This isn't any great masterpiece, nor is the writing top notch.
It jumps around a bit as I tend to digress quite a lot.
There are words I'm not used to writing let alone saying... but anyway...I did not go into great detail...
Much more to say, foolish to try...
.....sigh......... here goes.
My story: An overview
My story isn’t really different from any other survivor of abuse. Really the only unique thing about my story is that it happened to me.
I am a survivor of the big 3, that is to say, I have survived sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Through my years of growing up there were multiple abusers, each playing a role in shaping me into the person that I am today.
I know that there is purpose for me or else I wouldn’t be here now. My mother was not supposed to have any children after she gave birth to my brother. Shortly after his birth she had a tubule legation done but it obviously didn’t take because 6 years later I came into this world.
My brother, Andy, became very jealous of me since he was no longer the youngest in the family. He became mean and rebellious towards my parents and started taking out his frustrations on me. I was the one he would experiment on and just be darn-right mean to.
From the time I was born until the Children’s Aide Society took him from our home at age 15 I endured a lot by his hand. We lived on a farm just outside of XXXXXXXX Ontario shared by my father’s family. The area was nick-named “XXXXXX-Ville” because beside the home my parents were building (we lived in the basement) were my grandparents. Beside them lived my dads’ brother and wife. On the other side of them lived my Dad’s Aunt and Uncle. And finally, across the road lived one of my dads’ brothers and his family… of course down the road a few miles in both directions lived more family but that’s neither here nor there in this digression that I am into.
The actual ‘farmland’ was up the hill from where we lived. Where the dirt road that connected our houses met the fields there were a couple large sunken tanks used to hold water for irrigation. One day Andy pushed me down one. I wasn’t anymore than 2 at the time. Lucky for me there was a lot of mud at the bottom and I wasn’t seriously hurt.
There was another incident that took place (that was relayed to me by my mother). One day Andy was watching me while my parents worked. He took me up to the top of the hill and pushed me down it on a tricycle. This was well and fine, or so I assume it would have been based on my love for amusement rides, until I fell and tumbled down the rest of the way stopping only when I ran into one of the barnyard fence posts.
I was knocked unconscious and my brother began to freak out. He hid me in the garage and I remained there for a few hours until my mother found me. I still have reminder of that day. Above my left eyebrow is a scar left from the barbed wire on the post.
I find it amazing how much I remember from when I was so young. From how the basement was setup for us all to live in, to actually making my own jelly sandwiches and making such a mess on the counter and my mother being so disgusted with me.
I don’t remember much of my sister Christine from that long ago, but I do remember my sister Mary. She used to take care of me most of the time when my parents were working. Mary and I are the furthest apart in age but the closest out of us 4 siblings.
From “XXXXXXX-Ville” we moved to a semi-quiet street in XXXXXXX. It was a dead-end street that ran to the edge of a wooded area. At the other end of the street lived the ‘XXXXXXX’, a successful business family that attended the church I grew up in.
This was the home where things got a little more out of control. We lived there from the time I was 2 until I was almost 4.
Directly across the street from us lived the “Circus”. Ok, it wasn’t the circus but that is what their last name sounded like to me. I know how to pronounce the name but I just don’t know how to spell it. Joey ‘Circus’ became a good friend of mine…cue the black clouds. But he didn’t, nor did his 2 sisters escape the reach of my brother. I remember one sunny day where he had all 3 on our front steps with their pants down. I was playing at the side of the house and had just happened to wander out front just as my mother came outside to see what was going on. Of course I was guilty by association. It turned into a day where I wasn’t able to sit down until night fall.
I know Andy did stuff to me at night but I didn’t understand what nor do I remember details. I do remember our bedroom and the bed that we shared. That bed is now the one that my parents sleep on. It is an antique, although nothing really spectacular, that belonged to my grandparents.
There are a lot of fond memories from that period. I believe it was the first time I ever had a cream-soda ice-cream float. The XXXXX's (a stab at getting their name right) threw a birthday party for Joey and I remember being there.
