I was talking with an old teacher and friend of almost 20 years this morning and realized I have a lot of pent up anger and hatred that stems from my past. I decided the time is now to spill some of it. I will do a couple different installments. Like most of my writing it will be very detailed and quite graphic, so, again I urge you to exit out of these posts if you are easily upset, disturbed, or prone to flashbacks. This installment of my “Troubled past” entries will cover various abuse from my childhood including physical, emotional and molestation. Only continue reading if you think you can handle it. [note: names have been changed]
When someone asks if I had a bad childhood I instinctively say no, of course not. I try to remember the good times, the things we often do remember from our childhood. The innocent way we thought and played, the color blindness to others’ differences, and the unconditional love we felt from our mothers when we were sick or sitting on our grandpas lap. The memories I like to look back on the most are of the only time I remember my mom helping me build a snowman, My grandpa tickling me until I couldn’t breath, “helping” my grandma cook and bake and clean, watching fun movies with my grandparents (the only place in the world you got to have dinner, dessert TWICE and still got to have popcorn and cherry coke during the movie). I remember waking up in the middle of the night and tip toeing in to my grandparents room faking “leg aches,” My grandpa would groan and roll out of bed, take my little hand and walk me down the stairs to the kitchen. He would say “okay Missy, lets fix you up!” He’d hand me two baby aspirins that tasted like cherries and mix a tall glass of nestle chocolate milk just for me. Most nights he would mix one for himself as well. We would stand there in the kitchen, my green blankie in my left hand, my chocolate milk in my right, and I would giggle at the funny sounds he made every time I said I wasn’t sleepy or wanted more chocolate milk. Kind of like a Homer Simpson “doooh” purely for my amusement and to see me smile. We would retreat back up the stairs hand in hand, me dragging my blankie along behind me to my room. He would tuck me in…again, and tell me he loved me and we would go fishin’ in the morning like we always did. My best memories are shared with my grandpa who isn’t even “blood” he’s my mom’s step dad, but that didn’t make him any less of a grandpa to me. I was his “birthday present” born right after his birthday dinner on December 21st, 1989. He was my hero back then and he always will be. Stronger than super man, and always there to fight off the monsters under the bed, always there to protect me, his birthday present.
There were a few things not even he could protect me from, although I know he wishes he could have. He probably would have if he had known.
Sounds great doesn’t it? A happy child, the apple of her grandfathers eye, loved by everyone, spoiled rotten and the youngest by 15 years. Like I said those are the only things you want to remember and luckily for me I only remember those things up until I was about 3 or 4 years old.
You have probably read a little of this story before so bare with me:
My grandparents lived in a big house on the lake, a house they took great pride in. My grandfather worked hard to build that house from a small cottage to a two story home with a huge deck and a balcony. I practically lived there, like I said I was just totally in love with my grandpa. I looked up to him so much and my mom worked a lot (being a single mother) so, my grandparents took care of me a lot. We were all there one day getting ready for a family get together. I was in the garage where the adults were busily putting up long tables and setting up a place to play cards. I remember sitting in one of my little lawn chairs playing house by myself with my favorite doll that I had named “Cutie.” I was getting her dressed into something more suitable for a “fancy” dinner, changing her from pjs to a big frilly blue dress with white lace on it. I remember the band aid I put over her “privates” my grandma had asked me about earlier that day. I told her that Cutie didn’t have any panties or diapers and she needed to keep her privates covered so the wouldn’t get hurt. My grandma chalked that up to ‘kid’s say the darnedest things’ and had a good chuckle over that. I remember putting cutie down in her little ‘crib/stroller’ (a plastic shopping cart I used make believe to turn into her portable bed) and running to my mom clutching myself. I told her I had to potty really really bad and needed her help with my skirt. It was a cute little outfit, a little red plaid skirt with a matching vest but it had sew on buttons instead of snaps and that was too hard for me to get undone. My mom was used to my demands for help to go potty because I was going through ‘a stage’ where I didn’t like to go alone. At that time my aunt, uncle and their son, Eric, showed up. Eric was probably 12 or so and was a strange kid. He got in trouble a lot, and was ‘misunderstood.’ He came running up to me and said he would take me. I told mom I only wanted her to take me but she shooed me away, she was busy and knew I was fully capable of going alone. I reluctantly went with Eric to the bathroom and he helped me undo the button on my skirt I told him to turn around because boys weren’t supposed to see girls’ privates. He wouldn’t turn around he just kept looking at me. I started to cry. He put his hand over my mouth and said “be quiet and go potty, Marisa. I’m a grown up, it’s okay.” I sniffled a little and nodded but it was too late. he scared me and I had peed myself and my favorite outfit. He took them off of me and smelled them. I thought it was weird, but I was so young I didn’t really understand. then he told me we were going to play a game. I didn’t want to play and I told him no. He said “I’m your cousin, don’t you love me? When you love someone you play this game with them.” Again I nodded. For good measure I guess he added that he would tell on me if I didn’t play. I didn’t quite grasp that it was wrong, and being told on was a big deal, so I said okay. He touched me and told me I was supposed to do it too. Just then the door opened, My grandma had realized I had been gone for a while and came to check on me. She hadn’t seen him touch me but saw him kneeling in front of me holding my wet clothes in his hand. He told her I had an accident and she pulled him up from the floor and told him “Little boys and little girls should not be in the bathroom together” and threw him out of the door. I think as a grandparent of both of us, she may have knew but didn’t want to believe that’s what had happened. Maybe she just didn’t want to start any trouble in front of the whole family if it wasn’t true, who knows. She didn’t ask and I didn’t tell because Eric said I would get in trouble if I did.
