Hey guys, it’s Stephanie. Just a reminder that this is an anonymous guest post. All comments from you on these blogs are super helpful and encouraging for the poster to continue writing and sharing their stories. If you’re interested in sharing your own anonymous stories, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your story exactly how you want it posted along with your pen name. Please don’t use anyone’s actual names in your stories. Thanks y’all!
I’ve been reading Stephanie’s blog regularly, and I felt compelled to share at least part of my story. My mother is an addict, and my father is an alcoholic and a narcissist. I spent most of my childhood in and out of foster homes and group homes, but that is a story for another day. I’ll share the beginning to my story with you today.
I remember my early life, growing up in a dilapidated trailer park with my mom, my 3 siblings, my grandmother, and the man who I thought was my father… my younger twin sisters’ father. My mom and (let’s call him Jay) Jay sat me down one day and explained that he was not my father…I couldn’t have been more than 5-6 years old at the time.
My mom told me that my father and his girlfriend (let’s call them Joe and Kay) would be coming to see me soon, and I was so afraid. All of my mother’s boyfriends beat me, yelled at me, hurt my brother and my sisters, or made my mom cry. I remember the first time I ever saw my dad, I ran and locked myself in my bedroom and refused to come out. My dad was angry that he wasted his time driving an hour and I didn’t even want to see him.
Soon after, I began having visitations with Joe and his Kay at their house. It was uncomfortable to be alone all of the time, but I got used to having a room to myself and nice things. They bought me my own computer, I had nice clothes and shoes, I was allowed to help decorate my own room.
I started to build a relationship with them, but pretty quickly learned that they didn’t have the best motives. I went to spend the weekend bi-weekly, and then it slowly turned into weekly. I packed my bags one Sunday morning to go back home to my mom, but they told me that she wasn’t coming for me, that i lived with them now. I was probably only 8 years old by this time.
My dad had taken my mom to court knowing that as a single mother with 4 kids, she would not win. He had been stalking our home, my school, my mom’s job and taking pictures and collecting records to present against her in court.
My dad and Kay were married a few weeks before this court appearance, and I heard them arguing a few years later about it. They didn’t get married because they wanted to, they wanted a better chance to win custody. They didn’t see me as a child or a person, but as a trophy and something to dangle over my mother’s head.
I saw my mom and my grandma a few select times after my dad won full custody, but my mother lost custody of all 4 of us around the same time. My sisters went to live with their dad, and my brother went into foster care and was adopted by his foster family. We haven’t heard from him since he was 2 years old, about 15 years ago. I can only hope that he was spared the struggle that the rest of us have endured.
Once I started living with Joe and Kay, things started to go downhill quickly. My father was very short-tempered and abusive and Kay resented me. She would remind me all the time that she didn’t sign up for me. She didn’t want kids.
Joe would slap me across the face when I talked back, or when I said something he didn’t like. He would also beat me if he thought I wasn’t being responsible or truthful.
He engineered fiberglass paddles at his job to beat me with, and tested each one to see which left the worst welts and bruises and made me cry and yell louder. He would beat me for bad grades, for forgetting my books at school, or for taking food from the fridge or pantry without permission. I always had welts on my bottoms and thighs, and I had to change clothes against the wall in gym class so no one would see and ask questions.
They had drilled it into my head that I was an awful child, and I would be sent to someone worse than them if I told anyone. My dad drank a lot too, I’m talking 12 packs every single night. He always smelled like beer and chewing tobacco.
There was a night that he was angry with me and threw a wooden baby gate at my face. It split my face open and I caused a scene. I threw furniture around, I screamed and yelled and cried for them to call the police, and they did. I told the police that I didn’t feel safe and didn’t want to stay there, so the police took me to JPS hospital in Fort Worth for a psych eval.
