This is a testimony written by my good friend, Fancy Rhea Fontenot. Please be aware that Rhea endured physical and sexual abuse as a child that she recounts in her story. Please also be aware that there is some language documented in the case reports that have been added to this post.
You know me as Rhea Fontenot. But today, I want to introduce someone you don’t know. Fancy Morgan. Fancy Morgan is a six-year-old girl who has been through the hardest things a child could go through. She endured abuse in every aspect: mental, emotional, physical. Things a child should never see, let alone be put through. See, from three to six, Fancy was used as a trading pawn by her mother. She was a piece of trash discarded by the woman who gave birth to her, left at a shelter with a random woman because she wasn’t wanted. Then, the birth giver realized she could be an asset to her, so she got her back. Fancy became the payment to any man who would give her mother her drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. The youngest of these was just sixteen. At some point, he had been led to believe that this was okay to do. But it didn’t end with him. She was used by her uncle, her grandfather, her mom’s boyfriends, random guys that came and went. Her birth giver would be in another room and wait. These men could do whatever they wanted. They could beat her, they could rape her—
But they didn’t know Fancy had borderline personality disorder. This meant she would see things that weren’t real. Fancy created friends that would protect her. She would talk to these creatures, and as time passed, she would start to believe them and the things they said. There was no hope, there was no help, and the “Christian” parents she now had determined that she was playing with the devil and must have done something to deserve punishment. They were convinced that she was doing something she shouldn’t. She wasn’t. These creatures were her protectors. They were there when everyone else left. Let me explain why I say creatures. One was dark, black, and long-bodied with claws in place of hands. It would show up when Fancy felt alone and worthless and felt like she needed to be in pain to feel anything because she was numb. This was her own demon. Then there was a black wolf. He would come when she needed protection. He would come and warn her to brace herself and be ready for a fight, whether the fight was emotional or physical. He was there by her side and told her how to get through it. There were many others, but they would mostly yell obscenities and remind her regularly how worthless, useless, and just a waste of space she was. They told her nobody could love her, and she would be better off dead, and the people around her would be much happier and even grateful if she killed herself. Even now in her nightmares, they chain her down in a dark room, and they yell at her to end it. To relieve those around her of her miserable existence. This is her fight every day.
You know Fancy by a different name. You know her by Rhea. This destroyed, violated, little girl was me. I have grown into a woman I am proud of being. I broke that loop I was in. I became a mom that loves her kids more than anything in this universe, a wife who protects her husband and stands as a rock with him, and a loving friend who will not hesitate to defend and die for those around her. That little girl learned to fight at three years old and still fights to this day. Meet the woman that God created through trauma and absolute evil.
These are memories and reports that were made in Fancy’s case. As you read these, I want you to put yourself there. I want you to see what she saw. Feel how she felt. Then, at the end, ask yourself where you think you would be if this was you.
Worker feels parents do not want Fancy and has been told by mother that she does not care about Fancy after she has the new baby.
Mother puts down Fancy. Has been heard by worker calling her a “bitch.” Puts Fancy down by bragging that her new baby brother will be better than her and saying that she always wanted a little boy. You could tell Fancys feelings were hurt.
Fancy took worker to her room and showed her the barbies she had. Worker witnessed Fancy calling her barbies hateful and vulgar names such as “asshole” and “bitch.” Worker returned to the living room and saw mother holding the now one-month-old baby in front of her and telling him firmly to stop crying. Worker has explained that babies do not have the ability to understand orders this young.
Mother has informed that father threatened to burn Fancy alive to “get rid of the problem.” When asked if this had happened, father denied and stated that mother was lying because she was angry he had known she left Fancy with a stranger to meet with a guy in a hotel. Mother left angry and has not returned to the house.
Mother has still not returned to the home.
Reporter states, “Mother leaves her children all the time with random people and runs off. Does not care where they are or who they are with. Recently asked friend to take her children.” Reporter also states that mother blames Fancy for almost costing her job as a paper delivery driver. States Fancy was molested just two and a half weeks previously. Mother says she would have reported it but did not want to lose kids. Mother also leaves Fancy alone, locked in trailer to care for baby brother. Mother gives the kids’ grandmother all dairy from WIC and does not keep food in the house for kids.”
