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Stepmother Vicious Beyond Belief

by Cyrus
(Toronto, Canada)

I was 5 years old when my adoptive parents split up. They adopted me when I was 2 and my sister Kathy when she was a newborn. A daughter for her and a son for him.

When they split my mother despised my father but refused to give me up, he wanted me but she kept me out of spite. Kathy became her princess, no one came for her or my mother would have killed them.

After 3 years of repeated beatings at the hands of her and her boyfriends, the Children's Aid was called and they contacted my father. He was remarried, living with a woman who had a son of her own who was 2 years younger than me. From the second she laid eyes on me I knew I was in trouble.

My father was busy building a successful company. He was home very little so she had to take care of me and her own son. It took maybe a month before she started making noises about how emotionally disturbed I was. She actually used the abuse I suffered at the hands of my mother to bolster her claim. She wanted everyone to know she loved me and was only concerned that I get the help I needed.

My father needed her. She was vital in the various meetings and functions he had with big clients, and she was indispensable to his plans. He believed the lies she told about me when he would come home. She convinced him to build me a bedroom in the basement.

She and my father slept upstairs in one room while her son slept in the other. Classic. I was such a sweet kid, I thought it was amazing that my father would build me my own room, I was clueless as to the underlying implications.

Sometimes late at night I'd hear my father come storming down the stairs, he'd come into my room and beat the shit out of me because of something she told him.

At 10 years old, I was sent away to the Dellcrest Children's Center, a residential treatment center for the emotionally disturbed. All the other kids went to school on site, but I was smart so I attended a public school. That lasted a year then I was allowed to come home again.

About two months later she started making noises about how I wasn't cured, I was still disturbed and needed help. I was sent to Ausable Springs Ranch, a farm for emotionally disturbed boys 2 hours away from my dad. Again I attended a public school while the rest of the boys went to school on the property.

I lived there for 2 years then came home again. I was enrolled back in school in Toronto. One day I came home from school as usual. I'd always let her know I was home before going down to my room.

I was standing at the top of the stairs and could see her reading a book before I said anything…the second I opened my mouth she went into a whole production, she was hyperventilating and writhing around on the floor. I ran to the phone to call 911 and she actually got up, went to the phone, and cancelled the ambulance.

Well I was really concerned, I wanted to do whatever I could to help her, not knowing she was telling everyone that I was the reason she was having this break down.

Then the day came when I came out. My father was at work. When he came home he came down to my room and sat on my bed. He was crying and hugged me, all he said was "don't worry son, we'll get you help." Two days later I was disowned and committed to the Lakeshore Hospital.

I worshipped my father, he rescued me when I was in real trouble. People don't understand why I forgive him. I understand it was her or me. She had a very good way of making life seem easy and wonderful when I wasn't there. When it was just her, my dad and her son there was never any drama—the drama occurred only when I was there.

My dad did the best he could with what he knew. He tried. He'd come and visit me when I was at those awful places. I know he loved me. He beat my ass 3 or 4 times but I know he was frustrated, based on what she told him. I understand why he did what he did. It was all lies but he didn't know that.

He never spoke to me after I was committed. I lasted 3 months in the hospital before I ran away to New York City. I never really recovered. I've been clean and sober for 15 years now but for most of my life I was lost and horribly bitter. I know bitterness is such a waste of time and energy, but you couldn't tell me that when I was really hurting.

My father eventually sold his company for 12 million dollars. I never got a cent. He died and I didn't have a chance to make things right with him. She got what she wanted, everything for her and her son. The worst part is there was enough money to go around, my dad was working for all of us, but she was too greedy and nasty to care about anything but herself and her son.

I'm 53. I'm alone and broke. I have my own place so I'm okay, but my god, the pain has been so intense, the bitterness and resentment has been so hard to shake. I managed to stay out of jail, I never got into crime per se. I worked the streets for many years but I was and am an honest person who cares deeply about people and the planet. I love to cook and I love my cat. But I'm not whole. I'm just surviving. The pain is just below the surface.

How can I reconcile what's happened to me? Funny thing about abuse. Through the years I've come up with my own ways of dealing with it and the 2 main ways are through comedy and music. Without them I wouldn't have survived, they've been what I've turned to in my darkest hour. Drugs helped, but of course in the end they're just a bandage. I quit all that years ago.

Reading the stories posted by other survivors of vicious stepmonsters has been really comforting to me. Are there any groups for survivors of step parents on the internet?

If anyone reads this thank you for your time and attention. Maybe you have some advice?

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Jul 05, 2016
Some Possibilities For You To Consider
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Cyrus

I will tell you that I am quite moved by your story. I'm glad you survived all this, and that you're clean and sober. It sounds like you're not engaging in any self-destructive behavior at this point, and that's very good.

I'm also glad that you have found comfort and relief through comedy and music. These are great healing and renewing resources, and I encourage you to expand your use of them as much as feels right to you.

You're a very good writer, as I can tell from your submission on this site. I encourage you to use that skill to further your healing. You will find a full description of the process and benefits of journaling on this page.

Writing about your experiences, and following the recommendations for the other types of journaling will help you turn your experience into an opportunity for growth and expansion. Who you are is not a result of what has happened to's a result of how you deal with what happened to you.

Robert Bly, poet and author of A Little Book On the Human Shadow says that with self-exploration and healing, the "wound is transformed into a womb from which new life emerges." That opportunity exists for you, Cyrus.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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