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Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #2296277
A True Story of child abuse
Sins Of Thy Father

This time, my Dad had gone too far.

It wasn't the first time he put his hands on me. But by God, it was definitely going to be the last.

Norman wasn't my real Father. He was my stepdad after marrying my Mom and adopting me when I was Twelve. My real Father was never in my life. He left us when I was Nine months old.

The adoption wasn't out of love, it was more to impress my Mom. We never had any kind of relationship. However, he had other kids from previous marriages and he didn't have one with them either. But at the time, I was happy about it. I thought it was being done out of love.

It was around 1978. I was Five years old and he and my Mom met at General Motors where they worked together. See, prior to that, it was just my Mom and me.

I don't recall my Mom giving me any warning, she may have but I was Five. There's only so much I can remember, which is still a lot. The next thing I know, there is this man in my apartment in Whitinsville. Man, he was a tough-looking son of a bitch, and he didn't just look the part, he was tough. Hands like a gorilla, and when he shook my hand, it disappeared. He had very thin brown hair with a bald spot on top. For some reason, that made him look even scarier to me.

Then he smiled, and I wasn't so intimidated. Besides, my Mom trusted him to come into our home so I felt safe with that. He started coming over more frequently at night. He'd have dinner with us, I remember sitting on his lap, and then we'd do this thing where he'd allow me to attach close pins to his hair, his ears, his chin, and even his nose. It was fun.
Here was the original problem I had. Prior to him entering my life, I was a bit of a problem child. I ran away almost every day, and I was super hyper. I would also take off on her when we'd go places. She had to always keep a close eye on me. One day in the bank, she was in line and I asked if I could sit in one of the waiting chairs and there were books on a table.

"No, you stay right by my side."
"But Mom, I just wanna look at the books. I'll be sitting in a chair, right there", as I pointed. She looked over, went against her better judgment, and allowed it.
"You sit right there, and don't move."
"Okay, Mom."

Well, as soon as she turned her head to conduct business, I was gone, out the door I went. The Bank was in a plaza, and I headed to a grocery store. Once inside, I snagged a cart and began shopping. I was picking out all the great food. You know, twinkies, chips, candy bars, just a full cart of all junk. And then I pushed the cart out the door. Not one person in the store questioned it. At this point, my Mom was searching the plaza for me. The way she found me is she overheard two older ladies talking. One said to the other,
"Wow, look at the little boy pushing the cart. Nothing is even in bags."

Mom immediately knew it was me. We go back in the store, she found a manager and told him what happened. The guy offers me a candy bar. Mom reacted.
"Don't reward him for stealing."
We get to the car, and she made a funny after laying into me.
"You know, I may have let it go if you had filled the cart with meats."
We laughed.

I don't think I was trying to get away from my Mom, she's always been the best part of my life, my Angel, and my biggest fan. The same way it still is now. I just enjoyed freedom. Even as a child, I wanted to be treated like an adult. I believe that's what I was trying, in my own way, to accomplish. I wanted to shop and feel like an adult.

The running away was becoming a real issue though. Cops were involved twice. One time, I didn't even run away, but she thought I had. The Officer said,
"We found your Son."
"Where was he"? she asked.
Under his bed, he ate a whole box of fudgsicles, then he fell asleep.
"Are you serious?" she exclaimed.

At the same time, I believe she was relieved I was home.
The very last time I ran away, I was picked up by the Police. The Officer let me sit up front and play with his CB. See, I was just a likable kid to adults. Kids my age, not so much.

I got picked on, and pushed around by neighbor kids. I was always smaller than everyone, not knowing how to defend myself. One day, a kid named Ray, who lived in the apartment next door to me, decided to jump on my back, putting me in a headlock. It hurt so bad, and all I saw was one of his thumbs, so I bit down as hard as I could, to the point it drew blood. He fell off me, ran upstairs, knocked on my door, and told my Mom. She said,
"That's what you get, maybe you'll stop bullying him now."

I don't think I was afraid to fight then. As I grew older, I was. I wasn't afraid to fight, I was afraid I'd hurt someone, so I always did whatever I could to avoid a fight, including running away.

My Mom and Norman finally bought a house on a lake. That's when his abuse started. This was his house, and now he owned me, even though they weren't married yet. He was old school, twenty years older than my Mom, so he believed in discipline. I started to get spanked which is something my Mom never did, and I began to fear him. He was so hateful when he'd spank me. The look in his eyes could laser right through you.

One day, he whooped me with a belt in front of his own Mother. She yelled,
"Norman, I think he's had enough." He responded with,
"A child needs discipline."

She didn't say another word. What could she do, not like she could physically stop him? My bad behavior went away real quick, but so did a piece of my soul. I learned not to piss him off. I also realized, he wanted my Mom, he just didn't want me. After that, I tried to just stay out of his way. It was bad enough, my real Father didn't want me, and now this. What could I do? I was stuck. I sure as hell wasn't running away, fearing the consequences. I think that's where the anxiety and depression began for me, which I still, to this day, struggle with.

I remember the day, I knew in my heart, whether I lived or died, this man hated me. I almost did die. I was climbing a tree, lost my footing, and fell about twelve feet, crashing through branches, and landing on my back which knocked the wind out of me. Little did I realize, when I hit the ground, a branch stuck in the middle of my back, just missing my lung by inches. My Dad pulled the stick out, wrapped a t-shirt around the wound, and called it a day. He had me lying on the couch. He was in the process of taking my Nana to the ferry, so a hospital visit wasn't happening. The last thing he said to my Mom was,
"Don't let him fall asleep or we could lose him."

