Daughter gradually began to talk, and as she began to talk, I began to realize what all she'd lived through. I remember one evening she was just in a bad mood. I finally asked her what was wrong. She said, "[teen brother] snake mouth." I repeated it, and pondered. Suddenly it hit me. "Are you telling me that [teen brother] put his snake in your mouth?" She was adamant, "Yes." Then she waved her hand in front of her mouth. "Yucky."
Once she'd told me and I'd understood, her mood improved. I just felt sick. She talked about it several more times, once telling me that soap came out of it. I didn't want to believe it, but it certainly did explain so much.
She continued to have court-ordered visits with dad. I didn't tell her in advance that I was taking her for a visit, because I didn't want to distress her. I'd tell her when we were on our way. One day as we headed to the visit she said to me, "Mommy, you killed my daddy." As you can see, she had begun speaking in sentences, though it could still be challenging to figure out what she was talking about. I was horrified by her accusation, and assured her I hadn't killed her daddy. She repeated this several times, and then she said, "Mommy, I want you to kill my daddy." She was sitting in the front seat, and having said that, she reached across and grabbed my arm, wrapping herself around it. It took a very long time to get the visits stopped, and I'll talk more about the court battles later.