Child Abuse Should Never Be Kept in the Dark
Child Abuse Should Never Be Left in the Dark
That is Where the Monsters Live!
It’s very, very dark; the kind of inky blackness through which no light can penetrate. The sort of overwhelming black hole that sucks you in, and the deeper you get, the harder it is to tell which way is up or down, and to climb back out.
I’m trying to scream, but the cries for help will not manifest. Instead, I hear myself utter hoarse, animalistic howls that no one can hear. My voice will not come to me and no one will help me. I begin panicking and the demons are coming. I can feel them nearby.
The night terrors are almost here and I cannot outrun them because in the dark, there is no sense of direction. There are just random panicky movements with arms outstretched into the darkness in complete disorientation.
In sheer terror, I am flailing about in the dark searching for the light switch. My only salvation is to locate that beacon of sanity, but it evades me. It is not where I remember it. I keep reaching for a phantom; the impossible. It is out of reach, and the nightmare has set my heart racing. It is pounding so hard that my chest now aches. Still I cannot break free from the nightmare. I am trapped; half awake, and half in hell.
Somehow, I have found my voice through during this horrendous ordeal, and I have been screaming aloud. This finally disturbs my parents and they come into my room. They find the light switch, and the demons recede, to lay low for tomorrow night, they will try again. They are relentless, and I can count on them to arrive once more.
My mother appears indifferent, and my father is amused. He asks me why I am climbing the walls in my sleep. They go back to bed as if nothing is the matter, and I can finally drop off to sleep again from sheer exhaustion. I’m simply too tired to even be frightened any more.
I do wish I could tell you that this was just some shock fiction, but this is real. I lived this regularly when I was a child and as a young teenager. I no longer experience these sorts of night terrors because I became my own child psychologist. My parents didn’t think a child screaming with panic on a regular basis was anything to be concerned about, certainly not worth the trip to the shrincologist. Yes, I have made up a few words. That is one of mine. 🙂
One day, around the same age, I must have done something that ticked my dearest father off, and he got into a rage. He beat me with one of my own shoes, or slippers. The details are hazy — on purpose. It’s not something I enjoy reliving. Now, to be clear, he didn’t physically abuse me very often, but it’s the mental and emotional abuse, that destroys a person the most.
I will never forget those words, as hard as I try. There is no way to overcome such mental abuse as a child. The beating I could allow to fade from memory, and largely it has. He often said other encouraging statements such as:
A lot is lost in translation into English, but I think you get the general picture. The irony is that he was obese himself, and I was fat because of him. He was partly responsible for my stunted emotional development and poor self-ego.
Not that the man ever did any himself that I am aware of. He was always rotund. Thanks for the genes, Dad!
When I was in my early twenties, my dad died at home, riddled with cancer. There was more cancer than person in the end. One morning, I was about to administer his morphine when I discovered that he was quite dead. I called my mother at work, and hospice to deal with the body. I had no idea what to do. Dead bodies wasn’t something I was used to; just dying people. The next day, or perhaps two days later, I wrote my History of Architecture exams to the amazement of my lecturers.
Before he became a mindless emaciated lump of cancerous flesh, he once grabbed my hand, and asked me to stay a while. Before he died, he wanted to apologise for all the horrible things he had done. He wanted my forgiveness for all his failures. I sent him on his way with my forgiveness, but I was left with what he had done.
As I type this, my vision clouds with streaming tears, I can tell you that I had some closure. He died soon after that — I think. I don’t know anymore. The challenge is that he died, but I still live on with his words in my head.
If you are a parent, take this to heart. When you destroy a child’s emotional stability, it can never be fully mended. The cracks are always threatening to reappear.
I lived in perpetual terror of my father. I might be safer in public, but the rage and abuse would just boil until we were home. There was a brief period of tranquillity in my day after the misery of school. My mother would arrive in the afternoon, but she generally left me alone. That has always been her way. She would go without talking to me for days or even weeks if I did something she disliked or I didn’t do what she asked of me. Then 5 o’clock would come around too quickly.
Would the man have had a bad day at work? Would I scuttle to the gate quickly enough to open the gate for him and circumvent the backlash? He would not get out of his car to open the gate when he arrived home. The waiting for abuse is probably much worse than the words themselves. It’s almost like a get-it-out-of-the-way quickly approach. It’s coming no matter what I do.
My mother has generally been cold-hearted, distant, and unapproachable. I firmly believe that somewhere deep in her heart, she does love me. Unfortunately, she doesn’t love herself. This appears to be a common Virgo trait.
There is a lot more that could be said, and yes, perhaps there were a few good moments in my childhood, but they are always marked with fear. The paralysing dread, that something will upset one of them, or that they will get into yet another fight, and then I will bear the grunt of the abuse from my father. Mother retreats into passive resistance, and Father would launch into active emotional abuse.
At this point, you might be thinking that I am exaggerating about what really happened. After all, my mother denies it all, and doesn’t mother always know best? You see, she has a very selective memory. She will only actively recall what is relevant to her martyrdom. I wrote an entire chapter about this syndrome in, The Book of Life. Now that you have read this public letter, you will more fully understand my first book.
My father’s own friends would sometimes ask him to stop. They were both embarrassed and upset with how he would run me down so publicly, and verbally abuse me. Sadly, they are all dead now, so you only have my side of the story. Naturally, as well meaning as their words were, they could not see what really went on at home.
Mother dearest, the quiet sufferer and innocent little old lady, was never seen for what she is: a manipulative, emotionally blackmailing person who can hold grudges for decades, even after she has taken steps to be avenged. Bitterness is her joy. She would drive my father mad, and he took it out on me.
