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This Child Survived

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Human beings have little control over their lives. This is my experience, my memories that are still at the forefront of my mind. I am forty four years old and I have eight beautiful children, I am happily married and I have this need to tell someone of my abuse in hopes that someone else doesn’t feel so alone out there. I will start at the age of three years old and I will take you thru some of the defining moments.


My stomach ached, I knew the only way to stop the pain was to open the door to the room that my mother kept me in. I could tell that the house was quiet and I tiptoed across the kitchen floor to the refrigerator. The door squeaked as I opened it, I scanned over the items inside looking for anything within my reach and grabbed a jar filled with applesauce, I was so hungry I quietly shut the door and ran back to my room. I didn’t have anything to scoop the sauce out so I stuck my little hand in and filled my mouth till I had emptied the jar.


The door to my room swung open and my body reacted with a warm trickling that ran down my legs, “Have you been stealing food again?” Mother screamed.


“No, momma.” I could see her in the darkness towering over me her hand striking my face. The taste of blood mixed with applesauce remained.


“I am sick of you sneaking out of your room in the middle of the night,” as she reached for me grabbing my hair,”Where have you hidden the food?” she scanned my room. My room was very small, only a small bed and a makeshift closet made to fit in the corner and a plywood floor covered about seven feet by nine feet looking back I would guess the room is now a large closet.


She left me there crying and she threatened to come back and give it to me worse if I didn’t stay in there. I had to relieve my self in the closet, I used a coffee cup and would open my window to dump out any waste. The smell was horrific and today I can’t wash off the memories.


My mother had gotten Halloween costumes for us to wear at the church party one year, I have two sisters who were older than I and they were dancing around waiting for us to leave my mother decided to paint my face with black shoe polish in the attempt to make me “a little black girl.” Considering there were no black people living in our town. I cried as I looked in the mirror and my sisters were giggling and singing little nigger, little nigger! I went to the party humiliated and was laughed at by everyone. I got home that night and my mother couldn’t get the polish off, she scrubbed and rubbed my face till it was too painful for me any longer and she told me that I would have to just let it wear off. I went to kindergarten class the next morning with a black face and my eyes were so puffy from crying I just wanted someone to notice and rescue me but no luck.


My mother had taken a tire tool and smashed my hands with it, she was angry about something and said that this would teach me to behave I have never figured out what I was suppose to learn from that experience except for the memory scar on my right hand is there as a constant reminder of her hatred.


My stepfather Jerry was the other abuser in the house, he had a fetish with guns and he kept one under his pillow. One afternoon I was in the backyard policing it, that is what he called cleaning up. My kitten had ran in the door as I opened it the door slammed shut on him and it broke his neck. I was in shock from seeing my little kitten laying there and my mother screaming at me “you killed Cosmo, you little retard!” I was ordered to pick up the kitten and meet Jerry in the backyard. He came out with his pistol and ordered me to hold the kitten still while he shot him in the head, I turned my head away while blood and hair splattered on my face and hands. Is that not crazy? Who would do that to their child? I suffered so many acts of abuse in that house over the years and all before I was taken away at the age of nine years old. My biological father came after he had visited us and saw a large bruise that covered across my face from a belt that my mother had hit me with. I never got a chance to become the girl that god meant for me to be but I have become someone that I think has a voice and a vengeance to speak out against child abuse. Please love your children, never strike them in anger and if you see a child that looks abused, report it.

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