Check out this article I found!

I found an informative article about child abuse written by Russia Robinson. It shows statistical information about domestic abuse and violence, in case you are interested in that kind of stuff. I found it interesting, so I thought I might share it!

It’s called Domestic Violence and the Developing Child.

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Let me go back and explain my purpose here…

I have been realizing that my blog seems really negative and may be kind of depressing. I do NOT want my posts to just be full of complaints about how terrible my childhood was. Right now, I have a pretty great life! I live in a nice house with 4 fantastic roommates, I work 2 jobs that I absolutely love, and best of all I have a wonderful, loving, caring, supportive boyfriend, and he is my best friend in the whole world.

Was it easy getting to this point in my life? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But I did it! I’m still working on it! Life is wayyyyyy better than it was.

There are 3 main points I want to make right now.

1. You don’t have to finish in the same place you started.

People start off in terrible situations, and people end up in terrible situations, and in both cases most people feel as if there is no chance for anything to ever get better.

But there is ALWAYS hope.

I started from the bottom, but I am also successful so far. Just because I was suffered in my childhood doesn’t mean I have to continue to suffer in my adulthood.

I’m in the time of my life where I am figuring out who I am and what I am going to be. I am NOT a victim, I’m NOT going to just blame things on my past, and I am NOT going to be abusive in the future.

You can make the same decisions if you choose to.

2. Life is hard and you shouldn’t go through it alone.

Let me be more blunt: DO NOT TRY TO MAKE IT THROUGH YOUR PROBLEMS BY YOURSELF.

You don’t need to!!!! It’s so much easier if you have help!!!

I’m learning how to take control of my own life, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a long, hard process. I know I’m not alone in going through it, and I don’t want anyone else to feel alone while they’re going through it either. There’s always help and guidance you can receive, and there are many ways to receive it. This is the order (number one being the most helpful) of people I receive help from:

1. My heavenly Father

2. My boyfriend

3. My Church leaders

4. My counselor

5. My friends’ parents

6. My friends

If you are looking for people to help you through your trials, you can get some ideas of who to turn to from my list, or maybe you have a different support system.

The most important thing is to let people help you.

3. Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you.

DO NOT feel as if you have no one to turn to. There is ALWAYS at least one person who is willing to help you. But most of the time they won’t come up to you and offer it. Why not? They probably don’t know that you are in need. I can guarantee that if you let someone know you are struggling, and they will help you.

It is so scary trying to talk to someone. It’s really hard. And it hurts a lot at first. At least that’s how I felt. But it is totally worth it. I promise. And I don’t make promises that I can’t keep.

Why I worry about my siblings:

I’m so worried about my siblings because Officer Smith told me that he was going to start talking to them individually. After I talked to him, I warned my oldest brother via Snapchat.

Why didn’t I just call him or text him?

A) My parents would get mad that I called him instead of them.

B) My parents always take his cell phone away.

C) Jace doesn’t have a smartphone, when he snapchats, it’s on his iPod.

D) My parents don’t know that he stole his broken iPod from the safe in their closet and fixed it.

E) Snapchats erase automatically! There’s no possible way we could get caught having that conversation!

I knew Jace would tell the truth to the officers. He’s so fed up with our parents. He’s as depressed as I was when I was in high school.. Officer Smith and another local cop pulled him out of class the next day, Friday afternoon, to interview him.

I worry about Kira.. She’s a sophomore in high school. She’s taken a lot of BS from our parents. I feel like she’ll talk about it just to get something to change. I can tell she’s really depressed, even though she tries to keep it in. But I don’t know when Officer Smith will talk to her….

I’m extremely worried about the 3 youngest of my siblings…

Kourtney is 12, and she’s the oddball in the family. All of us are like my dad – loud, crazy, extroverts – except for Kourtney. She’s like my mom – quite, shy, introverted. She’s not very talkative even around her closest friends. If I had to describe how she is emotionally, I would say she’s a Vulcan. She seems like a rock – no emotion, but still polite. But she’s probably the most emotional out of everyone in my family. She’s very easily upset, but she’ll only burst into tears when she thinks everyone is gone. It breaks my heart thinking of her being called out of class to talk to Officer Smith. He’s so intimidating in uniform… And she knows she’ll get into a LOT of trouble if she gets caught telling him how mean her parents are to her. She would stand up for them just so no one would get in trouble. But she’d hardly say anything at all. And she’d be fighting back tears the whole time. I just wish I could set her on my lap and wrap my arms around her while she gets interrogated. I know everything will be ok, but she doesn’t know that…. She’ll just feel scared and alone….

