I first wanted to say, it takes a lot of strength for the people to have shared their stories about this particular abuse. It's hard to open up and speak about it, to admit that it happened to you. Trust me I know. I also want to say that each one of you, every person, is so very special and wonderful to have lived through this, and that it can only get better. It takes time, you will never forget it, but it will make you a stronger person.
Now, I've been debating with sharing my own story for some time now, since I first came across this blog back in May. I honestly wasn't until I spoke finally to my father on getting my own story out there. He told me yes, perhaps it would finish the healing process between the two of us. Perhaps it will, perhaps in some way I will actually start learning on how to forgive him for everything that has happened between us.
Forgive me if this seems a bit long, but I was a victim of abuse for more years than I can really remember. Now, most people know about physical abuse, because you can see the results, but mental and emotional abuse leave scars that will never heal. Most of the people here know what I am talking about, and most of you ladies and gentlemen actually carry these scars that will never heal. I have several of these wounds, and yes, most of them were caused by my father, by the things I have witnessed, and well also by the small town I grew up in. Now, I know I sound like a typical abuse victim by asking everyone who read this not to judge my father too harshly, and that he is a great man, but he is, now that he's been sober for going on 13 years. So I suppose this story is better started by stating, both my parents were abused as children, physically mostly, but when two abused adults have a child, what will happen? Will they learn from their parents mistakes or continue the brutal cycle of abuse? I hope it's the former, and as I grew up, I got a better understanding of everything, especially after I turned 18 and just blew up.
Now, as state, both my parents were physically abused as children, my mother, not so badly as my father... my uncle having used to sleep with a baseball bat to keep my father safe from my grandfather. They grew up with it, and each handled it a different way... My uncle became a cop, my dad, he became a drunk after he left the military. Now, my story starts with the memories I can bring up, I know there is so much more, but... these are the ones I can remember as bright as day. I remember a few times my father flying off in a drunken rage at my mother, beating her, yelling and screaming at her for lies or something not being right. A time up in the mountains him having her sit on the edge of a cliff when I was four, his foot at the small of her back threatening to push her off, to watch her die. I was in the truck beating on the windows, begging him not to kill my mommy. Yelling at him to stop, yelling at my mom to apologize. I also remember cracking the windshield in my attempts to make it stop, and being spanked later for it.
No, I don't consider spanking to be physical abuse, and I fully admit, as a child I did need a swat or two, and that was all my parents did. I didn't deserve that one though, that much I do remember. At five, a friend of my father's started to sexually abuse me... force me to sit on his lap while he played around, made me go down on him. Held me down while he did things to me. He was eventually caught, and sent to jail. I was the one at fault, for letting him do as he wanted to me. I was old enough to realize that this was wrong. Why didn't I scream? Why did I let him do it? Why? Was I retarded? Asked this time and time again by my parents, I swallowed an entire bottle of aspirin, and had my stomach pumped when I was 6.
As time grew on, we moved to a small town. My father stayed in the city, my mom and I in a small country town of 150 people. The abuse between my parents had stopped, though with me... it grew into verbal and emotional abuse. My mother constantly berating me on not being perfect, not being pretty, not being the picture perfect child with several popular friends. My father calling me stupid, and idiot, a fucking retard whenever I brought home anything less than an A. I felt horrible, until I turned ten and things changed.
Did you know an entire town can turn against a person with a single action? It's what actually made my mom wake up with this happened, it's what made her stop and realize that, I was her only child, there was not going to be any second chances, that this was it. If she fucked this up her legacy would simply die away? At the age of ten, my father had a new friend. He was a good guy I thought, and my father had drilled it into my head, anyone he trusted, I could as well. Who was I to question the lord and master of the household? So, I did. He raped me, he abused 3 other kids in the small town I grew up in. I didn't tell my parents for a long time, not until after a year, he robbed us and I kept silent about it, until I finally opened up to a teacher about what happened. (Big Mistake). Later that week I told my mother, he had abused me sexually, why mention the rape? It was my fault anyways right? I was old enough to know better, I should know how to defend myself right?
I didn't expect it to almost kill her mentally though, it changed her so completely when I went to having friends, to being popular to being nothing. A plague within my school. I was abused in school, constantly, beaten up, picked on, bullied... all because parents were telling their kids to stay away from me because I was dirty, I was tainted. If they were my friends, they would be tainted as well. I became a zombie... I didn't laugh, I didn't cry, I didn't show any emotions, why should I? I was nothing.
At 15 I tried to take my life. I slit my wrists and just sat there on a old abandoned railroad track bridge, watching the sun set. I had finally given up. I couldn't take it anymore... I hated what I was, what I had become. I was tired of not being good enough for anybody. My first love saved me then, driving by, seeing me sit in our spot, and took me home after bandaging my wrists, calling my mother and taking me to the hospital 30 miles away. My mother became my councilor, my best friend, everything that I needed in that time period, telling me that I was perfect, and a great kid, the best thing to ever happen in her life. She also told me her story, and realized that we both needed to see someone and we did. We worked through it, and I still love her to death for doing that, for becoming everything I seriously needed during that time period.
I graduated high school at 16, we moved back in with my father, and he started to hit me, beat me when my mother wasn't around. Drinking heavily every night, until he was in a blind rage. I had to hide the cigarette burns on my legs and arms, because I was his human ashtray. I didn't understand everything he went through in his life. I would never live up to his expectations. I was a disappointment. With all that I turned to drugs... when I ODed on heroin I wish I could say that was his wake up call, but it wasn't... I was just a worthless piece of shit to him. I snapped at 18 when he started to hit me. I just couldn't take it anymore, I lashed out at him. I blamed him for everything, his worthless friends that abused me, and raped me. (What a time to actually come out and say that). I hated him, I truly did, and when he had me pinned outside the trailer, hand around my throat, while I still rasped out what a piece of shit he was, how he deserved to die, he woke up.
He woke up in that instant when I blacked out, my mom screaming at him, beating at him. When he realized what he was doing, what he had done. He stopped drinking that week, stopped everything that he was doing and started to change. He started going to counseling and anger management. My father when he found out that I was pregnant was scared to death, he was afraid that perhaps I would start becoming like them. To be honest, I am at too sometimes with my three kids, I keep remembering what happened to me, what I went through, and am so terrified. Though, after that night on the bridge, in the arms of my boyfriend, I remember him whispering to me, that this will only make me stronger, only make me better. To give me so much more insight on life. I grew up in the dark, but I must always look for the silver lining. It's helped, maybe my father is right, letting someone out there know more about me, letting them know what I grew up with might help me to heal, might help me to forgive.
Anyways I am sorry for rambling, and I thank you both for putting this out there, letting everyone know there is a place for people like us, that there is hope and that light at the end of the tunnel. I know there is, I seen it, I'm out of that damned tunnel and I just want the others out there to know that too. It's not to far away, just hold on for a few more steps and you'll be out of the dark.