For those of you who have never be inside a psych ward, it is truly hard to picture and explain. They take your shoelaces, belts, anything with metal or drawstrings. The sheets and pillowcases are the same ones used in prison that you can’t rip apart to hang yourself with. You aren’t allowed to have notebooks, pens, pencils, TVs, mirrors, razors, anything containing alcohol including hygiene products. Basically anything that could possibly pose a risk, they take.
If an empty room with no people or entertainment isn’t enough to make you go crazy, then I’m not sure what is. So I spent about a week in this place, and they transferred me to a place in Denton, where a staff member tackled me for no reason and broke my collarbone. They transferred me to yet again another placement. I spent about 3 months in Meridell Achievement Center, where they tried to find something chemically wrong with me. They sent me home, and things just got even worse.
When I returned home from Meridell, they had apparently been reading some bad parenting books. My dad and his wife were convinced that Any psychological damage that I had must have been caused by my mother, and they needed to start over bonding from infancy. I was 11-12 years old at this point! Like, what?!
Kay would try to read me stories and rock me in this big chair every night, it was insane. When I would demonstrate a behavior they didn’t like, they would spray me with water. They installed alarms on my bedroom door and screwed blinds on my windows so I couldn’t open them.
They sent me to bootcamp because I talked back and they thought I was a disrespectful and awful child. I attended that bootcamp at least 6 times, they hired the drill sergeants to make me run until I threw up every bit of food I had eaten that day, rolled me around in mud and dog poop. So I decided I would get help…and I ran down the street to a police officer’s house.
My dad realized where I went and found me, tried to sweet talk the officer and tell her that I had psychiatric issues and that I was lying, he did none of those things and I was well taken care of. She called the police, and that was the very last day that I ever spent outside of a group home.
They took me that night to a group home, and I bounced from one awful place to the next every 1-3 months. Places that didn’t care about me or my wellbeing. I made it to a place in Waco where I spent a year, before they moved me into a home in Austin.
I was in Austin for about a year, and one of the boys there raped me. I didn’t know what it was or that I could say no…I was basically institutionalized at this point. I had truly never known a normal life or what relationships and intimacy were supposed to be like. I had two foster families take me in, but they eventually sent me back and ceased all communication.
I was expelled from Austin for having hickies from the previously mentioned experience, and sent to a shelter, then to a home in Waxahachie. I screwed my own life up from there, by meeting an older guy and pretty much using him to run away from the home and move back in with my grandmother, uncle and sisters.
I didn’t realize at the time, but my uncle was addicted to meth, and was always acting so crazy. He broke my wrist to take my phone one day because he thought I was part of the DEA. Through my uncle, I met a guy who I thought was amazing! He was older than me, had his own house and car, and was free.
Freedom was a whole new concept for me, so I took the opportunity and ran with it. We ended up getting a house about an hour away from our families, and his parents paid for it all. Our house, our bills. I was free to do whatever in the world that I wanted to do! Things started to get less fun when I realized that he had a narcotic addiction.
He would take too much medicine and beat me, throw me against doors or hold me by my neck against the wall so my feet wouldn’t touch the floor and I couldn’t leave. He would stick 3-4 Fentanyl patches on his body, crush up and snort so many pills to the point where he couldn’t function or would pass out.
I remember going into Walgreens once, and he disappeared from behind me. When I went to walk outside to find him, he was passed out in the entrance of the store and wouldn’t wake up.
Things got to the point where I would work all day and he would leave the house while I slept at night, and I would get calls from the police saying that I had to come get him, he was too messed up to drive.
I was practically a babysitter for someone twice my age. I was 17, he was 32. Things escalated to where he moved out, his parents locked me out with all of my belongings so I had to leave and start over.
I spent a few months doing well, but he found out where I was living. He cleared my bank account with an old checkbook, got me kicked out of my house and my car repossessed. I was forced to quit my job and move in with my meth addicted mother- but that’s a whole different long story.
This isn’t even the half of it, just the beginning. I’ll start where I left off with the next post.