I matter and so do you
I lived with my mom, dad, brother, and grandmother. I suffered from anxiety and depression at a very young age, around 6. My dad abused me physically and emotionally. The words my dad would say about me stuck with me, and the more he told me, the more I thought it was true. He would tell me “how much I didn’t matter “and” how stupid I was”. He would call me awful curse words. I felt like my dad hated me! I started to hate myself. My dad hated me and told me how horrible I was daily. He would hit me for no reason I hated being home when mom was not there. When I turned 8, everything got even worse! I got sick, and my dad didn’t want a kid with chronic illnesses and special needs. My anxiety and depression were worse at this time. The abuse also got worse. My dad was a sick person he was grooming my brother into his little me. I was no longer just hiding from my dad! I was also hiding from my brother, as well. I felt like I did not matter. I was ashamed of myself because both my dad and brother did not like me! At first, my dad would reward my brother with praises when he hurt me. I hated being home; I would try my best not to be home! My brother and I were constantly fighting well sort of sometimes we would actually be fighting, and sometimes we really were not. When my mom was home, we would both get into trouble even though, in reality, most of the time, it was just a cover-up. I lived in a life of lies for a long time!
I was scared of my dad and brother, two people who are supposed to love me and look out for me. Not hurt me and make me feel helpless and worthless. Being hit by my brother is terrifying being hit over and over and trying to fight your way out even though it’s useless. I do not talk about this very often at all, but I have seen that it can help. I have had tools thrown at me, but miss me or slightly hit me. My own dad has pointed a gun directly at me and threatened me with it! I can’t even describe the horror it was in that home.
I even had my grandma hurt me. I started to feel like I did not matter to anyone! My grandma would hit me with her cane and she even took a chief knife and held it right in front of me and threatened me with it, her own granddaughter. I never knew who would hurt me! Normally it was just my dad and brother! When my mom left to go to work, I would end up finding a phone and go hide. I would call her and tell her I needed to leave then I just left. I would not tell anyone else, I would just go. I never really told her what happened because I was too afraid to let her know what happened to me under her roof. I never knew who to turn to so I never told anyone. I also did not want my dad to find out either so I just kept it hidden! When my parents got a divorce I only visited my dad a few times. He was worse without my mom around at all. My brother even got worse, I got thrown across the hallway and slid into the door. They took the anger of the divorce out on me. My dad eventually cut all ties with me unless he wanted to use me. He would tell me my mom is trying to kill me and that he would kill my mother and I.
My dad made me feel so pathetic and that no one loved me. I eventually learned and am still learning that there are people that do love me and that I really do matter. Even though for the longest time it was drilled into me that I did not matter and I was worthless. This is actually false because I do matter. Learning and believing that I am worth love and that I matter is a working process, but I now know it is possible to matter to people. This is not something that goes away and it is ok that it takes time. Abuse is extremely difficult for anyone! Having my own dad and brother hurt me is so hard for me to admit. I have tried keeping it a secret for a very long time, but it just hurt me even more. When my dad passed and my brother moved in, I started having to really find ways to cope and grow from this. There is hope in all this. I matter and so do you!
What advice would you offer to encourage others?
- You matter.
- You are loved when it does not feel like it.
- You’re not alone!
- You have a voice even when it does not seem like it.
– Rachell, Survivor
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