Child Abuse Story From
Priscilla

Child Abuse Story: www.child-abuse-effects.com

This child abuse story from Priscilla page was created January 10, 2007. Installment #1 was originally posted on January 3, 2007 as story #57. Three installments of her story are included on this page:

Installment #1
Installment #2
Installment #3

Priscilla is from Corvallis, Oregon, USA

The following 3 installments of child abuse story from Priscilla depicts emotional child abuse.

The child abuse effects on Prscilla: low self-esteem, preoccupation with her weight, fear of her father, and feelings of hopelessness, as well as overwhelming guilt.


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Child Abuse Story From Priscilla:

Summer Vacations

On August 13, 1990 we left to go on our once-a-year summer vacation. I was seventeen. We were going to Egypt, France, and Greece in the course of three weeks. My grandpa, who lived with us since I was ten, was seeing to that we got out the door in time and with everything that we needed.

The ride was long and bumpy so I couldn't sleep, however if I remained relaxed, I would avoid getting motion sick. I learned that trick when I was younger. One day, I noticed that I held my stomach tense in the car. Mom said it was probably because I was beaten in a car by the first family that adopted me. I learned to recognize when I was tense and relaxed. I laid down in the back seat of my parents' grey Honda and kept my eyes shut the entire way to the airport. It was early so the traffic was not too bad.

We boarded at 11:30 and arrived in Paris around 9:00 p.m. It was the longest flight I had ever taken, and we still had another flight to go to Egypt. We waited four hours for that one. We sat around, ate snacks, and Dad took a nap. We boarded and were on our way to a foreign land that we had never been to. On this flight, my dad was sitting more to the front of the plane and I sat next to Mom. She expressed that she wanted me to sit next to her. Usually, I was so distant from her, so it was refreshing that we could bond a little. When it came to vacation or holidays, everything was forgiven.

Shortly into the flight, something went wrong with the plane. I thought we were going to get sucked out. The air pressure was not working. Babies and small children were crying. Moisture-like fog swept towards us from the front of the plane. Everyone was anxious. One man yelled out, demanding that we be informed of what was going on. I thought we were going to die. I put my hand over Mom's, trying to hold her hand. She pulled it away. I thought it was a mistake, so I tried again. She got angry. I only sat next to Mom in the first place because I didn't want to hurt her feelings when she suggested it. Now I really regretted my decision.

I desperately wanted to be by my dad. He would comfort me in this kind of situation. I looked down the aisle to see if I could get eye contact with him. He was looking right at me and made some facial gestures. In that moment, I felt less panicked. It's amazing how much you can communicate non-verbally.

I glanced around and saw that the fog had cleared. We were informed that we would be turning around back for Paris. The air pressure was still not working, and children were crying, but people calmed down some. My mind was still in turmoil with the thought that if we were going to die, my last memory would be of my mom rejecting me. Tears welled in my eyes, but I didn't let my mom know that she hurt me. Once we landed, I told my dad all about it.

For two hours, we sat and waited for the plane to be fixed. The next plane ride was smooth the whole way, with very friendly stewardesses. Outside the plane was an array of bright stars against the pitch-black night sky.

Pictures couldn't capture the awesome effect that you get when seeing pyramids in person. I liked the Sphinx the most. We saw a few tombs, huge statues and shopped in various shops. Mom bought my cousin Kenny and I a cartoosh. It was cool to see my name in ancient Arabic hieroglyphics.

Greece was beautiful and the water warm. I got to gamble on the ship, as well as dance. Mom and I were careful to not go overboard with the huge assortment of food at the buffet. We always made attempts to lose weight. I hoped that I would not have a weight problem all my life.

Dad was a bit short-tempered and impatient. I always had an underlying fear of my dad, what I expressed at the time to be exploding or getting hyper. I knew by his body language, tone, a glare, what and how he said things. Every time he got uptight, I was on alert with my stomach tense.

Vacations were stressful with Dad. Once, he wanted to call Grandpa to check up on him. Mom argued to just call him the next day because we were camping. To call him he would have to drive quite a ways down the mountain. On the way down, they argued. Dad pulled the car over and had us get out. He drove off and left us in the dark of the night to wait for him to come back. I was young and scared that he might not come back. Crying, I went to Mom for support. She got irritated at my questions. In what felt like an eternity, he came back. Mom and I were quiet all the way to camp.