Jessica is 8 and Johnny is 6. They’re very talkative, but they’re also very young. They’re not scared to talk to people. And they know Officer Smith from church. I know Officer Smith will know how to talk to them, too. His youngest son is 5. I just worry that they don’t know exactly what’s going on at home…

I of course warned Officer Smith of all this about every child during our conversation over the phone. I even elaborated about my concerns about Jessica and Johnny..

When I was in 2nd grade, my class read the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. My teacher asked us all to write about one of our own “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” I was generally a happy kid when I was 7. I played soccer, I played the piano, I had lots of friends… But I got in trouble with Mommy and Daddy a lot. So I just wrote about what happened the night before.

(Keep in mind, this was 12 years ago, so some things are a little fuzzy, but everything I’m writing is very clear in my memory of the event.)

Kira was 3, and she made a yellow scribble on my white dresser with the crayon she had somehow gotten a hold of. She handed me another yellow crayon, so I drew a small heart next to her own art. That’s all we got away with before my mom stormed in my room. She noticed someone had gotten in her crayons. She was mad Kira had gotten into them, but she was more furious that I had made a mark on the dresser she paid for. She screamed at me while digging her fingers into my face.  Her long, sharp nails left indents in my flesh, but her monstrous facial expression penetrated my soul. I’m haunted by that face to this day. I didn’t have time to react before she threw my small body against the wall. My head felt dizzy from making contact, and before I could collect myself, my body was being picked up and thrown against the tacky blue floor in my bedroom. The small TV was on in the background, and my mom’s shrieking voice blended in with it. I tuned everything out as she beat me repeatedly….. It’s a good thing my father was at work that day, or it would have gotten even worse.

I turned this average story into a 3-paragraph body, then added an introduction and a conclusion. After we were done writing, we gathered on a square carpet in the class. My teacher “randomly” chose students to read their stories out loud before she collected them to review them. I was usually one of the “randomly selected” students chosen to share my work with the class because my teacher liked me. This time was no exception. I was a little embarrassed to share with the class that I had gotten in trouble, but I figured every kid was punished the same way I was. My teacher looked shocked after I read my paper. I was nervous… Maybe I didn’t write as well as I usually did and she was disappointed in me… She started asking me questions..

Mrs. P: “Does this happen a lot?”

Me: “Yeah, but only when I get in trouble.”

Mrs. P: “Do you get in trouble a lot?”

Me: *embarrassed* “Yeah… I don’t know why…”

Mrs. P: “Do you love your parents?”

Me: “Of course! They’re my parents!”

Mrs. P: “Do your parents love you?”

Me: “Of course! They’re my parents!”

Because I was so young, I figured all parents were just like mine. And even though they beat me and yelled at me a lot, they still loved me because they had to. Parents have to love their kids. Right?

Mrs. P sent home a note with my schoolwork asking my parents to come in and meet with her. She said it was a “special parent-teacher conference.” I was worried.. My mom wasn’t supposed to know that I wrote about her…

My mom met with my teacher… Long story short, my mom talked her way out of getting CPS (Child Protective Services) involved like my teacher suggested, and I was in A LOT of trouble when we got home……

So I told Officer Smith this story that Jessica and Johnny might react similarly. But then I told him another story about Jessica….

This past May, Jessica had taken a wrist brace to school and pretended that she’d hurt herself. I was the one who picked her and Johnny up from elementary school that day. I knew that Jessica would be harshly punished for taking the brace to school, and I didn’t think she deserved it. As we pulled into the driveway, I told her that I wouldn’t tell Mom and Dad if she promised to never take anything like that to school again. She started crying.

Jessica: “Please don’t tell Mom and Dad on me.”

Me: “I just said I wouldn’t! I don’t want you to get in trouble. But I don’t want you to get yourself into trouble either. Ok?”

Jessica: “Ok… Just… Mom and Dad don’t love me.”

This broke my heart. She’s EIGHT years old!!!!! No 2nd grader should EVER feel like their parents don’t love them!!!!!!!!

Me: “What makes you say that?”

Jessica: “The way they talk to me and what they do to me..”

Me: “What do they say and do?”

Jessica: “They tell me that I’m stupid. And they hit me. A lot. And they yell at me a lot. And tell me I’m a really bad kid. And they kick me, too.”

 

I’m going to talk about Jessica a little bit here because I think she’s an incredible 8-year-old. She’s CRAZY smart. She has an amazing memory. She’s SUPER talented. She likes to sing a lot (like everyone in my family), and she has perfect pitch. And she’s a really good dancer!! Her elementary school has a “May Day Dance” every year. Every grade level does a dance together to a song, from Pre-K to 5th Grade. Every year, I watch Jennica, and she’s always perfectly on beat and doesn’t have to watch the teacher on the sidelines reminding the kids of the moves. She figures things out and I think she’s awesome and she tells the funniest jokes and I brag about her all the time because I love her so dearly.