The XXXXXXX's down the street had children the age of my sisters and Andy, but also a girl my age named Sharon. She and I used to play a lot. I remember being in their basement many times. She had a whole section just for her toys. I never wanted to leave and remember playing there all day with the neat and interesting toys she had.
Everyone else used to go swimming a lot in the big in-ground pool that they had in their backyard. One day I was back by the pool with Andy. I don’t remember how I got to the top of the big slide they had that went into the pool, but I remember hearing laughter and then sliding down and seeing the sides of the pool from the bottom of the deep end. All I remember next was seeing a hand reaching for me.
One Friday in the summer (and yes I do know it was a Friday) I was playing with Sharon in her basement. Andy was there with us. I was playing with some toys and he was off with Sharon on the other side of the room.
I went over to where they were to find Sharon without her clothes on. She was sitting on a lawn chair and Andy was sticking his finger inside of her. He told me to do it but I didn’t want to. He said if I didn’t he was going to tell on me.
Of course back then I didn’t understand the logic. I just knew that I didn’t want to be in trouble with my parents.
Somehow I ended up back playing with the toys. Andy left to go home.
The side-story to this one is that nobody, other than Andy, knew where I was and my family and others in the neighbourhood were looking all over for me.
David XXXXX, Sharon’s older brother came downstairs and told me everyone was looking for me. Sharon still didn’t have her clothes on, and I remember trying to tell David that I didn’t have anything to do with her being that way. I know I tried explaining but all I ended up doing was crying because I knew I was in trouble no matter what.
I got a good spanking from my mother for that whole situation and remember crying all the way home and then in the car on our way to my Aunt’s for supper.
There are many memories from that house on XXXXX Street in XXXXXXX. If I gave more time to thought, I’m sure there would be more than just a handful of good memories.
From XXXXX we moved to an older home in XXXXX. Our home was situated in the middle of the block, 4 houses on both sides and 1 block from Main Street.
I lived here until from when I was almost 4 until I moved out at age 19.
Where do I start? I turned 4 a few months after we moved. My mother put together my first and only birthday party. I don’t remember everyone that was there but I do know my friend Joey had come, and I believe that would have been the last time I ever saw him.
The neighbourhood had a lot of children my age; of course they were all girls though. On one side of us lived Cheryl and Jeanette. Cheryl was almost 2 years older than me and her sister was about 2 years younger than me. Their parents scared me. His name was Don and he liked to trick me and chase me pretending he was angry when he wasn’t. I cannot remember the mothers name; I don’t know that I ever knew.
Each time I would stay for lunch she would get so mad at me. “Peter, would you quit that blankety-blank smacking?” I didn’t like eating there. I didn’t know what she meant and I would try to eat as slowly as I could, taking the smallest bites of food.
Right beside our house lived Holly and David. Holly was my age and we ended up in a lot of the same classes together through elementary school. David was much younger than me. I liked their parents, Gary and Judy, a lot and they also became friends to my parents.
They kept an eye on us from their place whenever my parents were out and Mary was left in charge.
There were many times Gary would be over to settle Andy down whenever things got out of hand and he lost his temper.
Down on the other corner lived a boy my age named Darryl. I played with him a lot but they moved a little while after we became friends.
Darryl is the first of my friends in XXXXX that he got to. I remember a cold day going over to play and I heard laughing from the bushes in from of his house. I went in because it was Darryl’s laugh and found him and Andy with their pants down. Andy was making Darryl rub his penis; they were both having fun about it all.
I went home and wouldn’t talk to anyone but that didn’t really make a difference to my normal self.
After Darryl had moved another family moved in with two girls (see I told you the neighbourhood was all girls) Renee and Melanie. Renee was my age and Melanie was about 2 years younger. Andy got to them too but he forced me to join him.
He always had something on me whether it was legitimate or not. The thing with Renee and Melanie was information he would use on me for years. If I would not do something he wanted me to do then he would either tell me he was going to kill me or he would tell my parents what he made me do…of course he would leave that part out and make it sound like he caught me.
