Tracy, did you ever did you ever have a sense that he heard things or saw things?
Tracy: Yeah, well, my father was very, very religious. I can’t really call it religious because but he was fanatical and he thinks he’s holier than thou. He would actually lead, he would take us. We belonged to a religious cult. At one point it was called the group. And then we left that.
Tracy: And my father took us to a traditional Catholic church and we had left that. And then my father started doing church at the house where he would minister, he would facilitate, he would interpret the Bible. And whatever he said was how we were to live. That was how we were to interpret the Word of God. And it was actually the word of Milton. And He thinks that he thought he was holy. He probably did think he was talking to God. He probably did think he was talking to Jesus. He would preach to us, and if anybody ever contradicted his teaching, he would grab a weapon. I remember him jumping up on a table, grabbing this huge pillar, candle pillar, raising it above his head, telling us, get down on your knees and beg for my forgiveness. He had shrines all over the house. Um, he actually took over several of the bedrooms and turned them into praying rooms so a bedroom upstairs could no longer be used for sleeping because it was where my father wanted to go. Pray at night, and then downstairs and another bedroom. Nobody could use that because that was his shrine to Jesus down there. And he needed to go down there and pray right while he exercised on the stationary bike. But he definitely suffered with some grandiose, grandiose kind of ideas that he was elevated spiritually and he would spend hours in his room praying and rocking back and forth and praying. And, of course, you know, he thought he knew God’s word and could interpret God’s word. So, yeah, there definitely was tremendous fanaticism there.
Host: Yeah. Tell me, Tracy, what kind of community were you growing up in? I don’t know if you want to name the town or the area, but I’d like to know the kind of community. Was it like a middle-class area was a rural area? Just describe for us, if you would.
Tracy: Well, I grew up in Tacoma, Washington. It was kind of the south side. It was the poor. Yeah, it was a small city. It was the poor kind of community. My family was lower middle class, you know, came from the lower end. But yeah, it was, it’s a lower kind of socioeconomic part of town. We are.
Tracy: We were not. We were very. We were. We were poor.
Host: Well, your dad didn’t work at all. No, that didn’t help, did it?
Tracy: Yeah, no.
Host: But you know, your mother. Your mother provided income sometimes.
Tracy: When I was 13. When I was 13 or 14, my mom went to work. Up until that point, we were on welfare. But once my mom went once my mom went to work, then my father had full reign in the house. Before my mom would be a buffer. But once my mom left, my dad had full, full control. He was there constantly. And so, we had to rely on him for everything.
I have a question I’d like to ask you, Tracy. I was just wondering if your if your father was taking any kind of prescription medication of at all?
Tracy: No, no, my father was not.
And I’m asking that as I had a mother who was a foster mom who is similar with religious, very religious and doing this, similar things like that. And she had an addiction problem. And I just wondered if there might have been an addiction problem with your father, with prescription drugs or any other drugs?
Or alcohol related?
Tracy: Yeah. No, my father didn’t take any of those. He did what he did on his own accord.
Yeah. He sounds like somebody who was very suspicious of everything and everyone and had a lot of internal processes and internal thought processes, suspecting everybody, having, having thoughts that other people were planning against him. And, you know, I wonder if you experienced that at all.
Tracy: Oh, everybody was against him. If there was a whispering going on in the house, he would perceive that that was against him, that we people were talking about him. He personalized everything. Everything was against him. I was swinging about one day and he says, what? You think you’re going to hit me? Are you going to hit me? Do you want to hit me? And I was just swinging a bat and I was like, what are you talking about? And then I was punished for speaking back. I actually had wrote a letter in 1979 to my Aunt Delores that I actually have. My cousin had sent it to me. And it was about such a, such stuff that my father had done, that he would demand things that he thought we were doing something or he wanted something done and he would make threats like, I’m going to bash your head off the wall and I’m going to kill you. And so, yeah, he, he was very overreactive and he personalized everything and that sort of those sort of thoughts motivated his behavior. But he also, go ahead and predict behavior. What would you know? What would you know? Is that more of a schizophrenic behavior or.
Yes, yes. Okay. Yes.
Host: Let’s give Dr. Jim Singer an opportunity to give us a psychologist perspective on anything that he’s heard so far. And then we’ll move forward in your story, Tracy. But, Jim, I know you’re there and you’ve listened to the whole show. What would you like us to know about either the child’s experience or the fathers or both?
Jim: Well, I’m concerned that the whole thing is tragic. Was your father ever evaluated for? Either personality disorder or any, how should I say losing connection with reality or anything?
Tracy: No. My father’s back story is that he was in the Korean War when he was 17 years old. His mom signed him up because my father was hard to deal with kids. So, at 17, he went off to the Korean War. He fought in the war for a while. He got into some sort of altercation that put him in military prison for several years. And then when he got out from military prison, he was sent back to Washington State, where he was never diagnosed. He met my mother and some of the punishments that he put us kids in, I think was from his time that he was in prison. My father engaged when he found out that Tamara and I were afraid of the basement. He began for his punishment to put us down there when I would be bad. He would, or he thought I was bad. He would put me in the basement and isolation in the dark for extended periods of time. And I would sit in the basement in the dark where I thought there was demons and I thought there were devils, and I thought there was things in the dark that were going to kill me.
