Abuse Father Dicipline
Photo by Cristian Newman

TRIGGER WARNING: This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about child abuse, self-harm and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

“I’m doing this because I love you.”

“This is how you’ll learn.”

“This is the only way you’ll be properly educated.”

On my first year of college, I had the chance to meet new people, forge my own opinions, build my character, and simply learn to become myself. 

I was with a group of friends, one day, when we were sharing with each other our most precious childhood memories, and because I had none to recall at the spot, I “jokingly” told everyone the story of how my dad broke my arm by throwing a desk chair at me. I laughed about it when I finished, because I genuinely thought it was somehow funny.

None of my friends laughed.

I was surprised to learn, the exact same day, that none of my friends were “beaten up” before. And I don’t mean an unharmful strike when a big mistake is committed, I mean, none of my friends had to lie about their injuries to the doctors so their parents wouldn’t get locked up.

I was twelve years old when the doctor tried to hold me alone in his office to ask me about my broken arm, when my father intervened last minute. He told him I was recklessly spinning on the same chair he hit me with and ended up hurting myself.

It didn’t take long for me to let go of the incident, because not long later, my father told me that he only hit me because he loved me and wanted the best of me. Somewhere in my brain, it didn’t make any sense, but I guess if he said he loved me, then he did. Definitely.Abuse Father

But I shouldn’t have let it go.

I was thirteen, and fourteen, and fifteen, when I stopped wearing swimsuits and shorts and sleeveless shirts, because I had blue marks all over – sometimes purple – hours before leaving my house. I had bruises in places I never thought my father’s Italian leather belt could reach. The worst part about it, was trying to hide them. No matter how dark the bruise, and where it fell on my body, I only remember past the crying and begging. It often surprises me how my father never gave in to my voice. I am loud. My cries, I have been told, can tear down mountains, but he would never stop hitting me. After every night, sometimes two, my father would call me in and have me on my knees begging him for forgiveness for something I haven’t even done. It would eventually end up with him telling me, “I only did this because I love you, and want to protect you,” – it got to me every time. 

I was sixteen when my brother saw the scars in my arms and called my parents. That day was a bit of a blur to be honest, because I was used to, by then, to the cinematics and drama of being called different names, of my mother hitting me until I bleed then asking me why I was doing this to them. I was locked in my room for a week straight and when finally allowed out, my mother sat me down and told me that she only did this to protect me, because she loved me, and wanted to educate [dicipline] me. 

And to this day, I flinch at her touch. I flinch whenever anyone around me is angry because I know what angry people are capable of. My heart races until I feel like it’s about to jump out of my body whenever someone raises their voice in my presence. Because I have seen the consequences of angry people on my skin for eighteen years straight. 

I was eighteen when I learned that my family had a special definition for discipline…

It was called abuse.

Abuse Father
via Jm Storm

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