I Was Just A Child.

When I was born my biological mother and my father were in turmoil. They were not right for each other, and had been struggling with that fact for some time. My father and mother could not keep their hands off of each other either, in a bad way. My biological mother had proven to be abusive towards my dad, who had a short fuse and a bad temper, and who was more than willing to hit her back.

They managed some semblance of life together, my father doting on me from the second I was born, but never managing to get along with my biological mother, who had some mental problems she was refusing to deal with or work on. My bio mother never touched me, but she was more than happy to wake my father out of a sound sleep by breaking a chair over his head, or smacking him with a belt or a fist.

When I turned two, my biological mother told my father she was leaving. She left without me, and a few weeks later showed up with the police at my grandma's apartment demanding to take me away. The police said no, and she left and disappeared. When I was three, my father got back together with an old girlfriend from high school. They were married and I moved in with them.

My stepmom, we will call her Ruth, beat me with the metal part of a vacuum hose that first night. My dad was out working, as a cab driver. Ruth beat me because I needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and she did not want me to get out of bed once I was placed there. She began to beat me all the time, I once got a boiling hot spatula to my eye giving me a big black eye at four. I was hit with belts, called names, told I was stupid and ugly, worthless, that no one would ever love me. If I threatened to tell my dad or grandma, she would threaten our pet cats, or say she would kill my grandma or my dad. Her favorite thing to do at night, was to come into my room, and grab me by my toe, and rip me out of a sound sleep and beat me.

I was also neglected. My clothing did not fit because Ruth gave me her adult sized hand me downs. Or she would go to the used store, and get me things with rips and stains and make me wear them. There was never food in the house either. And more times than not, I would be sent to bed without any supper.

By the time I was 5, I had a routine. I would wake up. Wash up and brush my teeth. I would get myself dressed, grab pennies from a penny jar we had, go to the neighborhood mom and pop store, get a bologna sandwich and a little pint of iced tea, tell the store clerk yes, my stepmom was still not feeling well, walk myself to school, walk myself home, clean the entire house, hide whatever small bit of food I could find in my room, (like chips hidden under my bed, or an apple hidden behind some books), and do my homework. She would come home, get very angry if I had not done the chores to her liking, and send me to bed.

She once pushed me out of a moving car because she was angry. She once threw a bottle of perfume at a television set and blamed me telling my father I was bad and I had done it. She would pull my hair, and beat me with brooms, and one time, a piece of a pipe.

My teachers noticed bruises, but I refused to tell them the truth. DYFUS was called more than once. Each time they would show up at the house, I would lie. I got very good at lying. I would say, I fell down, I tripped, I was clumsy, I climbed a tree and fell out, etc. They would take some notes, and leave. And usually, we would pack our things a month or so later, and move.

I had no friends. I was not allowed to have friends. One time I made the mistake of bringing a friend into the house. She took her jacket off and we were playing when I heard my dad coming in. She quickly climbed out a window. My dad accused me of having a child over, and I kept saying no. He found the jacket and said well I guess I can THROW THIS THING OUT HUH! I begged him not to. I do not remember the outcome of this story, just the sheer panic and fear I felt.

If I was sent to bed without supper, I quietly snacked on whatever I had hidden in my room, always listening, trying to make sure she was not on her way up. If she had caught me with the food, I shuddered to think what she might do.

Eventually my father found out I was being beaten. At first, the two of them fought like the dickens about it. Eventually, he began hitting me too. Years later, I found out they were both doing drugs the entire time, and drinking way too much alcohol.

I learned to watch it like a movie. Like I wasn't the one being beaten. It would feel like I was floating and watching everything going on but I wasn't in the scene. This way I was less likely to feel the pain when I was being hit and beaten.

My father left hmy stepmom when I finally broke down and told my grandmother what was going on. The reason I finally told her was because my father had dropped me off along with a good amount of my thing and tossed me on her doorstep. In downtown Jersey City. On a weekend when he knew she was working. And the landlady who was like a second grandma to me was not home. My grandma got home around 2AM that morning, because she was a waitress in a 5 star restaraunt and was the head waitress and she always worked late on that day. She was furious. Anything could have happened to me.

By that time I was 12, and the abuse had gone on for 9 years. I have forgiven my father, and I have forgiven my stepmother. But I will not forget. Sometimes I feel like my father and stepmother, have no idea how bad it was, that they have pushed all of it from their memories. That sort of bothers me sometimes. Because while I am stuck with those memories, that will never go away, they get a free clean slate.

I still sometimes have nightmares but they have gotten better. When my husband and I first started living together, they happened more frequently. I would be half awake yelling something incoherent, and hit him. Yes, I would haul off, and pop him one. This hasn't happened in a long time, but it still happens about once per year. Lucky for me, I have a very loving and understanding husband.

I think a big part of my overeating now, and my weight issues have to do with the fact that food was never really available. That now that I do have food available I overcompensate.

I think that the reason I can be so wishy washy sometimes, with my own three little boys, is because I am terrified of becoming abusive, so I overcompensate for it.

And sometimes I feel like it is a dream or some lifetime movie I saw, and it has nothing to do with me. I almost block it out. Sometimes I feel like my life was normal, and I am making things up, but I am not.

An Ep User An EP User
Jan 8, 2013