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Sandi_T846 karma

Please tell us something fun you remember about working with Alan Rickman. :)

What was Emma like in person? Did it change over the years?


Sandi_T271 karma

It is indeed a huge question. Also one that I'm not 100% sure I could ever answer fully.

I can give a bit of a bullet list, though it's far from comprehensive, and a lot of it is tied up in the torture I exprienced while with the Rogerses, as well. I can only in a few instances separate out slightly what came from what I witnessed, versus what came from the entire paradigm of that house of horrors. For one example, not only was I tortured, but they had a butcher pit inside the house where they slaughtered animals. The things that happened there are literally unbelievable. It makes it that much harder to explain.

Anyway, on to the bullet list:

  • I wet the bed until I was 13. This was definitely linked to my mother's murder; I was afraid of what horrific thing I might see if I got out of bed at night.
  • I have had severe, chronic insomnia to the tune of 2-4 hours of sleep almost every single night for decades. The smallest sound, ones most other people wouldn't even notice, can wake me in fear for hours.
  • I have struggled socially, of course.
  • I am either autistic, or the abuse was so severe that my response to it was the same thing as an autistic person's. What I witnessed that night is linked only partly to this.
  • I had multiple birth defects, but I also have damage both visible and invisible from the abuse. I do believe that the shock of knowing my mother was dead set me back developmentally, also. I didn't really speak much or well until I was about 8, at which time my speech impediment made it nearly impossible still to understand me.
  • I have struggled to keep a job in some cases.
  • I rarely if ever trust people. Sadly, since the perpetrators were both sexes, I struggle with both sexes.
  • I have had a lifetime of "misfortune", probably brought about as much by horrible luck as by my inability to understand how to be in a society that considers me and "people like me" to be intrinsically broken and thus without value. As they did with my mother. There was no investigation when she vanished.
  • I have struggled with feelings of shame and guilt about it. I genuinely believed for much of my life that it was somehow my fault.
  • I used to constantly question my reality. SO many people called me a liar, how could everyone around me be wrong and only me be right?
  • I cannot remember a day in my life when i wasn't suicidal.

There's a lot more, really. It has been a very difficult row to hoe for a long time. I had to stop asking myself why I was even trying, because having no answer, it became a dangerous question for me.

Sandi_T145 karma

Thanks! She really does strike me as down to earth. I appreciate your time and letting us in the back stage vicariously!

Sandi_T128 karma

This is a layered question, and the answers are sort of hard to define clearly and succinctly.

At the time, because I am autistic and have a speech impediment, no one thought to ask me. In the vernacular of the time, I was "retarded" and nobody was going to ask "a retard" what happened. Equally unfortunate, I was a child. Children, of course, make things up and are utterly unreliable, don't'cha know (again, mindset of the late 70s).

After we were removed from the Rogers home, I was placed eventually with her parents, my grandparents. At that time, I did actually tell my grandmother. She blatantly called me a liar, told me that I had seen a movie where that happened and had made it all about me. She made it abundantly clear that I was NEVER to speak of it again.

However, I still continually told pretty much everyone I knew that my mother had been murdered and chopped up and fed to pigs.

For some odd reason, in spite of it being true, nobody believed me. I (for real) found this baffling. I mean, I WAS telling the truth, so why did not one believe me? I had a very narrow (and autistic) view of the world.

I did finally learn not to talk about it anymore, until in 1996 when the police showed up at my door, "Do you remember Raymond?" (That was Ramon's foster name--the Rogerses changed all of our names). "Well, he was just arrested with dismembered bodies in his storage area. We wanted to make sure one of them wasn't you."

I then said, "Want to know where he learned that?" and the 1996 investigation began. However, even the investigating officer got "allowance" to investigate... no one else was taking it seriously. Those things, they just don't happen, you know??

Sandi_T102 karma

When I was rescued, I was 8 when I ended up at my grandparent's farm. They had a dog, a black lab. She was my best and only friend until the magical moment when "my" filly was born. I was a horse girl, and I truly loved that horse.

Years later, we left the farm and they sold the horse. Bear with me on this one, it sounds bad, but takes a turn, I swear. They learned that she (my horse, 'Pachy) had been shot in the face. She would survive, but never be able to be ridden with a bridle, only a hackamore. I was devastated and tried to find a way to return to the farm and see her (I was 15 at the time and not the most logical of all thinkers).

To that end, I tried to take the family car, but the friend who was encouraging me to this venture couldn't drive it (it was diesel and she didn't understand the choke). Eventually through various mishaps, in our desperation... we stole a car.

Well... long story, short... we did not make it. We managed to get home with a bus ticket purchased by a local church (local to the place we ended up). When we got home, the long arm of the law came a'callin'.

He was an AWESOME cop. He finally got me to admit that I wasn't the one who wanted to steal the car. He sat me down alone and finally, all the hell my grandparents had put me through came tumbling out and I just couldn't stop it. I told him everything about living with them.

I got a joyriding charge. I had to apologize to the woman whose car we took. But I also was removed from their custody and even though I went through some really hard things during that time... it was nothing compared to the way I had been living (which was also a VAST upgrade from Mike and Dorothy, by the way, to give credit where it's due).


Another incident which really stuck with me for the many years to come was when I was pregnant the first time (I only have 1 child living with me, but have had 3 full term pregnancies and several miscarriages). I was in yet another bad situation (nobody really taught me how to make good choices; not that it's an excuse, but it is definitely a reason).

A family, last name Viter, was part of a program for unwed mothers who wanted to complete their pregnancies. They took me into their home, sight-unseen. They trusted me. They loved me. They didn't give up on me. I did leave their home and because of what happened with my child (which I don't wish to discuss), I couldn't keep bring myself to keep in touch with them. A fact which I regret to this day.

Suffice to say that they were the closest I had come to feeling loved and maybe even lovable, up to that point. I will remember them forever.


And, my current workplace is a 6 person shop. The family who owns it is half the workforce. They are now the closest, next to the Viters, I have ever come to feeling like family, to feeling loved and having a sense of being if not wanted, at least not unwanted.

Well, that made me cry. Thanks. I think. ;)