Another time, we were camping in Washington. I had fallen asleep in the back seat and woke out of a dream, laughing. I wasn't fully awake when Dad snapped his head around. "Oh you want to snicker? You think it's funny, huh?"

I didn't even know what I had done wrong. "What is snicker?" I asked, trying to figure out why he was so mad.

"Laughing! You think it's funny, huh!"

I questioned, "What's funny?"

Meanwhile, the car sped up.

"David! Slow down!" Mom said.

He sped up more.

"I was not laughing at you!" I explained. "I don't even remember laughing. I just woke up!"

He wanted an apology. The car was going close to the edges of the road. Mom was panicked, holding onto the handle above the window.

"Say you're sorry!" she yelled at me. "Say you're sorry!"

The tires rounded each corner. I argued that I did not laugh at him. I had no reason to. I just woke up. Dad said he would kill us all. I said angrily, "Go ahead!" Mom was begging me and freaking out while we rounded the corners of the mountain. Tears streamed down my face. "I was not laughing at him!" I repeated, but I finally gave in because Mom was so upset.

The car slowed down to a normal speed. Dad prompted me on what I was sorry for. "I'm sorry for snickering at you." I never did find out what I was laughing at him about, but I hate the word snicker, except the candy bar.

The year we went to the Bahamas, we all played the game Scrabble. There were my parents and my cousins Kenny and Chris. Mom said, "That's not a word, you're always making up words." We saw Mom smiling, and chimed in, in the light-hearted teasing. Dad all of a sudden stood up and flipped over the table, causing me to fall back in my chair and hit my head on the ground. Kenny made sure I was OK, but what I really needed were my parents to be concerned. I rubbed my head, hoping to hear an apology. I got none.

Frightened, I ran out and went for a long walk. I cried as I walked on the beach alone, with the darkness of the night hiding my tears. As a punishment for taking off, Dad announced that because of me, we were going home early. Despite my repeated apologies, he wouldn't change his mind. I cried and stayed in bed for a couple of days, feeling hopeless and overwhelmed with guilt. He came in eventually and apologized. "Let's go out and I'll buy you something," he said. It was if nothing had happened.

Throughout our time in Greece, we had no arguments and I hoped we wouldn't the rest of our trip. I had fun seeing how pottery was made and watching them Greek people dance. We even got to learn how to dance in a restaurant. I loved the music in Greece, so Mom bought me a music box with a song that I heard that night.

The remaining four days of our trip we stayed in Paris, France. We went to the Louvre, a church called Notre Dam, Louis the 14th castle, and climbed the Eiffel Tower. We went on a boat ride to see a smaller version of the Statue Of Liberty, learning that the children of France gave us the Statue Of Liberty as a gift. On the Eiffel Tower, I found out Dad was afraid of heights.

Dad and I climbed over 400 steps to the top, while Mom waited for us at the bottom. She was heavy and had no desire to climb up after a full day of walking around, sightseeing. Dad and I got to the top and looked around. I played with him and pushed him a little. I had no knowledge of my dad having any fears, so when he reacted to my playing by saying, "Don't” with a smile, I found it to just be play. I continued and he got more serious. Then he slapped me across my face. I teared-up and walked away. I couldn't understand his fear. We were in an enclosure.

I headed down before him, going as fast as I could. I sat next to Mom and told her what happened, explaining that it seemed like we were just playing. I told her that I wished she would have joined us. Dad eventually strolled down to where we were sitting, his hands in his pockets and whistling. Mom asked what happened. Dad explained in his words.

We all walked on and I kept my distance from him, portraying that I was angry. He came up to me and apologized. I explained my thinking, that we were just playing. As we crossed the street, I realized that Dad was just human and had fears just like anyone else. I found comfort in that and easily put what happened behind me.

The plane ride home was long, fourteen hours. At home Grandpa greeted us and I gave him a big hug and kiss. I had missed him. I gave my aunt who had stayed with my grandpa a hug. In the living room, we talked of our adventures. My aunt told us how she watered all the plants inside and out. My parents looked at each other.

"What plants inside?" Mom asked.

My aunt pointed to the various ones. My parents chuckled. "Those are artificial plants."

Then we all laughed.

We got out the souvenirs for her and more stories were shared. I went to the front yard and looked down our clean cut street, and had a new appreciation for our home.


