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Behind ​closed doors, Anonymous (16)

When I was a child my relationship with my parents was always rocky. My mother especially was aggressive towards me and would get frustrated over small things, punishing me for them. If I said something she didn't like she would carry me to the sink and force soap down my throat saying that I needed my mouth to be “washed out” like that would change my words. I remember a specific incident where I was dressing in my room and for no reason she burst through my door and grabbed me while I was half naked, holding me upside down with one arm. I was sobbing and struggling as she carried me through the house like that in front of the rest of the family, then threw me down to scream at me. I would be in situations where I would push against my door with my mom pushing against me trying to get in while yelling and screaming. Of course she would eventually win against the strength of a kid and then I was in for it. Even in public if she was frustrated she would grab my wrist as tightly as she could and pull my whole body over until we were somewhere where she could yell at me. I remember having red marks on my wrist after being pulled out of my room and begging to be let go. If I started crying in public, she would leave me there for hours and then later return, once I had embarrassed myself enough and was unable to cry anymore. I would be left confused and wondering where she went or if she would come back, until finally she would show up and demand that I get in the car. If she was angry with me she would grab me and pull down my clothes to spank me, usually while my sister was watching or heard from another room. Later, I would sometimes go crying to my sister and together we would laugh about the huge red handprints left on my butt. But usually my family would just let me cry alone in my room until I was out of tears and asleep. As much as me and my sister tried to make light of the actions my mom took, it didn't hide the pain I faced from it. I would be left confused not knowing what I did wrong and always doubting my actions wondering what was wrong with me. Why did my sister never get this treatment? Why was my mom always upset with me? When I was young I didn't understand. I didn't realize that a child should never be treated this way, afraid in their own home. I thought this was normal and never talked to my friends about things occurring in my home. But as the years went on and I talked to others about it, I slowly realized that these were unacceptable and learned not discuss it after getting horrified reactions from my friends. Most didn't believe me saying things like “But your mom is so nice!”, so I chose to just block out these memories instead and move on. Once I was older my mom slowly stopped or controlled her aggression and instead learned to take things out on me verbally. She would still get physical sometimes when I was becoming a teenager, sometimes pushing me into furniture with such force that it would leave a bruise. I started to raise my voice and yell as loud and clear as I could that she should never touch me again and that seemed to scare her enough to make the attacks go away. 

My dad on the other hand was usually fine to me as a child, but things got worse as I got older. He has always been a very tense and high strung person, treating every situation as life or death. Any word out of line or action he was unhappy with, like accidently slamming a door, would get me into a lot of trouble. One time I accidentally dropped my fork, and he proceeded to scream at me for throwing things on the ground saying I was careless and dumb. Every little thing made him lose his temper. He would often threaten the rest of the family when argument escalated claiming that he didn’t need us and he could leave whenever he wanted. He would constantly yell at me calling me stupid for not remembering to do a chore or selfish for asking for a ride somewhere. When he was upset, he would run to the sliding door and slam it shut in fear of the neighbors hearing him scream at us, which helped me realize that this wasn’t how things should be. He gets worked up about anything and everything making conversations with him impossible. His anger would often be passed on to my mom who would then let it out on me or my sister. Often both my parents short tempers would cause large fights that would last hours on end. I always wondered why they never divorced. If the argument were bad enough one of them would drive off for a little bit without saying where they were going, leaving me silently crying in my room as I listened to everything play out and peaking out my window until the car returned home. It was bad enough at a point that when my sister left for college, she threatened to not come back if my dad didn’t make an effort to control his anger. It is so hard to express in words all the scenarios that would take place, but as I grew older I developed more of a voice and ability to fight back. I learned to cope with the things being said to me by finding support and love through friends who reminded me that these things being said were not true and that there were people who cared about me. I found safety in music which blocked out unhappy noises of arguing in my home. I started recognizing that this constant fighting wasn’t healthy and was sick of all the anger and hate that surrounded me. My parents still fight most days and my relationship with my parents isn’t amazing, but there have been improvements. Me and my mom are closer now, however we have never acknowledged the past or how things used to be as if I don’t remember the trauma I was put through. Me and my dad rarely talk, but when he's in his strange good moods I try to take advantage of that and have conversations. When he is tense, I have learned to steer clear and hide in my room.


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