Lifetime of Abuse

Abuse comes in many forms, but the three major types are verbal, physical, and mental. The following story is true, and believe me, I am not asking for pity or understanding, but what I am asking for is your attention. I need to know that you are aware. People tease and holler in the name of love, but is it? When no one listens for or hears the cries, this is the worst kind of abuse there is.

When I sat with my mother, before she passed away, I told her I could remember as far back as the age of infancy, I am talking about months old. I know the mind can play tricks thirty or forty years down the road, but the things I told her I remembered she remembered. The thing is, I never cried abuse, just told her about the good times I remember. I remembered when I was just about three months old, I told my mother that my father tried to hold me but I started crying because his hands felt like they were covered with splinters. He handed me back as soon as he picked me up. She remembered that. I reminded her of the time I was three, my father heard me crying for some reason, probably because all the lights were off in my room and I was afraid. I reminded her about my teddy bear; I loved that bear like a close friend. He walked into my room with the belt, and struck me exactly five times and when I wouldn’t stop crying, he grabbed the bear out of my hands and tore it to shreds. I reminded her that I couldn’t stop crying and couldn’t catch my breath almost causing me to pass out. She remembered that and laughed. It may have been the way I told a story that made her laugh, or it could have been a nervous laugh, you know, when someone feels uncomfortable about something that happened in the past. I also remembered her sitting me on her lap when the news about Louis Costello, the comedian’s death came on in a special report on the television. I also can remember drinking beer from a baby bottle as did one of my sisters, guess that was funny back in the day.

I guess, I was like so many others back in those days. It was never abuse, but the ways, of the times. My mother abused me in her own way. She tried so hard to please others but disregarded the family’s feelings.

I was still only three years old and I had a birthday party in the yard. Where I lived, one yard was for two homes. We shared a driveway and once you drove up there was a garage on either side, a community backyard. I was allowed one friend, the kid next door, Nicky who was three also. When Nicky picked up a one inch thick piece of pine, about two by two, and raised it over his head and came down with full force, and struck my head, I actually saw stars. A huge bump rose on my head and I cried. My mother apologized to the neighbors for my behavior. Yeah, I am whining but when no one listens things like this can’t stay bottled up or illness can accrue later on in life.

My memory is not the only thing that is acute. I see things, warnings, and when I get that gut feeling about these feelings they happen. Between the ages of three and five, my father who was a heavy drinker, no, a drunk, would feel the need to hit me with the belt every night while my mother would sit alone in the kitchen mad at him for drinking again. He was never stopped but to me it was a way of life. My brother who was seven years older then I was, as a joke, took a handful of glass and put it in my drink. I almost swallowed it but managed to choke it all out after about three minutes. That was funny, how the family played jokes on me throughout my lifetime. Little did I know, later on in life I would know that it was all done because of hatred? I know what some people may say, “Oh, maybe you just feel this way because memories can play tricks and thinking about it after all of these years can build up bitterness.” No, I know it now, because my brother told me five years ago that when I was born I ruined things for the family.

I remember my pet Timmy, he was a parakete and was whistling one day, happy as can be. My good old daddy, decided the bird was sick so he dunked his head in vinigar. The bird died and he said, “I told you it was sick.” As you may have guessed, he was drunk again. He would be drinking a whole gallon of red table wine every night, after he came home from the bar.

Ok, still age seven I was told I would be going to a two week camp. I was sent there because I was a problem child. I was seven, was walked to school, back home and watched television tall the rest of the day. I protested about the camp thing, but they shipped me off anyway. Before I left, I told my mother, I felt as if something bad would happen there. She laughed and said, “Oh, you and your premonitions.” When I returned, I never said anything to them about what had happened at camp because they would have blamed me for my troubles.

Two week in camp a mere two weeks, maybe it would be fun after all. The boys were told that we were going swimming and if we weren’t changed into our bathing suits in thirty seconds we would get the belt. I was beaten with a three inch piece of canvas on my back because I had trouble tying the string on my suit. I was beaten everyday and sometimes at night for doing nothing but what I was told to do, because they could. I always did as told no matter where and when I was. I went back to school; I was now in the third grade. We had a dog we called Shadow. Shadow was really the only friend I had. I would walk him all the time and even taught him tricks. One day when I was walking home from school, my friend ran over to me and told me my dog was hit by a car. Shadow was a leash dog. He wasn’t trained to go out by himself but as my mother explained to me, she didn’t feel like walking him so she let him out the door. Ok, I know I cry a lot in these stories so as you might have figured, I cried when I found out my dog was dead, and as you may have guessed, I got a beating for that.