Child Abuse Story From Priscilla
2nd Installment:

Today Graduation, Tomorrow The World

My Senior year in high school I was very shy. I would go from class to class, with my eyes focused downward. I didn't smile much. People would tell me to smile. I would, but as I continued down the hall, a frown would reappear. Perhaps that was my way of reaching out for someone to pull me aside to ask what was the matter.

I wore jeans, loose T-shirts, and white tennis shoes. I was very weight-conscious and I was fighting the urge to throw up every time I consumed food. I could tell my weight by just looking into a mirror. I had promised my grandpa that I would stop, but it remained a challenge.

In the 9th grade, I ran away from home for a night, returning to school the next day. Mom and I had got into an argument. She said some really mean things, so I went for a walk to get away. I couldn't bring myself to go back home.

I stayed the night in a cubby near the marina theater. I cried myself to sleep, my sweatshirt stretched over my legs and my head resting on my knees. I slept for about two hours.

At school, we had a substitute teacher for first period Pre-Algebra. I loved math class, but was sleepy so I put my head down. I was sore and emotionally drained. I needed sleep. About half-way into the class, the principal came in. On the way to his office, my stomach was tense. He didn't put me down or anything or say that I was in trouble.

My parents were in the office. My dad put his arm around my shoulder. "You alright?" he said.

Looking down, I nodded my head, yes.

We all talked, and I expressed the reason why I had run away. Dad did most of the talking with the Principal. Dad told him that my mom and I were not getting along and his opinions on it all, also that he was a Special Education Teacher at another high school. He also mentioned that he was working on becoming a Family Therapist. He only had to volunteer some more hours. He talked professionally, throwing in big words. By the time we left, the Principal felt as if it was all under control.

My dad took me out of school for the day. I didn't have the fear that I would be taken home and beat or anything like that. My parents were not like that. Sometimes I wished that it were so, though. I asked where we were going.

"To take you back to the Foster Home," Dad replied calmly.

"Oh, OK," I said in a non-caring way, despite my inner feelings of hurt and rejection. In a way, I was relieved. I knew that they would send me back eventually. It was not the first time they had threatened it. Now I just wanted it over. He was just bluffing though and ended up driving me back home.

"This is the Hughes Foster Home," he said, driving down our street. He stated the rules and chores expected of me. Upon getting out of the car, Dad put his arm around me and said "We'll just be friends, OK?"

"Sure," I said, and walked ahead to go inside.

Mom jumped into her car and was off to work.

I continued on my route of rebellion and chose my P.E. teacher to unleash it on. I wouldn't suit up, I talked during her instructions, and talked back. She had us run laps around the field as punishment, but I would walk out of defiance. When other kids were given laps I would sing "Looking for Laps in all the wrong places." My friends got a kick out of it. After a while, I was just sent to the office with a referral that read 'Insubordination'.

One day, Mrs. R., our vice-principal, filled in for the principal. She referred me to the school's counselor. I got to miss my P.E class to see her.

My grandfather on my Mom's side had molested me for years. He started by shaking a box of Tic-Tacs in the corner nearest his bedroom door. The bathroom was right down the hall of my grandparents' room. When I came out of the restroom, he would signal me over by shaking a box of Tic-Tacs. Once I took the bait the first time, I felt like I had to the next time and thereafter. I was frightened of what would happen if I didn't go. I'd eat the orange-flavored Tic Tacs, staring into the darkness of the room, while he stood behind me, fondling my breasts. I was afraid of someone walking in. My breasts were small. He squeezed them hard and it hurt. I'd hold my breath in pain. I feared that his squeezing would make them grow. When I walked around, I slouched my shoulders forward to conceal what I did have. I didn't want them. I was ashamed of having them. Whenever I had to go to the store with him, in a small voice I would ask for him to please stop. While in the car he would cry and say that he would, however he didn't. I stopped asking after the third time.

Mom and Grandma went to the store one day. I asked to go, but Mom said it would be easier if I were to stay. I figured that it only happened when I went to the bathroom, so I simply would wait until they got back to go to the bathroom. He approached me as I watched TV in the living room. I was laying on my stomach, so I folded my arms in to protect my chest. He rubbed my back as he straddled me. All I could do was stare at the TV. Then he started rubbing himself on my butt. He undid his belt and pants, leaving his underwear on. He rubbed in between my butt cheeks. He was hard and it hurt. I was terrified. Grandma and Mom opened the front door and he jumped up, zipped up his pants, and re-buckled his belt. He tucked in his shirt and headed towards them and nervously greeted them. They had not a clue of what went on.