That was the first of many encounters with Eric, unfortunately my grandma wasn’t always there to step in. After Eric’s mom, Aunt Lacey had her baby, Julie, I stayed the night there quite a bit. I loved Julie. She had the brightest blue eyes and beautiful blonde hair. She was such a happy baby, and my uncle, Phil, was so much fun to play with. Eric was older so he wasn’t home as often, but when he was home, the abuse continued. I often wondered if he played with Julie the way he played with me, and even though I didn’t know exactly how wrong it was, I hoped he didn’t. It started with the touching and escalated to much more than that. At one point Eric would watch pornography and wake me up to make me watch it with him. He would tell me I had to do the things the lady on TV did to him, if I told anyone I would get in trouble for lying because no one would believe a stupid kid like me. I obliged. Eventually I stopped going to Uncle Phil’s house. I didn’t want to be around Eric and I knew his game was bad, but I remained silent for fear of getting in trouble.
Just around that time My mom met Mike. After countless “where is my daddy?” and “why do other kids have daddies and I don’t?” questions, my mom told me that Mike was going to be my new daddy and that my old daddy was a jerk. Eventually she changed the story to my daddy died a long time ago. She later told me this wasn’t true and gave me a picture of my four sisters. One of my sisters was a baby in the picture and mom explained she was the same age as me. My dad had been married to another woman for many years and they had separated for a while which is when he met my mom. They didn’t date long, but they were both heavy drinkers and well, I guess you know what happened. My dad left when mom was pregnant and patched things up with his wife. He tried to visit once I guess, and when my mom told him no, he sent a friend to get a picture of me. He still had that picture 16 years later when I met him for the first time.
Mike seemed like the perfect dad, He took me out for ice cream and rides in the fire truck. he bought me toys and clothes and all kinds of things but he was a troubled man. He didn’t really know how to be a dad to a little girl. I feel kind of bad for his “real” daughter though, I don’t think he was around much. I started calling Mike Daddy they day they got married, this seemed to make him happy, for a little while at least. Then he started getting very impatient. He didn’t like it when I cried, he didn’t like that I snuggled with mom, he didn’t like that I played too loud, he didn’t like that I asked why, he basically just didn’t like kids. He kicked my older sister, Vanessa out of the house because he didn’t like her going out with friends and I was afraid he would kick me out too. I was only 8 or so. Not long after that we moved into a new house. Right next door to one of my friends from school. I had a pretty room, painted blue with hand painted dolphins on the closet doors. Mike really did try sometimes he decked out my room in every dolphin figurine imaginable he knocked down the wall to the second bedroom to give me more room for all my stuff and truth be told, I was without a doubt one spoiled child. However, like I said, Mike had a dark side. He constantly told me I was fat, that I was worthless, that no one would ever want me. My most prized possession at one point was a box of Mary Kate and Ashley stuff I had gotten for joining their fan club and he threw it away in front of me because I wanted to bring it along to my grandparents to show my little cousin Chloe. He said I was a brat and I wanted to brag to her about it. When in all honesty I wanted to share it with her because they sent me one set for me and one for a friend. I cried my heart out It sounds stupid now, but my grandma had signed me up for that fan club and I promised Chloe we would share. When they asked about it he told them I had ruined it because I didn’t clean my room and had gotten the pictures wrinkled and dirty. I remember specifically coming out of the house one day to play, Mike was working on the roof and he yelled down at me, “hey go in and put on some clothes that actually fit you fat ass, you look like shit.” I was 10 years old at the most.
At age 13 I developed an eating disorder that would spin my already chaotic world completely out of control.
More to come in A Troubled Past: The Early Years, Starving for Perfection