We only stayed in that house for a year and then moved again. This time to an apartment complex. We ended up living in the complex until just before my 13th birthday. We lived in two different apartments. This first one was just a two bedroom but the master bedroom was big enough for my brother’s crib and such. This also meant yet another new school. Luckily I was finally moving into the 2nd grade. My brother didn’t stay in my parent’s room for long. I remember him being around 9 months old when they moved him into my room. It was really convenient timing considering that he was totally crawling out of his bed. Since my room became his, he ended up having free reign over all of my things. I had some trinkets and music boxes that my grandmother had given me that he trashed. My mother didn’t bat an eyelash but rather told me that they were ugly anyway. I loved them. One of the music boxes was a copper peacock. I thought it was beautiful! I also had a glass, water-filled globe of a pink rose. I think it was musical too. It was kind of like a snow globe. He smashed it against my headboard and broke it. Instead of telling me how sorry she was and offering me sympathy, my mother reminded me that it was an ugly, thrift store trinket. I had no reason to cry about it.
I haven’t mentioned my mother so much yet because her screaming, yelling and ranting was just common place in our house. There are specific events that stick out in my mind and those are the ones that I write about.
Something happened that she got mad at me for and sent me to my room. I was playing with my Barbies, pretending that they were my friends that I could talk to. I said to one Barbie, “My mom is such a bitch!” My mother walked by as she heard this. I was sitting in front of my closet. She flew into my room faster than I could look up and smacked me as hard as she could in the face more than one time. She then yelled at me how I should respect her. I had so much fear of my mother. She purchased a paddle and put my name on it. It hung from the wall next to the kitchen. They thought this would keep me “in-line.” I wasn’t a bad kid. In fact I was typically timid and shy. I didn’t have any friends yet and no one to play with or talk to. She also was under a lot of stress raising 2 kids and working full-time. Any time she got stressed out she would take it out on my. Most of the time when she spanked or smacked me it was multiple times. Not just one correctional, oops I lost my temper, smack. It was typically an all out smack-the-shit-out-of-that-child event. I still didn’t feel like she loved me. She was proud to have a daughter, that was for sure. Once she got a job in an office, she never hesitated to prance me around to her co-workers. I never understood why this was so important to her but I was more of a trophy than anything. She also started commenting on my body. She would always comment how I was “so skinny.” I wasn’t a skinny kid at all. I was a pretty normal, healthy size for my age. She has always been obese. I’ve never really known her to not be overweight. She was self-conscious about it because she used to be thin and attractive.
In the meantime, my step father was busy showing me all of his Hustler magazines and pornos. He had been talking to me about attractive women. Anytime we were out he would point at a woman who was very attractive and thin (like the ones in the videos and magazines) and tell me that those women had “hard bodies.” They were the most beautiful. When it came to my mother, he had nothing nice to say. He would tell me how she had a fat ass and cottage cheese thighs and how disgusting it was for any woman to have that. This would be when I began to be self-conscious about my own weight. I didn’t think that I was beautiful. My parents told me that I was all the time but it was different. They also told me that I was a “sack of potatoes,” meaning that I was very heavy for what I looked like. I also had to get my first pair of glasses at the age of 6 so I didn’t feel pretty whatsoever. In the 80’s, pretty girls had perms and cools clothes… and boobs.
My grandmother finally told a close friend who was also a social worker. My parents received a phone call from DFS letting them know that they should expect a visit from a case worker. They sat me down to explain what was going to happen. The two of them conspired together to devise a way to brainwash me enough so I wouldn’t tell the truth.
“Do you love us?” They asked me.
“Yes,” I replied.
“You wouldn’t want to tear this family apart now would you?”
“If you tell the case worker that your dad has touched you, they will take you away from us and put you in foster care,” my mother warned me.
“Foster parents don’t love their kids as much. You wouldn’t want that now would you?” Dave asked.
“You wouldn’t have all these nice things that we buy for you like your Barbies and baby dolls. You wouldn’t have any of that.”
“So, are you going to tell the case worker that anything happened?”
“No,” I quietly replied.
I was around 8 or 9.
When the meeting came I stayed quiet for the most part. My parents told her that it must have been something I heard at school. When she asked me, I told her nothing happened.
At this point my mother knew. She had found my underwear on his side of their bed numerous times. She would normally question me and I would just shrug. I didn’t want her to get mad at me.