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A Child’s Cry – A Personal Story of Child Abuse

Teenage Rebellion

If you have ever been the victim of child abuse, I can definitely relate. I was emotionally and physically abused by my mother until the age of 16. I felt a lot of the abuse was my fault and I deserved every punch in the face and every burn from the cigarette. I know now that none of the abuse was my fault and that I didn’t deserve any of it.

I kept it a secret from everyone. I hid the marks with long sleeves and jeans. I laughed until I cried around my friends when inside I was screaming, “Somebody please help me!” I pretended to be happy and carefree in school but always thinking, ” please don’t let the day end.” My grades were good, they had to be and no one ever suspected anything was going on.

I dreaded going home. I walked slow, fear rising in my belly, wondering if I had completely finished all my chores before I left for school that day. I wanted to just keep walking, not head in the right direction, to turn and run the other way but the fear that wanted me to not go home was also a fear that said I better get there.

My father was oblivious to the abuse, he knew nothing until years later. He drove a semi-truck cross country and was gone for weeks at a time. When he came home I felt the relief fall from me. The last thing I wanted to do was spoil our special moments with him and tell him what was going on while he was away. I was able to really relax and have fun. His homecoming was always short lived though, usually just a couple of days and the dreaded knot of fear would begin to tighten as he began packing for another long period of absence. I hated to see him go.

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I was not allowed friends, the ones I had were in secret. They never called because I lied and said I didn’t have a phone. There were no sleepovers, again I lied to my friends and told them my mother had bad headaches maybe next weekend. I didn’t go to parties, mom’s headaches kept her from driving, “no I don’t need you to pick me up I’d rather stay at home and take care of my mom.” I was always told by my mother, “You go to school for one reason and one reason only and it’s NOT to have friends!” So I kept them hidden from her and her from them.
I ran away from home at 15 but was soon found by police. When my mother made it to the police station, she tore into me right there and I yelled to everyone, to anyone that would hear me, “Don’t you see why I don’t want to go home?” They thought it just teenage rebellion and sent me home with her anyway.

I got it worse that night, worse than I had ever gotten it. She sat on top of me and smothered me with her hands. I wanted it to work, I wanted it to end for me. She would let go just as things were getting dark and then she would repeat it over and over. She spit on me and called me such horrible things a mother should never say to her child. She told me she “brought me into this world and she would take me out of it”. I have heard other parents say this to their children as a bit of a joke but she was serious. She wanted to end my life and I wanted her to that day.

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I left at age 16 to move in with my father. (By this time my parents were divorced. He unknowingly let her have custody of me because I was made to tell him by my mother, that that was what I wanted.) I told him everything that had happened all those many years and he cried long and hard and asked me to forgive him for being so blind. he told me he would never let anything happen to me again. He fought for custody and won because she pulled a gun on us both and was caught doing so by an off duty police officer.

I haven’t been able to forgive her, maybe someday but not today nor many tomorrows to come. I went through so much, so much more than anyone should ever have to bare and so as long as I fear her, I can never forgive her. She will continue to haunt my dreams and cast a shadow over my life. I will never forget.