I lived like this until I was ten, when I was ten; my brother hit me in the head with a rock. I needed five stitches and my mother told the doctor not to give me anesthetic because it cost too much. Right after this happened, my mother helped my brother buy a car and send my sister to a Broadway show with friends of the family.

This was about the time when my mother and father were fighting every night. They would call me into the room and play, didn’t he do that,and didn’t she say that. They would put me in the middle all the time and one would try and pin me against the other but I would never choose and for that I received a beating. My mother would sit in the kitchen after the feirce battle. My father would call me into the room and ask me for things. He would ask me to get two long sharp knives from the kitchen. He would ask for the big marconi pot and a towel. He would order me to sit in front of him. He then would place the towel on the floor, put the pot on top of it and place one of his feet on the pot. He then would take a knife and tell me he was going to cut his foot off. I would start to cry because what kid at that young age would need to see that. He would place the knife on his leg and then stop. He would repete this three or four times then have me put the things away.

I got used to my father being drunk but never got used to having all the kids in the neighborhood laugh at me calling my father the town drunk, that hurt and as you can see. I still remember it.

I also remember my dad being in his boxers all the time when he was home, which is not that bad, but when the PTA had a meeting, he never put his pants on and that was his way of saying, “This is my house and if I want to be in my shorts, I will.”

We had a new landlord who made his own wine. My father would head for the basement every chance he got to drink up the mans vintage. I guess if I had to guess, he was drunk 98 percent of his life.

My mother and father manage to buy a home; we were renting all our lives. Homes back then ran about sixteen thousand for a three story, imagine that? My brother got a room, my sister got the whole first floor, and I had to live in the unfinished attic, bats and all. My brother had the fuse box in his room and would cut off the power to my attic just because he felt like it. I was working part time and would give my mother all I had each week to help out because my father lost his job again due to his drinking. I was told money was tight. If my mother brought home a pound of cheese, I was told one slice per sandwich. My brother and sister could eat all they want sticking their tongue at me or making a face because they thought they won.

I started writing and would ask my mother to read something but she didn’t have the time. I started performing in shows on television as well as live but no one in my family ever wanted to go even if I sent a limo and had tickets waiting for them. Till this day, no one in my family ever read one out of the twelve books I have had published. To think how many strangers find my work interesting, it really hurts when your own so called flesh and blood aren’t interested. Jealousy, perhaps, and I guess in their minds, they won their battle.

So, one of my relitives gifted me two chicks for Easter. I kept the foul in my basement and considered them pets. I had them for about three months before I was forced to sit at the kitchen table and watch my father take cooking tongs and hold each bird one at a time and place their heads in boiling water. He then plucked these chicks and cooked them. He then searved them for dinner along with the regular dinner and would beat me later with a belt for refusing to have any part in his demented feast.

Now I am fifteen and life goes on as usual, well except for my Grandmother. My Grandma lived in Florida and had passed away. My mother rented a car big enough to carry, my two sisters, my brother, my brother-in-law, and my younger sisters boyfriend. I was told there was not enough room in the car so I would have to fend for myself. No money, I lived on bread, a box of macaroni, and some rice for the next ten days. When they returned, they told me they got everything, and she didn’t leave me anything. I told them I was very sad she passed but her memory was all I needed.

My father was drunk all of my lifetime. He would stagger in when we had friends over and embarrass us. He would sleep on the kitchen floor, he would bring women home when my mother went out for the night, he would fist fight me because he felt like it at the time.

I was going to throw a graduation party for my oldest son. I called the family and asked them which day was good for them. They picked the day, foolish me, will I never learn the lessons they were throwing at me? I went and bought a six foot sub, all the trimmings, for I was so proud of my son. One hour before the party they called and told me they wouldn’t be able to make it. Let me see, that was in 1995, no one in my family ever sent my son, their nephew, my mothers grandson one birthday card. To abuse me all these so many years is one thing but to disown my son was just a blatant attempt to get at me also. Their loss, he is a wonderful man now.

To say that my sibling’s souls are blackened by greed is an understatement. My sisters father-in-law, offered her and her husband forty thousand dollars to put an addition on their home. My sister said, “He could have given us more. This wasn’t a loan, this was a gift. I was flabbergasted when I heard that come out of her mouth. This was the first sign that she was just greedy evil.

