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I saw a post on Facebook from a woman I had once known. She wasn't a friend or even an acquaintance, she was more like the friend of an acquaintance. This woman is traveling this summer. She has been to St. Croix and from St. Croix she went to Paris, London and Greece. I think she is in Italy or Spain right now. I am happy that she is enjoying her trip and her photos are lovely but I have to wonder at the price she paid to be able to make this trip and others like it. I will call her Cecilia.

Cecilia had been the quintessential blonde haired, blue eyed cheerleader in high school. She was a few grades ahead of me at the Mount so our paths never did cross. After high school she went to the University of Arkansas, was in a sorority, was a Razorback cheerleader and made her debut at the Little Rock Country Club. Cecilia came from a family with old money. While at the University she met a law student who she started dating, fell in love with and married after they had both graduated. I will call him Trip. Cecilia and Trip moved to Little Rock, where he got a job in one of the top law firms, they lived in the right neighborhood and she, of course, drove the right kind of car. After a few years she had a baby girl, named CiCi. She was the quintessential WASP like her parents with blonde hair, blue eyes and skin that tanned perfectly so that in the summertime she practically glowed from being such a toasty golden brown color. CiCi was beautiful and promised to follow in her mother's foot steps as a cheerleader, homecoming queen and debutante.

Of course, most fairy tales are a facade. Trip did not handle stress well at all. When CiCi came his perfect life with Cecilia was altered to a point that he just could not stand it. He was often angry with CiCi for crying or laughing or making any noise. It seemed that he only wanted to see or hear her when if was convenient for him. From the time CiCi was very young Trip often spanked her for doing things that any toddler would do including talking to him too soon when he came home from work. He often left marks on her but no one who saw these marks would do anything about it. After all, Trip provided well for his family, worked hard and needed peace and quiet when he came home from work. From the time CiCi was three or four she was to be in bed by the time that her father got home from work. She was not to get out of bed for anything. It did not matter if she needed to go to the bathroom or if she was ill, of course if she wet the bed or threw up on herself she was harshly punished. Still no one stood up for CiCi because it was more important to keep Trip happy than to meet CiCi's needs.

Once CiCi started school one would have hoped that CiCi would have been lucky enough to have some adult intervene on her behalf. She often had bruises from being punished by her father. Teachers did talk to Cecilia but no one reported CiCi's injuries to Child Protective Services. It seems that everyone was afraid of Trip because he was a powerful attorney with serious political clout. If anyone had tried to intervene on CiCi's behalf they would have lost their jobs and CiCi would have been punished further. If CiCi did not have perfect grades from kindergarten on she was severely punished by her father. When it came time to be involved in sports, dance and scouts CiCi was expected to participate in all of these activities. If she did not excel again she was ruthlessly punished by him. As a result of the physical, verbal and emotional abuse CiCi became quite the bully at school. No one reprimanded her because they knew how dreadfully she was put down at home so she was allowed to get away with very physically aggressive behavior with other children. One parent made the mistake of confronting Trip directly at one of the girls' basketball games where he had come to watch CiCi play. Trip was caustic and rude to the parent in question and the following Monday CiCi had a black eye. No one at the school did a thing except to advise the parent who had complained to Trip about CiCi's behavior to not do so again because of the consequences. Also, CiCi punched the child of the parent involved in the face and blacked that child's eye. There was no consequence for CiCi's behavior.

The parent of the child in question reported the situation to Child Protective Services. The report was quickly quashed and nothing was done to protect CiCi because of fear of repercussions by CiCi's father. I worked at CPS and knew about the lack of an investigation because of talk in the office about how this man was getting away with abusing his child.

It seems that Cecilia did not intervene on CiCi's behalf. She too would chastise CiCi for upsetting her father and advised her that she brought this punishment on herself. You see, as Cecilia told her friends, as long as Trip wasn't hitting her and he was giving them everything they wanted and needed it did not seem to her that she should interfere in his "relationship" with CiCi because that was between them and not really her business.

In the end, CiCi was an honor student, she was a cheerleader, she was the homecoming queen and the class valedictorian. She went to the University of Arkansas also where she too was in the right sorority, was a cheerleader and excelled in her business classes. CiCi received an MBA and her learned ruthless behavior serves her well as a hedge fund manager. She lives in another state and has nothing to do with her parents, except for the fact that she sends them a Christmas card and such but beyond that as far as she is concerned they do not exist.

Cecilia complains to her friends over brunch about how ungrateful CiCi is and they all agree with her even though they know that her father beat her and that her mother did nothing to protect CiCi. To Cecilia and her friends that was Trip's right after all he was the head of the family and as long as he was paying the bills he could do as he pleased. He and Cecilia had given that girl everything and now she couldn't even be bothered to call them on holidays much less come to visit.

Cecilia's life is relatively empty, Trip still pays the bills and buys her whatever she wants. He spends most of his free time playing golf or with his girlfriend. Cecilia shops, lunches, plays some golf and takes trips all over the world. She has considered volunteering according to what she has posted on Facebook but really doesn't know how she would fit it in between hair appointments and other obligations. Cecilia did spend some time volunteering with the Junior League in years past but it just wasn't a satisfying experience for her so now she is a lady who lunches and enjoys day spas.

I mostly feel pity for Cecilia when I see her Facebook updates because it seems that she is trying to fill an empty space. I really hope that CiCi has found some peace in her life because she certainly deserves it as her childhood was a nightmare.

Ciao!

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