Both of my parents abused me growing up. I never once saw or heard them treating either of my brothers in the same or similar way. I am the middle child, so of course there may have been some “oldest child” and “youngest child” preferential treatment going on, but it was much different for me than the other middle children I’ve heard from over the years.
I seemed to be at blame – the scapegoat – for problems in their lives that I had nothing to do with. They made me do far more chores than both of my brothers, and often made me do mine all over again, while my siblings typically didn’t have to do theirs at all. I’ve always succeeded at more things than my brothers, which of course requires more effort and commitment, and I’ve always been immeasurably more positive and genuine.
Why was I left at afterschool programs and church so often without my brothers? I’m not sure what was going on there either. They forgot me at places all the time too. Both of my brothers were given cars and I wasn’t. Neglect doesn’t come close to abuse, though.
The worst punishment from my mother Christine was this: she would grab me by the hair, throw me into the closet face first, tell me to get on my knees and face the wall, close my eyes, and stay still until she let me out. Then she closed the door. I was not to make any noise either (including crying), and if I did, she would tell me that I wasn’t coming out until I was quiet for a certain amount of time. It was hard to breathe too. She made a habit of telling me later on, into my 20’s, “We’ve paid for everything you’ve ever done.” Of course, if you’ve known me at all since I was like 7 years old, you know that’s ridiculous.
My father Donald loved to smack me “upside” the head – the back of the head. I still remember the feeling of when he had his ring on and how badly the point of contact stung for hours after he hit me. I would often temporarily black out for a second, lose sight and hearing, and stumble. Later on, into my teen years, he made a point to call me “Bitch” almost every day. He also loved “Dog” and “Bastard”. Very much into dehumanizing and discrediting me.
They recently came by my place and were all smiles to drop off some groceries as I was recovering from a recent minor surgery. I heard from them right after I published the article about who sexually abused me growing up (which didn’t include them because I’m not 100% sure they participated in that type of abuse). Like they were relieved. As the others in their demographic tend to do, they didn’t mention anything about my independent work through Basement Made, just referenced my job at WFAA and disc golf.
On the other hand, we’ve had many seemingly good times together too. I’m never going to forget about all this horrible shit they did to me, but provided they didn’t sexually abuse me at all, lie to me in a major way this whole time, and will admit to these things that they did, I might be able to work through the physical beatings, verbal psychological abuse, and neglect, and form a positive long term relationship with them.