Finding my voice

Apr 15, 2020 | survivor-stories

I was born in the south Oct.30 1971. At the age of 3 I started to realize I was a different girl than my little friends were. My mother hired a skating coach and I was made to learn and practice at a rink hours per day. There was also dance and tap classes. If I told her I was tired, the next day would be longer practices with beatings because I wasn’t good enough starting around age 5 and worse each year. She would complain to me often that my father worked hard for those classes and for my private schooling daily and yell about costs day in and out. I would cry from the blisters on my feet because after school and school work came more practicing until night time at the rink or dance studio. If home, I was isolated to my room with the door locked from the outside and always hit if I wanted out or needed to “potty too much”! ! felt very unloved and unwanted by mother and father.

 My father was not allowed to discipline me or do anything without mothers ok. If he got in her way, she would throw anything such as dinner plates at his head. I remember the yelling and fighting so fondly and hiding under my bed for fear she would” get me next” which was often the case. Sometimes even going out my window and up a tree for hours at around 8 years. At age 12 they divorced and I saw my dad a few years afterwards and mother always said” he must pay to see you and if he shorts me a dollar…you’ll never see him again.” I loved him and wanted his approval as well but began to feel sick and nauseous because he would pick me up in his truck and usually kiss me in the mouth or touch my breasts and I was so ashamed, I never told a soul. I however told my mother at 15 when I no longer saw him anymore and she totally dismissed me saying “oh you’re crazy girl.” The only saving grace I ever had was my mother’s parents where she’d drop me off some times while growing up. Papa and Nan loved me. I helped in the garden or we made ice cream and felt truly loved. That all ended every time I’d go home. I would tremble in the car because I was often slapped or hit in the chest, pinched etc. there.

 Also I dreaded the tiny apartment we lived in where me and my brother, born when I was 12, would have no food as she left for days with us having no food to eat. Yes I could’ve told my grandparents but the beatings I would get afterwards would make it unbearable. I was hit a good bit as a teen also and was made to also work to give mother the checks I made, take care of my brother and graduate high school all at the same time. Looking back I don’t know how I survived. Pure will I suppose. I know my grandparents knew she was bipolar, schizophrenic etc. because they fought with her on the subject. I decided to get married to a man going in the military and we had our first child at 19. It’s been a hard life but I was away from that beast called mother. Over the years she called me some but would often play her mind games like saying my husband was probably cheating with other women! So at 31 I told her goodbye on the phone for the last time, changed my number, finished! I wish I had gotten help but was so afraid of her and she knew I was! My brother is in the military and I am now 48, still married to my hero and we have 4 children together.

 I’m shaking right now thinking back to that hell of being hit and beat with hands, spoons, toys, belts and anything else she had. Marks on the body and careful not to let teachers see. Once I  was being hit in the chest so hard I plummeted into the dryer. I woke up later on with the wind knocked outta me. There has to be more for children like I was. People, judges, courts that care and can get you out if you have courage to tell! There had to be more for me too! Thanks for listening.

 What advice would you offer to encourage others?

 Find someone who cares and powerful enough to get you out!

 Sheila, survivor


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