‘The terrible childhood abuse I suffered at the hands of my parents’

Jun 02, 2019
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The writer suffered terribly at the hands of her parents and asks 'How does one come back from that?'. Source: Getty Images

Do I, don’t I, would anybody care? These are the thoughts that I have wrestled with all my life. Finally, I feel comfortable writing about my childhood from hell! Nearly all of my childhood memories are dark and haunting, definitely not happy. My parents should never have bore any more children into this world, however when they got together they had another four, taking the total to 13!

It was not the Brady Bunch nor The Walton’s. My life was hell. I was singled out to be the doormat, the one to kick around, punch, slap, hit, yell at and bash. I have the scars to prove it!

My earliest memory is being at the doctors having the side of my head above my left eye stitched up. I had a Bertie Beetle to eat because I was a good girl and knew to hold still. The doctor called me ‘Bumble Foot’ because I always seemed to be ‘falling’ and coming in for stitches. I was three years old.

The thing is I didn’t fall, I was usually thrown. There was the brick hearth of the fireplace (six stitches behind my left ear and slightly burned for that one) when I was five, the swing ‘fell on me’ (it was really my brother who pulled it over onto me) and broke my nose when I was eight. I had to have an X-ray for that, which was terrifying as I didn’t know what it was. Fortunately the doctors were able to fix me up, but I got a smack from my father for the wages he lost having to stop work and take me to the hospital.

I became a quiet child around the home, seen but not heard. I loved school though, it was a safe place and I had wonderful teachers who really cared. I remember being invited to the wedding of my third grade teacher. I was picked up to attend by my friend and her mother. After the wedding I went back to my friend’s house for a play date, but when I was delivered home my mother was displeased that my dress was dirty. I knew I was in for it after my friend and her mother left.

When my father arrived home and was informed about the state of my dress, I got a smack. I never cried. I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of them knowing they had broken me. I was stronger than that.

I remember begging my mother for a Monopoly game for my eighth birthday. She must have felt I deserved something because after school, when I arrived home, it was there on my bed. I couldn’t believe I finally had something that was mine. I opened the box and unwrapped the tokens, money, dice and cards in such excitement I thought I would burst. It was such a magical feeling.

However, when my father arrived home and I asked if he’d like to play with me a huge yelling match erupted between him and my mother. Because I’d opened the game he could no longer take it back. He threw the game across the room and the next thing I remember is waking up on my bed with the game on the floor. My sister informed my father I’d come to and he came to the room. “There is no Father Christmas, no Easter Bunny, no Tooth Fairy and no more birthdays for you!” he yelled at me.

I used to think my parents were not really my parents and that my real parents would come and find me and take me away. They never did.

When I was two years old I got glandular fever and was admitted to the children’s hospital. While I was there I contracted scarlet fever and spent nearly five months in hospital recovering. I never had any visitors. My parents were either busy with the other children or working. When I was well enough to go home, my father came to collect me. My hair had fallen out because of the high temperatures I’d been running, and when I arrived home my mother refused me saying that I wasn’t hers.

The last time my father assaulted me I was 18 and I found the strength to fight back. It was a mistake. He lost all sense and started punching me. I kicked him and then he put his hands around my throat, squeezing until I could barely breathe. I remember thinking ‘This is it’. Right before I was going to black out, I saw my mother step in. I think it was the only time I had ever seen her do such a thing.

I had bruises around my neck, my arms and my legs, and I had to go to work the following day. It was September and already quite warm, however, I went into work wearing a maxi skirt, long sleeved pullover with a rolled neck, thick stockings and boots so no one would see my bruises. I received more than my fair share of confused looks from customers that day.

My parents have both died and I do not have any contact with my siblings. After all the horrible things that have happened to me, I want nothing to do with any of them.

If you are concerned about domestic and family violence in your family, friends or workplace, contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732, Mensline Australia on 1300 789 978, Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 or Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 for confidential support, advice and referral that will help you explore your options.

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