Tracy: And I would sit and I would be terrified and I would sit in the dark. And I think that came from his experience, from his prison, his time in prison. So, I know he did the same with Tamara. And it was at that time that Tamara started experiencing, we had night terrors, and Tamara would have night terrors and it started and she suffered lifelong with her night terrors. And I have always said that physically I’ve left that house. But psychologically, I’m still trapped in that basement. That basically is where I go when I’m stressed and I’m not adjusting well in life. What I do is I lay in my bed and I pull the covers up and I go back to the basement and my mind I go back and I’m in the dark and I’m in the basement and in some weird way that I have never been able to experience. Why do I go there? Why would I relive and recreate such a traumatic time in my life? So yeah, I have not left that basement psychologically ever.
Bill: Well, I identify with that specifically. Of the pain that you that started all this. That’s probably why, because that’s what’s the source of where all this pain comes from.
Host: Bill, what were you saying? You said you identify with that?
Bill: It is still darkness, the lonely, still darkness, but the safe, still darkness of the place. And I have no comparison to what you went to, Tracy, but for one year I was put in the back of the schoolroom by a teacher in a closet, and I spent, I think it was sixth grade in the back closet. And I understand what you’re saying, that we retreat in our adulthood to those places. There was a there was calm in there. I wasn’t going to get beaten. I wasn’t even going to get reprimanded. I was in. I was in I was in the dark, cold place. My friends that year were erasers and pencils and extra paper. That was it. No, but I could look through the slots and kind of. Maybe you were listening for the step on the stairs or something like that. And as long as they didn’t, no one was coming towards the door or you didn’t hear the step on the stairs. That was your place of actual, you know, sanctuary in a way. I mean, I understand it as what I’m saying, Tracy, although my experience was way less severe than yours, obviously. So, you’re in the right.
Good. Okay. Well, does it feel like it sometimes?
Tracy: Sometimes I feel like the damage that has been done is. It’s unfixable that I deal with things and I’m this person that is so far gone that the damage, you don’t fix this. You can’t fix somebody 40 years down the road who suffered this. But the most horrifying thing, you know, for me and the most vivid memory, in fact, I have a picture of my dog. George was. . . One thing that my father did, and it was a very early memory, they had a cocker spaniel dog and his name was George. And my father perceived that little George was watching my dad eat. My dad was eating like one of those little peanuts, those orange peanut candy, marshmallow things. And my dog was just the dog and looked over at my dad from the little bed my dog slept in behind my mom’s chair in the living room. And my dad’s like, what the hell are you looking at? And he threw the piece of candy on George, and George starts smelling it. When my dad jumped up and he ran over to the dog and I sat there and watched him through little kid eyes. Watch my dad stomp and kick my little cocker spaniel to death. And I still remember. My dog just screaming. And my dog just in so much pain. And then he didn’t move anymore. And Tamara and I. I don’t even think we screamed. I don’t even think we said it. I think we just stood there in shock. I think we just stood there and he killed my dog. He stomped him to death. Fear has a way of kind of holding your movement.
Yeah, that’s right. It kind of stopped because you didn’t want to run and do anything for your dog. It’s just there’s so much fear in that situation. You can’t move. It’s so shocking. Yeah.
Tracy experienced trauma after trauma after trauma. And each one, the typical reactions to trauma are fear, flight, you know, fight or freeze. You know, they’re all fear, but they’re all they manifest in different ways. And not all trauma is identical. So sometimes you might have run and sometimes you might have frozen and so forth, and sometimes you might have fought. Although it sounds like you, were you knew very well not to fight because, you know.
What came down the road with your sister might have happened at any point. It happened when it did, but it could happen any time. All right. I want to just say that we don’t we don’t really think in terms of fixing ourselves. We think in terms of healing and we think in terms of moving forward and a more healthy path. So that because the quality of the rest of our life depends on what we do now. And so, you’re never too old and it’s never too late, to find help from someone who does understand who can help you and does believe you and support you and so forth. For a group, it can be both. But I don’t talk in terms of fixing ever. I do term in terms of maybe, maybe we begin to sometimes see our past in a different way, put it in a different frame eventually. But the whole point is to become comfortable as much as I can in Bill in today, because, you know, whatever I do can do for myself today the rest of my life, the quality of the rest of my life is dependent upon. And I just want to you and I can speak another time. I don’t want to make this into that kind of show. But I do want to reassure you, Tracy, that you’re doing great. You’re on the right course and I’ll help you. So will any of the NAASCA members in any way we can. Welcome to the NAASCA family.
You know, I also want to say how much how much we enormously appreciate your you’re sharing because you’re giving us a window into a nightmare that you’ve lived that has been kept out of view. Shamefully.
