Childhood- I am 36 years old, and for exactly the first half of my life I lived with an abusive father. Years ago I asked my therapist how long it would take me to get over the abuse, and she said maybe 18 years, since I endured the abuse for 18 years. Things are much better now, but the events of my childhood still haunt me.
Everyone was scared of my father - my friends, the neighbors, his family - and I think he was proud of that. He beat me, my Mom, and my sister constantly - often every day. We had to keep the house spotlessly clean, but of course he would always find something to get mad about - he would run his finger along the baseboard behind the couch then stick it in our faces to show us the one speck of dust he found, then the beating would start. Many days before I left for school he would say "you're going to get the beating of your life when you get home." He pretty much always made good on his promises. I used to get horrible stomachaches from the anxiety of living that way.
He cheated on my mom all the time, and used money to buy gifts for his girlfriends and alcohol and drugs for himself instead of spending it on our family. He was also extremely emotionally abusive.
After I graduated from high school I moved away. My younger sister still lived with him. The last time I talked to him, it was because my sister had called me seeking help in a crisis. He had been driving her home from school and she said she had a toothache. He got mad at her and made her get out of the car and drove away. It was the middle of winter and there was a lot of snow on the ground. She had to find another place to stay. I called him, thinking that I could try to smooth things over. He said he wouldn't take her back until she came crawling on her hands and knees until they bled and he could see tracks of blood in the snow.
After that, I refused to ever speak to him again. Several years later, he died of a heart attack at age 54. Childhood
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