The darkest moments of my life were the days sleeping in a tightly squeezed closet with a sheer cover and a hard surface to lay on. I could barely make out my hands in front of me. Although, there was this small amount of light that would creek through the thin crack line that separated the closet doors, still it was like losing your eyesight and only seeing light from time to time.
I could hear everything while living in that closet. My two stepsisters either laughing together or arguing. My stepmother would always be in a bad mood. She was constantly yelling and screaming about something. I don’t know how my biological father dealt with it. The woman was impossible to please.
I would listen closely for footsteps because I knew if she was going to come into my room I had to prepare myself for whatever she felt like doing to me that day. Rather it was grabbing me by the center of my neck with her two fingers and holding me up as high as she could, or either she would slap the back of my head so hard I would tumble over. I didn’t know which one was worse.
I was not allowed to eat with the family. I was not allowed to go on vacation with the family. Neither was I allowed to be treated as a human like my stepsisters were treated. For years I asked myself why, and the truth is, there was never a good enough answer to allow something so horrific to be done towards me.
My stepmother had this bright idea one day that she was going to strip me naked and tie my ankles together. Ever time that I walked (well in this case I was hopping) my ankles would rub together causing my skin to tear apart. Unfortunately for me, on a particular school day, my stepmother had allowed my sisters to have friends over from the neighborhood. She came into my room, opened the closet door, and tied my feet together, and told me to come to eat. I was still butt naked and I didn’t know that company was over. When I reached the dining room table a burnt hot dog was waiting for me, nothing new to me because this is how she fed me most of the time. Before I could eat she told everyone who was sitting in the living room to stop and look at me. She started laughing and that made everyone else laugh. Including my stepsisters and of course the neighborhood kids. I was only 8 years old, standing there butt naked with my ankles tied being laughed at by what felt like the whole world. Once I was back in my closet I would cry as softly as I could because if she heard me I would be punished.
Whenever I went to school again I rode the school bus and I saw the little boy who was at my house that day. He sat in front of me and I tried to talk to him. He turned around and told me to not talk to him. I asked him why, and his reply was: “because my momma told me that your mom is evil and to not talk to you.” That was the very moment I knew I was different. The Abuse had taken over my life and I thought I would never escape.
Until one day I jumped out of my father’s truck while he was going 60mph on the highway. I didn’t die but I had wished I had. I was only eight years old and my life was so horrible that I wanted to die.
There were many, many, many other gruesome horrors my parents put me through but I won’t go into much detail. All I knew was there was nothing I could have possibly done to deserve that. I was young and at that age all I was doing was existing. My childhood was stripped from the hands that were supposed to love, teach, care, and help me.
My father never apologized to me but when I was fourteen years old my stepmother did. She told me she was sorry for all the things that she had done. I accepted her apology, I even hugged her. Then I realized as I got older that my father was divorcing her and that’s probably why she said sorry.
My journey did not stop there. I had a lot of trauma to deal with and even now as a twenty-six-year-old I still have trauma but I am overcoming my pain.
I want to share with you on what you should do if you are dealing with past or even present child abuse.
1. Don’t keep silent! Speak up!
Your life depends on it. Trust me. I was terrified of my parents, I was so afraid I thought either I was going to kill myself from going insane or my step mother was going to end up killing me from abuse. One day I went to school and I told everything. I even ran away from home and sought help. It took me multiple times but I found what I was looking for. I went into foster care but that was better than dying. If you are under eighteen reading this, I want you to know one very important thing, just because your parents or parent are horrible people doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. You are worthy of love. Someone will love you unconditionally without you having to ask them. Nothing is your fault because you don’t deserve to be beaten like a punching bag. You are human and you have rights like everyone else in this world. What they are doing to you is only a reflection of how they look at themselves.
2. Seek mental help
If you aren’t ready for therapy, that is ok but don’t ignore how important it is. You can start with someone you truly trust. A positive person. You need people in your life you can be vulnerable with because those are the people who will accept your struggles and not judge you on them. Talking with someone will help you understand your feelings more. You might even find yourself feeling a bit better afterward.
3. Stop blaming yourself for what others have done to you
This is the hard part of the journey. For many years and honestly to this day I ask myself: “what did I do to deserve that? Now, I am learning to not beat myself up over something that happened long ago but the pain is as fresh as an open sore, it hasn’t healed completely yet. My advice to you is to think about how you survived and the love you recieve from other people. It could be your best friend, husband, other family members, girlfriend, etc. Try to see what they see in you. You are a survivor.
4.Find an outlet
Finding an outlet is important as well. I know when something bad happens to me I quickly start thinking of my past because I have seen how horrendous situations can get. That’s because I haven’t broken my mental trauma chains completely yet. It takes time and it takes a lot of pushing forward. I like to write, that is my outlet. Yours can be anything you desire. Pick something that sets you free.
5.Cry if you have to
Cry until you have no more tears. Seriously, let it all out! This is a great way to allow growth to happen. I’ll give you an example, I remember being so hurt by something someone did to me and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. The more I kept it in the more it hurt. I was like a pipe filled with water until I just turned that sucka on and let it pour. I would be at work, in my car, at home in the shower, cooking, at church, it didn’t matter. I went somewhere quiet and balled my eyes out. The more I cried the less pressure I felt in my chest. You will cry about the past sometimes but that is okay. Sooner or later it won’t feel as bad. That heavy pressure on your chest will lighten up. Trust me.
I hope this article has helped you in some way. I know that it is hard and it seems like the light will never shine through. But it will shine through, it will shine so bright that you won’t feel a thing anymore. It takes time though. Don’t give up. One day, those people who did those terrible things to you will get their karma but don’t worry about them, focus on you. God bless and take care.