Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Behind Closed Doors - story of the escape from a lifetime of abuse Part 1

This true story is authored by a woman with extensive experience as a victim of abuse. She lives right here among us in this little town we call The Woodlands. She is someone’s neighbor. I hope you see as I did, when I first heard her story, her profound lessons for all of us, and you too will have empathy for those around you who suffer as she did. You can learn what can be and take precautions to not let this happen to you or your loved ones. For those currently suffering from repeated abuse, she will also provide you her advice on escaping the terrible emotional consequences and the jaws of imprisonment by an abuser… Part 1 ….from childhood …    
I have a domestic violence story to tell, not graphically to raise the hairs on your head, but to share my life so others can see a beacon of hope in theirs and to enlighten whoever will listen to what criminal experiences some people face behind closed doors. This is about me but for you. Violence in the home can occur to a person of any affluence. I have learned that it can happen to an educated or uneducated person. Awareness can be beneficial to prevent loved ones from being a victim or recover from being a victim of abuse. 
I suppose what I want most to convey to you is that one is never too smart or too experienced to not be a victim of domestic violence. I also acknowledge that the person who reads this is most likely someone with their own story of violence and abuse. Perhaps my story will help serve to validate their experience or help them escape from theirs.
It started very early in my life. I grew up as the middle child in an abusive home. We were a family of five. My two sisters somehow escaped the range of violence I experienced, but none of us were left unscathed by the abuse in our home.
Our parents were hard-core alcoholics, meaning they drank until they both fought like animals and then eventually passed out. Our house was known as “that house” with “those people”. Our reputation for both violence and weekly police visits were well known in our neighborhood. 
I have come to understand that there are various types of abuse including sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, and probably others. There seems to be no limit to what one human being can inflict upon another. I believe that I have experienced the entire range of abuse. Starting at age three, my Uncle frequently molested me for three years. That is a very long time for a child. He lived in my home. When I turned sixteen, my dentist molested me. Having settled the resultant court case, my parents bought a sailboat and cases of Cutty Sark Scotch. You get the picture. I suffered but got no compensation of my own.  My parents confiscated those funds. There was no validation for me in this. In effect, the dentist bought my silence, and my parents made off with the loot.
At home, I was treated differently than my sisters. My fate was to be abused in many other ways as well.  While my sisters were treated with respectable living accommodations, I slept on an army cot until I left home after graduation. Both of my sisters had beautiful bedroom suits. I was humiliated, beaten and verbally assaulted throughout my childhood years. I grew up thinking I was a piece of trash, completely unlovable. I mean, if my own parents didn’t love me, then who could?
More often than not, I was not allowed to eat at the family dinner table. I remember many evenings eating cold Veg-All out of a can. One outlet for establishing my self-value began as a sophomore in high school.  Every evening I cleaned a 50,000 square foot office building. I was a janitor although I never told a soul. Still I felt empowered by earning my own money. So it was a double-edged sword. I loved empowerment, but the shame of what I did diminished my self-confidence. My life was consistently clouded in shame. In fact, when I made the Dean’s List in college and was gifted an academic scholarship, I actually went to the Dean’s office to give the scholarship back. I told the Dean I didn’t deserve it, even though I was working full-time to afford night school. Thank God he took the time to explain to me that my 4.0 GPA earned me the right to receive such a blessing.
I had experienced all the pain and suffering that I could stand and was looking forward to living life on my own terms. I moved out of my house three days after graduation.
To be continued ….

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