This’ll be heavy. strap in or fuck off.
I don’t divulge my childhood and when people press too hard, I just make something up.
The truth about my childhood sits in the basment of my heart. I visualise it as a great gray mass I have tucked away, living in fear someone with find out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Some of the following might be unsettling to some readers because of themes of animal cruelty and child abuse. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Places are unnamed to protect my privacy from those who don’t know me.
This is my story of how fundamentalist Christianity and home schooling can be used to support and hide abuse in america. I’m one of many, many people who’ve gone through this. I am not an Isolated incident.
I’m the same age my mother was when I left home. I think about that a lot. It’s young.
I want to say that maybe in the begining , my mother and the boy she married were good people. Okay people. Crazy, but ok. That’s likely untrue.
One day my mother(a woman I knew only as a white-snakeesque miniskirt and the smell of chow-mein) showed up at my grandmother and grandfather’s beautiful comfortable home and took me to an apartment/trailer. My mother had had me at 15 and her mother raised me.(this is the story. I have doubts) My mother was the only person in our family to have gotten knocked up in high-school and I’m sure her parents were thrilled. Way to break that record,gurl.
My grandmother begged, I screamed and cried, and I guess my mother made threats that Gramma’d never see me again if she didn’t go along with it.
I don’t know what month the day was in, but I know my mom married this guy she’d just met a few week later in the summer. I still remember the photo, taken by I believe my moms’ friend. A Polaroid of a short, thin blonde woman in a white dress with an ice Cream cone from a street-vendor and a blond boy, in salmon pink trousers. (I’d later scratch his eyes out of the picture in rage, but that was years later also, I don’t remember doing it, but I was blamed and beaten for it ) M pinched me HARD on the thigh the first day we met. My mother said I had to obey him, this man I’d never met. He drove a small, loud car in an obnoxious red. He had a poodle named “beu” that shit all over and snapped at me.My grandfather hated him and the car, and insisted he sell it and take one of theirs. I only know this through my grandfather’s tendency to relay loudly what a tit he was. At this point, I should have been in preschool. I was not. I’d learned to read by around three, according to my grandparents. I WANTED to be in school so bad I could feel it. I went a few days and I was told I bit someone and This was the last time I was in a classroom until I was 12. ( waait. I tested in a classroom once a year.)
I remember sitting next to PeVe amps in loud bars as my mom and her band played . A guy named Brad (I think he died and for a long time, I thought he was my father) took care of me, and gave me a stuffed bear I named, obviously “brad” . I have foggy memories of physical pain at night, and I start seeing things in my closet, dead people, .. things. I started wetting the bed, and being spanked every day for it. This didn’t stop for literally years, although I did stop with the bed. I still see things In the shadows.
One night my mom and M came to pick me up from my grandparents home,teary and loud saying they’d been “saved. They stop dressing like normal 21 year old kids and more like ..they’re in a cult. This begins the end of normal. I remember being baptised in some lake sometime after this, I bit the pastor and mom hit me for the first time. I really don’t know why these two people took me to live with them, looking back. what was the point? Why raise a kid you don’t want? In “89, my halfbrother showed up, my half sister a little bit later. Here’s where shit gets weird. The Parents join some fundamentalist church with no instruments and women and men set separate, the women are all covered and dower. I guess they take it all to heart, because the church is all about “breaking your kid’s will”. They get obsessed with James Dobson and John R Rice.
The spanking turns to beating. Beating for being slow. For being rebellious. messy. not “honoring my father”. Lying. being a sinner I don’t remember playing with toys, being hugged by them, there was nothing positive. I do chores, read the bible. I wash diapers in a toilet. cloth diapers in a toilet. Fuck, like.. why tho? My mother hits me constantly . She’s fat in a way that looks like over-risen dough, if that dough had pendulous tits.
At 4:30 every day, the angel of depression sets in, and while she’s always worse at 4:30(I call it my witching hour) she never left. She’s my oldest friend, i guess, If i can be fucking dark for a minute.
I have memories of good days, trees and runnning. I swing for hours , feeling the wind and I remember praying to anyone who wasnt my parents god to save me. my grandparents take me often enough to keep me safe and normal.There’s so much I could pack in, but I’m trying to give you the basics.