I knew how my parents treated her because they treated us all that way, but to hear her say it brought tears to my eyes.

I told Officer Smith these stories just so he knew that even though they might say that their parents loved them and were nice to them, it’s not entirely true.

I’m just so worried for them…. I don’t want them to be scared. I just want them to know that everything is going to be okay.

Why don’t I warn them?

If I call home to talk to them, my parents will ask them what I had to say. When they say that I was telling them that Alan Smith would come visit them at school to ask them questions and he’d be in his police uniform, my parents would figure out what was happening and freak out. They’d call Alan and find a way to talk their way out of getting into real trouble.

The whole plan would be ruined.

I’m warming up.

When you were a kid, were you ever afraid to go home and face your parents? Like if you got in a fight at school? Or you ditched class and you knew the school would call home? Or you had a really bad report card and you were afraid of your parents being disappointed?

I felt like that every single time I walked up to my front door.

Even though I graduated and have moved out, I STILL have that sick-to-my-stomach, fearful feeling when I come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This summer break was torture.

Only I never got in a fight. Or ditched class. Or got a bad report card. I did exactly the opposite.

I actually had a really good reputation and was pretty well-known for it throughout my community. I was really involved in most extra-curricular activities. (I even got a prestigious award for being the most involved in the school.) I graduated as Salutatorian of my class. Most parents wanted their daughters hanging around me because I was a good influence, and they wanted their sons dating me because I had high standards.

But my parents hated me.

(And when I say “hated,” I mean always have, still do, and probably always will.)

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed pep band, choir, jazz band, cheerleading, forensics (speech and debate), theatre, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. But I never did any of it for me. I only did it all to try to impress my parents.

Too bad I failed. I impressed everyone except for the 2 most important people.

Every day I came home they had a different complaint. “I hate how much time you’re spending at cheer practice.” “I hate the people you’re around in choir.” “I hate the things you’re learning on the forensics team.”

A) They only hated that I wasn’t around more so they could yell at me more. They also wanted me to babysit their kids for them even more than I already did. And the biggest reason they wanted me around the house more is this: they didn’t have control over me while I was out of the house.

B) My parents hate everyone. But they won’t admit it. They’re super fake. Let me be more specific: my mom is super sweet to everyone’s face, but she complains about them all once they turn their back. My dad just doesn’t care about anyone at all. Everyone knows him, but he doesn’t care to remember anyone’s name. And “the people I was around in choir” were some of the best kids in the school. They all had good grades, were friendly, and made good choices.

C) My parents are extremely conservative Republicans. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing at all. But they hated that I was exposed to liberal and Democratic points of view in my forensics class. I always had to debate both sides of a topic, and I really liked learning about the pros and cons of every viewpoint. I was able to decide for myself what I really believed about something. But my parents yelled at me for letting a teacher “indoctrinate” me. The funniest part about all this is that I still agreed with my parents’ views for the most part. I never debated them or argued with them. But the fact that other peoples’ ideas even made their way into my head made my parents furious.

Why didn’t I just quit everything? If everything I was doing made things worse, why did I keep doing them?

Some years I was less involved in activities than others (my sophomore year, I was only in pep band, jazz band, the elite choir, and forensics) and my parents were always mad that I wasn’t doing a ton of activities. “How did I expect to build up my resume?” “I wouldn’t impress anyone doing what I was doing.”

Perhaps my parents were worried about me slacking in my classes?

NOPE! I only took the most advanced classes my school offered. I took dual-credit courses from the community college close to my high school. I got straight A’s all throughout high school. I got only a single B for my 2nd quarter grade in AP Calculus my senior year. It brought my 1st semester grade down to a B. I got an A both quarters 2nd semester, but I was still demoted to Salutatorian. (In my graduation speech, I mentioned being the “first-place loser” haha!) My parents were extremely disappointed in me.

Why didn’t I get a job instead of doing high school activities? Wouldn’t my parents like that better?

I didn’t have time. Ever. I babysat for my neighbors and my parents on the weekends that I didn’t have a sporting event or a forensics tournament to perform at as well as on weekdays after practices. But that’s all the time I had to make money. I worked as a lifeguard during the summers to keep busy, but the pool was closed during the school year anyway.

Boo hoo. My life sucked because my parents weren’t proud of me. Am I not aware that other kids are treated worse?

OHHHH YES. I’M MORE THAN AWARE.

All this is just the beginning. 

I just wanted to get you started. Just wait, I’ll get to the good stuff soon. Grab some popcorn and a Dr. Pepper.