Tracy: Shamefully, I do. And it’s been 48 years of protecting the secret. Oh, protecting my family and still protects the secret. And it’s been protecting the secret. And I guess instead of thinking I should be, I just keep waiting to feel normal. I just keep waiting to feel connections. I still keep waiting to feel like I belong. Instead of being an outsider, looking at life going on around me. I don’t feel a part. I never have felt a part of the bigger picture. I always felt, like an actor in a play, but you’re watching the play go on around you and you have your part, but you’re not connected to anything. And that’s what I keep waiting to go away. I keep waiting to feel like I’m a part of something, and I don’t know if it’s going to always be this detached attachment that I have because of the way I was raised. And that’s why I say I’m down in the, you know, still in the basement. I’m still in the dark, I’m still by myself.
You know, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of help that we can do. I don’t want to make the show about that unless you wish to. But I know the ladies have an opportunity here to find out more about your story. But I do want to assure you that with that, we can work on this. And not just me, but all NAASCA members will become the family you never had, if you want us to, because that’s what that’s what we’re here for. And we’ll and we’ll talk about that separate from the show, I suppose. But let me go back to Deborah and Jean. I just I’m sorry, dominating the show a little bit here from, you know. Joe, hold on. Let’s go back to.
Give you his phone number and so that you can talk to him and get much more information.
Now, let’s go back to Deborah and Gina. They’re really the host of the show. They brought the guest on and let them run the show. I apologize. And Jill does, too. We’re talking a little too much for you guys. Go ahead.
I wanted to add that I think it’s you know, there’s it’s a big deal. A big part of that is that there’s the trust, not being able to trust people. And the very core people in your life that you, that you need to trust are the ones that have failed you. And so that’s where you end up feeling that you’re on the outside looking in and that’s only natural that you would feel that way. I think your story is so incredible and what an impact I’m sure it’s having on people who are listening to the show right now. I excited to hear more about your story and where it went from here. So, I’m going to do it for you.
Tracy: Well, Bill had mentioned something about had I stood up, had I spoke up, I could have ended up where Tamara is. And I very, very closely came to ending up where Tamara is. I have always been kind of a little pain in the ass. And Tamara had even mentioned that at her last visit to see me, that one particular incident where I needed to do schoolwork, but I wanted to use my dad’s pencil. So, it was kind of my way of fighting back. I wanted to use his pencil, so I went and I took it off his shelf or where he had his pencil and. I broke his pencil. And I remember putting it back. I remember putting it back on the thing and going about my business thinking, you know, I was just going to pretend I didn’t do it. And my dad starts calling my mom. He’s like, hey, honey, bring Tracy down here.
Tracy: So, my mom comes and gets me and I’m like, no, I don’t want to go downstairs. And my mom’s pushing me down the back stairs. We have 13 stairs that lead into the basement from the kitchen, and I don’t want to go down the stairs. And my mom’s pushing me and she pushes and pulls me downstairs and. I get to the bottom of the stairs and I see my dad standing there in the middle of the basement with a two by four, and my mom sees them and she turns tail and she runs upstairs and closes the door and my dad like tells me to take off my pants. And I’m like, I knock, I take off my pants. And he grabs me and he starts ripping off my pants and I’m fighting. And he pushes me down onto a weight bench and he puts his knee in the small of my back and he starts hitting me on my left thigh, on my left buttocks. And he’s hitting me and he’s hitting me and hitting me and I’m trying to fight back. So, I raised my upper body up and I left my head up and he takes his hand and he shoves my head down and he starts beating my head with this two by four. He’s beating me and he’s just beating me. And I don’t know how long he’s beating me. I don’t know how long I’m gushing blood. But then he stops and I. And he just calmly. Says, you fucking bitch, you got blood on me. And he threw the two by four across the floor. And he gets up and as I’m running up the back stairs, gushing blood, he goes into the bathroom and he starts washing his hands.
Tracy: And fast forward to the night he murdered Tamara. He did the same thing. He washed his hands after he butchered my sister. And I I’m caught there. I’m caught there. I think about that all the time. I didn’t die, but I’ve been at that end of my dad’s fury. And how calmly, how calmly, he just stops and he realizes, you fucking bitch, you got blood on me. I had to be rushed to the emergency room. I had to have stitches put back in my head. You don’t put my head back together. But I had broke his pencil for that. That was that was the offense. And at that point, I had actually gone into foster care for a little while. It was like six months. I didn’t go for very long, but the family never received counseling. And it was I was seen as the problem. I was the one acting up. I was the one that needed to be removed from the home. And then they brought me back in and the family still did not receive counseling. I was seen as the perpetrator of my own violent crime against me. But that just always kind of sticks with me as I think back to that night, the Tamara was murder. And I wonder how much of that correlates, how much of that was the same?
And how old were you?
Tracy: How old? I was 12. I was 12.
And you were seen as this perpetrator?
