My father died last Saturday. My friend John in Indiana was kind enough to send me a link to his obit.
My previous posts about my family history prompted a lot of distant “lost” family members to contact me to tell me something along the lines of “Hey, I’m related to you, I found you! Tell me what’s going on with your dad/mom/family!”
I was pretty short in my answers if I answered at all, mostly because I didn’t want to say anything specific about them until the time was right. Now that my father has passed away, I want to tell you about him.
I haven’t talked to my family in about 15-20 years. The reason is my parents.
My parents were monsters. I was beaten and terrorized until I escaped home.
My left eye is lower than my right eye because my left orbital socket was broken and was never healed right.
I have physical scars that I’ll carry to my grave.
When I started getting MRI’s for my SCA (Spinocerebellar Ataxia), one of the things that showed up in the scans were scarring in the brain from childhood head traumas. The SCA is a death sentence. The scarring is a contributor.
Here’s some other highlights from my childhood:
Once, I didn’t want to finish my dinner. My father threw my food onto the floor and forced me to eat it off of the floor on my hands and knees.
He’d purposely would beat me black and blue from my neck down so the bruises wouldn’t show up where teachers would notice.
I remember being dragged out of hiding from under the couch for my beatings, and can still feel the carpet under my fingernails as I clawed at it, screaming for help.
I’d be locked in the closet or the bathroom with the lights out, and if I turned on the lights, I’d get dragged out, beat senseless, and thrown back on. I’d lay on the tile floor and sob. I remember the cold tile floor on my face.
I was thrown off the roof for being scared of heights.
I had a guitar broken over my head for not wanting to practice.
I was slapped, punched, and whipped sometimes when it seemed totally at random.
I lived in terror when my mother would say, “Just wait until your father gets home.”
He tried to stab me once with a 10″ Bowie knife. For those on the metric system, that’s 25.4 cm.
He’d beat our dogs half to death for barking too much or otherwise acting like, well, dogs.
I was beaten to an inch of my life for asking for a toy in a store once.
My father may have been the gun, but my mother was the trigger. If I’d in anyway upset her, she’d be the one to set my father on me. She’d tell me I was a “stupid oak,” an idiot.
I was beat with a rug beater, a vacuum cleaner hose, a yardstick. Nice broad things upside the head so they also wouldn’t leave clear marks.
I have hearing loss in one ear because of one slap that knocked me off my feet.
She warned me that if I told ANYONE about what was happening at home, they’d be taken away by the police and I’d have to go live in a foster home.
She said since my sister was retarded, I’d have to stay home and take care of her for the rest of my life. For those of you reading this, get a life if the word “retarded” offends you. That’s what it was called then, that’s what I’ll repeat to you now.
And those are just a few highlights.
My aunts knew about what was happening, and when I would call and ask them to rescue me, they’d downplay it, and tell things would get better or that I was making a big deal out of nothing (paraphrasing).
A few weeks ago, one of my aunts Trojan Horse’d me. I got a greeting card from a name I didn’t immediately recognize. It said on the front, “An armful of happy thoughts…” On the inside it says, “I’m sorry these are not happy thoughts,” and proceeds to tell me the status of my father, and the card has printed inside, “…picked just for you.” Man, is that massive Dutch passive aggressive guilt tripping, or what.
I was thinking suicidal thoughts by the time I was 8. I tried killing myself 3 times. I never had kids, and didn’t even have pets until recently, because I was convinced I’d abuse them. I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror, even to shave. I have a permanent form of PTSD that’s pending for the DSM-V called Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD Dissociative Subtype. My self-esteem is for shit.
I’m on marriage #4, and I finally got it right because I married a total stranger and didn’t end up with the usual dysfunctional relationship patterned after my life history.
I’ve finally got help in 1999, and my life has turned around, but if someone back home is waiting for me to reconnect with them, don’t hold your breath. You’re dead to me.
I tell people I was raised by wolves, and I’ve been helping volunteering to help others like me since I was diagnosed as part of my penance for the things I’ve done as a result of the fucking evil you’ve raised.
If you’re from my direct family in Fort Wayne, never try to contact me again. Ever. You’re just a nightmare that I occasionally wake up from literally screaming. I wish I had gone to a foster family, even a chain of bad ones.
Grandpa John and Grandma Rose were the only ones I will ever miss, and I loved them with all of my heart. I wish I had gotten to know my grandparents from the other side of my family.
I’m sorry for anyone distant relatives who have just found me because of my blog. I’ve locked down my Facebook profile just to keep those same kind of relatives from finding me, because that old life is too hard to explain.
I don’t know how to wrap this up other than to say that if you grew up like I did, and are waiting for your parents to apologize, or want to reconnect with them and it’s just not happening, maybe it’s time for you to move on.
Break ties and look forward. Your life starts here. Get help. Your life doesn’t have to be without hope and you don’t need to be stuck in a mess of depression, fear, and violence. My heart goes out to you, and I offer you what strength and hope I can.