Out the door, he went. Obviously, I survived but the wound was so tender for months. I remember reaching around, I'd touch it and it hurt so much.

Then in fourth grade, he beat me with the belt so bad, it left welts on my back. I actually fell out of my desk at school because I couldn't sit up straight. The nurse just happened to be in the class when it happened. She lifted my shirt and couldn't believe what she saw.

"Who did this to you?"
I hesitated. A part of me wanted to think she could protect me, but then another part of me didn't want more punishment.
"It was my dad. Please, I'm begging you not to tell him I told you."

She had to have seen the fear in my eyes. This was before the world started taking child abuse seriously. I found out years later, she called him and threatened to bring him to court if he ever did it again. The beatings didn't stop, they were just done with his hand as opposed to the belt, never being that severe again. They still sucked though.

One day, he smacked my mouth and fattened my lip. This happened after he adopted me when I was twelve. I thought things would change, once I was legally his Son. The beatings slowed down, and the mental abuse began.
"You're Useless. You'll never amount to anything."
All because my room was messy.

Then he had the gall to tell me to grow up. Another time, I had a friend over. My Dad was drunk. That was nothing new. He kicked and smashed a glass window that was on the floor leaning against a wall. He must have been recently in process of fixing the window frame. At that point, I said,
"Dude, can we go to your house?"
"Yep, sure can", he said.

We began heading out the front door. He stopped us both, apologized, and actually told me he loved me. Yeah, we all tell people we love them when we're drunk. He was doing that to manipulate me not to tell my Mom. I didn't until I was a grown adult, and they weren't together anymore.

Over the years, the bullying never stopped for me. If it wasn't my Dad, it was kids at school. Until Eleventh grade. Something changed in me. A kid who beat my ass in Fourth grade was still messing with me Seven years later. I began talking back to him, telling him if he didn't stop, he wasn't going to like what I do. At first, he'd laugh. Again, I don't know what came over me but I flipped the script, and began kind of bullying him. He'd eyeball me. I'd say,

"What the hell are you looking at?"
He'd respond with "Keep it up."
I'd say, "Whenever you wanna go."

The funny part was, we had mutual friends. One of them told me not to stop what I was doing because I was intimidating him. So then, it finally happened in homeroom. I walked in with my jean jacket draped over a shoulder. His own friends were telling him I was going to kick his ass. So, I guess he wanted to prove them wrong.

I knew Tae Kwon Do, and he was a kickboxer. One of the best in the State. He wasn't aware I knew Karate, nobody knew. Tae Kwon Do isn't about fighting so much, it's more about defending yourself. There we were, like two boxers nose to nose before a fight. I said, "If you really want this, make the first move, and I'll make the last."
He scoffed and looked around the class for support.
A girl in class who didn't like me, yells out,
"Kick his ass, Steve."

So, he gave me a light shove. As soon as he touched me, I wasn't me anymore. I was a Lion. I grabbed him by the shirt, and with everything I had, I threw him through about Four desks.

Crash! It was like human bowling. Prior to that, no one was really paying attention. They didn't think I was going to fight back because I never did. Everybody's heads turned, and they saw Steve picking himself up off the floor. Then he got in a kicking stance. A part of me was nervous, the other part didn't give a shit. I said,
"What are you going to kick me like a girl?"
"I'm gonna kick your ass."
I waved him on. "Bring It."

He charged towards me. I stepped to the side, used his own momentum against him, and slammed him into the wall. He fell, I got on top and started pounding his face. I didn't stop until a Principal and another teacher pulled me off of him. Believe me, when I tell you, it took two grown men to get me off of him. I wanted to kill him, but now it was over. I was so proud of myself. That was a Friday. On Monday, he stopped me in the hall and reached out to shake my hand. He said,
"It's about time, man. Good job sticking up for yourself, you've earned my respect."

I earned a lot of other people's respect as well. I was never picked on by anyone ever again. Except, for Norman.
Like I said before though, it was the last time. He cornered me in the kitchen, both of his hands squeezed around my throat. I had to do something before he killed me. I guess I built some confidence after fighting Steve. I did the only thing I could think of. I kneed him in the balls. He fell over.
For the first time ever, I had control.
"If you ever touch me again, I swear to God I will literally kill you."
And he never did.

I joined The Navy after graduating High School. My Dad had been in The Navy, and for some reason, I was still trying to impress him. I graduated from Boot Camp at Great Lakes in Chicago. He was there and I don't know for sure but I think I finally earned his respect. He treated me like a human being, like an adult. It made me happy.

Unfortunately, they divorced sometime after I got to my ship. I never saw him again. He didn't even leave me anything in his will when he died. It was like I never existed. Now, here I am, Thirty years later and I still struggle with depression and anxiety, and I was also diagnosed with PTSD.

Recently, I began praying, meditating, and repeating positive affirmations to myself. I've also started walking and working out, and my confidence has built up so much, just in a week. I'm finally trying to Love myself. No more putting myself down. I finally feel like I have control of my life, and I feel one with my soul. Now, It's time to chase my dreams, the main dream of becoming a published Author. That's exactly what I'm going to do, because I said so, nobody else. Don't believe me? Watch and see.

2500 words
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