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As I was sleeping I heard my brother move around above me. I pretended that I was still asleep while I watched him take out the screen to our window and jump out of our second story apartment. My heart started racing as I didn’t know where he had gone. It was dark outside and everyone else was sleeping, or so I thought. As I lay there for what seemed like forever, I heard the police sirens and then a knock on our door. Was this it? Are they coming to save us? Are we finally going to be free from all the abuse?
My mom’s boyfriend first opened our door and noticed that my brother was gone. Then we all got up and he opened the door to the police. They said that my brother told them he heard my mom scream. He started to laugh and play it off and said that he and my mom were just messing around and being intimate. As we could all tell that the police were being convinced, I looked into my brother’s eyes and I could see his hope fade away.
He closed the door to the officers and waited for them to leave. I don’t remember what happened to my brother that night. My sister and I had to go back to bed. But I do remember being so proud of him and wishing I had the courage to do something like that. The next day when my mom came home she had her arm in a sling. It was the only time I ever remember my mom getting hurt by him. He had tried to throw a rocking chair at her once but missed and put a huge hole in our wall.
I look back on that night and wonder if the police had taken him away how much we could have been saved from. But our lives continued on in hell.
This is the eighth post in this series, to start from the beginning, please click here.
Disclaimer: I wrote this in 2013 to share my testimony with the world in the hopes of helping other children faced with abuse. Most times, you will be the only person to advocate for a child that cannot stand up for themselves. Children in abusive situations are taught to conceal every aspect of abuse, so if you by chance are able to see something, it may be the only opportunity for rescue a child has. Please take the appropriate steps to report child abuse. I have since rewritten and updated these posts to make them more understandable and up to my current writing standards.
The beginning of the end
Eventually, a mistake was made that began the end of his reign in our lives. When I was in the fourth or fifth grade after he had punched me in the face, the Vaseline wasn’t working fast enough to heal my bruise and I needed to return to school. Someone finally noticed something. My teacher said something and I got called to the counselor’s office.
She started asking me questions about what had happened and I fed her lie after lie. It was like all my training and brainwashing had built up for this moment. It was natural for me to lie. Even though I was scared. But I wasn’t scared for the right reasons. I was terrified she would find out the truth and I would be in even worse trouble. I was completely convinced that no one cared and that any piece of truth would lead to my ultimate demise.
The school contacted the authorities and they looked into what had been going on at home. He had been kicked out of our house a couple times and even went to jail but my mom always allowed him back into our house. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes but I’m guessing his previous jail time set off a red flag somewhere.
By the end of the school day, the police were there to pick us up and take us home to try and catch him.
The first day they took us home he saw them through the window and jumped off the back porch. He ran down to the entrance of our apartments and called us from the pay phone to try and act like he was far away. They continued to take us home for a couple days in hopes to catch him but he was too smart and they eventually gave up.
No social worker was ever called.
After the police dropped us off for the last time no one else came to check on us.
But my school still required me to go to the school counselor once a week trying to get me to say something, even though I never did because I was too scared. After that incident, he started to become more careful. We were put on restriction as an only punishment a lot more than we were beaten. Things quieted down a little.
And then the day came
I was on restriction in our room and I was sitting in our closet cleaning. I often used cleaning as an excuse to not have to sit on my bed. If I could find something to organize or reorganize it would keep me entertained for a little while.
The lights were off in our room and the closet and it was dark outside.
I heard his car pull up downstairs and park. And then the sound of his slow chilling footsteps as he dragged his feet up our stairs.
My heart started pounding as it always did. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was cleaning, something I was supposed to always be doing.
When the front door opened he walked straight toward our room. He came to the closet and snatched me up by the collar of my shirt and started hitting me.
He carried me by my collar into their room and threw me on the bed. I started screaming, and then everything went black.
Even though I knew not to scream, sometimes I couldn’t help it, sometimes the pain was too unbearable.
I was eleven years old in the fifth grade. A child that had cried so many tears that most people don’t cry in their lifetime.
I wanted it all to end, I wanted to let go and let this be the last time. I was screaming to God, screaming for Him to help me. For Him to take me to His house, I wanted death more than life.
And then I woke up
When I woke up from my blackout, my eyes were already open.
I was standing in our dining room and a flash from a camera went off.
I looked around and suddenly realized I was naked.
There were police surrounding me and someone was taking pictures of my swollen black and purple body.
My mom was giving a police report and he was nowhere to be seen.
I don’t know who called the police, maybe someone heard my screams and finally called.
But, he was gone.
I don’t know what actually happened with the police. If this had happened in this year with the laws that are in place now, a restraining order would have been mandatory. I don’t know if my mother filed it on her own back then. But if I had to guess, the police more than likely pressured her into getting one.
I don’t remember if I went to the hospital or not. That entire night is filled with blackouts. And I honestly don’t want to remember the details.
Either way, it happened and I was so thankful and relieved. They took him to jail and we changed the locks for the final time.
The peace that came in the aftermath
There was a calm in our home that came with a huge sense of relief. When my mom handed each of us our restraining orders I felt a sense of freedom I had never known before.
The fear had not left me yet, and I didn’t know if I was completely safe but I felt free.
I still flinched when people moved suddenly, and I still looked around everywhere I went but I had my restraining order with me. It was just a piece of paper, and in most cases, that doesn’t stop an abuser from coming back but in my case it did.
One down one more to go, or so I thought
I counted down the days for my brother to leave. Even though my mom’s boyfriend was gone, my brother was still inflicting so much pain and terror. No, it wasn’t as bad as her boyfriend, but it was still horrible. I just wanted him gone.
A year later my brother left for the Air Force and I felt like I was completely free. There was no one in our home to hurt me physically anymore.
When we moved out of that apartment years later and I looked around at all the marks and covered up holes in the walls, I was grateful to never have to be reminded daily of all the terror that took place there. It makes me think of the quote “If these walls could talk…” I wouldn’t want to hear what they would have to say.
There are so many memories repressed in my mind that I don’t want to surface. They aren’t eating away at me, I’ve given them to God. He can take them and deal with them.
I’m so thankful that God pulled me through all of the pain that I was put through. I might not have noticed then, but I definitely know now.
Two of my greatest obstacles were behind me. I didn’t know that I had two more to face. I wish that I would have relied on God more during my trials but I didn’t fully understand that I could.
But I know that He never left me, even though I left Him over and over again. I haven’t seen my mom’s ex-boyfriend for probably over ten years and for that I’m grateful.
I know that God will avenge me, even though I don’t know if it’s vengeance that I want. I’ll trust that He knows what’s best to do about him and so I leave that problem for Him to deal with.
I wish I could tell you this was the end of my testimony, unfortunately, it’s only the first half.
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,
but rather give place to wrath; for it is written,
“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
“The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
A refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
Would you share this post? I’m writing this series in hopes to help someone. You never know who’s suffering, whether that is an adult who is trying to live in the aftermath of abuse or a child that someone can help, they just need a push to do it.
Next Post: My Testimony | From Surviving Relentless Abuse to a Blissful Life | Part Nine (will be available 7/11/2018)
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Please feel free to share this, my hope is that through my brokenness I can save other children from abuse.
Are you a victim of abuse? How can I pray for you?