Worker has asked to interview Fancy alone and was told by mother that it was not necessary. During interview mother was observed making gestures and interrupting Fancy on everything she stated. Fancy told worker that she was often left alone with her baby brother and that she would wake up and be home alone. Mother stated that this was not true. (Even though it has been substantiated that this did in fact happen on a regular basis.) Fancy continued and told worker how her mother’s friend had touched her thigh, her private area, and legs. Even gesturing to show the way it happened. Fancy also states that he held her throat and pushed her back to laying down. Mother says this never happened and that her roommate had coached her to lie so that she would be taken away. Fancy states that another man “wiggles his tongue” at her. At this point she demonstrated. Step-father intervened at this point and stated that he had asked their friend if he had done this to Fancy, and he had denied it so it was obvious Fancy was lying. Mother admits her brother-in-law had molested Fancy before, but he got away with it. Has requested to be notified when case is closed.
Worker Notes: Due to past years of molestation and sexual abuse of Fancy, I believe it is important to believe her and protect her. Mother would not allow me to check for food as she stated they were packing to move again.
Detective reported mother cancelled appointment that was to video record Fancy’s interview. Detective believes mother is purposely not allowing this and that there is more abuse going on.
Mother is reportedly with a new guy and moving again. Has not responded to any calls.
In an interview with Fancy today, she relayed that a man had taken her throat with two hands, pulled her hair, hit her and pinched her breasts. The man spanked her on her private areas and rubbed between the crack. She also demonstrated that he had stuck his finger in her butt. He then threw her to the couch and then threw her into the door. He told her that if she screamed he would kill her. Fancy states she was bleeding but did not scream. Her mother was in the other room while this happened. Mother states that she asked if her friend did this, and he denied it and said he didn’t remember doing that and Fancy is lying again.
Ex-boyfriend came to the house and asked to talk to Fancy to see “what she had told the worker.”
Worker is concerned for Fancy’s safety. Teacher reports that Mother has told her that Fancy has told her everything she said was a lie and to not believe anything she tells them. Mother stated that although Fancy has lice, she does not have the funds to get products to help get rid of lice, and she will just shave her head. Teacher and worker have begged her not to do this as Fancy is already being bullied at school and ostracized by the other children.
Fancy’s father has stated he is worried about Fancy and that the mother will mess her and brother up just like she is messed up. Worries that mother is selling sex. Mother has been told to keep Fancy from the guys she is bringing over and has outright refused.
Fancy has been diagnosed with PTSD with depressive disorder problems. Her behaviors are anxiety related and shows many adulting and caretaking behaviors.
Mother has advised Fancy has an ear infection. Does not plan to see doctor, states ear infections are hereditary, and she will just let it run its course. Have substantiated emotional abuse, chronic emotional, educational and medical neglect and exposure to unreasonable risk. Recommends removal of both children.
Mother and father were both home with children when police escorted workers to remove children from home. Mother was yelling, stating she has never abused the children, especially Fancy and that there were no broken bones, or bruises. Worker explained differrent types of abuse and that these had all been substantiated.
Temporary home has stated that children need sleep and she has never seen anyone eat the way they ate. They had to stop them both from eating too much.
New home. This is placement four. Foster mother has stated she loved Fancy and feels that she is a very special little girl.
Foster family has asked to adopt both children at this time. Foster mother states that Fancy does not present herself as angry as other foster kids often do. States Fancy has not requested to talk to her mother at this time, and when asked, she has said “no.” Order of protection has been put in place to protect Fancy from a previous molester.
These are just a few of the many reports made to have me and my brother removed. I wish I could tell you this was a happy ending. It isn’t though. My nightmares continued. During time in foster care, a child is not allowed to be roughly handled. Therefore, foster parents are forced to come up with more creative ways to discipline kids. I was a very stubborn child. I had been through enough trauma to last a lifetime, and it had turned me into a fighter. If I got angry I posed a threat to those around me. My would-be adoptive mother would have to sit on the floor and wrap her arms and legs around my small body to protect herself, my brother, and even me from the anger I would lash out.
They were never told any of this when I was placed with them. They had an idea but not to the extent of what it was. A lot that they did to help me made me worse as I got older. My adoptive mother’s anger rivaled my own defiant anger. As the teen years came, my coping became worse, and I became someone I hated with every fiber of my being. They had good intentions, but because they didn’t know details, it left me in a very bad place.
