After the pink dress and the fiasco with the curfew, there would be one more monumental incident which occurred within a span of three months. This too would remain with Jalene for the remainder of her life. Additionally this was one which she addressed with Jayne and Glenn multiple times during her life and theirs, only to have them blatantly ignore her pleas for an understanding.
It was a lovely sunny day in early spring and Jalene had anticipated this day for weeks. Her opportunities for extracurricular activities and outings with fellow classmates were minimal. Glenn and Jayne had never allowed Jayne to be a part of any of the school organizations or clubs with the exception of the F.H.A., Future Homemakers of America.
Each year home economic students from across the state arrived in downtown Oklahoma City for what was for many of them, the highlight of their school year. The sessions included those on how to become the hostess supreme, the Julia Child of their city or fashion designer extraordinaire, but most of all, it was a time to share life with fellow Jr. and Sr. highschool students from across OK.
Jalene would be riding to the convention with her two neighbors, each seniors. To Jalene, the two older girls seemed to live in a world far different from hers. Their families lived in well maintained homes with manicured lawns. Their mothers were “full-time stay at home Moms” whom prepared the family meals, cleaned the house and did the laundry.
Jalene was still mandated to do all these chores and more when she was not working at her job. Sherry and Rema also had serious, steady boyfriends. Their lives appeared so idealistic to Jalene.
Because Jalene didn’t own a car, she realized she might not be able to attend the convention the following year, as she would not have available transportation. Therefore, it was paramount to her that she be given permission to attend this year.
As she was walked into the living room prepared to depart with Sherry and Rema, Jayne mandated that Jalene go into the kitchen and wash all the dishes left from the previous night’s dining. Jalene never argued with Jayne, as she realized the repercussions of doing so. However, on this day, she pleaded with Jayne, “Mom can I please do the dishes when I return home later today?” Sherry and Rema are getting ready to leave for the convention and that is my only transportation.
Jayne didn’t hesitate. As Jayne’s voice was raised to a scream, Jalene knew the outcome. “Glenn, come in here. Jalene is sassing me.” Jalene knew she was NOT talking back to Jayne. She was merely appealing to Jayne for a delay with the chore. Jalene had not voiced her thoughts, but she wondered silently why she had to clean the kitchen when she had been working the prior night and had not dined at home.
Jalene realized that anytime Jayne could postpone chores and thrust them onto her, Jayne would do so. Louise, age 12 had dined with the family that evening. Why wasn’t she required to assist with cleaning the kitchen and the dishes?
There was no time for Jalene to evaluate the situation. Before her thoughts were concluded, Glenn had pushed and shoved Jalene into the bedroom which she shared with Louise. Routinely when Glenn beat Jalene, the assault occurred at the sight of the encounter. Jalene’s heart rushed. What was Glenn going to do to her since he was pushing and shoving her away from the living room?
Suddenly, Glenn harshly pulled her dress up over her back and began beating her more severely than he had ever beaten her. The weapon was his entire belt, including the buckle.
Typically, he held the buckle in his hand while beating Jalene. Not today! His anger was unsurpassed. He beat and beat her, while she pleaded for Glenn to stop. Louise was sobbing uncontrollably noting he was going to kill Jalene. Jayne was yelling, “beat her more. Beat her more.”
Why? What could Jalene have done to receive such a merciless beating? She asked respectfully if she could, “please clean the kitchen when she returned home?” Jalene was shouting for Louise to telephone the police, as she believed Glenn would kill her. It seemed like hours before the beating was concluded.
For Jalene the physical pain from the severe beating seemed inconsequential, as she endured the emotional pain at the hands of Glenn. He would not allow Jalene to be a part of the high school pep club because he touted the uniforms were not modest. He would not allow Jalene to attend any school dances for they were too immoral. She could not attend movies because they were sinful.
However, Glenn had no qualms in pulling up Jalene’s dress and exposing her body. Jalene felt she could not endure one more day of life. Glenn had always been abusive toward her, but this beating was drastically abusive.
Jalene’s body was in shock as she sat on the edge of the bed. Jayne’s screams of “get on out of here and go to your stupid convention” were barely audible to Jalene. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the thrashes against her body while Jayne was imploring Glenn to beat her harder.
Jalene told Glenn and Jalene she was unable to go due to the condition of her body. Angrily Glenn screamed, “you get out of here or I will beat you some more.” As Jalene walked across the street and rang the doorbell on Sherry’s house, Mrs. Cosper opened the door in astonishment. “Jalene, what happened?” Jalene could barely speak, “my Dad whipped me.” Mrs. Cosper words were abrupt, “he did not whip you. He beat you.”
She took Jalene to the bathroom sink and carefully washed her face while trying to console Jalene from the brutal attack at the hands of a man whom should have loved her; her own father. Sherry and Rema’s kindness toward her made a great impact on Jalene. However, the emotional scars which Jalene carried would remain for the duration of her life.
The following Monday, Jalene was paged on the school intercom to go to the office. She was frozen with fear. She was a very obedient teen. She knew if she violated any of the school rules, she had not only the judgement of the teachers or school administration but the wrath of her father.
As she walked toward the office, her heart palpitations were more intense than the previous Saturday when her father was pushing and shoving her into the bedroom. He breathing was labored, as her mind was filled with what was awaiting her.
As she walked into the office, the school counselor was standing behind her desk and requested Jalene to come in and sit down. Mrs. Keys began, “Jalene, a neighbor telephoned the school today to inform us you were beaten on Saturday.”
However, while observing Jalene, the beating was apparent. Jalene had placed her hands atop her face for protection of the buckle across her face. However, the bloody marks on her arms and legs needed no explanation. Her body was tattered and bruised.
Mrs. Keys proceeded in asking Jalene if she had a home of a friend or family where she could stay. Jalene voice was trembling, “oh no, Mrs. Keys, I have no family, other than my parents and siblings. If Dad knew I were here, he would kill me. Please don’t let him know I talked to you.”
One of the tragedies of this beating, was it occurred pre-DHS. There was no help or intervention. There was the care and kindness of a neighbor whom made a telephone call and a counselor whom shared her concern. Jalene had no options. She remained at the hands of abusive parents until the day of her marriage, over four years later.
Please continue to follow Jalene’s journey.