A Walk Through Hell
I believe that this world is all about a walk through living hell. It started for me as a baby. I remember it. I remember being lifted up as a tiny wee thing with my mother's fingers digging as hard as she could into my kidneys. I remember that all I could do was open my eyes as wide as possible in terror and agony. She used to say later "right in the kidneys, where it hurts."
I remember her holding me over her knee. She was kneeling down with one knee on the ground. I was so small I was dangling in the air except for my stomach which was pushed into her knee. I could not breathe. I had no clothes on. She hit me over and over an over and over and over. It went on forever. I was so tiny yet I remember thinking "If you just wait long enough, it will stop." I was a tiny little girl. She did this because I had gone onto the veranda with my coat on but no pants. Who do you think dressed me at that time? I sometimes look at little children and just start to cry. HOW could anyone hurt them and in such a vile manner.
She told me war stories from when I was very little about torture and all the gory details. She had never been in a war. She told me too about how people boiled little children alive and many other horrible things.
I remember my father bashing my brothers. That was terrible and traumatized me beyond measure. I remember him yelling at them to get onto their beds "Stick your arses up in the air". That statement went over and over and over in my mind all my life. I then heard the whistling of his belt and it connecting with bare skin over and over. They were just little children. The horror of this memory is worse than all the other. I too had beltings from my father which left welts all over me but the memories of my brothers is the worst of all. The terrible terrible helplessness, the longing to be able to stop it and I couldn't. My mother listened to it too and smiled. It's true. It's absolutely true. I was very small at this time. We had arm chairs with big arms and I was not as tall as the top of the arms. I was desperate to help. But I couldn't.
My father used to say to her "You're never happy unless someone is crying." He did have a heart at some level but not my mother. I am unaware of any cruelty she went through as a child and I don't believe there was any. She used to tell us stories of horrible things she'd done to people and she always laughed. She got excited at other people's pain. I remember when my father got cancer and we were at the hospital. He was in agony. She loved it. Quietly.
I went walking on the beach with my brother on my 7th birthday. I got a hiding as they used to call it - a horrible term. My mother reminding me for years after that "What did you get for your 7th birthday Abby."
She abused me through other people too telling them what a horrible person I was.
I tried for decades to be good enough but everything was turned against me. She would even use my goodness against me. She told me that my father's friends who I'd visited and got on well with, that the wife's mother had died. She had been living with them when I had visited. She told me I should write a card saying I was sorry, etc. I did. I then found out that it wasn't true. A few things happened like this.
I know it seems impossible to believe but I am an intelligent person and it took me decades and decades to fully comprehend what she would do to me. There was only once I can remember that she didn't say something to me that wounded me to the bone. When I was still living with her I only remember one kind thing that she said to me. I had broken up with a friend and she asked how he was. I said we'd broken up and she said "Oh did you?" That was it. In retrospect she probably put some kind of spell on the situation and destroyed it. She was into occult stuff and she would and has destroyed every relationship she could where I was concerned including the whole family.
I had a bad head injury when I was young and I hated people touching my head so she used to hit me across the head all the time. So did my brothers. They used to give me knuckle busters on the head.
I seem to get abused a lot. I'm slowly learning how to look after myself. I wasn't allowed to wash my hair or my body that much and my mother told me everything that was bad for me. I was little and was terribly constipated. I always was as a child. I went once a week and I thought that was normal. One day I was in terrible pain because of this and she cut a piece of that hard old yellow soap and told me to stick it into my bottom because it would make it slippery. I tried but of course I just hurt myself. I didn't know any better. She told me to scrub myself with soap on my vagina. I am allergic to soap and more than likely she is and knew it. I was in agony.
I left almost two years ago (meaning I won't visit her again).
A few years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD. There were so many incidents. If I had any trouble or anxiety she would laugh and call attention to it and tell me I was insane. She told me I was mad every day.
I cannot say I'm angry although I am sometimes of course. It's just a feeling still of shock, of utter shock at how anyone could do this. The horribleness is beyond belief, beyond words. I tried to talk to her once about some things she did that hurt me and she peered at me and said "Abby. You're sick."
She would arrange things so I would be left out of anything remotely pleasurable.
I have little round scars all over me. One time I went to a doctor and he said "What are these scars all over you?" and I said, 'Oh, they're chicken pox marks, I had them when I was a baby.' He was very quiet and then asked "Who told you that?" I didn't click at the time but later I went to a skin specialist and asked him what they were. He said they were certainly not chicken pox marks and had been caused by some kind of trauma. I have a friend now who is in police forensics and he looked at the scars and said that they are, without a doubt, cigarette burns.
When I write these things I wonder how I've got through life - it has been difficult. The most familiar emotion to me is grief.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Abby. Thank you for writing your story on this site. I have the utmost respect for you, having survived this type of chronic, persistent soul-shattering abuse throughout your childhood. And you have survived. You write well, and I'm sure you do a lot of things well. Your survival and level of functioning are testimony to the strength and integrity of your spirit.
Consider this, which I believe to be true: While you were definitely wounded at a very deep level by the horrific abuse you experienced and witnessed, there was and remains a part of you that was untouched by that. That is your pure spirit, which cannot be destroyed by this world. If you believe in this, go to that place inside and find some peace there during your healing. I believe that is also where healing comes from.
I'm glad you have separated yourself from your mother. You are your top priority now, and you can provide the care, tenderness and nurturing for yourself that you needed and never got as a child. To help with that, you might want to learn about healing your inner child.
Also, if it feels right to you, try some of the imagery techniques you will find on the page entitled, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I wish you all the best in your continued healing and recovery. Appreciate yourself. Recognize your strengths. Be the loving friend to you that you always wanted.