I remember when as a child of not having enough to eat, sharing with seven brothers and sisters. Wanting more to eat at supper time but the food was gone. I remember of the hunger in my belly while trying to sleep at night remembering the taste of rabbits and hens that my father raised, the vegetables in the not big enough garden he planted. The berries we picked and ate during the day to help the hunger.
I remember when the shoes on my feet were too small and hurt my feet or to big they wouldn’t stay on—shoes that another child had worn out already. The clothes that people had given me, outdated and falling apart. Taking what cloths were left after my sister picked through the hand-me-downs and having only a thin worn out coat in the freezing winter to wear.
I remember going to school and being laughed at because we were poor—walking home from school in tears—having no friends except the immediate neighbor kids to play with. Wishing that I had dolls to play with like the other girls. In the winter, sliding on hills on tire tubes and cardboard—having no sleds.
I remember being cold in bed at night with only one wool blanket to keep me and my sister warm—the ice that hung from the nails coming through the roof. My hands and feet numb from the cold. Getting up in the morning hurrying to get to the wood stove to get warm in hopes there would be room for me with all the others.
I remember of picking berries in the summer to sell and shoveling snow in the winter for neighbors to buy Christmas gifts—a candy bar for each one. I remember at Christmas when the few toys I received had already been played with. I remember of eating turkey for supper on Christmas that social services had brought the family.
I remember the water being carried from the well and heated on the wood stove to bathe in. Being able to bathe only once a week in the steel tub—sharing the same water with my brothers and sisters. Wishing I could bathe in a real tub with running water—using as much hot water as I wanted.
I remember the man that tried to molest me as a child. I remember the loneliness and heart-ache of the separation of my family—not knowing where my brothers and sisters were. Moved from home to home—having to share space, food, and a bed with other foster children. Being physically abused by a foster boy in one of the homes—running away to find help.
I remember the abuse I endured as a young adult—emotionally drained and feeling useless—wanting to end the pain. Leaving everything behind with no place to go—no money or food—sleeping in a car—feeling alone. Having to find a new job and making new friends in a strange place.
I remember the beatings in a new relationship and couldn’t find a way out. The nightmares I still had from the past relationship. The guilt I felt with mixed emotions when I watched him die. Wanting to find someone to share my life and love with—wanting not to waste the rest of my life.
I remember all those bad times—it made me the person I am today. The thing that is most important is God gave me life—a beautiful gift.
Phyllis Benton, Living Nightmares of Abuse. Autobiography. An inspirational and emotional story of abuse. Survivor of emotional, sexual, and physical abuse.
Book will be available when released through publishamerica and other on line book stores. ISBN # 1-4137-9156-5.
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