Since Grandpa had moved on to that and I really feared what would come next, I told the school's counselor. She told me that she would have to make a report.

"What does that mean?" I asked, my eyes opened wide.

She informed me of what was to come, but it took several times before I understood. I tried to get her to not go through with it because I was afraid that my parents would get mad at me. She explained that by law she had to.

Our time was up and I walked home, filled with anxiety. I wondered what they would think of me.

When I got home, I didn't tell them what I had done. I was really scared of what they would do.

When I was eight or nine, I was caught in the shower room at the YMCA. Some boys and I were showing each other our private parts. Dad picked me up and learned of my actions. On the way home he asked me to think of a punishment. I didn't know what to say. I finally said, "Time me out, I guess." When we got home, he had me sit on my bed for a time-out. He came in later and told me to undress. I didn't want to in front of him so he undressed me against my will. He took my shirt off with me crying and struggling the whole time. My shirt made a ripping noise from me holding on with all my might as he pulled it away. Then he stripped off my jeans pulling at the hem. I screamed and held on for dear life, but he succeeded and put it with my pile of clothes, out of my reach. Next, the same with my undies. I covered up with my bed blanket. He took that and added it on top of the pile. I covered with my remaining sheet. He took that away. I screamed and cried in protest. He said for me to sit in the middle of my bed. I sat in front of him with my knees tucked into my chest, crying. I felt exposed. I took one of my hands and tried to cover up my vagina. Dad laughed. "What's wrong? You like to show off your body. Now's your chance." I didn't know how to cover ALL my private parts. Before he left, he threatened that I not move or he would spank me. Tears streamed down my face. I looked out the window. I looked down at the people walking by. I was completely enveloped with shame. I hoped they would not look up. Eventually, I stopped crying so I could stare at everyone to see if they did. In what seemed like forever, Dad came to my door and said that I could get up. I waited for him to go and I quickly got dressed. Mom came home later and I didn't tell her. I had too much shame.

A Social Worker came to the house and my parents were informed why he was there. My dad asked me why I hadn't told them. I sat on the floor, knees tucked into my chest and hands clutched on my shoes. I shrugged my shoulders. Mom got up and down several times. "I told you to not watch TV in front of him or do cartwheels!" she said.

The Social Worker asked me if I wanted to make charges. I answered, yes.

Mom stood. "I can't believe this."

"You want him to go to jail?" Dad angrily asked.

I nodded, then looked up at the Social Worker. He said that I would have to go to court and it could get ugly. Mom said that I would tear up the family. I looked down at the floor as Dad and the Social Worker discussed how it was a bad idea. Mom started to cry because she was concerned how her dad would react to the police coming to his house. Dad convinced the Social Worker to let him report it to the police so it would be easier on Grandpa. The Social Worker left with Dad assuring him that he would follow through. Dad comforted mom before we left the house to go talk to Grandpa. I didn't want to go but, I did.

On the drive over, Mom said she was relieved that her mom was away so she wouldn't have to know. Dad asked what exactly he did. I told him that he had touched my chest and it hurt each time, he had me kiss him on the lips, and one time he rubbed his private part on me. I felt like I was on trial.

When we got to Grandpa's house, Dad and Mom greeted him no differently than any other visit. Mom made a point to say "I love you" to him when she greeted him. We went to the living room. Grandpa asked my parents if they wanted some coffee. They declined the offer.

Sitting down, "So what brings you?" Grandpa said, smiling.

Dad said that I had made claims that he had molested me. It seemed like my parents didn't believe me. They had to hear it from Grandpa. My arms were crossed. I watched as he denied it. I didn't believe that he would deny it. Dad looked at me like I should say something. I stated he did. Grandpa said he didn't. Dad struggled to continue the conversation. Grandpa asked me why I would say such a thing. I got fed up with him lying. "I'm not your wife!" I said, glaring at him. He started to cry and ran to his room. I remained on the couch as my parents ran after him. I sat there alone, satisfied that my parents would have to believe me. I could hear Grandpa crying, uncontrollably.

I got up and walked slowly to his room to peer in. Grandpa was on his knees, leaning over the bed with his head on his arms, sobbing. My parents were also on their knees, each to one side of him. They were consoling him. They let him know that they loved him, that Grandma didn't have to know, and everything would be OK. It didn't matter what the school's counselor had to say about it not being my fault and that he was in the wrong. Mom blamed me, and so did Dad. Now they wanted to comfort him, and let him know that no one would find out. I was sickened at the sight.

