I write because I know I am not alone in experience or survival of abuse. How and why we survive from my perspective throughout my life.
Live In Housekeeper
My role in dad's house was to be his housekeeper, not his daughter. I felt like dads slave and my life revolved around taking care of him and the home. Life was tedious and hard work. There were never fun times or experiences to look forward to. No encouragement to do something with my life, no love, nothing. The only time dad ever spoke to me, was when he was barking orders, in his yorkshire accent, of what jobs I had to do whilst he went to the pub or work.
'That berrer have this house spotless bite time I ger hoem, does that hear? I knew that I would get a lashing with his belt if I did not do as I was told. I was exhausted from all the work and when I tried to tell dad how I felt, he said, 'Yer not exhausted, yer just idle'. I really started to hate him.
Robbed Of Innocence
Being a teenager is meant to be a time of finding your identity. A time of experimenting. As a teenager living with dad, I was not allowed to live a normal life and experiment with make up or clothes like other teenagers. Dad was very strict and did not approve of nice clothes or makeup. If ever I did make an effort in my appearance. dad would say 'Yer look like a whore!' So, I dressed like a boy and acted like a tomboy in the hopes that dad would not call me so many names. Some times, not making an effort would not be enough to stop dad beating me and calling me a whore and a slut.
My life was just abuse day after day. It did not matter how well behaved I tried to be, dad would find a reason to punish me. Once he took me down a dark alley and hit me so hard in the face that he knocked me unconscious. When I gained consciousness, I got another beating for being too stunned to walk in a straight line. I was staggering and dad said I was drunk. Dad beat me unconscious that day because according to him, I was looking at a boy as I walked home from school. He said he had seen me do it. I knew I had not looked at any boy as I walked home from school and tried to tell him that. He would not listen when I tried to tell him that I was a virgin and that I kept away from the boys, he never listened. He continued to call me a dirty slut and I just felt so stunned and confused about what was happening to me.
Some parents inflict none stop abuse on their kids and the kids are left feeling confused and scared like I did. The people that inflict abuse repeatedly are sick and cruel. They are bullies and use children to take out their own angers. That's what dad did to me, bullied a tiny weak little girl that he knew could not hurt him back.
I got a beating because I tried to save the family dog from a kicking. Dad was trying to kick the dog that was snarling at him. I jumped up and got between my dad and the dog and dad got really angry with me. He took a pair of scissors and lunged at me. After a brief terrifying struggle to fight him off, he seemed to get a hold of his senses and let me go. He looked visibly shaken about the whole incident. The next day, dad backhanded me in the mouth and busted my lip. That was the final straw and for the first time, I stood up to him. I screamed at him that he was a bully and that he was not going to get away with beating me like he beat mam. I shut up quickly when he put one hand around my throat and lifted me by the throat off the floor. I had to grip onto his arms with all my strength as my feet dangled a couple of feet off the ground, or he would have choked me to death. I hated him and I was afraid of him. Just like I had been afraid of my mother killing me when she was alive, I now lived in fear of my dad.
Getting Revenge On Dad
I often ran away from home. I preferred to walk the dark lonely streets, than be at home with my abusive dad. I always knew I would eventually be caught and have to take a beating from dad but I still ran away. Dad was especially angry with me one night when the police had brought me home again. He had planned a night out with his girlfriend and he wanted to stay at his friends house over night. Now he had to sleep at home because he could not risk me running away again. He threatened me as he went out that night, saying he would be back shortly, 'Thar berrer be ere wen I ger in or else. Does tha ere war I sey?' he growled at me in his heavy Yorkshire accent.
I wanted to hurt him like he hurt me, see how he liked it. The only way I could think to hurt dad was to unscrew all the nuts and bolts on his bed. With the bed being old and rickety, when it collapsed, hopefully it would hurt his back. Once I had unscrewed all the bolts, I sat and waited for dad to come home. I spent the night feeling extremely anxious about what I had done and how dad would react when he was already extremely angry with me.
When finally, dad came home that night, he was in an unusually good mood which did not help my situation or nerves. He complimented me, for the first time ever, on how nice the house was looking lately and that I was keeping the house really clean. I felt sick knowing it was too late to run up stairs and put all the bolts back on the bed. I felt almost hysterical with panic and did not know what to do.
Dad went off to bed and I sat downstairs, terrified, waiting for him to come back downstairs and batter me to death. I curled my body up into the tightest ball I could and I prayed. The whole house creaked with ever step he took closer towards that bed and with ever step, my fear intensified. All I could do was hold my breath and wait. When the bed did collapse, I half expected my dad to fall through the ceiling and land at my feet, the sound from the collapsed bed was so loud. As I waited for the kicking to death I expected to get, I heard dad laughing as he picked himself up off the bedroom floor and walked across the room to get in bed with my brother. I sat there still in case he was waiting for me at the top of the stairs in the dark ready to ambush me. After a while, I could hear dad snoring and then I was able to sneak off to my bed.
