This posts is not explicit but may trigger uncomfortable emotions in some individuals who have experienced abuse. Please take care of yourself.
I remember being told that I was a charming child ~ friendly, polite, eager to please. Until. Until. He said until I was five. I would imagine it was more a case of until I realised that I could not trust that every word spoken by every adult in my world was not the absolute truth. Until I recognised that the adults in my world might not be absolutely fair and just. Until I began to challenge him in the way that children do, and he found the fastest way to 'win' was to stop me talking. Slap me in the face, shove me against a wall, punch me in the stomach ~ plenty of effective ways to shut a child up.
The older I got, the more words I learnt, the harder it became to stop me talking. So the harder he had to hit. I guess the sensible thing to have done would have been to stop before he got violent, but ... well, for whatever reason, I didn't. My mother often told me to 'stop winding him up' ~ perhaps that was as protective as her maternal side got. Maybe when he was directing his anger and frustration and violence at me, it meant he wasn't aiming it at her ~ I know I've heard that self ~ preservation is one of the most basic of instincts, and in her case it obviously ranked higher than protecting her child.
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His refrain was simple, and reflected his mindset. "For your own good". It was all about shaping me, teaching me what was important, ensuring I learned how to behave. "She has to learn, she thinks the rules don't matter . . . I'm her father, she will not get away with speaking to me like that". And so I didn't ~ get away with it I mean. I don't even remember how many times I didn't get away with it . . . how many times I regained consciousness on the floor of my room, my cheekbone bruised and tender from a punch, or bald patches from my hair being pulled so hard, or a hand or foot hot and swollen after being stamped on.
For my own good.
He had a daughter, she had a child, he had a sister.
I had a father, a mother, a brother.