Outside, waiting to leave, I stood with my arms crossed. Mom came to me and told me to go in and say goodbye and tell him that I loved him. I said that I didn't want to. She was on the verge of tears, and persuaded me to go back in. He was sitting in a chair that faced the front door. His hands covered his face.

Arms still crossed, "My mom told me to come in to say that I loved you. I still do love you, but if you ever touch any of my cousins, I'll kill you!" I said.

He looked up at me with his puppy sad eyes and nodded his head. "I won't, I won't." Right then he didn't look like the man that I had always feared. He was small.

I walked out with my head held high and my arms to my side. Inside I was scared at the thought of my mom or dad hearing. I got into the car. Mom asked if I had told him that I loved him. I said, yes. She was glad of that. I was relieved that they didn't know what else I had told him.

I sat back, staring out into the night and thought about how I would kill him if he did touch one of my cousins. I hoped that it wouldn't come to that. Later, I found out that he only did it to me because I was adopted, I was not real family.

My Senior year was full of activities. I'd get up at 5 a.m. to practice for the swim team. I had my independent class in Speech, I was on the Senior Class Council, my normal classes, and my last class was gymnastics where I would practice as late as I could. Perhaps it was to get out of the house, or to hold on to my childhood as long as I could, perhaps both. Mr. M. was my gymnastics coach in private club. In all my years of participating and competing in gymnastics, he never abused me in any way. The gym was my safe place. When I walked into the gym, any and all problems fell off my shoulders and I was truly happy. Mr. M. didn't know it but, he gave me hope that there were nice people out there somewhere, by just being himself.

My eighteenth birthday I was sad. I almost expected to feel different on that day. I was now an adult. I could be arrested, write my own excuses for missing school, get an off-campus lunch pass, but what saddened me was that I was going to miss being a child. There wouldn't be anymore playing around. I, from foster care, had insecurities that I would be thrown out on my own as soon as I turned eighteen. I still wasn't driving, I was too scared to. Dad had always said that maturity-wise, I was years behind. He also said that I would be pregnant in high school, I would be a smoker, and an alcoholic. Well, I guess I proved him wrong in the area of being pregnant in high school.

I didn't have a party, but went out to dinner. Here was a special age, and only a few family members came. I didn't understand. I was hurt. Later, I asked mom why we didn't do much and why hardly anyone came.

"Were you a good girl?” she said.

I asked what I had done wrong, but she wouldn't tell me. "Were you a good girl?" was her way of telling me she was in control of parties.

I walked to my room and cried. She always told me why she did something when it was already done, so I only could have regret and guilt. It made me feel hopeless. I ended up getting a party, but it was because Dad cared that I was upset.

Before the school year was up, I asked Mr. M. that if I were to fail, could I continue in the gym and compete the next year. He got back to me and said, no.

I graduated in the class of 1991. My parents held a party. Lots of family came. I received cards and some nice gifts. Mom decorated the house with my school colors, red and yellow. She even had a gymnast on the cake. My cousins and I swam in the pool most of the day. I had a nice time. I came in from the pool and read the sign that said "Today Graduation, Tomorrow the World!". I teared up, knowing that I would come up short, but I'd do the best that I could.


Child Abuse Story From Priscilla
3rd Installment:

Freedom, Strike One

When I was a little girl, my dad told me, that like with my friends, "If you take a handful of sand, the harder you squeeze, the more it will escape your hand."

I got all signed up at college. I was nervous, and didn't feel ready. It helped to get my feet wet, literally. I practiced at the pool, where I would be on the diving team when the semester started. I liked getting a head start for being on the team. I had a lot to learn.

Mom wanted me to get a job. I was scared to. I also saw it as rejection from her. There was more tension between Mom and Grandpa H., still lived with us. I was very close to Grandpa, who in my eyes didn't play games like my parents did. I knew that Mom didn't love me, but she hated Grandpa. I had been in the middle of their war for years. I took my grandpa's side. He had always been there for me when I was little. He was my best friend. I would carry around guilt for this decision when I felt unloved by her. Dad told me, "We love you and always will. You have given us a lot." I told him once again that Mom didn't love me.


Mom's Ways

Mom says, "You're a monster and always was."

I try to remember when she did love me.

Dad says, "She loves you, she does."

Verbal abuse from her is all I see.

 

When coming home, she doesn't say hello.

She looks around for anything to complain about.

