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Bearing Through It >> Share Your Story >> Melinda's Story

Message started by MelindaE on Nov 25th, 2003 at 3:17am

Title: Melinda's Story
Post by MelindaE on Nov 25th, 2003 at 3:17am
I remember when I first met my first step father, Harold.  I was 4 years old.  He told me that he was going to be my new daddy.  They married in May of 1975.  Harold had two kids from a previous marriage, Johnny (two days older than me) and Sherry (two years younger than me).  Soon my mother and Harold had a child of their own in July of 1976, her name is Holly.

My stepfather was a preacher although he was more like an evangelist.  My parents also drank a lot.  They told us not to tell people at church because they would think badly about them If they knew.   As I grew older, my mother's drinking became heavier and heavier.

On many Sunday afternoons between church services, my mother would take a nap.  My step father would shew the three other kids out of the house, sometimes locking them out and take me down to the downstairs family room and sexually abuse me.  This happened to me with regularity from the time I was approx. 8 until I was 13.

As if that wasn't enough, Harold had very different ways of parenting that my mother seemed to never question or stop and even participated in.  When we were spanked, we were spanked with an extension cord.  If that wasn't handy, they would use branches off a tree.  Sometimes they would use sticks that came off of the balloons we got from our favorite pizza parlor.  Soon we hated balloons and our parents made us each bring one home.   Only we knew why.  

Harold was in the business of painting cars for a living.  At work he would have "shop talks".  He decided to have "shop talks" at home too.  He came up with a system that works like this.  If you were bad you got your name on a list that hung on the refrigerator.  The list started fresh every Saturday.   For everything you did bad for that week, we would get a check mark next to our name.   For having your name on that list and for however many check marks we had beside our names, that was the number of swats we got with the extension cord doubled up.

As Johnny grew older, he became meaner.  He would make me do all of his chores.  If I didn't, he would beat me up after school before our parents came home from work.  Before school, at the bus stop, there was an electric fence.  He would make me touch it and if I didn't, he would beat me to a pulp after school.  He would do things like make me drink his loogies, and beat me up for no reason.  Soon, if I did something that my mom approved of but Harold didn't, Johnny would beat me up for his dad. Every once in a while when I didn't think I could take any more beatings, I would tell my mom that he was beating me up.   He would get in trouble.  The next day, he would beat me up so bad I wouldn't dare say anything to my mom about it for a long time.   My strategy with him was to try to be his friend. If I was friendly to him, even through all the beatings, it would die them down to once every other day as long as I was extremely nice to him.  

My mother and Harold divorced in 1984.  She took my sister, Holly and me and quickly moved into some small apartments and started dating Tom.  Tom is Harold's younger brother. Tom and my mother married in 1986.  When I felt my mom was not ever going back to Harold again and after she said to me while going through her regrets list, "Well, at least one good thing about Harold is that he is good to his children."  I said, "Ya right!".   Oops, it slipped.  She forced me into telling her what happened to me while she was married (the sexual abuse, at least).  She immediately went to the police and pressed charges.  He got a few months in jail, on the weekends.

I have been stuffing down my memories of the past, even so much as to looking at it as if it happened to someone else.   I wouldn't allow the feelings to come to the surface.

Recently, Johnny, angry over the fact that his now 72 year old father wouldn't give him $1,000 for drug money, promising he could make $5,000 with it, went into Harold's shop and with a chain wrapped around his fist crept up behind his father and began to beat and hit him repeatedly in the head letting the remainder of the chain catch up to his fist and beat him to a pulp.  He nearly took Harold's eye out.  He had a fractured skull.  

In hearing this from my sister, Holly, I began to  have flashbacks.  I tried to stuff them back down.  The next day I was physically ill, so much so, I couldn't move.  

I realize this isn't good for me and booked an appointment with a Licensed Social Care Worker, which is covered by my insurance.  

I am SO SAD that my childhood and innocence was taken away from me.   I want to talk to people who have been through similar situations as myself and see how they made it through.  

Title: Re: Melinda's Story
Post by warrior_redbird on Nov 25th, 2003 at 9:16pm
  I just wanted to recognize you for the courage it must have took you to share that part of yourself with us. You are safe here and this is where you will find your healing begins.  Rest...take a deep breath... and get ready for a ride. some days you will be sad, and others scared, and even some days relieved, but in all days you are safe and loved here...((((HUGS))))
  Be gentle with takes time!

Title: Re: Melinda's Story
Post by MelindaE on Nov 26th, 2003 at 1:30am
Thank you for the welcome.  Today I feel so angry and sad inside, even frustrated.  I was at work today and didn't want to be there due to how aweful I was feeling.  Since my boss is my mother-in-law and she knows about the therapy I am going through, I said to her, "I don't want to be here today.  I really don't."  I said it another time about 10 minutes later and I was very frustrated.  My computer died today as well, making my job almost impossible.  So anyway, she said to me, "You have to be here, you don't have a choice."  She had just read some things about me needing her support and help and space during this time.  I thought she was safe.  She wants to be.  But she can't see past her "boss" mode to care for the person I am.  I would think she would rather have me ready and gung ho when at work.  But no, she wants me there, even if I am no good to her being there.   Anyway, sorry to vent...I guess I  needed it.  Thank you for extending a hand of friendship.  I really appreciate it and desperately need it.

Title: Re: Melinda's Story
Post by ginabella on Dec 1st, 2003 at 2:38pm
;) hello Melinda!
Welcome to the group!  I think you will truly find a wonderful bunch of people here.  I have made many a friend....and have recieved so much helpful advice.  Even though I'm not on the sight everyday, I often find myself thinking of everyone and utilizing the wonderful advice they give.  I see the therapist weekly....but for me, this is my group therapy.
I wish you the best and I'm here, (as is everyone else) if you need me (us).
Much love and luck

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