Never, ever would I have had the nerve to report my father. For one thing, I was in high school before I realized that not everyone lived like we did. I just thought it was normal. And in what sounds like an obvious contradiction to what I just said, I’d been conditioned to believe that if we left him, he would track us down and kill us. My mother first told me that when I was six. My brother was an infant, my dad was hammered and they got in a fight. He snatched my brother from my mom and refused to return him; told her to take her little pet (me) and get the F out. He’d keep HIS son. She called his friend, who was 6'4'’; he came over and clipped my dad with a right hook, snatched my brother back, and moved the couch under him just in time for dad to catch an unexpected nap.

However, (and this is going to be lengthy, I’m guessing), when my brother was in Kindergarten, my dad went overboard and damaged me badly enough to get noticed. He had punished me for something or other and was driving away (to the bar; he was again hammered) and I muttered “bastard”, under my breath. Swear to GOD to this day I have no idea how he knew, but he turned around, dragged me from the car in front of the neighbors, sat me on the toilet and cut a bar of yellow Dial soap into six cubes. He sat there and forced me to chew every, single cube one by one until they dissolved completely. My mouth erupted in blisters or sores or who knows what and I was in agony for a week or longer. I was kept home from middle school for that week.

Meanwhile, little brother was besties with my PE teacher’s son. He blabbed to Mikey, who told mom when she mentioned at dinner that I’d been gone all week (is R at school, Mikey? Liz has been gone all week). PE teacher reported to OCS and we had our one chance to be rescued. But instead of it helping, everyone was mad at me (and her, of course, for poking her neck where it didn’t belong).

See, mom was a well-known and well-respected 2nd grade teacher, and OCS came to interview her at school. Total mortification. And OCS interviewed ME with my dad in the room. So, of course, I minimized his abuse, and basically claimed that I had been out of line and his punishment well within expected bounds. And that was the end of that. By the time they showed up, I was all healed up, so lying was easy.

He told me later he should have let them take me to foster care. like, ALL THE TIME.

You talk about Sundays and dinnertime being your dad’s triggers. My dad stopped at the bar every evening after work (so he didn’t have to drive during rush hour haha) and we NEVER knew who was going to walk through the door. Sometimes, he was positively giddy (pretty sure cocaine played a part in that), but most of the time he hated his life and he’d decided it was somebody’s fault, and if it was you that night, there was nowhere to hide. and if it wasn’t, you didn’t DARE draw his attention away from his target. 95% of the time, he was coming for me.

I tried to hint at his friends every now and then; i figured they HAD to see him lose the mask once in a while. But at the bar, he bragged and boasted about his amazing daughter. i was a straight A, musically gifted, dancing martial artist. I did everything, and won every award, and performed performed performed and he went down there and used my accomplishments to get his ego stroked. I’d walk in to ask him to please come home and it would be, “Hey Lizzie (here he’d drape himself all over me; big hugs, here, meet my new friend, even drunker than me guy and his skanky wife!” EDTMG and SW reply, “We have heard so much about you! Your dad sure is proud! He thinks you shit rainbows! blahblahmorebullshitblah.”

I’d shake everyone’s hand, lie about how nice it was to meet them, get my dad out of there with some ruse that allowed him to save face, and as soon as we hit the car, “who the FUCK do you think you are walking in there and humiliating me in front of my friends? If you EVER blahblahblah…”

anyway, that’s enough of that. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you why I don’t hate my mother, but also, I don’t absolve her of her part in creating this monster. I hold her accountable.

I’ve been in recovery for a number of years now, and that’s the ONLY reason I’m able to have a relationship with my mom. And i’m incredibly grateful, because I really, really do love her. And she’s incredibly sick. :( She has denial down to a science. She’s PERFECTED it. it’s so sad.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store