Tracy: Yeah, I was. I was seen as the one that caused this.
So, I believe that’s not unusual, Tracy. If we are told that it’s our fault and as children, we don’t have a way to even process that. If we’re especially for younger, we begin to believe that somehow we’re responsible and at fault. Now it becomes evident later, probably by 12, you had this sense that, you know, this was unfair and that, you know, this wasn’t how life was supposed to be. How come I was ended up in this situation? But the message has already been received. And essentially the message ends up being, if you ever say anything or do anything about this, I’ll kill you. And in fact, he did to one of you.
Tracy: Yeah. That’s the message.
That’s a real message you still may live with today. And again, we’ll talk about that another time. But let me go to Jim Singer, because I’m really interested in the in the psychology of the child, which is what Jim’s area of specialty is, I guess we’d say. Right, Jim? Talk to us a little bit about this set of children in this house, the whole set, you know, having this tyrannical father out of his mind, it sounds like and what, you know, what kind of thought process might be, just touch on it, if you would, going through their, you know, helpless minds.
Well, first of all, Tracy, I’m sorry for what you went through. And it’s not something in you that needs to be fixed. You were broken by your father as a victim, just like if he threw you against the wall. And when he hit you with a two by four and you obviously bled because of an injury and because, it was a natural wound where you started bleeding. Well, that was your fault, too. And I’m sorry. I’m being. That was his blaming you for something that your father did. Okay. Your father was the perpetrator in this, and he hurt you in many ways and all these things when you were saying about your being insulted in your body and being accused, that was also a form of abuse. And I do think it’s important to trust. before you can trust the person who victimized harmed you. You need to trust somebody, anybody that you can feel safe with. You needed to be protected where you felt safe. But instead, it seems like you had no other place to go except back to retraumatizing yourself.
So that even when you were looking for, I guess, just to be safe and alone, you had to go back to that horrible basement.
Tracy: Right. Yeah.
So that’s what I think is that you need to be comfortable with someone before you can be comfortable with yourself. And Bill is absolutely correct. But part of that is that it was hard for you to be comfortable with anybody because you’re always being beaten on so many levels.
Tracy: Right. And that was one thing that my father did is every time we would say something, we were always wrong. He would redefine our reality. We were all, we were liars. I was constantly being called a liar. I questioned my own reality a lot of times. And Tamara was the same way. One thing when Tamara came home to see me. Her last trip here was in March of 2015. We talked a lot about growing up in the house. We talked a lot about my father and we talked a lot about, you know, the triggers that would send my dad into a violent outbreak. And Tamara said that one thing that really, was hard for her to deal with was watching her baby sister get hurt. She said I would see Dad starting to get upset and when my dad would get upset, he would roll his tongue between his teeth and he would start breathing heavy through his nose and his eyes would get big and wild and we would know that we better run because that was our cue that my dad was going to start hitting people. And Tamara said when she would see that she would run and she said she would hide. She said, Tracy, I was like a little wilted flower. I would run and I’d hide and I was so scared, she said. Then I would watch from my hiding spot, you getting beat. I would watch Dad hitting you, beating, she says. And I wanted to protect my baby sister, but I couldn’t. My sister still talked about this 40 something years later, 40 years later, this was still affecting my sister. And one thing I need to let you know, my sister had a very, very horrible alcohol addiction.
Tracy: All of us kids, every single one of us has an addiction. Mine is anorexia. Tamara’s was alcohol. My other siblings I won’t speak to, but there’s drug addiction, there’s sex addiction. Tamara was an alcoholic and it cost her everything. In fact, the last time she came to my home, I didn’t even recognize her. Alcohol and life have beaten her down so much. I looked at my sister and I didn’t recognize her and she told me she was drinking and she was drinking a lot and it cost her everything. And she said that that is what, that’s what buried that seed of addiction in her was not being able to protect me that that is the complete lack of control to protect her little sister. She turned to alcohol. I turned to anorexia. Lifelong. Tamara and I are both lifelong addicts, and I think it has. And it was motivated and perpetrated forward by things that happen in that house at the hands of my father.
Yes, absolutely. But yeah, I think it’s so almost a given that there’s going to be something that when when there are victims in this situation, that they’re going to gravitate to, whether it’s food, when they don’t have the support, someone that they can count on, someone that they can go to, they reach out for some type of advice to help them cope. And I’m sure, Jim, you would probably be the best to talk to about that, because I’m sure you hear that quite often. I would love to hear your you know, your input on that. Well, I think.
Yes, I think part of it is that a victim needs to find some way to take the pain away or to shift the pain to. Another part or another person. Because sometimes you feel so desperate. But it’s not fair, Tracy, that you’re blaming yourself for everything that your father did to you and Tamara.
