Being Transparent

I am a survivor of physically, emotionally and psychologically abusive parents. There are very few people who know me that are aware of this fact, and even they don't know everything. So, in order to practice telling the whole truth to them and someone else, here I am on an anonymous confession site putting it all into words.
My parents were not always the complete monsters that they ended up evolving into. From my earliest memories up until I was about 5 years old, I remember us being a more or less "normal" family. My mother was always rough with me, more so than I remember other mothers being, but my father was actually very nice from what I remember, although he was always a doormat to my mother.
To this day I still don't the reason for it, but shortly before I turned six we moved house. It was smaller than our old one and in the middle of nowhere. Shortly after the move, my mother, who was already a rigid, demanding, impatient, cold b****, became sadistic and twisted and started chain smoking. She went from just being rough with me to full on whacking me, sometimes I think it was just for fun. My father, the doormat that he was, was afraid to say anything to her. As I got older, it only got worse. I remember I was eight years old. I was playing with one of the few other kids my age that lived near us and ended up getting some mud on my dress. When I got home, I showed my mother and apologized, but she slapped me across the face, told me to take it off and proceeded to punish me by putting out her cigarette on my back. That became the normal punishment for "doing something bad" thereafter. My back and soon stomach and upper thighs slowly became riddled with burn scars over the course of two years. My mother would dress me in such a way that they wouldn't be visible, and she convinced me that it was a normal thing that mothers did. To this day I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke or touching something hot enough to burn me.
As this was happening, my father, I think because he was getting sick of being so afraid of his wife, began drinking heavily. With his drunk courage, he got into fights nearly every night with my mother. They would sometimes get violent with both of them striking each other. One night, my mother, instead of keeping him away from me, diverted his attention to me. He came up to me, grabbed me firmly by the hand, led me to the kitchen and grabbed a pen knife. Terrified, I asked him what he was going to do. He told me we were going to play "connect the dots". He took me to the living room, took off my shirt and held me down. I kicked and screamed and flailed and begged him to stop, but he just told me that "this is a game that kids play with their daddies, honey." He made shallow cuts along my skin with the knife until they connected burn scars as I bawled my eyes out and screamed in pain for him to stop. I was 10. He did this periodically for about the next 8 months, until he made sure every single scar was connected with a new one from the knife. I still have the occasional flashback or nightmare.
There was then a "quiet" period of about a year and a half where they just fought and basically neglected me, thankfully. The worst I'd get was a slap to the face or a push to the ground. One night, I couldn't take it anymore, and I yelled at them to stop fighting. They did. They then looked at me and told me to mind my business and know my place, among other things. I was pushed down to the ground, and they started to kick me lightly with their feet as I shielded my head. Then they kicked harder. And harder. And harder. They kicked me, and kicked me, and kicked me, and kicked me, all the while yelling all kinds of obscenities at me. At some point they stopped, but I didn't even try to get up. I just lied there, bruised and battered, crying. They went right back to fighting, as if nothing had happened. When I had to go to school the next morning, my mother covered up the majority of the bruises with either clothing or makeup and told me to tell anyone that asked that I fell down the basement stairs taking down laundry. She told me people would understand because this was normal. I asked why I never saw any other kids with bruises, but she slapped me and told me to "Shut up. Shut the f*** up. You think you know better than me? You think you're smarter than me? You're just a child. Listen to your mother. It’s normal."
After I had the audacity to call them out that night, my father began to occasionally target me on his drunken rampages again. This time, he'd whip me with his belt, often with the metal part, on my bare skin. He would "encourage me" the whole time. "You're doing great, honey! Only two more! You're being such a good girl, not screaming anymore! Next time I’ll only do 5!" That would happen about twice a month for about three years. My mother would watch, and I swear she enjoyed it. The smell of alcohol makes me absolutely sick now; cutting meat with a knife or watching it being cut is something that takes courage, hearing the phrase "connect the dots" is a huge stressor, and the sound of a belt snapping or things hitting me on my back set me off sometimes.
I had only one very good friend. Over the years we had gotten so close that we were practically sisters, and her parents practically considered me a second daughter. It was their family that kept me grounded and knowing that my life was not normal. I should've told them about my abuse, but I was so scared of my parents. It ended up being very lucky that I was so close to them, though, because one day, my father's alcoholism caught up with him. He was driving drunk with my mother, probably fighting with her. One of them probably hit the other, and they drove off the road and into a telephone pole. My father died instantly and my mother died at the hospital 7 hours later. After hearing the news I was shocked but didn't shed a single tear. Emotion had been beaten out of me already. I had no family who could take me in. Both of my parents were apparently only children, and both sets of grandparents had been dead for years. Instead of having to go into a foster care system, however, my friend's family took me in. I can't ever thank them enough for that kindness.
Despite my best efforts to hide them, my friend eventually saw my scars and made me explain how I got them. I told her and her family part of this story nonchalantly, thinking nothing of it, and they cried, told me how terrible it must've been, consoled me and hugged me. I broke down. I’d never been allowed to cry without repercussion before. It felt so good.
Despite my abuse and the PTSD I developed, I was able to finish strong in high school and get a college education. I met my current fiancé in college. We're getting married next week. I've been so self-conscious about my scars and past that I've hid all this from him unfairly. I'm planning on telling/showing him tonight, as to not wait until our wedding night for him to finally find out, so this is my practice putting it all into words. I'm going to break down, I know I am, but I think it's best to finally come clean. This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I shouldn't keep such a secret from him. Plus, I know some of my reactions to seemingly random things confuse the s*** out of him, so I know he'll be happy to know I'm not (totally) crazy. Holy crap, that was an emotional roller coaster to type out.

5 Comments

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  • I lived with a severe alcoholic dad. The police were at my house every weekend.
    I can relate to you. I don't know how you can heal yourself. I can't. They will always be in our souls. Don't pass the terror down. That will be a courageous act. I don't know you but I send you all my love

  • Perhaps things would have been better if you didn't survive.

  • I understand your point, but it's also cruel to state that.

    Sometimes a person may assume, they'll find peace if they were dead. But I believe; only the dead know the truth to that and not the living.

  • God bless you child

  • Good luck in your marriage and I hope you have a happy life together ;)

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