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Closed Doors

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I don’t know where I want this blog to go. I didn’t start it for an audience and I didn’t explain anything because it was always for me and I already know the stories and the background. Having said that, there is value in writing this stuff down. I was able to cry about it for the first time in my life. And I feel, in getting it out and sharing it, I am lessening the burden of remembering. And I don’t want to carry it around anymore. So there will probably be a lot more of this type of thing to follow. Fair warning.

I’m going to share another personal story on here. There was no awful backlash from the last one. Thanks to everyone for being so supportive. Your comments mean a lot.

I was 15 or 16. It was right before I got a job and had my own money and started saving up for my first car. I was still sharing a room with my sister.

My sister and I had always shared a room. My parents used to promise that when my older brother moved out, I would get his room. But when he finally moved out, my mother decided to keep it as her sewing room. Because “everyone deserves to have their own room” except, you know, me.

My sister and I could not have been more different growing up. She was outgoing and popular. I was shy and reserved. I was an OCD neat freak (due to my mother’s negative influence). My sister once left a cup of water in our room for so long that it grew mold.

And I liked to sleep with the door shut while my sister always wanted it open. My sister wanted it open because our house was stuffy and it improved air circulation. I wanted it closed because then I could hear my parents opening the door.

The latch turning was loud enough to wake me up in my heightened state of awareness and exaggerated responses. It gave me the few seconds I needed to prepare myself for whatever was coming instead of being surprised by it.

My sister and I were having a heated argument about whether to leave it open or closed. I guess we got too loud.

Suddenly my father was in the room. He ripped the door off it’s hinges. My sister and I were immediately struck dumb. Violence has a way of catching the attention of a room.

I was older and the responsible one. I protected my sister. I was always willing to suffer extra to spare her some of their anger and abuse. But she wasn’t on his radar this time.

My father immediately turned to me. He grabbed me and yanked me out of the bed and my mattress off the frame. I quickly stood up and moved away from him. I was taller and faster than him and could sometimes stay out of his range. But he wasn’t letting me go.

He pushed me out of the room. My sister was already crying by this point. But I wasn’t. I was too busy trying not to lose my balance and fall. Falling was unsafe.

I looked down and behind me, then I looked at my father. I had the presence of mind to know his intention seconds before he pushed me. It possibly saved my life.

He pushed me hard down our stairs. I fell only for a few steps. I had been ready for it. I caught myself on the railing. I landed hard and caught myself hard.

But he was angrier now that I hadn’t been hurt. I had thwarted his plans. That wasn’t safe either. He came for me again. I hurled myself down the remaining steps and out the front door into the night.

And I ran as fast as I could. I was a good runner. I still am. I thought for a minute about my sister. But I couldn’t go back. Not yet anyway. His anger was still too fresh. She was safer there than I would have been.

I had nothing on me. I was only dressed because I slept fully clothed. I didn’t have a dime on me. I was barefoot. I didn’t have a cell phone or even a jacket. It was after 10pm on a school night.

I didn’t know what to do. I ran for several miles. Just trying to put some distance between he and I. Watching traffic, searching for his truck. Wondering if he’d come after me, try to find me.

Luckily, it was a pretty safe town and a mild night. At one point a cop drove past and I hid in some bushes. I didn’t want to get picked up. They’d be obligated to take me home. My father could fool the police. He’d done it before.

I wandered around my home town that night for hours. I finally decided I had no choice but to go home. All of my friends lived miles and miles away. None of them knew about any of this stuff anyway. And I couldn’t call them for help even if they did. I was stuck.

When I got home, I saw that it was 2am. I didn’t even have a watch to realize I’d been walking around for four hours. I was exhausted. The next day at school my friends and I joked about my tiredness. My insomnia, always keeping me awake.

Nobody had been looking for me. Nobody was waiting up for me. At least they left the door unlocked so I could get in. I never cried during the whole experience.

My sister and I never fought about the door being open or closed. He didn’t fix it till after I moved out. Our fighting had lost us our right to the privacy of a closed door.

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12 responses »

  1. hellokalykitty

    I didn’t “like” this because I like the way you were treated. I liked this because I think you are brave for posting personal stories and for being able to cry about them. I’m not there yet. Reading blogs from others (such as yourself) gives me hope that I can be there too. *hugs*

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words. It took me a lot of work and time to get where I am. But I know you can do it too. I think human beings are capable of overcoming anything. *hugs back*

      Reply
  2. I’m so sorry that this happened. It can be really difficult sharing these painful parts of our lives…be gentle with yourself now. Much love to you xx

    Reply
  3. I fell so awful for you that you had to go through abuse like this as a child. I think some parents are not aware just how damaging this stuff is to kids. I was abused as a child also (drinking father) and boy, wasn’t that a picnic!

    I feel you. On the topic of sensitive topics, I say, “Write away”. :0) If there are some who get their feathers ruffled easily, perhaps they should go watch cartoons, right? This is the real world. I appreciate your honesty and for sharing your stories, and I know others do too. xo

    Reply
    • My father was also an alcoholic. But he quit drinking when my parents divorced and now rarely drinks. Not that alcohol is any excuse. Thank you for your encouragement.

      Reply
  4. I am so thankful you were able to realize he was intending to push you down the stairs and able to lessen the effect. I’d like to say that I couldn’t imagine how any parent could do this to their child but I know all too well. My Mother was mentally abusive and tho she only slapped me across the face one time, I guess that puts her in the physical abuse category also.

    Her boyfriend was an alcoholic and he was extremely mentally abusive to EVERYONE around him. He never physically harmed me but had threatened my life may times. His friend who was also an alcoholic also lived with us for a period of a few years while I was in high school….anyways, I get ho difficult it is to deal with the feelings of abuse as a child. I never had it as bad as you seemed to but it had it’s effect none the less.

    Your lucky that you were still able to react (flight), when he attacked. I always go immediately to “freeze” mode now whenever I’m being threatened. I’ve learned time and time again that if you dissociate during abuse you can “hide” from it. I do realize it’s not a normal behavior and that I will suffer pain if I freeze and that I should either fight or run(flight) but I can’t seem to control my reactions.Thank you PTSD.

    The fact that you didn’t cry the entire time during the attack and not even after is proof that you were starting to go numb at that age. We do anything to survive. But now we are left with all those emotions wanting to get out.

    I hope you realize how wrong his actions were but more than that I hope you FEEL how wrong they were and I’m glad your allowing yourself to cry. It shows that your healing. HUGS.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I am sorry you went through such a hard time as well. Physical abuse isn’t just hitting and pushing. It can be breaking your things or threatening physical harm, or moving towards you in a menacing way.

      And your response is totally normal. I understand that urge to freeze. It always seemed more brave than running away. And it was also usually my go to response. I just ran in this instance because I was so afraid of what he would do.

      Reply
  5. This is authentic & real, like all of your posts, and that’s why people are following you.

    You started by asking a very important question: ‘Where you want this blog to go.”

    That’s also very difficult to answer. My own answer has changed and continues to evolve ever since I started.

    IMO, I think that your tagline gets right to the point. it tell the reader within 3 seconds what this blog is about.

    Keep doing what you are doing, and, if it evolves slightly, go with it.

    I mean, you might not want to post a review of baseball pitches in the minor leagues in Toronto on this blog, but ‘Horrible Personal Issues’ is both specific and wide-ranging enough that you’ll have plenty to write about for one audience for a long time.

    Reply

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