Tracy: I feel like I’m responsible for what I do now. Even to this day, when I’m under stress, when I’m feeling conflicted or I’m upset. The first thing I do is turn to my addiction. First thing I’ll do is stop eating. I don’t know and I know what I’m doing. I don’t know why. I just don’t care. I just I’m just like, I don’t care. I’m going to starve myself. And like you say, it must be some way of self-punishing. I don’t know. But that’s all of us kids and it’s been passed down, you know, it’s generational. There’s so many addictions and so many negative behaviors that I think that, you know, that all are rooted in that in that household. But even still to this day, even though I know I’m doing what I want better, I still turn to what’s familiar for me. And Tamara was the same way.
But that familiar to you was a crime that you were a victim of. The abuse, whether it was emotional, physical or sexual. And when you’re talking about this this abuse or not eating, that’s an effort for you to gain some control over anything. Okay. So, when you’re trying to gain the control of your appetite or your weight, because that may be the only thing you may feel you have control over. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not wrong. But you don’t have to blame yourself for that, as if you’re finding fault with something else. And another part is perhaps with the alcoholism, your sister and or maybe yourself was trying to self-medicate as well.
Tracy: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I would.
I definitely I want to get into some of what happened, sort of the consequences of the abuse that you and your sister experienced. This went on for a long time. It’s still going on inside of you 48 years later. But there are a variety of manifestations that can occur and I don’t think of them as coping mechanisms. I think of them as attempts at surviving. And that’s the way I express it when I talk to people. Because even as a child, you began to use some of those, you kept the secret. For example, that was an attempt to survive, right? You accepted the responsibility that was to survive. But as an adult, you had more and more control with quotes around it over your life. So, you did things like you got into obsessive or compulsive behaviors, eating disorders and drinking and using. But it might also involved, you know, sleeping around and moving to the other side of the country, becoming a perfectionist or a total slob. It can be either extreme, it doesn’t matter. But these are attempts to find solutions. And they temporarily work. But they’re really, they’re really not permanent, you know, resolution. So recovery is all about finding new activities to use to replace the ones that at least temporarily work but are no longer working. Okay. So. Right. Did you have one of the kind of other things? Go ahead.
Tracy: Well, one of the things, too, out of out of seven of us kids, Tamara never married. the rest of us, one sister stayed married. But all the others, we’re all divorced, all of us have a hard time maintaining relationships with my kids. You know, I have a pretty close relationship with my son, my daughter and I. There is a little bit of tension there. But it’s the whole maintaining relationships. I see this also manifested in kind of the way that we’re able to trust, the way that we’re able to be with other people. I don’t think we are. I don’t think any of us really are capable of being in a relationship. At least I know I’m not. And Tamara never married. She, in fact, had so many issues with men based on how my father was that she didn’t even want to be relationship with the men. She. . .
Could you tell us a little bit about your leaving the house and what happened with your lives, what happened with each of you and what happened with Tamara?
Tracy: Tamara left the house in 1984, and she actually as she moved to Texas and she was there until she came home in 2015 to take care of my mom. She was pretty successful. She worked in a, she created her own business, but she always had the drinking problem. She never had gotten married. She never really got. Maybe had one or two boyfriends. But she had a girlfriend. She had a really close relationship with another woman that, in fact, when Tamara died, the Catholic Church wouldn’t even let her be buried in the church because she had had a lesbian relationship at one point. But yet my father, who murdered her, will be able to be buried in a Catholic church, which I don’t understand. This is, I guess, another issue. But Tamara did not care for men. She had a very she looked. She just thought that she had her own issues with that. And she actually had turned to drinking and has lost her business. She struggled. She struggled a lot. Um, I myself, I moved to New Mexico. I always had my addiction to anorexia, but I focused also on raising a family. I started a martial arts business. I was very successful in that area. But I was not ever able to attach. Tamara and I both talked about we were not able to really attach to anyone. There’s just this constant feeling of numbness. This feeling of numbness.
Did you find that you were overprotective with your kids?
Tracy: I was very overprotective with my kids. I was the type of mom that would put them on the school bus and then follow them to make sure they got where they were supposed to go. Because I was, I didn’t know what was going to happen to them. I doted on them. I was very I guess I was very controlling. I also was very controlling. I wanted to but I also had a very volatile temper myself. I’m very short fused. I yell a lot. I scream a lot. I’ve had to get into the martial arts so that I could not, I could punch the punching bag, I could get in the ring and fight with other people and take out that aggression. And it mellowed me at home.
So, your mom and dad. Then once all you were gone, all of your kids were gone. How. How did it work out with your parents?
Tracy: With my parents. It turns out, was their relationship. It was bad. They were always yelling at each other, always telling each other. I don’t know if my father was physically hurting my mother again at that point. But I do know when I went home to see my mother, when she was dying of cancer, my mom was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in October of 2014. She went to the doctors. 2014. You’ve got stage four lung cancer. There was never a stage one, stage two, stage three. It was just stage four within a year. I went home. To be with my mom. And my dad had kicked my mom out of the bedroom years ago. So my mom was sleeping on the pullout couch in the living room. And my father would not help my mother in any way, shape or form. So my mom had stage four lung cancer. She was pulling out that bed every night. My dad wouldn’t help her because he was too busy praying. My mom always had protected my dad, so she would never call him out on his behaviors. She would never call him out. She would never ask for help. She would make excuses for him even while my mom was watching us kids get hit, punched, kick. She would never stand up to my dad. She would let it happen. Like I said, she threw me, took me down in the basement, knowing what was waiting for me down there. And she ran upstairs to safety. I think my mom used her kids as a shield to keep herself protected.