I try to take a deep breath to keep mellow.

She can't talk civil, only shout.

 

My stomach tenses, I go to my room.

I feel the tension throughout the house.

She puts me down to my doom.

My tears fall as I keep quiet as a mouse.

 

Messages go around in my head.

I'm a bad person, I can't change.

I stay stuck in my bed.

Unable to stay out of her range.


When college started, I decided to major in nursing. My life revolved around studying and diving. I felt like I was doing what I should be at my age. I was going to give it 110%.

I would study my flash-cards waiting for the bus and on the way to school. I would even put my study sheets in plastic sleeves to study in my hour-long baths. To learn our skeletal structure, I got a life-size, cardboard Halloween decoration and labeled each bone. I hung it on my bedroom door so I saw it all that week.

In my biology class I pulled a C+. My teacher announced that if we didn't get an A or B, that we might as well drop the class and take it over. So that is what I did.

In my second semester, I met Kim, who just joined the diving team. We became best friends. Diving workouts became all the more fun. After school we would go to her house and do our homework together, listen to music and color huge, detailed poster pictures. I spent the night sometimes and we'd talk late into the night.

I started to spend nights more often to get out of the house. Dad didn't like Kim. He would put her down a lot and became more controlling than ever. He moved on to talking in the Jacuzzi primarily about Kim and say that he believed that we were lesbians and it was OK if we were. I told him that we were not. He kept on accusing . . . and continued to harass me. It was a sick game now, which only broke my heart. He'd sarcastically ask, "So how's Kimmy?" I knew the way he said it and by his facial expression while saying it, "Kimmy"= your partner. After a while his relentless teasing aggravated me. My tone in correcting him would sound angry. Then he would restrict me for yelling at him.

I told Kim of my frustrations in dealing with my parents. She gave me her opinions . . . insight to what was normal. I questioned it all the time. Kim was the first person that I could confide in about my home life. She would sometimes become enraged at the things that I would tell her. I told her that in my Junior year of high school, my Dad asked me on three separate occasions to go in the Jacuzzi naked. It was insightful to see and understand how normal people would react to what I would just disregard as normal day to day life.


You Won't Make Me Cry!

You argue with me, squinting your eyes.

You've perfected this game down to a tee.

Inside I repeat, "I will not cry!"

I want to run, I want to flee.

 

I look you square in the eyes.

You don't raise your voice to give in.

You up and up your ante at any price.

In the end, powerless, I do not win.

 

I put up a good fight.

You're an impossible guy.

Standing up for what I believe is right.

You won't make me cry!


I started to think, who am I? what do I want? instead of just doing what my dad wanted or how he wanted me to think. Dad didn't take kindly to me having my own thoughts and beliefs. He blamed it all on Kim every chance that he got. He restricted me for small things, like not cleaning my room or walking the dogs, in attempts to gain more control. He would tease me saying, "You sound just like Kim."

"Thank you," I replied. That disarmed him from having yet another tool to harass me.

One day I called home to check in from Kim's house. Dad put me on restriction for two weeks because I misunderstood that I was not to go over to her house that day. Talking to Kim, I started to cry. I told her what just happened. I was frustrated with everything. I told her that I didn't want to go home. I asked if I could live with her. She asked her mom, Judy. Judy let me know that I was welcome to stay. Kim called her big brother to see if he would bring his Suburban truck over.

When we arrived at my house, Dad was not home. With Kim's help, I nervously grabbed my belongings, anticipating his arrival. Then Dad came up in his Honda. He jumped out and casually introduced himself to Kim's brother. He asked me what I was doing.

"I'm moving out," I told him.

He crossed his arms. "Why, because I put you on restriction?” he said angrily.

"No, there's a lot of reasons," I said. I went into some of them.

"OK, I'll help!" he said, cutting me off.

"No, it's OK. I don't want your help!" I had already picked up on his body language and voice level.

"Oh no, let me help! I'm going to help!" he said with swift movements.

My stomach tensed. We headed in after him. I walked close behind him to see just what he was up to. I stood in my room and kept one eye on him as he continued to be hyper. I picked up some things but had to drop them in order to catch what he was throwing at me.

"Let's go!" he said loudly, clapping his hands together.

