I was about five years old when they adopted her. They didn’t even tell me that they were going to do that. They went to the adoption agency in Seattle and picked her up. They told me to give a toy rubber horse to her, but she was too young to know what was happening. At first I thought the toy horse was for me, and I was annoyed that it was not and they didn’t give me anything.
Mom was extremely happy to have a girl baby to play with. She spent most of her time with her. I was annoyed and offended by how many smiles and nice treatments she gave to Marie. It contrasted her treatment to me.
Yes, mom was quiet and didn’t talk much, except to her sister Marion when they visited each other.
I don’t remember any affection from mom. Dad was a “semi-sadistic school master” as a psychologist identified his major personality. He, also, ignored me. He often would tell me that I was stupid and hit me on the top of my head without warning or explanation. When we were in public or with family he didn’t do these things.
I was instructed not to tell Marie that she was adopted. I don’t know why. I kept up that silence until I was in high school, when in an argument with Marie she asserted that she was a “Roloff”, I said she was adopted. She didn’t believe me and ran downstairs (in The Willows house) and asked my mom and dad if it was true. I followed her down and feared that I would get a beating from dad.
They ashamedly told her that it was true. She was adopted and they lied to her all those years.
Dad didn’t like Marie, but he had to pretend to please mom. This was his punishment for sterilizing himself after Neil was born, while mom was in the hospital. He didn’t discuss it with her. After Neil died he couldn’t produce another child. Mom tortured him with her misery.
Mom and dad removed everything from the house that would remind us of Neil. Discussion was forbidden. There were no memorial visits to his grave. I accidentally found out about Neil when I was in high school after opening a kitchen cupboard and noticing a tarnished silver cup with “Neil” engraved on it. Mom was sitting at the kitchen table and I asked “Who is Neil?”
“He was your brother who died when he was nine months old” she said. Pain swept down my body.
Dad forbade us to talk about Neil. I believe that he isolated Neil and me in the room off of the living room at night, closing the door and the door to the sunken add-on room, so he couldn’t hear us. He didn’t want his sleep to be disturbed and he insisted that mom ignore us, also. They changed their policy after they put Marie in the bedroom next to theirs and agreed to leave the doors open.
Dad very much didn’t like Marie when she was in high school. They were living at the North Head lighthouse. I was attending Judson Baptist College in Portland. On the weekend I came to visit them and Marie was not at home. Mom and dad didn’t explain why. Dad invited me to go with him in his patrol car to pick up Marie. Apparently the resident/owner of the house where she was staying notified him. He stopped the patrol car in front of the house and turned on the flashing lights on the top of the car. I said “what if she doesn’t come out?” Dad said “she will come out.” In a few minutes she came out the front door and got into the locked back of the car. Nobody explained anything to me.
In later conversation I concluded that Marie was intimate with many boys there, and Dad asked for a job transfer to get away from the embarrassment and shame of the story in the villages. He was a Washington State Policeman and had to face people after he stopped them. They were transferred to Yakima.
While mom and dad went on a vacation they allowed Marie to stay alone in their house in Yakima. When they returned the house was a mess. Garbage was everywhere. Dad wanted to kick her out, but she was not emancipated, so he couldn’t do that.
Later dad quit the State Patrol and bought an orchard in Milton-Freewater, OR. Marie followed them shacking up with a couple of guys in the town. He did did not allow her to move in with them at that house. She persisted in communicating/visiting them. Because of mom dad couldn’t refuse her this.
Marie got pregnant. The man disappeared. Dad refused to allow Marie and her baby to move in. He would not support her financially. She gave the baby up for adoption. Mom tried to change dad’s mind, but he refused. Dad suffered for his ‘sin’ of sterilizing himself.
Marie got pregnant again, Johanna. The man disappeared. Dad refused to allow Marie and Johanna to move in to his house.
Soon Marie moved to Vancouver, WA and claimed benefits from Social Services.
Mom and dad loved living at The North Head Light house and loved the area. Most people respected him. Marie changed that, so they had to move.
Those are some of the reasons that I cannot pretend as if Marie is my biological sister.
There are other problems that Marie caused mom and dad, but not as significant, so I won’t document them here.