I’m being home schooled in all this chaos.No one is teaching me, so I read and do what I’m supposed to do because, I don’t even remember, because it made me happy? They used Rod and Staff. check that shit out f you wanna see the shittiest creationism dumbed up watery tripe ever. I had grandparents making sure this didn’t stick, thank god. I spent all my early childhood, till maybe 12, alone. I’m social, so that was a hell alone.
I wake up to beatings for made-up mistakes. My Mothers husband beats me when she’s done. The other things that happen leave me with constant UTI’s and I start to break apart inside, into hard, sharp bits of hate. When my mom’s church friends ask if I’m okay, my mother tells them I’m “wicked.” I’m stubborn. No one in the church ever asks about the bruises. I wanted to die.
I know this is when I started to crack. At nine I took a whole bottle of Aspirin, hoping to die. I didn’t. on finding out, my mother pulls both siblings into see how”wicked” I am. she doesn’t take me to the hospital., but instead drags me along with “her Kids” to get them a movie. I remember that it was 2 pm and Rush Limbaugh was on. I remember the pain of knowing she didn’t care, and how confusing it was. I wasn’t set up to succeed. I brought tiny gifts, brushed her hair, bought little things from the bodega. I cleaned more. At one point the skin flaked off my hands from bleach. She ALWAYS punished me violently no matter what I did. Years go by like this. I’ve been sneeking out at night, doing what I want, going where I please. Cities can save your life.I started running away, and I always get dragged back.
My mother could convince anyone anyone that she was charming.she’d be sweet to me in public, when the three of us were all out.When people on the street once complemented my freckles and curly hair (to my great shock) my mother said, Oh That one??? She liked to tell people her little blonde kids were hers, and I was “watching them”. I was terrified of that face she wore like wolfs teeth.
My parents bounce from church to church because my mother’s husband thinks they’re all too “liberal.” I once went to some sort of fundy rally all the way in Gary Indiana.One massive colossem filled with shaved white men,riled up over a man talking, then erupting in that straight arm gesture we all know sure as fuck doesnt mean “hi”. I was terrified to go to the bathroom alone. years go by like this.
At home on good days I did all the chores. dishes. sweep. clean diapers. if I finished my work I had to “report to her!” this involved getting on my knees like I was bowing. she prided herself on the punishment instrumnets she broke over me, all in the name of God.Here’s the thing. She knew it nothing to do with god. you know when someone’s beating you for enjoyment. I’m angry writing this. When I think of her, I see that decaying chair with some god shit and a “punishment item”stuffed in the cushions.
Day after day after day. work. My mother just sat. all day. sat. drank. read far-right literature.I start to rebel for real at this point. I KNOW from being around normal people that that is is INSANE . Still to this day, I work fast, expecting that timer to ding.
I became very difficult, truly. they beat me, I ran away, stole shit. I started trouble hoping to attract cps.
As an adult, it’s all too easy to look back and see that they were fanatics. I think my stepfather craved control, and believed it was ” the End Times” . My mother suffered from schizophrenia. They were both cruel, and believed they were doing “gods” will.
Through all this, I’m taught at home so no one can see me. Thank god, there’s state testing and I’m actually really fucking smart, because I managed to learn in utter chaos. I’ve been told that complaining about “gods punishment’ is a sin. it’s at this point I start to believe to myself that this is no god, and while I can fake believing to survive,I know no god does this. I had no childhood, except when I was at my grandparents who kept me in programmes, dance, took me to anything they could. I couldn’t make friends because I was too angry, to weird.
My grandparents are my only salvation, because they saw bruises and somehow force themselves into my mom’s house over and over, calling CPS, begging someone to check. Cps is pointless, because they put me upstairs and the the kids were basically fine.
Horrible things happened when someone intervened. People don’t think about what happens to those kids when cps gets called But “doesn’t find anything”.By the time I was 11, I had boils all over my butt from infected sores. My legs were bruised from being beaten, from my legs down to my butt. I was malnourished. I’d had mumps because my mother didn’t vaccinate. Between my schoolwork and all her housework, I barely slept. I took to dialling 911 constantly, almost compulsively, hoping they’d show up. It’s worth noting that “Their kids” were fine. I adored my brother and put myself in between him and everything. My sister, the undeniable favourite, went out of her way to get me in trouble then watch. I hated her. Dance is saving my life at this point. I beat my feel against the floor too hard and tried to imagine my life I’d have when I grew up.
