When Home Sweet Home is a Living Hell
My Childhood Experience
My name is Susan and it is time for me to tell this story. Happily, I can say that NONE of the next generation of my family can write a story like this, the buck stopped with me and my siblings. I am who I am because of what happened to me and I believe somehow God had a reason why, although I don't know it, God knows.
My first memory in life is receiving a beating. I was five years old I walked past my mother for some reason and she was combing one of my sister's hair. She grabbed me and started beating me with the brush she had in her hand. The next day when I went to school, I told the teacher it hurt to sit down, the teacher looked and took me to the principal's office.
The principal called my dad who saw and then Dad went home and took that brush from Mother and told her never to use it on anyone again, then he broke it and a piece of it scratched my sister P's cheek. Mother found other things to use on me, cast iron frying pan, her old lady shoes she was fond of wearing, or whatever she happened to have in her hand.
I have three sisters and a twin brother and of us five, Mother picked her two oldest to have her special treatment. Dad worked alot of overtime shifts, he was a policeman and she hid her abuse from him. He usually came home past our bedtime anyway, so he would think nothing of me and S being upstairs. What he didn't know was that we had been up there since school got out, more likely than not. It was also likely that we were not fed anything either.
I remember, I had just turned 7 because J was just one month old and Mother had me take a broom down to the basement which I did. Apparently it fell across the bottom step and Mother must of bent over on the stairs to pick it up and she fell down the last step or two and banged her knee up. I was in the bathroom and Dad came in, to beat me I know but he just stood there and then he said "P, Susan has the chicken pocks" and he walked out.
We all got the chicken pocks, me and S seven, P five, PP three and J one month old. I was glad Mother hurt her knee, she was always beating S and I and not feeding S and I and calling me pisspot or ignoramus whenever Dad wasn't there to hear her.
There were two more incidents that I remember Dad being responsible for and before I describe them, I am going to say, he redeemed himself in my eyes a very long time ago. Having said that, I also have to say that I felt betrayed by him, I couldn't believe that he would do this to me, surely he knew how much Mother was doing it to S and I.
Before Dad left Mother for good, he did a trial separation from her and took me and S with him. We were gone about two weeks at Dad's sisters house and then we went back home and Dad attempted to work things out with Mother.
I remember him ripping my favorite dress off of me and throwing me thru a wall. I don't remember why this happened. There was one more incident, it didn't happen to me, I watched it happen to P. Mother said one of us kids had chewed holes in her bras and underware. we were supposed to leave that day for drive down to Florida. Dad set the timer (I think that was about the one who did it say, or all got it)Well, no one chewed holes in Mother's bras and underware, but P said she did to get the beating over with so we could go to Florida.
As I am typing this I am seeing that some of it is somewhat out of time sequence, but I don't consider that to be an issue, it all happened and it was all part of the over seven year time span in my life and that of my siblings. For although all five did not receive the same abuse, those who didn't had to watch it, powerless. Mother is a big woman, five foot 10 and 1/2 inches tall and 170 lbs then so she looked like a giant to me and to see her even look my way brought terror to my soul.
Dad finally couldn't stand anymore of her so he left. The last of any restraint that was placed on her was gone. I already thought my life was hell before, now it was a daily hell of not being feed, receiving daily beatings, once on the way out on the way to school and if she felt like feeding me and S that day, two pieces of white bread with one piece of baloney between, which we ate on the way to school since we were so hungry, and when we came home from school we were beat before she locked us two upstairs.
Now Mother was very good about not feeding S and I and she was also good about making me come downstairs and washing her and my other siblings dinner dishes. I had to lay out newspaper in the middle of the kitchen floor and scrape off the plates in her view, this was to make sure I took no food and then wrap up that newspaper into a little football and put it in the trash. After the dishes were washed, I had to go back upstairs and she would shove the chair underneath the doorknob to make sure S and I couldn't get out.
The school knew, the neighbors knew, nobody did anything to stop it. NOW, THANK GOD, The laws say that abuse has to be reported. Schools, Teachers, Doctors, all have to report suspected abuse, all the people that Dad tried to get to back him up in the 70's.
I also had three incidents that could be classified as sexual battery, the first was allowing a classmate's teenage brother play "doctor" with me, this was in exchange for something to eat. (Incidently, I almost drowned because this same boy said "jump in the deep end of the pool and you can have something to eat" I was afraid, I was also starved, so I jumped and promptly went to the bottom of a ten foot pool, he had to come in after me).
