A Family Falls Apart
Leaving the hospital on Friday, the day after the confrontation, Holly looked up at the sky and said something Stephanie would never forget: "Mom, the sky doesn't look so blue, and the trees don't look so green anymore." Stephanie looked. They didn't. Nothing looked the same. She had no words to comfort her child. What can you tell your kid after she's been raped repeatedly by her father "Yeah, you're right, everything's dirty"? Stephanie felt useless. She put her arm around her daughter, and they walked to the car.
Maybe it had been a smoggy day. But even Napa's spring green looked gray now. Suddenly, Stephanie was seeing abuse in the faces and eyes of children she encountered in town, in church, at school. No one was safe or immune. No one could be trusted. Her memories had turned dark and dirty. Her own innocence was gone. It was crazy; how could she still have been an innocent at her age? But here she was, still true to her nickname -- "Nye-eve."
Shopping for groceries in downtown St. Helena, she thought, "I can't, I can't push the cart down the aisle," feeling panic as she kept running into people she knew. When they stopped and talked to her, she'd think, "They know. They know. Everybody can tell what I've just found out. Everybody knows." She felt ashamed. How could this have happened? "How can I face them?"
She asked Barry Grundland. He told her, "Stevie, you continue to push that cart down that aisle."
One thing still threw her about Gary's guilt. "It's weird, but at the same time that Holly remembers the abuse, sex with Gary was okay -- it was very good. I enjoyed myself," she told Grundland. How