Playing Chicken

by War
(British Columbia, Canada)

I started crying shortly after entering this site. Something that is quite unusual for me. I read, reread, and then re-reread before deciding to post my story. I'm not quite sure at this moment but I feel compelled to share.

My family dynamic is a bit unique. I have two older sibling brothers, one 15 years older and one 7.5 years older. My oldest brother grew up in an affluent household in the early 50's to early 60's. My middle brother grew up in a semi-affluent household in middle 50's to middle 60's. I grew up in a poor household in the late 50's thru the 60's and early 70's. I bring this issue up because basically I grew up as an only child with little to no support from my siblings, my brothers, who could not understand the help I was asking for.

I had kidney failure at the age of 6. My father's businesses were already having difficulty and an extended stay in hospital for me with no insurance forced bankruptcy. My father received a 25-year garnishment decree from the courts of the day which basically resulted in him not working legally from that point forward. My mother was forced to work and support a family of 4 at home and a 5th in university.

So this is where my real troubles started. My illness caused the failure of the family! It was never said in so many words but it was surely felt. My father became an alcoholic and I would arrive home from school to find him passed out on the floor after a gallon jug of red wine, a 12-pack of beer, and the better part of bottle of vodka. When he awoke, the battle was on. I would jump in between him and my mother to save her and take the physical and verbal attack. Heck, a 9-year-old should not be placed in this situation.

My father was suicidal and tried to include me in his attempts. We would be driving on a local highway and he would play chicken with on-coming cars laughing hysterically until I screamed hysterically for him to shift over. My mother did nothing after telling her about these events and begging her to move out. On one occasion I knew something was up. I jumped out of the car at a stop sign and ran for my life. My father drove into the on-coming traffic with my mother's father in the car shortly afterwards. Mom still refused to do anything to protect me. My father ultimately committed suicide when I was a young adult by stabbing himself with a 12 inch knife in his torso several times.

My abuse started much earlier than described above. I was sent home from school in grade one because no one had bothered to teach me the alphabet or basic reading skills before entering school. This is just one example of hundreds.

It was made quite clear to me that nothing that occurred in the house was to be told outside. As such, I attempted suicide twice, once at the age of 12 and once at the age of 15. Someone was looking over me on the second attempt as I swallowed 50 sleeping pills and awoke with my suicide letter pinned to my pillow beside my head.

I could go on for several hundred more paragraphs but just getting this off my chest in print has helped immeasurably.


Regards, War

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