I found out that my father was dying. I lived in Florida at the time with my wife and kids. I picked everything up and moved in my father’s house. He was eighty four and my mother was eighty. I lived in a six by twelve room with a pull out sofa that took up the whole room, a television, two dogs, my wife and my youngest son. My wife wiped my dads but, I cooked for them as well as did the shopping for them. I shoveled the snow, mowed the lawn, and did all that any good son would. This would last a year before my father passed away.

My father was on many medications. He was frail but suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. My brother and sister lived around the corner and hated the fact that we were there. My son was beaten up many times by his older cousin. My son was ten, his cousin was twenty five. My sister would have a party in her back yard every week and would go out of her way to tell us we weren’t invited. My brother asked me why I was even there. I told him I was there for my father. On the day of his passing, my father was sitting up in a recliner. He was aware and happy that we were around him. He had quit drinking ten years before this. He told me everyday that he loved me and I know it was his way of saying he was sorry. We made our peace. My brother comes into the house and hands my father a tall tumbler filled with red table wine. I told him that was not a great idea with all the meds he was on. My father drank it and he was handed another. He collapsed into a coma. My mother didn’t know what to do. I told her to call 911. She was told by my brother and sister not to. She had the good sense to call the doctor, and he told her to call 911. My brother wouldn’t let her. I told him that was against the law. He told me to shut up that it would gum up the works. My father was awake but didn’t know where he was. The priest was called to read him his last rights as I pleaded for someone to call and every time I tried to pick up the phone my brother would yank it out of my hands. The priest arrives and my brother runs into the room where my dad was and slammed the door in the priest and my face. He was actually yelling at my father for at least ten minutes. The door opens and my brother asked my father if he wanted to go to the hospital. He shakes his head no, duress, could be.

My father passed away. I called it murder, but no one listened. I packed up and left the very next day. I was only there for my father and since he passed away, there was no more need to be there.

I moved to South Carolina. Three years later I got a call that my mother was very ill and wouldn’t last a week. I was also told not to come to the funeral, I was not welcome. I called my mother about twenty times over the three years since my father’s death. I called her that week a few times also. We had a good talk and all was good. I got another call three days before the week was up telling me that she passed. I didn’t go to her funeral because I was told that my Brother and Sister would call the cops and have me arrested. One month later I get a call from my mothers lawyer. He told me that she had a will and I was in it. I told him I didn’t really care about her money. He sent me a copy of the will. “To my youngest daughter and my son, I leave nothing.” These were not the words of my mother, but a forged change to her original will. My brother and sister got everything, imagine that. I wonder if they murdered her also for selfish gain.

There you have it, whining, maybe, but to be hated that much, for no reason. I do understand the pressures that people go through. My dad just could deal with the pressure being a World War 11 veteran and his drinking was just an extension of that time. My mother was just a coward, but I forgive her that was just who she was, being all the problems she had with dad. As for my brother and sister, they are just so self centered, selfish, and that is just unforgivable. I stayed with them till the end, my job was done, I left.

Something else I forgot to tell you about me. My will is a strong one. If I do the right thing, and most of the time I do, I am not a perfect person here. If I do the best I can, and get disrespected, my karma is stronger then average. I was working for a manufacturing plant here in South Carolina. I worked there for a year and a few months. I did my job well, and then some. If I had nothing to do I always helped someone else or found something to do. I was told they needed to let me go. They kept some lazy people and got rid of me which I didn’t understand. A few months later they slowed down then folded. I never wish anything like that on anyone, things happen for a reason.

My brother is a heavy gambler now, probably always have been. He is divorced now also. My sister is an alcoholic big time. I am not saying it is karma, it could be guilt. I haven’t spoken to those people in six years and really don’t miss them at all.

If you read this story, all I want from you is to be aware. There is no need to yell at your spouse, or children not to mention hit them. Talk to them, a little understanding goes a long way. When greed overshadows everything that is good in life, it eats away at ones soul and soon you become pure evil.

There are two sides to every story and as it stands, if asked, I am sure they would tell you, I was nuts, and nothing like that ever happened. This is what they do, people like this. Sometimes understanding doesn’t help and you need to turn your back. The abused can’t see it until it is too late. The abusers could care less.

I don’t want any sympathy. I have been married for over thirty one years to a good woman, have three wonderful children in my life, and leaving the past in the past as well it should be. I have twelve published books with two on the way. The way I look at it, if one person liked what I have written, I have it all my friends. By the way, I don’t drink, I never beat my wife or children, and always thought things out or at least tried my best. As for karma, time will tell. In the words of one of my idols, Louis Costello, “Time wounds all heals.”

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