We moved as fast as we could. I followed Kim out with a handful of stuff. Outside, her brother helped us get the stuff into the truck faster. Then Dad threw a speaker at me. I was really scared. I called 911. My voice was shaky. I told them my dad was being violent and I feared for our safety. They asked me some questions. They said they would send someone. I told Kim that we needed to get my bird, Mickey, out before he threw him. We got the cage and continued to get my stuff out. Dad threw my belongings on the driveway, breaking everything, including my dresser. Mom had come home. She told me it was my fault, but I didn't pay any attention to her because I had to watch out for my best friend and myself.

We had the truck full, so we piled in the front seat and drove away. We unloaded my stuff onto the cement front section of Judy's house and went back for more. The rest of my stuff was piled and scattered on the driveway. Dad was still going at a hyper speed. The police finally showed up. They took information from Dad, who was now calm. I kept pacing until one of the officers spoke to me. He asked my age.

"Eighteen," I answered. I just wanted to take my stuff and leave without the presence of violence. I overheard one officer say to Dad that he was a father too.

Dad decided to take pictures of the 'joyous' event. It was meant to intimidate me. Meant to tell me I was in the wrong. I avoided looking into the camera. I was ashamed. I knew I would have to see them in the future as, "Look at how stupid you were."

The police left and it was quiet. My parents were inside the house with the door shut. We got everything loaded up and got in the truck to leave. Kim tried to shut her door, but Dad was suddenly there and got in the way. She asked him to move. He ignored her.

"Do you have a gun?" Dad asked Kim's brother, pointing the glove box. "Because you could just shoot me."

"No sir," Kim's brother replied.

"Then you can just run me over," Dad said. "I'll lay down and you could just go over me, yeah."

Dad went to the front of the truck. Kim shut her door. Her brother put the truck in reverse. He stepped on the gas. Dad ran in our direction. He jumped on the hood. He slid off towards the passenger side. Kim's brother skidded his tires. He swerved away from Dad. Dad followed along the side. He tried to find a solid grip. We sped up. The truck sounded as if we hit him. I screamed. "I killed him!" I yelled. Kim looked back, searching for him. Kim's brother slowed down but didn't stop. They told me they saw him walking back. Kim held me while I cried.

We got up to 7th street and ran the red light in attempts to get a policeman's attention across the way. Of course, when you want them to pull you over they don't. We caught up to the police officers and asked them to follow us back. All was quiet when we got there. Once again, Dad was not acting like a crazed maniac. He was a calm father-figure. Amazing that he could turn it off so quickly. He offered a banana to the officers. They turned it down. I was relieved that he was fine. I was teary-eyed when we left.

At Judy's house, she gave me a hug and said she loved me. "Consider my home yours," she said. I didn't know how to feel or what to say. I think I was in shock.

I picked up the broken pieces of my most treasured belongings. "Don't ever come back!" was the message that ran through my mind. I was heart-broken. I saved what I could and threw away the rest.

I wasn't allowed to whistle at my parents' house. Once, I whistled at Judy's house by accident. I apologized to Judy. "It's OK," she said, smiling, "you're happy." I was happy. I could just be myself with no judgment. I was accepted for who I was.

Dad came by and dropped off a house-warming card to congratulate me on my new home. I knew it was not out of the kindness of his heart, though. My aunt started to mediate between Dad and me. I didn't want to talk to him or see him. Later, Dad gave me a lengthy letter. It was a guilt trip over my moving away. I read it out loud to Kim, then put it aside. Dad called. Since his card and letter didn't get me to come home, he said that he would like to meet me at the 'greenbelt', a dog-walking park near his house. I was to sign some papers that would ensure I wouldn't receive anything in the event that they were to die. When his comments did not phase me, he told me I would never see them or my cousin again, or anyone else in my family. I didn't care about the rest of his threats, but to never see my grandpa and my cousins again was too high a price to pay. The next time he called, I told him I would move back home.

Judy was hurt that I went back and it showed. She had taken pictures of Kim and I diving, something my own parents didn't do. Mom had more picture albums of my cousin than me. Around the house, pictures of me had been taken down. My own mom didn't love me, but Judy did. Unconditionally.

Returning home hurt my pride. It meant that I was in the wrong. Dad, as usual, didn't apologize for anything. My wings were clipped and my spirit couldn't take flight. Summer was upon me and I got a job so I could move out in the right way, my dad's way. Dad was still controlling, but somewhat nicer in his approach. We both made changes to compromise. We grew from the experience, each in our own way.

 

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References

NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the
Canadian Red CrossCanadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.


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Child abuse story from Priscilla was re-formatted June 8, 2015




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