When I was still very young my mom used to help my dad a lot with his business. Every week my dad had a contract to clean a lot of different offices. One of them was the XXXXX medical centre.
A lot of times my mom would get me up at 4am and take me with her. A lot of the times she would drop me off at my grandmothers who didn’t live too far from the medical centre. The times that I would be at my grandmothers were not always the best.
I do not have a lot of memories of details but I do know what happened. One time in particular I remember my grandmother taking me into her bedroom and making me stand up on her bed. I know I was crying and telling her ‘no’. She had a temper and would yell or even smack me. I don’t know if this time I still had my clothes on but I know she didn’t. My grandmother took my hands and made me feel her breasts.
There are a lot of similar memories but all are very cloudy. But this had always made me wonder if this may be where my brother got his ideas from. I don’t know that I will ever find out.
Another office that my parents would clean was a lawyer’s office in XXXXXX. Every Thursday night for many years they would clean the office, leaving us at home with Mary in charge. There were a lot of times I would go with them just so I wouldn’t be at home with Andy.
He would almost always defy Mary’s authority. There would always be yelling matches and threats being made.
One time Andy threatened to kill us all and then himself. Gary heard what was happening and ran over. Andy had grabbed a carving knife and held it up to his own throat when Gary tried to calm him down.
I just remember Andy backing down the steps at the backdoor with Gary telling him to put the knife down.
There were a lot of incidents like that which made an unsafe feeling at home. The worst thing I think still is that I had to share a bed with him.
Night time was always a struggle for me. So many nights my parents had to fight with me to get to bed and when I was in bed I was trapped between my brother and the wall. Most nights I was able to pretend I was sleeping so he would leave me alone but a lot of times late at night he would wake me up.
Each time was the same. He would wake me up and then threaten me with whatever lie he would make up.
I was always so afraid to get into trouble with my parents. My mom would be the one who started the interrogation. She would yell and smack (sound familiar?). Sometimes she would be the one who dispensed the punishment. There were some familiar like spanking or placing a bar of soap in our mouths. But then there were some unconventional punishments that caused a lot of pain like making us kneel in the corner with bare legs kneeling on tin pie plates full of un-popped popcorn kernels.
For the more major offences she would then hand us over to my dad when he came home from work. It would generally be after supper. Of course whomever it would be out of us that was in trouble wouldn’t eat much or very fast. After supper he would start in where my mom left off with a bit of an interrogation of his own. Then in front of us all he would get the strap out which was a piece of unprocessed leather. It was about 2-3inches wide 2 feet long and 1/4inch thick. The receiver had to pull their pants down and kneel on a chair where they would then receive several hits with this strap, and my dad wasn’t a weak man.
There were a lot of times my parents would get into a fight but it would almost always be because of something one of us kids did. There were many dishes thrown missing their intended targets and usually end up smashing against the wall. One time just before supper my dad had said something that infuriated my mother. She picked up the bowl of gravy she was making and threw it across the kitchen and it hit the wall No one had supper that night.
I have a tape recording of one Christmas Eve when I was 2 or 3. I was with my dad and he was joking around making silly voices and teasing me. In the background my mother could be heard giving my brother trouble because he was snooping around for presents and has lied about it. This goes on for a couple of minutes all the while my dad and I continue with the tape. My mom brought Andy out and told my dad what was going on and right away my dad laid into Andy with yelling, asking him why he did it…meanwhile I still have the microphone talking into the tape recorder as if nothing was happening behind me.
Back to where Andy would wake me up at night. He always wanted the same thing. And this is where I have to stop because I can’t bring myself to type.
…ok I will try to get through this. He would start by making up a ‘game’. He would show me what he wanted me to do. One ‘game’ he made up was that I would be an old man sleeping. He would go under the covers and remove my pyjama bottoms. I was supposed to stir but think nothing of it. Next he would feel me up and I would stir again but pass it off as just my dog sleeping under the covers. He would go back to touching me and I was to come to the realization that my dog was outside that night and pull the covers off of me.