Tracy: She always said, I’m living up to my faith. I’m living up to what God wants of us. But I think that was her excuse. It was an easy way out. My mom allowed my dad to mistreat us kids. She never stood up for us. She never defended us. When my mom was dying of cancer and my dad wasn’t taking her to doctor appointments, she made excuses. She would call neighbors, she would call friends, and she’d say, well, my friends want to take me because that let my dad off the hook for not taking her. When Tamara found out my mom had cancer, Tamara came home to take care of my mom. And that was the first time she’d been home since 1984 was in 2015. And Tamara was not welcome in the home. She was only there to take care of my mom. She wasn’t even given a bedroom to sleep in. My dad needed all the rooms for a prayer time for his shrines, for his rituals. So, Tamara would sleep on the sofa couch, and she had her clothes in a garbage bag downstairs where the cats lived. She wasn’t allowed to still take showers, to eat. She had to take care of my mom. That’s what her purpose was. And my mom expected her to. My mom didn’t, like, make sure that Tamara had a comfortable place to stay. My dad still put himself first.
Tracy: He would know my mom would have to get to a doctor’s appointment. So, he would run in the bathroom and he would use the bathroom and tell her, well, you can’t get ready because I have to go to a doctor’s appointment myself in a couple of hours. Tamara says that my mom would have to go to the bathroom. My dad would hear my mom getting up, her and Tamara going, and my dad would run in there. So, my mom would stand outside the door defecating in, urinating on herself. And she would forbid Tammy to say anything to my dad. She said, shut up, don’t say nothing. So even up to her deathbed, she was still protecting my dad. The night my mom died Tamara went out, she got drunk, she came home, she put on the Inkspots on the record player and she climbed in the bed and she held my mom and she cried. My dad called the police and wanted the cops to come and take my mom and my sister out. My mom died that night. He wanted to take my mom out of the house. He wanted her to die somewhere else because he found her disgusting. He wouldn’t hold her. He wouldn’t touch her. My mom lay there dying. He wouldn’t have anything to do with her because he found her disgusting. And this woman supported him his whole life. She protected him. She never held him accountable. In fact, she put him in front of all of her kids.
Tracy: And she died still protecting him. She did not want us to say anything to my dad about his behavior. At my mom’s funeral, he told us to get her shit out of the house because he didn’t want it in there no more. So instead of being allowed to grieve for my mother. I’m packing up her stuff. Because my dad’s going to throw it out. That’s the type of person my dad was. He’s a narcissistic. Psychopath. He cares for nobody but himself. And my mom allowed that. My mom allowed him to abuse us. My mom protected him. There was physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse going on in that home. And my mom refused to let us talk about it. When one of my brothers wanted to come home, well, my brother wanted to come home and stay at the house with his daughter. I told my mom, don’t let him because of the grandkids. My mom said, shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about. If she wanted my brother to bring his innocent daughter into that house where he would, she would be preyed upon by the sex offenders in that home.
Did you did you ever feel that your mother really worshipped your father?
Tracy: Yes. He held tremendous credibility for her. And then she really put him before herself.
Yeah, to say the least.
Tracy: Absolutely. My mom thought the sun set on him. She thought the sun rose and all and.
Right, right. Yeah. And that’s one thing those kids never, ever, ever could understand. Why? Why was he put in front of her kids? Because she was as crazy as he was.
And you didn’t know it. It’s the truth. It’s the truth. You didn’t know what it is. Right?
Tracy: I didn’t. I didn’t know it. And in fact, she made Tamara promise to stay and take care of my dad, knowing that abuse had started again when I went home to bury my mom. I heard chatter amongst the siblings. And it was just chatter and I couldn’t hear exactly what was going on. So, I called them all out. I stood in the living room of my mom’s home and I said, What the hell is going on? I said. It sounds from the chatter behind the doors that there’s abuse going on between Tamara and Dad. I said, Is there? And all my siblings and nieces and nephews. That? No, no. And I called one out. I actually called two out and I said, you have a mandatory reporting law. If you do not say that there’s abuse going on and there is, you could lose your license. No Tracy, there’s nothing going on. But something didn’t sit right. But again, the secrets were being kept. No.
How do you want to say a word? How do you think you became the strongest person?
How do you think you know this person? How did, how did you become the strongest person? You certainly appear to be the person who is the voice of sanity in this very, very crazy family.