Final Act Of Abuse By Dad
My life with my dad came to an end late one night. I woke up as I felt someone fondling my private parts. I could not see anyone in the room with me and I was horrified as I grabbed the hand that was under my blankets, fondling me. What I had grabbed was a big hand, and although I was half a sleep and felt confused, I knew that hand belong to my dad. I grabbed at the blankets and pulled them tighter around myself, pulling away from the hand between my legs. I pretended to be asleep because I thought, he would have to kill me if he knew I was awake. He tried forcing his fingers into my knickers and I moved about the bed as I struggled with him. I ended up in a position where I could see my dad on the floor in front of me. He was crouched down with his arm outstretched into my bed. I was absolutely horrified to see my dad there. I was having flash backs to when I was a small child. I was standing between the legs of a man and I knew now, those were dads legs. I could not believe what was happening. I was stunned beyond belief. I started to make louder more desperate noises, I could no longer hold back my cries as I desperately fought him off. What was happening to me felt like a never ending nightmare. I felt sick and totally panic stricken. Dad eventually stopped trying and I watched him tip toe out of my room. I threw up at the side of my bed and then sobbed my heart out. After a couple of minutes, I grabbed my clothes and shoes and wearing nothing but my underwear, I ran. I ran to a friends house and from her house, I could see the end of my own street.
I stayed up all night, watching through the window, not knowing what to do. Should I go to the police or not? I could not decide what to do. I was afraid of what dad would do to my brother, still in the house, if I reported him to the police. When morning came, I could see through the window, my dad, stood at the end of the street, like he did every other morning waiting for his lift to work. I decided that he must have known what he was doing when he abused me. He knew that I was not in the house that morning, he knew I had run away. He was just going to carry on as normal and act as if nothing had happened. I phoned the police and dad was arrested at work. My brother was taken into care on the same day dad was arrested. My sister was on holiday with a family friend and would go into care when she got home, so I knew she was also safe. I was left at home, on my own. The police gave me an emergency number to ring if I got into difficulty with strict instructions to ring the police immediately, if I saw my dad. Whilst the police did their best to assure me they would come straight away if I needed them, I was still left on my own. I felt traumatised and afraid. Looking back, I know now that at the age of thirteen I felt that I was verging on a mental break down. Three days later, dad was released without charge. The police picked me up and took me to my beloved Cubley Hall. I felt that I arrived home at last.
Deteriorating Mental Health
My mental health was deteriorating by the time I got to the Hall. I was trying to deal with being abused and deal with the flash backs of abuse I was experiencing. I was a wreck and needed help, none was offered. I strongly believe that if I had been offered some support, back then when I was just thirteen, my life would have been so different. I would have had a good life, full of happiness and love. Instead I had a life where I felt nothing but shame and unhappiness. I was not offered support and eventually descended into a living hell of a dark depression. Deeply unhappy, I felt worthless and unlovable. I had never know happiness, knew nothing of what it was like to feel good about anything. I lived in fear and fear is all I felt.
Months after reporting my dad to the police, dad rang me. I was not warned that it was dad on the other end of the phone. No one thought to ask if I was going to be okay speaking to a man that had abused me. They did not ask because it had been assumed that I lied when I accused my dad of abusing me. I gave up caring whether or not any one believed me, dad and I both knew the truth, he did do what I accused him of. I heard some one shout, 'Phone for Louise'! I picked up the phone, not expecting it to be dad. 'Hello love!' dad said, in his deep broad Yorkshire accent. As soon as I heard his voice, I collapsed on the floor, overwhelmed with emotion. My heart was crying out for my dad but I was afraid of him. I had lost mam and now I needed desperately for dad to love me.
In time, I forgave my dad, or at least I tried to forgive my dad because I loved him and wanted to have a relationship with him. The feelings of anger that I felt towards him for robbing me of my innocence and leaving me feeling dirty and ashamed, were suppressed and shoved deep down inside me with other feelings I had buried. I felt that I could explode with anger at any time, but on the surface, I tried not to show how I felt. I did not want to look angry all the time even though that is how I truly felt, for fear of not being accepted. It was many years before I was able to accept how angry I felt. When I faced my anger I was able to deal with other demons within that left me feeling so angry and frustrated. I hurt for a long time, knowing what my dad had done to me. The one person in the world I wanted to rely on to protect me, let me down. As much as I believed I was forgiving him, I never dared be left on my own with him because deep down I knew I could never fully trust him. I could trust no one.
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