Trigger Warning: (5/5!)
This is Part 2 of a story about one of my earliest physical abuse memories, dealing with a babysitter I had when I was 6 or 7 (read Part 1 here). By earliest I don’t mean first physical abuse in my life, but the first memory that I was able to recall. I think this is because to me, it doesn’t seem that bad. This babysitter was in my life soon after I was out of my body cast (due to an accident with a horse). To read a brief history about me, please read my sorted past.
On this particular occasion she employed both tortures, dragging me into the Belt Room first. The Belt Room was a small room with a full or queen size bed in the middle, top against one wall. There was maybe 3 feet of floor space around the other three sides. This room might have had a window at one time (I mean, it must have, right?) but it was covered over, so the only way out was the door, which was covered with locks, most on the inside, with the one on the outside, the sturdiest of them all.
She tied me face down onto the bed without my shirt on (yes, it was already pre-fitted with a restraint system, for her pleasure) and looked around at the walls to choose her weapon. All four walls were completely lined with an assortment of different belts, some being more whips than belts, but all technically belts. All flavors too – ones with spikes, ones with needles, with holes, holes with leather strips… The belts were hung on nails, hammered about four inches from each other, floor to ceiling. It never occurred to me how odd this was when I was a child, but the horror of it is slightly creeping in as I write this.
Lydia liked to beat me from all angles, really moving around the little bit of space that was there, wedging herself around the bed, her hair waving behind her. She would hit and hit, screaming and spitting at me that she was beating the evil out of me and that it was for my own good, getting spittle all over me. She would do this until she was completely exhausted, usually hunching against the wall, with her hands on her porky knees, trying desperately to catch her breath, eyes wildly staring at the ceiling. Once she would catch her breath, she would leave to set up the Standards Desk, only letting me free so that I could start the next punishment.
Lydia then made me write Standards at a school desk that she put outside in the yard. I was forced to write different phrases, at least 1,000 times each, taking up pages and pages with my child’s hand writing. If you don’t know what Standards are, they are when you write a sentence about what you did wrong over and over in the hopes that you will never make that mistake again. I do not remember specifically what Lydia had me write over the months, except this once, which was “Dirty little girls will not put stickers on the walls.”
One day while writing Standards I broke composure and started crying (Lydia was not outside at the time) because I was so frustrated (I still cry today when I am frustrated, now that I think about it). This practice of writing Standards of un-true events and statements, such as “I am the devil’s spawn” encouraged a horrible compulsive lying habit that I did not truly break until I was about 20. I wish I still had these Standard pages today to remind me of how insane the situation was. I have to remember that the things I wrote, the things that she said to me, were not true. Because to be honest, sometimes I think I must be evil, to have been treated so evilly so regularly.
I was glad though that it was me and not my brother. I remember once she tried to touch my tiny little brother in a harmful way. It enraged me to the point that I lunged for her throat, trying to strangle her. I mean I went totally insane, and she really had to work to get me off of her throat, her face started to change color. It got me the worst beating ever that day, but she never did touch my brother again. I think I showed her that I could be unpredictable as well.
That day I was obviously frustrated, and tired of being…
“…badly bruised almost every day. On this particular day though, it was really bad, and I think the skin had broken and was bleeding, in the middle of a huge purple-blue welt that covered nearly a quarter of my back. I was mad. I was hurt, and I was tired of being subjected to her…
I came out that day to show my father, once again, when he picked me up, right there in the parking lot. I pulled my shirt up and looked him squarely in they eye from over my bruised shoulder, and said something like “I’m bleeding this time. I don’t want to come back here. I can watch myself,” almost like a challenge, to see how he would react. He looked at my shoulder, then quickly looked away and said “What do you want me to do about it?, I don’t see anything?” He grabbed me by the same shoulder and shoved me into the passenger seat of the car.
I remember walking around to the car door when I saw a dragonfly…a big, beautiful green and purple one that flew away, to wherever it wanted to…I guess I was already good at dissociation by the age of 6.”
(Quoted portion re-posted from “I Have Been Abused – Please Believe Me!”)
A related article I recently found, about Using God to Abuse, makes some very interesting points. It helped to see another perspective.