Tracy: In my house of origin, there was a hierarchical system. You were valued based on your gender and your ability. The men, the boys were placed at a higher value than the girls. So, the boys got to eat first. They didn’t have to do chores. They didn’t have they weren’t held accountable as much as the girls were. The boys in the family hierarchy, they were at the top of the pier. Then the girls came into play. If you were athletic, then you were moved up. Tamara was extremely athletic. She was a fabulous, phenomenal athlete. So, she was placed, the hierarchy, at the top end. The other siblings, tina was my mom and dad’s favorite because of the way she looked, or so she was placed up higher. I was at the bottom of the hierarchy. So, I learned my first time running away. I was five years old. I said, I’m out of here. I packed a brown paper bag with my two stuffed animals and I took off. I spent my whole life running away. I got lost four times as a child, and my family didn’t even realize I was gone. I depended on myself. So that’s how I got to be the strongest, because I never had anybody but myself. And I knew early on that these people were nuts, and I didn’t want any part of it.
Mm hmm. Well, that’s why you’re going to come out of this as well. You can have a long life.
Tracy: And so that’s how I’m different. That’s why I’m the only one who’s speaking up. I mean, all seven of us went through this. I’m the only one who’s speaking up. I’ve always been the only one speaking up. But to be truthful, my dad hated me from the get go. So did my mom. And Tamara once told me that. She says, Tracey, I feel sorry for you because at least Mom and Dad liked me. They didn’t like you. And it was the honest truth. My parents hated me.
That’s what saved you also.
Tracy: Yeah. Yeah.
And you’ve good sense in terms of keeping yourself alive. Tracey We are starting to come down to the wire here time wise, and I really wanted people to have an understanding because the media, I mean, I looked at the media reports and what happened to your sister and there was a lot of things that were said that were completely unjustified and unqualified because people did not understand the back story. Things like, oh, maybe it was elder abuse, your sister attacked him, things like that. So, I want you to lead us into that night and what happened and very importantly, so people understand. I know not everybody has forensic training, but in the end, the wound placement and the lack of injuries on your father told a very different story than the one he created, the typical narcissist on the victim and the hero of every story. So, I want to lead you into that so people fully understand, but so everybody understands. Now, this murder did not happen in a vacuum. This wasn’t an altercation that got out of hand. This was a culmination of 50 years of abuse and control. And literally, it was probably inevitable at some point, right?
Tracy: The night my sister died, my information comes from talking to my siblings. I have gotten every police report. I’ve gotten the medical report and I’ve talked to police. I’ve investigated fully. And what I am going to tell you is how, 98.99%, how this murder happened. My sister was drinking. My dad went to church. He came home. She went outside to smoke a cigarette. He locked her out. He left again. She went across the street to where my brother was living with his girlfriend. And she was upset. She was ranting and raving. When my dad came home, she went back across the street. She went into the house. She was dead 12 minutes later from the injuries on the medical report. My sister had her throat slit.
Tracy: She had three stab wounds to the back. All of my sister’s wounds, all 17 wounds are defensive wounds. My father had no injuries. My father was saturated in my sister’s blood while my sister lay dying on the kitchen floor and the home we grew up in. My father washed his hands.
And for those who forgot what you spoke about earlier, Tracy, is that after he beat you with the bat as a young child for breaking this pencil and blames you for getting down.
Tracy: After my father stabbed or after my father beat me with that, he said, you fucking bitch, you got blood on me. He went and he washed his hands after he butchered my sister. Stabbed her 17 times, slit her throat, let her bleed out on her floor. He washed his hands. And then he went across the street to get help. Poor old man that he was. He had no wounds on him. My father had no cuts, no bruises, nothing. My sister had three stab wounds in her back. All of her wounds were defensive. She died with her arms up. My father was 81 years old. And to see him in court walking around with his walker. That was that was not who he was. That was that was just all show. My father was a violent man. He was violent from the minute I was born. He was violent before then, and he had no other ending to his story. But through violence, he preyed on violence. He was violent. He reacted violently. And when anybody did not do as he said or did not act as he wanted them to. He was violent.
Tracy: You know what he told me when I told his lawyer, I will go see my father one time and I will see him once and only one time. And if he has anything he wants to say, he can say it then. Otherwise, he’ll never get another chance. And I went before I flew back out after my sister’s funeral. And he said, you know why? She said mean things to me. My father said nothing but mean things to me. My father did nothing but abuse me. Beat me. Call me horrible names. I never once picked up a knife and stabbed him. And while he’s in prison, he’s got himself a little religious cult. They call him father. He’s got little followers that hang on every word. And as my father’s victim at my father’s trial, I am the only person that stood up and spoke out and the only person that stood up and finally held my father accountable for his actions. 81 years. My father’s gotten away, and he’s been allowed to act any way he’s wanted to. I was the only person that ever stood up and told him and told our story. And tonight is the first time I’ve told exactly everything that I have gone through tonight. All the abuse, all the trauma. And.
Yeah, you’ve been very honest. And we. Yeah. Go ahead. Give us your thoughts.