The second incident was with a mentally challenged man who lived with his family up the street. There is a little park right next to where we lived then and he put his hand down my shorts and fumbled around, touched my vagina and said there it is, I told him I had to pee, he removed his hand, I ran down the street to a neighbors because Mother wasn't home. When she got home, I told her what happened, she went to the guy's house, he said no it didn't and that's the end of that.
The third incident was a boy I knew, pushed me down in a yard, I was on my way to school and he started trying to take off my clothes. A lady that lived in the house came out on her porch and the boy got off me and left and I continued on to school.
I said the school knew, I knew they knew, they had me taking showers in the gym teacher's office and wearing lost and found clothes. You see, I smelled, I wet the bed and Mother very rarely washed our clothes or let us bathe. I wet the bed because there was no bathroom up on the second floor where S and I were locked. S and I urinated and defecated in the attic. You know that pink fiberglass insulation is very itchy.
I said the neighbors knew, why do I know this? because they called the cops when Mother had left us alone while J was in the hospital (A thousand times they could of called while she was there beating the crap out of me or S). The cops came to the house and then upstairs where S and I were and they took us all four home-alones to the Allen House.
S and I thought we were in heaven. Three meals a day, clean clothes, no beatings. Soon enough, it was over, they gave us back to her, back to hell again,
Do you know it is almost possible to get used to daily beatings and being half starved. You got hardly any spirit left and you sure don't expect any kindness from anywhere or anybody.
Well, Mother finally made her big mistake. Mother placed P in a position of being head-of-household, a nine year old girl deciding what bills and stuff gets paid (an adult woman who is making her do this) and poor P would sneak us up food and water when she could get by with it. anyway, S and I received our usual daily beatings and P must of yelled "stop it" too loud because Mother hit her once.
Mother's mistake was the next day was visitation with Dad and since Mother hit P, P was mad and she went too, she usually did not. S and I, we are bruised like usual, Dad says "what happened" we say "fell" because Mother said she would kill us if we told and we believed that 170lb 5 foot 10 1/2 inch woman. P said "no, Mom did it" and we said "Dad, if you promise not to take us back to her, we will tell you" he promised, we told him.
Dad took us to the police station, the cops took pictures, we finished the visit and then he took us to the Allen House
We never went back to Mother's house in her custody ever again, me and S were over 11 1/2 years old when hell on earth finally ended.
From age 11 1/2 to 18 was much less eventful than what I have just finished describing. We were all in foster homes for around two years. S and I were kept together in the same foster home. Our foster family were wonderful people and I have thanked them more than once for what they did for S and I. P was finally placed with a wonderful person also (I won't say anymore because I am telling only my story). PP was in a foster home by herself and J was also in a foster home by herself.
When dad notified the court that he was planning to remarry, that is when he got custody of all five of us kids. Our stepmother B, I respect her and what she attempted to do, I believe if she didn't marry Dad, he would not have got custody of us and then I have no idea what would of happened to us five kids.
For the first time in our lives, me, S and P,PP and J got to interact as a family unit, (before with Mother, S & I were always locked away), which had it's moments, there were some hair pulling and punches thrown when we got into disagreements but we always worked it out. Most of the time we just had fun.
Stepmother B didn't stay, so it was just Dad and us five kids. For four years, we all lived together as a family, just four years. I know they were the happiest years of my childhood and most certainly the most normal.
And that is where my story ends, I am responsible for everything that occurred from age 18 until now. I will say this, today, Dad remarried again and is happy. S is Federal Law Enforcement, married with a stepson and his wife had their son born in 1998. P is a teacher, married with two sons. PP is widowed with three sons-currently engaged and working at her oldest son's school. J is married with one daughter and working as a Manager at a store. I spent 12 years in the Army and now work at the VA. I have never married, I have not yet found the man to stand beside me for life. Maybe someday.
Child abuse leaves permanent physical and emotional scars for a lifetime. I am for the most part happy with my life and content with myself and continue to work to be the best I can possibly be. I still, in spite of it all, have hope, and with hope and faith, anything is possible. Please, Please, if you see a child that looks like they aren't being treated right: dirty, timid, pronounced startle reflex, skinny, bruised/scratched/burned, PLEASE call your local report child abuse hotline, you could save a child. Thank you for reading my story. I hope one day abuse in all its forms will NO longer exist.