This post could be triggering to anyone who has been a victim of abuse or has a sensitive heart. Read with caution.
Several years ago I was a happy, energetic little girl. I would look for the best in people, and I was sure to befriend everyone I could. Today, I'm overly pessimistic and cautious about who I approach. I wish that I could remember the days that I saw the world as good and pure, because now I see the corruption and the evils lurking behind every corner. This is the story of my first time seeing just how cruel the world can be.
I originally wrote a long and passionate story about my abusive and neglectful step father, but after writing the whole thing I decided that it was much to personal to post. Instead, I will be presenting a brief summary of what opened my eyes to the evils of the world at an absurdly young age.
I have never met my biological father. I only know that his name is Matthew. This fact has never really bothered me, and I joke about it freely. How can I miss someone that I've never met? What does bother me, however, is the treatment I got from my step father, and my mother after meeting my step father. Let's just call this step dad "J".
J was a great guy at first. For the first two years of his relationship with my mother, I felt like all of the other kids. I spent time with my "dad", and I would tell people that too. I claimed him as my real father. We went on "daddy daughter dates", and he would buy me nice little gifts just because he knew I'd like something he found. I was proud to call him my father, and I looked up to him.
This adoration took a harsh turn when my sister and brother were born. I was six when Shaylee was born, and a year later JJ was born. Both J and my mother saw the four of them as the perfect family, and I was sort of made the outcast of the family. The gifts stopped, and J avoided me. He'd take his children fishing and drive off while I was changing just so that I wouldn't ruin their "family time".
I began to crave the attention of both of my parents. I acted out like any normal child would. I cut my hair, I drew on the walls, and once I even broke into my aunt's house and messed up her kitchen because I knew that I would be sent to my parents for punishment.
They had no choice but to pay attention to me when I was getting into trouble, but that day I got a new type of punishment. My mother was at work, so I was taken to J. He had never in the slightest been abusive to me, but that day he was a little more drunk than usual, or maybe even high. I was too young to tell, and I only found out about his drug and alcohol problem a couple of years ago. J pushed me to the ground and kicked my thigh hard enough to leave a scuff from the tip of his boot.
I felt like absolute scum. If he was angry enough to hurt me, then it must mean that I really was the child no one wanted. I can still remember the feeling of my tiny little eight year old heart breaking. I wouldn't have been hit if I were a good enough child. I felt so terrible that I packed up my toys in a garbage bag, unplugged my TV, and even sat myself in the corner. J came in and tried to bribe me into acting okay because he didn't want my mother to know. I refused, and he got angry and slammed my door when he left. I cried my eyes out until my mother got home nearly an hour later. I showed her the mark from his shoe, but she ignored it and said that I was probably being bad so he spanked me.
The minor abuses continued for the next year with J always trying to bribe me into keeping my mouth shut, and my mother thinking that the bruises or the scratches were just from rough play at school. I thought that she hated me, but today I know that she was in true denial. She didn't want to believe that her lover would do something so vile. I knew that the marks weren't enough to really get J into any trouble, so I didn't bother telling anyone else.
J cheated on my mother several times before they "broke up" when I was nine. J would call his children, and send his children gifts. I didn't understand what was wrong with me that the man I had adored so fiercely as a child wanted nothing to do with me. I was his kid first, but I was ignored completely when he left.
My mother started to date a lot of men. She'd have a new man nearly once a month, and I'd get attached to them immediately to fill the void J had left. I met many men, both good and bad, during that time. When they left, I was more heartbroken than my mother. J and my mother had a few flings in that time as well. The main thing I remember is the night that J bailed my mother out of jail.
They weren't dating, but she slept with him that night as payment for getting her out. I walked in on them because I had forgotten to get my mom's signature on a field trip paper, and she sent him to put me to bed. He screamed at me and threatened to beat me with his belt for crying after his verbal attacks. I couldn't stop sobbing, so he shut my door hard as a warning that if I left my room, there would be consequences.
I realized that my mother slept with many men for things she needed, such as a sweetheart named Donny that had a truck, and a man named Alan because he had a cabin he let us stay in. We never had much money, so I'm still not sure if she did it for us or for herself. Still, I started to think of my mother as a whore, and by 7th grade I had convinced myself that I would end up the same. I was terrified. I wanted to be so much more than her.
I was bullied often, so I didn't have many friends. I became introverted and horribly shy. My experiences with J and my mother's actions after he arrived gave me abandonment issues, trust issues, anxiety, and a terribly distorted self image. I thought of myself as a sumo wrestler with the face of an ape, when really I was sort of a cute little girl. An 11 year old should never have to deal with those issues.
Seventh grade was a year that I moved around a lot. I went from Pennsylvania, to Maryland, to Tennessee, then to Kentucky. I spent two months in each state, and so I didn't make any new friends in any of my schools. I was lonely, but my mother had stopped dating and we had left J behind, which were things I'd be willing to sacrifice my social life for.
I began making friends in KY at the beginning of 9th grade. I was still bullied, but not as badly. I made friends with the skater/stoner kids, so no one really bothered me because they were like the tougher group in the school. I was finally feeling at peace, and I was making huge strides in improving the issues caused by my childhood. Sadly, that time was short lived. This passed summer, the summer after 10th grade, my mother invited J to live with us again.
My siblings stayed with me and my mother when we left the state, so they were glad to see their dad again. I, however, was bitter. I hated him, and I hated her for inviting him back. She promised nothing was going on between them, but it furthered my hatred when I found out that she lied. J no longer fucked with me because I had grown big enough to hit him back if need be, but my siblings found out that they could torment me all they wanted with no repercussions.
They both called me "fatass" daily, and JJ even told me to kill myself and he once came at me with a pair of scissors. He got a "knock it off" from my mother. I finally got fed up with it, and I started to fight back. I started fights with J when he said some idiotic retort under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and I often rebelled against whatever he said. My mother had realized her mistakes when we first came to KY, and we had mended our relationship, but to this day I don't feel the "motherly bond" most people say that they have with their moms. I never cried to her about a break up, and when I was bullied or felt depressed I just kept it hidden.
I got sick of J and his bullshit. My mother offered to let me live with my uncle back in my home state, and I felt slight sadness at the fact that she brought it up herself. I thought she wanted me gone, so I packed my stuff and they took me the next month. I was sad to see her drive away, but I was glad to be far from J.
Since I left, the four of them take "family photos", and go to "family events", something they never included me in. They're a happy little family now that they've sent away the fatherless brat. It still hurts me too think of this, but I do know that my mother loves me. She tries to make it up to me now by sending money and checking in on me when needed, and she calls every so often. She even wants me to spend the summers with her, which I obviously have to oblige to.
J may have been a horrible human, but if he had never entered my life I wouldn't be as smart as I am today. I learned to grow up fast and take care of myself, and I now know to be careful with my trust. However, my distrust goes to some major extremes, and my body image still isn't as good as it should be, but those are things that I'm working on. This story is a hard one for me to tell, and I didn't even add all of the details.
And that was the first person to teach me how cruel the world was, and it's a lesson I will never forget, no matter how old I get.