Andy then would sit up quick and pretend to have a gun and tell say, “Shut up mister I just want to suck your cock!” and then would start performing oral sex on me.
I don’t know how to say what is worse but he would make me switch roles.
How was I supposed to rationalize this as a 4+ year old? This happened for years and it never got any easier. I never knew understood what was being done only that it was bad and wrong and above all else it was to be kept a secret upon threats made on my life.
I developed a bad habit of rocking myself to sleep. No one understood why I did it, just that they would get angry to see me rocking back and forth. It became the only way that I could fall asleep and I would even do it in my sleep. It was embarrassing to stay over at a friends place and they would tell me in the morning what I did.
Times that I refused him he hurt me, sometimes very badly. Many times he would suffocate me until I would pass out. He would let his friends beat on me and then threaten me if I told my parents the truth of who hurt me.
They would kick me, punch and push me. They would sit on me and spit in my mouth and make me sick. There was one time when they put me in a cardboard box, closed it and threw me off from the second story of his friends’ house.
I was labelled as clumsy. My family thought I was a klutz. I couldn’t stand up for myself. My parents wouldn’t stand up for me. I became very withdrawn and most times would play by myself in my room.
One day when I was in my room playing for some reason nobody knew I was home. My parents didn’t know where I was and instead of looking for me upstairs they sent my sisters out into the neighbourhood to ask our neighbours if they had seen me. Soon the whole neighbourhood was looking for me.
I don’t remember who it was that found me, and here’s what doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I got in so much trouble. It was a spanking to remember.
Rules were always changing at my home. I never knew what was acceptable and what would provoke a thrashing. But there were always things we knew we should never do. Andy was home this particular afternoon. At this time he would have been about 13. He was pushing my moms’ buttons. The one specific thing my brother said that set off my mother was, “all you do is sit at home all day drinking coffee and watch soaps”.
My mom literally flew out of her chair and knocked Andy to the floor as he was trying to escape. She slapped him across the face several times while sitting on him.
He never said that again.
It was at about age 11 when Andy started getting into trouble with the law. I don’t know how many times the town police brought him home for getting into trouble. I know of a lot things he’s done and never been caught. There were several houses in our neighbourhood that he broke into.
His demands were growing.
I can’t recall anything that happened beyond the beginnings of those nights he made me perform on him or vice versa. I’ve read a lot about how our minds block out traumatic events in our lives. Sometimes through therapy the memories can come back to us. I don’t think I ever want to know more than I already do. But sometimes I find myself wondering as I try to put pieces together.
Later on Andy became very interested in pornography. He had pictures and parts of magazines hidden in our room. One day my dad was in his workshop working. I don’t know where my mom and Mary were. I went upstairs to my room only to find Andy and Christine having sex. When I went to run downstairs Andy caught me and pulled me into the room.
Again he threatened me to keep this a secret.
I remember being so scared. Now I had two people I lived with who had something on me and could get me into trouble at any thing that I do wrong to them.
…and here is where I need to take another break as this is all too much.
I was forced to be the lookout and let them know when someone was coming so that they could get dressed and make like nothing was happening.
This went on many times. Each time they would make sure that I understood the trouble I would be in if I didn’t be their lookout.
I wish I could say it stopped there. I so wish it had. There came a point when they pulled me into the room.
Andy just had to show Chris how he could make me perform oral sex on him. After I did he then made me do the same to Chris. He pushed my face between her legs and told me what to do. After gagging several times and what seemed like an eternity he told me I had to have intercourse with her… I was only 8 or 9… other than this happening a few times afterwards these are the only things I can/want to remember.
There were countless friends I had that he got to; friends that never stayed my friends for long. At school I had a very hard time. I didn’t have very good coordination. I was never audible when I spoke. I became a favourite to bullies who would each take their turn beating me up or breaking my property because they knew I wouldn’t fight back. I was conditioned to not tell or I would get worse treatment.