I feel that I should bring up the one other crazy member of my family that was there for me for a moment in time: my late grandmother. She was no saint, and I believe that she may very well be the reason for how my mother turned out as an adult.
However, for the brief time she lived with us, she tried to protect me from my father’s rage. When I had nightmares, I would drag my pillow behind me into her bedroom, and sleep in her bed where she would comfort me. She may have been a dreadful parent — I have no idea — but she was there for me as a grandmother until she was driven out of the house.
A year or two after my father died — and again I don’t wish to dwell long enough to create a proper time frame — my mother decided to sell up, and leave the country. One of the reasons was the political climate in South Africa, but that was really just the excuse she gave people: a public statement.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t gone for long before she began writing to me asking if she could return. What was I supposed to tell her? I could have replied to her as she would have addressed me, but instead, I said she should return.
My mother is a secretive person. You might be shocked to find out that I know very little about her or any other dead members of my family, but I digress. This family tree is coming to an end, and it must. It’s filled with crazy people with insane genes.
If I had not heard the truth from her own lips, I would never had actually known why my mother really immigrated. She left the country because of me. That’s right. She left me some money and left. The woman doesn’t have a maternal bone in her little body. She is really just an automaton with a warped sense of responsibility. Thank heavens that my parents never had any more children. The real reason she ran away was because I was gay. Well, I still am really. That has been the one constant in my life.
While I have never been in the closet, I have always kept my private life separate from my public persona. I wanted to become an author, not ‘that gay person’ who happens to write. When I embarked on my new career, I wanted to avoid as much stigma as possible and to maximise my success.
Perhaps now you have a little inkling into my real life, but that is not all there is to me. I didn’t write this because I am seeking attention or sympathy, and I implore you not to feel sorry for me. However, you are welcome to comment and start up a discussion.
So why divulge this now? Why have I revealed all of this now that I am nearly fifty years old? I have never spoken publicly about child abuse out of respect for my mother’s right to privacy — who has pretty much held me hostage my entire life.
She has one fear: to be alone. She treats people poorly, she will never stop attempting to manipulate those that are trapped, but she fears being alone. This is rather odd for someone who alienates everyone and is a self-confessed animal lover instead of humans. Sadly, she is not much better with animals as she seems to think she is. Our last dog died of a fatal seizure and she ignored my warnings because what do I know.
I’ve been going through a very dark period, and things have never been worse. She has betrayed my right to privacy, and has been conniving behind my back. Naturally, this should not come as a surprise. She has told her half-truths that are convenient in seeking sympathy for her plight, and now I have told the truth … and my own experience.
My mother will never read this. Why would she? She seldom has any interest in what I do, and does not see the need to support anything I do. I am just a mule and all of this is figment of my imagination. I am only writing this because I am not a liar. If you are in a similar situation, please … get out. Don’t give up your life for anyone. Good people do not demand such sacrifice of others.
We do not belong to our parents. They are supposed to be there for us. I have tried to help her, but I’ve failed. She will sabotage everything she holds dear to get her way. I don’t think she wants to change. She only pretends to change to avoid being alone. So how bad a son can I be, that I have never abandoned her.
About ten years ago, she broke her hip. Because she is stubborn, she never has her phone with her, and she never listens to good advice. It took 24 hours to convince her to let me carry her to the car and take her to the hospital. After all the trauma I went through with this and everything I did for her — and this is the kindest thing she has ever said to me — she had very little to say other than:
I have never been very good at asking or accepting other people’s help. People who don’t know me believe I am arrogant, assuming I don’t ask for help because I always ‘know better’. I don’t ask people for help because I have a history of being rejected and let down. I do not want to face the rejection or to be let down by people. As a result, I have become almost entirely self-sufficient and learnt to do everything myself.
I’ve spent my life trying to help others where I can. I smile, joke, and tease people into better moods. Very few people ever know when I am depressed. My burdens are not theirs to carry. They cannot fix my life. Mostly, the fear of rejection has ruined many good things in my life. Perhaps now that things are coming to a terrifying end, I can move on.
Finally, and if you have read this far, I thank you and I need your help. I don’t need your money, although if you bought one of my t-shirt designs (https://amazon.com/shop/roderick) or something else it would help me. It takes a strong person to admit he needs help. Rock bottom is where things become clearer.
Since Kindle-Gate, and I’ve already documented it, I have not been able to earn enough money to support my household. I live in a country where white people are prevented from getting jobs by law. I earn a living online, and my savings are almost gone. I am owed thousands of dollars by Kindle publishing, but I will never see a cent of it.
If you need any kind of graphics or publishing services, I can help you. You can contact me via e-mail through my business site, http://bookcover.biz/, or from my author site.
I do have a few books published, so if you enjoy reading, you might consider purchasing one of them. More details are available at http://joroderick.com/. I intend to return to writing full time once I recover financially.
Should you need some help with your life, you can take one of my life coaching courses on my dedicated site here … http://joroderick.net/ You can also assist me with growing awareness of my YouTube channels. I need an active audience. If you have a few minutes to watch some of my videos, give them a thumbs-up, and even a comment, I would be most grateful. You can find my motivational channel here … https://youtube.com/JoRoderick.
The Sims 4 is a little side venture I have started largely to relieve the stress. I have a Patreon account if you love unique and custom themes and objects. You can pledge as little or as much as you can afford. Follow me as Sims Grand Design here … https://youtube.com/SimsGrandDesign
I thank you for reading all of this. Child abuse should never be kept in the dark.