To begin this post, in high school, I kept a journal and wrote down all of my thoughts, fears, and hates! After this incident, I stopped writing.
Once upon a time, I was fourteen and kept a journal. Much like people writing blogs these days. I would write sometimes three and four entries a day depending on that days events. Over all, I think I was a pretty good kid. Didn’t drink or do drugs and let’s face it… I was terrified I would be killed if I ever did.
One time I did skip school and got caught. I was fourteen and my boyfriend and I had decided to have sex for the first time. So, we skipped school together. As a teenager you don’t consider the ramifications of your choices.
The school called my step father at work to let them know I had skipped and when I was asked why, of course I lied. I told him I hadn’t felt well and couldn’t go. The school called him a second time to tell him that the boy I had been seen hanging out with was also missing from classes that day.
Again, I was questioned and after several torturous smacks on the face because he assumed I was lying, it came out. I skipped school, had sex, and lied about it. Yes! I made a mistake and a poor choice. I know I deserved a punishment being a parent myself for the lack in judgement I showed. But, I’m not sure I deserved what I got.
Once everything came out, a phone call was made to my mother who worked away from home a week at a time. Once he hung up, he had a smile on his face. Immediately I sent my sanity to reside in an unconscious part of my brain because I knew what was about to happen. The beating was about to start.
Immediately he came toward me and his signature move would be to grab me by my hair first. I remember being punched in the stomach. I was thrown into the various large appliances like the stove and kicked.
After he was through, he went and sat down to watch TV. At least that’s where he was when I became conscious on the kitchen floor. I crawled to my room for the first aid kit I had bought with money I had saved. I kept it hidden in my room for when he would lose his temper. I went to retrieve my journals as well and they had been confiscated during my unconsciousness.
The next morning, instead of goin to school, I was woken up and informed I had been expelled and would be going to his cousins house since I couldn’t be trusted to be at home alone.
It was a female cousin of his in her forties. I remember telling her what had happened and the extent of what he had done and saying,
I know I was wrong and shouldn’t have done what I did but does that mean I have to put up with being hit like that?
I was asking for help without saying the words. I was picked up a week later on Friday by my step father. That smile was in place the whole way home. I sat shaking in my seat huddled against the door… Waiting for what was to come next. Mentally, I did my best to check out and turn on the auto pilot mode so I could survive what was to come.
When we got to the house, my mothers parents had stopped in for the weekend and my mother was ‘entertaining’ in the living room. This is NOT as elegant as it may sound. I wasn’t aloud to say hello and was sent to my room to unpack my bags. I lulled myself into believing I would be okay. This set of grandparents are NOT the grandparents from my Sanctuary post.
An hour later, I was recalled to the living room. Which is where everyone sat. Apparently everyone had been told about my indiscressions. My step father (for the sake of these posts I will be referring to him as Jack A.) proceeded to question me about my actions and if I thought what I had done was right. I can’t remember the answer I mumbled and it didn’t really matter because that smile was back in place.
Jack A. pulled my journals out from behind his back and in them the pages had been marked with little markers like the stickie note flags I used so much in college.
He opened the first flag in the first notebook and pointed to a sentence he had highlighted. Yes! Highlighted. He told me to read it out loud.
I hate him!
He turned to the next flag and again told me to read it.
I hate him!
I said again.
He asked me to tell everyone what the bible said about how you should treat your parents.
To honor thy mother and thy father.
I said. By this point, I was so scared I was in tears.
To honor your mother and your father. Does I hate him sound like you are honoring your mother and father?
Jack A. asked.
In my journals, I had written that I hate him referencing my step father.
I was told to go to the kitchen and close the divider. There was a sliding door that closed the living room off from the kitchen but didn’t shut out sound. I sat down at the table and waited. Nothing was said in the living room and Jack A. followed me to kitchen within a few minutes, journals in hand.
There was a razor strap sitting on the table. This was something Jack A. favored on special occasions. For those that may not know what a razor strap is, it’s a foot to a foot and a half long piece of leather about an inch thick that barbers used to sharpen shaving razors with in the olden days. He stood at the table and placed the journals in front of me and told me to count the markers or the flags. So I did.
These two journals were the 70 page, college ruled, single subject notebooks you can get dirt cheap during the school shopping season. There were 47 flags. When he asked me how many there were and I told him, I was told to stand up and bend over the table.
I remember my mom telling me once (when she knew I was about to get into trouble) to wear jeans because it would hurt less. I was wearing jeans on this day and I don’t think I felt a difference.
I was hit 47 times on the back of my legs and my butt by the razor strap and not one person sitting in that living room stopped Jack A. when they heard my cries. I had to peel the jeans off and throw them away because he had hit me so hard it lacerated the jeans and my skin.