As I sit here thinking about it I counted 30 bullies that regularly picked on me in elementary school and only about 10 in high school. By high school I was starting to become bigger than a lot of the kids who picked on me in elementary. And though I still didn’t fight back per se, I wasn’t easily knocked down, nor did I back down right away.
The thing between Chris and Andy went on for quite a while but ended abruptly. Andy used to lose his temper so many times when Chris would tell him off. I think she realized what she had been doing and came to her senses.
It wasn’t long after that Children’s Aide took Andy away. He had gone to help my dad clean a local car dealership. While he was there he took the keys to a brand new Camaro. Later that night when everyone was asleep Andy stole the money my dad made that night, stole a set of licence plates and drove off in the car.
He wouldn’t have got caught as soon as he had if he wouldn’t have panicked when he saw the police car behind him just outside of XXXXXX. He stepped on the gas and ended up demolishing the Camaro and two police cars after an eventful chase.
Andy has never done anything to me since.
When I was 12 my parents sent me to California to stay with my aunt for 2 weeks. While I was there I had a good time with my cousins during the evenings. The days were long and lonely. Some days one of my cousins would drop me off at one of the local theme parks like Disney or Knottsberry Farm and I would call for someone to pick me up when I had spent the day.
At Knottsberry Farm something had happened. I was in line for the log ride. There were two older males behind me in line. The one asked me all kinds of questions. I said more than I should have. These guys knew I was there by myself and that I was thousands of miles away from home. At the time I didn’t think anything of it.
The line moved and soon it was my turn to get into the log car. The one guy who didn’t say much got in front and the one who asked all the questions got in back. I wasn’t going to get in but they told me I could ride with them. I got in and the ride started. The one behind me said I could lean back, he wouldn’t mind. I started to just as his hands reached around me to pull me close to him. I wouldn’t let go of the rails and he stopped trying to pull me back. But his hands reached around and onto the front of my shorts. He started feeling me and I tried to squirm and get his hands of off me but I couldn’t let go of the rails or he would pull me back to him.
This ride was long. I had ridden it before and I think it was about 5mins long. I couldn’t wait to get off of it. The guy was saying things to me but I can’t recall anything he was saying. When the ride stopped I jumped out and away from his grip on my wrist. I ran to the other side of the park and made sure they weren’t following me. I waited until it was almost closing time and called for my cousin to pick me up. I never said a thing to anyone out of fear.
In the same year I remember a visit to my Aunt and Uncle’s in XXXXXX. My cousin Brian was almost 2 years older than me. He’s always had health issues that would never be minor. We were staying the night and Brian wanted me to stay in his room. He was a strong boy and a victim of my brother. Brian had taken on some of how Andy was and I didn’t know until that night. He made me do some of the things Andy made me do. I hated it and wanted to cry, I wanted to scream…I only wish I had. I was so ashamed. I couldn’t stop him even though I tried and told him ‘no’ so many times.
I felt so robbed and betrayed. He caused me to experience something that I should never have until I was married. I didn’t know what was happening and I felt so sick. After I came to my senses I picked myself up and got out of his room and sat in the living room for the rest of the night rocking back and forth thinking I was in so much trouble.
That was the last time I ever stayed over at my Aunt and Uncles. Brian died in ’86.
There are many more things that have happened and much more detail but I don’t think these things necessary to go into. Other than my parents being unapproachable or literally laughing at me when I did things I didn’t understand.
I’ve struggled with many things in my teen years.
As an adult I can see how events have shaped me but also how a couple of key people popped into my life along the way who kept me from sinking low enough to give up on life.
Some struggles are ongoing. Some I have overcome. I don’t know if the tough things will ever get easier. I don’t know what purpose they serve. I just pray somehow somewhere I can help if just one person by giving them hope to make it through and to heal…and to be able to point the way.
Silent company is often more healing than words of advice...