Tracy: And for people and for people to think they have an opinion of what went on in that house, I lived through it. And I’m standing today to say what happened. And there is not one person that can come forward and tell me any different. No one is going to rewrite the reality of what happened in that house. And my siblings, I no longer talk to my family because they still side with my dad. They still think he should have gotten off. They don’t think he should have gone to prison. They think because of his age, he should be allowed to go home. Tamara was the victim. Tamara paid the ultimate price for our silence. She paid the price for our secrecy. My sister’s dead and she’s dead because of what happened and what was allowed to happen 40, 50 years ago. And it all came to a tragic end. December 31st, 2015. And you know how I found out my sister was dead? I got a voice message from a sibling. A voice message that dad had killed down. And you know what I received? Two months later, a text message picture of the murder scene. One of my nephews had the gall to climb in the window and take pictures. So.
Oh, my goodness.
We want you to know we consider we consider what you’re giving us tonight, a gift and a treasure for us and for the listener, because people need to understand these are the these are the things that child that child abuse can culminate in and ultimately it can culminate in death. It certainly doesn’t always, of course, but that’s where it can lead. And your bravery tonight and courage in walking through whatever fears you’ve had about going public for the first time are incredible. All of us are very impressed and we believe in support. And we understand that you’re not going to get support from that family, that group of friends that cousin who you wish would be the most supportive? They’re not going to be. And you’re right, you need to set those boundaries and stay and stay true to them. But. We have hundreds of people who can , you know, who can be your family now. And we want to be your family now. And we want you to never feel alone again a day at a time or be believed again or have to keep the secret again. And that’s what we want for you here. Ladies, could you help me wrap up the show, if you would? We’re at 7 minutes left.
I was just thinking what a brave, strong woman you are and how much we admire the courage that you’ve shown here to come forth and share your story. It’s been so touching. I hope that you will stay connected. And because you have so much to offer. Being going through what you’ve gone through is a terrible situation. But at the same time, there’s always that other side of what you’re already doing for others. I cannot thank you enough for coming on the show tonight. Tracy, you are a real amazing woman.
Tracy: Thank you.
I do like you, think that your father did receive extremely lenient sentencing because people should be outraged about this. They should be outraged because he was 81. He only got eight years for murdering your sister. And yes, that outrages me because for 81 years he got away with rampant abuse and he should literally have died in prison. So, yes, I do want to point out that we can’t look at people and say they’re elderly and they’re frail, treat them different. And this is where all the problems came from. Nobody understood the back story and your incredible bravery. I want people to hear clearly there were seven siblings and all kinds of extended family. Cps came in, the community was aware, teachers knew, and the only person who had the courage to stand up and speak out was you, Tracy. And I cannot commend you enough because that must have been the scariest thing you’ve ever had to do in your life.
Tracy: Yeah, it is. And it’s it is. It’s been a tough road and one I didn’t want to embark on, but I have to. My sister is so much more than just a statistic. She deserves so much more than to die on the kitchen floor of our childhood home. And I do everything for her in her memory. I wish I would have known. I wish I could have gone go back. But I can’t. So, all I can do is keep telling her story from here on out and I owe it to her.
I want you to tell people what you’re doing today, because there is a beautiful, beautiful, empowering message, because who did you become and what are you doing today because of your experiences.
Tracy: Well, after my sister’s murder, I started an advocacy program, advocacy group. I fight for kids. I’m in school, I’m working on my degree. I’m going to do therapy and work with kids and women from severely traumatic households. I’m going to work with them, be their voice. I’ve been there and my life is dedicated to bring in awareness through therapy, through advocacy, being involved, being the voice, being the presence. Maybe work on writing a story about Tamara’s life. And it needs to be told that silence and secrecy and self-preservation serve only the perpetrators. And my life is dedicated to being loud and vocal and giving them hell because it’s time we make changes.
Thank you so much. I would like to also ask Jill and possibly Jim if you would both like to give a wrap up comment. We’re just about finished, and I’d really like to hear from both of you as well. So please feel free. We’ll start with Jill first.
Jill: I just want you to know that your story is going to be told loud and far and wide. And we, you know, I know that you’re going to do wonderfully and that you’re going to make a tremendous difference, because there are many other people with your story as well. And they don’t have a family member who’s speaking out and strong and maybe will encourage them to do so. But you’re doing marvelously and you’re such a credit to your sister she’s so proud of you.
Thank you, Jill, for that. And Jim, please, if you have a comment, that would be great.
Jim: Yes. I’m very sorry for what happened to you, Tracy. And it looks like all of your family, particularly perhaps your mother, was enabling your father and your whole family was kind of reversed that your father, everybody took care of your father, who was the big baby in the family and that everyone had to suffer in order to, I guess, praise him no matter how evil he was. But now you have a choice, just like you have a remote control on your TV, you can choose your friends. And I think Bill started to talk to you about that as part of NAASCA, that you don’t have to go through this alone. And I appreciate you and respect you for your fight. But you also need to have a place where you can feel safe and cherished.
Tracy: Yeah. Thank you.