These idiots start hording for Y2K. Guns. Rice. dried meat. It’s an obsession because they are the kind of fundies obsessed with politics and the end times. Theres horded food and rats everywhere. There’s books so high in my little room that My Grandfather grabs my father by the collar and throws him, asking if they’re trying to kill me.
I started bleeding through my tights after dance,when My grandmother picked me up.She made me tell her everything while my grandfather went to my moms husbands place and, I guess, tried to kill him. Grandpa suffered a heart attack, and in 1995 the left to live in Texas. I later found out that grandfather offered them several grand to let me go with them. it didn’t work. I lost a lot of time after that. I ran away a lot. I thought of killing my stepfather. I planned to run away. I planned . My grandparents filed to adopt me. they lost. My stepfather started to use cruelty to animals as a way to inspire me to obey. Beating me did nothing, I just let myself drift away, or I laughed. I’ve seen so many animals killed in cruel ways and I’ll never get it out of my head. Don’t know what was wrong with him, where this all came from. The same year, a pastor of a shitty little church my stepdad wanted to be a deacon in grabbed my little girl tit. He pretended it was an accident. I set a fire in his trashcan. I vandalized a few things. I don’t regret it. I’m Thirteen now. I’m in school because of a number of complex, boring things. I’ve planned my way out. I’m Rage. Rage in black jeans learning I’m queer. I start cutting. I go out into the night and scream when I’m in the hills of my grandparents place. The sneaking out is great, I guess the hate made me edgey,and cool people took me to shows and raves, and I was really safe among the weirdos.
I’m leaving out so much background noise, the stuff of life. writing this in a park , I almost delete this.Why Tell? because I’m freeing myself this way, as humiliated as I feel.
As my mother slipped more into mental illness, she stared to believe I was possessed. I belive I genuinely scared my mother, partially because I wouldn’t break, and also because I was strong and those nightmares never stopped, I never stopped seeing things.Today, I’ve embraced what I see, and I assure you, It’s notthe devil in me I can honestly say I’ve”had the devil cast out of me multiple times, because I was Rebelling. In the eyes of my family, I was everything the church warned against. a Pastor told me that in the bible times, I’d have been stoned”.My folks bounced from church to church, picking up crazy Ideas from every one of them. My mom got fat, got in bed, and basically never got out. she’d leave forever, see things and make up crazy shit. I don’t know where her Husband went half the time. my memory gets spotty. Walking throught my stepdads’s room one night, I find mine and my brothers baby books. Remember those? snapshots of potato looking babies and “babies first” whatever. Mine was days marked with “rebelious” “doesn’t listen” “not as sick as expected”. All the pages. All of them were hate.
When I look back at this, it feels surreal. My 14th ,year My mother and Her dude were off their rockers.I think the mess they’d created was catastrophic and they couldn’t deal.
Floundering. hording. they became Y2K horders with horder friends. Around 1999, they started to fall apart. The room filled with Y2k supplies filled with rats and They bought an old school bus for The End Of Days.They’d started talking about marrying me off when I was 13, and by this time , they’d lost me. My mother ends up hospitalised for schitzophrenia. in all this madness, I slip away.I left, built a few lives.
That’s my childhood. Religion as a weapon, constant attempts to break me down,horrible things no one needs to read. No love.
I didn’t come out of this right. I survived, and had to slowly crall towards fine.
to this day, I hate messes. Hording scares me. I jump when timers go off. I lve with constant anxiety and sudden, overwhelming sadness. I am Rebellious. the skin on my butt and back of my legs is scarred and tinged purple. I lived, though. plenty don’t. A word on Fundamentalism: This is a weapon of control. There’s no loving god in the doctrin.
This form of christianity renders women powerless. Governed.
“Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain silent.”1 Timothy 2: 11-“
It’s a new day, Timothy, and I’ve come to tell you to fuck yourself.