As time wore on, I attempted suicide over and over. I would cut regularly but I would do it in places I knew they wouldn’t look. My stomach was my most hated part of me, so I used it to cut on. I wanted to feel something. I had become numb. I would play the part of a happy and bubbly girl. I would dance the part of a doll. Inside, I was dying and trying to kill the demons inside me. I wanted to know what it meant to be happy. To be really and truly happy. I had mastered the art of acting, and I was tired. At sixteen, I had my note written, and I was ready. A friend had made me knives, and I was ready to use them. I said goodbye to my friends and headed down the alley. I failed that day. I sat there and cried and screamed silently. No one knew I wanted to die so badly. They just saw my smile and heard my laugh.
When my eighteenth birthday came, I was graduated and getting married to my high school best friend. I actually felt happy for the first time. It wouldn’t last. By nineteen, I had given birth to my daughter and my heart was so full. My heart would break three years later when my husband told me he no longer loved me and was with someone else. My daughter had already begun calling this woman “mommy.” My fairy tale was ripped away from me, and I returned to being an angry and hateful woman. I would go through toxic and abusive relationships for the next two years. Only one was wonderful, and I destroyed it. I will always be grateful to you, Trevor. You tried to save me, and I was still too broken to see it. I ran away and turned back to an alcoholic, hateful person. This led to a relationship that I believed I wholeheartedly deserved—a guy that would repeatedly beat me when he was drunk but was so nice when he was sober. He would have killed me if my adoptive father had not stepped in. I ran again. Then came the last guy. He was so caring and sweet, for a little while. He got me away from friends and even convinced me to move to Louisiana with him. I applied for college there and was accepted, so I agreed. I left my daughter with her dad where I knew she was safe, and again, I ran. I had gotten used to running, and this would be no different. Once we were away from anyone and everyone I knew, he changed. He became controlling and angry all the time with me. I wasn’t allowed to close the bathroom door to shower or even use the toilet. He would tell me that I had not been given permission to talk when I interjected into a conversation.
In July of 2017, I would meet the most loving and protective man. We worked at a casino together, and one night, I was getting off work at 2:30 in the morning and needed an escort to my car. He was asked to do it. He walked me to my car, and I knew there was something different about him. I already felt an attachment just after a five-minute walk. A few weeks later, I would tell my boyfriend I was done and leaving. He bought a rope and tape. He told me he was going to kill himself if I left. I was scared, but I stood my ground and said no, I wouldn’t stay. I called the cops and my new friend. He came over and held me after the cops took my then ex away.
September 2017 my new friend proposed to me, and I said yes. We moved into an apartment together, but I was fighting so many demons again. I felt happy, but I still wanted to die. I would overdose a few months later. I begged the paramedics to let me die. I didn’t want to live anymore. I had found a couple messages from my husband to another woman and my heart had shattered. Everything I had suspected for years was true. I was unlovable. I was worthless. I was a waste of space. I was nothing.
When I woke up after having my stomach pumped, I woke up to my husband next to my bed, begging forgiveness and crying. I had never seen a man cry before, and I was in awe of him. I forgave him. When we were moved into a new room the doctor came in and told us congratulations. We looked at him questioningly, and he told us we were pregnant. I was going to have a baby. I cried harder than I had ever cried before. I was being given a second chance to redeem myself and to have the gift of being a mother. I swore I wouldn’t fail this time. Our relationship would continue to have similar issues for a while.
In the end of 2020, we were not in a good place and were put in a situation where we would have to leave Louisiana. We decided to move to Arkansas where we knew some friends. That friendship would end a few months later. We were completely on our own. My husband became a stay-at-home dad, and I would work. I enjoyed it and so did he. We soon realized that he needed time out of the house as well, so he started working again.
We are now in 2023, and I wish I could tell you it was all a happy ending and that everything was perfect, but I cant. I am still fighting nightmares, and I struggle with my demons a lot. I will tell you that I am happy though. For the first time in my life, I can honestly tell you I am happy.
After years of abuse, after fighting all my life, after this worthless feeling for years, I am happy. I have my husband who supports my passion in photography. I have children I love with all my being. Most of all, I’m proud of myself for being the woman I am. Ask yourself, who would you be if this was your story? Where would you be if this had been your life? Before you judge the darkness in me, think about it and tell me who are you?
– Fancy Rhea Fontenot
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Hey, y’all! I’m Rhea, I’m a mother of 4 wonderful kids and wife to an amazing veteran. I am the owner and photographer of Storyteller Photography. I was born in Yakima, Washington, and raised in small Stevensville, Montana. We are now living in Bentonville, Arkansas, and happier than ever! The link below is my photography page if you’re interested in meeting me and working with my art! Thank you for reading!