Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Living In Piketon Ohio: Baby Jane

"Tammy" was a little reluctant at first to tell her story. She needed some convincing that she would remain anonymous. Our interactions all took place on video chat. Three different times. Each one lasted about fifteen to twenty minute or so. I recorded each session and dictated the most important stuff from our conversations to put together this post. What you are about to read is her story.


My parents moved me to Piketon, Ohio when I was six years old. We came from another state. So basically, I grew up here. 

After graduation, I quickly moved in with a guy a few years older than me, against my parents wishes. They didn't like "Paul". He and I had been messing around the previous two years behind their backs. Only during my senior year did they figure it out. 

Paul and I had our only child together about a year after I moved in with him. During our being together, he had a few run-ins with the law. Mostly just fighting, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Minor things like that. 

I thought he would slow down after "Jane" was born, but I was wishful thinking. 

For the next three years, he continued to get into trouble off and on. When I finally got the nerve up to confront him about his behavior problems, something inside of him snapped and he did something he never had ever done before, and he hit me. More like, he punched me, then slapped me around a few times. 

There was no way in hell I was going to tolerate that. I called the police. 

I look back now and figure that the reason why he struck me was probably because my parents had moved back home, from where they took me away from when I was a child. They had only been gone for about six months before that night he hit me. 

When the Pike county sheriff's deputies arrived, there were three on the scene, one of them took Paul aside and they talked privately for several minutes. Maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. Then Paul was placed in handcuffs and taken away to be charged with domestic violence.

Or so I thought.

The same deputy that took him aside was the one who brought him back the next morning. He dropped him off and then drove away. I was completely beside myself. How did he get out so fast?

He said nothing when he walked in the door. Not even an apology. It turned out that the domestic violence charge was never filed. Instead, just another disorderly conduct charge. I couldn't believe it. He said that he was going to take some kind of class for his drinking and his anger. At the same time, he told me that he enlisted me in a class for anger management too. I had no reason why he did that. I didn't even know that he could do that. But he said that if we were to get through this situation then we both needed to do our part. Again, I had no fucking clue as to what he was talking about. I did nothing to provoke him.

I tried to contact the deputy that brought him to the house but that conversation went absolutely nowhere. My attempts to talk to any other deputy went nowhere fast as well. I could get no answers to any of my questions. Something just didn't feel right.

But I decided to go to this so-called anger management class in Chillicothe one afternoon, by myself, I left Jane with Paul. Upon my return, I pulled up in the driveway and saw the sheriff's car parked out front. By the time I got out and was halfway to the door, the same deputy that brought him back that morning was walking out and adjusting his belt. Paul saw him off from the door.  They both gave me a glance before turning away.

As I entered my home, I asked Paul what the deputy wanted. He walked down the hallway towards the bathroom and shrugged it off. Told me to mind my own business. I stood in the living room for a few moments with my hands on my hips and trying to figure out his response when I turned my eyes towards the kitchen counter and saw my camera sitting there next to the cough syrup.

I walked over to it to give a closer inspection. When Paul came out and walked into the living room, I asked him why my camera and cough syrup was on the counter. He simply replied, "I don't know." And left it at that. When I asked where Jane was, he said he put her to bed. I got a little upset because it was too early to put her to bed. I told him, "Great, now she's gonna be up all night."

He snapped at me and told me to shut the fuck up.

He plopped down on the couch and began to watch TV when I decided to check in on Jane. Standing next to her bed and watching her sleep. I couldn't get my mind off the camera or the cough syrup. When I went back out to the kitchen, I inspected my camera, looking for the chip. It was missing. "What did you do with the chip inside the camera?" I asked him. All he said was, "It's around here somewhere."

Suddenly, I got this really bad feeling in my gut, and crazy thoughts running through my mind. I felt like I wanted to vomit. I didn't want to think what I was thinking, but I couldn't help it. At that moment, all I wanted to do was leave that place. And leave Paul.

I had to buy my time. A week later, when he went to one of his meetings, I quickly packed mine and Jane's things and was gone out of there quicker than shit. I came back home to parts unknown, as far as you and the world is concerned. I'm surrounded by people who protect me from Paul. He won't come here because he knows he will come up missing if he does.

I still get sick to my stomach thinking about the possibility of anything happening to Jane. I tell myself that it didn't happen, but know it might have or, if it didn't, it could have because I think Paul would have "went there" as it were. I'm just trying to move on with my life and put everything behind me.

I wouldn't go back to Piketon, Ohio for all the money in the world.


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