I know, this is the third post today and I apologize for the overload, but if I can’t get this stuff off my chest, I’m going to implode.
The title is named for the song “Broken” by Seether featuring Amy Lee and so help me, that is exactly how I feel right now.
This exchange I had with another blogger has really torn open some wounds and no matter how hard I try I just can’t stop the bleeding. Honestly, I thought I had let these scar over enough throughout the years that I would never face this stuff again.
I was wrong.
As I’ve mentioned,, I am the child of a pastor. A Baptist preacher at that. Lovely man, you should meet him. I think he’s still alive but I’m not sure and I really don’t care. Harsh? Yes and I have every right to be.
Let me give a warning, I am very upset at the moment. I am hurt, I am angry and I don’t want to feel like this. If I bottle all this up again I know it will eat me alive, or kill me.
Before he “found God” my father was an abusive alcoholic who took things out on me and my mother. The earliest memory I have is of him coming after us one night with a large kitchen knife. Yeah, real sweetheart this guy.
Another thing I remember all too well is how he punished me. He used a large white leather belt that had a diamond design cut into it so that all those open holes would leave raised welts. That is what he used on a child under the age of six. Yes, I can remember that damn belt from before my sister came along and I was six when she was born.
He would use that belt for more than ten years. It wasn’t to wear.
All punishments required at least five lashes, often more all given at full strength. Yep, a full grown man would beat the hell out of an undersized child he could lift with one arm.
Think things would change after he got religion? You’d be wrong, they got worse. Not only were there beatings, there were new punishments too.
Example? I once said a “bad word” and it wasn’t even fudge. What did I get? I had to hold a bar of lye soap in my mouth for half an hour. I remember that all too clearly. I received chemical burns to my mouth and my vocal chords were stripped. I could barely eat or talk for more than a week.
Another thing that happened was that I fell and broke my arm, (I didn’t know it was broke until years later after getting an x-ray), but I knew something was wrong because my arm swelled, turned bright red and locked so that I couldn’t move it. When my mom suggested that maybe I should go to the hospital, my father said: “He’s a man, he can take it.” and that was that. It unlocked enough I could use it three days later.
My dad decided that he had been “called” to the ministry by the time I was nine. Once he had been assigned a church we had to pack up and move. A new town, a new state. No friends, nothing familiar to fall back on, I was left pretty much to my own devices, I was to be neither seen nor heard. More often than not I was ignored in my own home, unless I did something I wasn’t suppose to do like come home two minutes late. Yes, they gave me a watch and a time and I had better hope I remember to wind the thing before I left because there were no excuses and that belt always hung on the back of the door.
During this time and until I was thirteen I had a standing promise, any grade that I had that was a C or lower earned me five lashes each. I had six classes and I only got Bs in PE. You do the math. This was my fathers way of motivating me to do better in school.
Did I mention that I was to be neither seen nor heard? Did I mention that my parents both went out of their way to act like I didn’t exist? If they did take note, it was to tell me how worthless I was, how I would never amount to anything. My mother looked at me one day and said:
“You’ll never be worth shit.”
Yeah, that sweet little preachers wife said that to her son.
Still wonder why I was terrified of getting caught dressing up? They would have killed me. I was certain of that. They didn’t really want me in the first place.
I shudder to think what they would have done had I told them I often felt more like a girl than I did a boy.
Okay, I simply cannot continue this sad little tale, I have to get up and move. I have to do something with my hands other than typing. Please forgive me for dumping all this on you, but I just couldn’t think of what else I could do.