Thursday, February 03, 2005

You know what I said about getting over grudges and getting along with family members?? I was wrong...I'm totally not over it at all!!!

Here's the backstory: My stepfather is a total a$$. Back when he first started dating my mom, he sucked up hardcore to get me to give him the time of day. So, after seeing he wasn't going anywhere, I was pretty nice to him and thought he was ok. But then, his hidden temper started slipping out...little by little. The first major blowout was at a school carnival when I was in first grade--I call it the "Orange Juice Incident". Well, we were in line to get food, and they were starting to run out of drinks. Well, he ended up getting the last one and I was a little upset (hey, I was a little kid!!) and cried a bit. Well, he thought that behavior was totally unacceptable, so when we got home, he hit me pretty darn hard in the garage. His temper and taking things out on me escalated from there. When he was trying to teach me how to ride my bike, I wasn't learning fast enough, so I got another beating. My back was so bruised that my grandma noticed it when she helped me take off my flower girl dress after my parents wedding dance.

Then he started trying to control what I could do. If a friend came over and asked me to play, he'd say I couldn't come out because I had to clean my room or some other routine activity. If I was outside playing with someone in the backyard when he got home, I was dragged inside if he was in an angry mood. When I got phone calls, he gave the caller the third degree until he had enough information to allow me to talk to them. Pretty soon, my friends were tired of having to deal with him and started fading away. He used to work nights, so if he got home and saw that something was out of place, he'd drag me out of bed to yell at me or worse.

He also was a firm believer in "The Clean Plate Club". He didn't think I took enough food, so he started filling my plate at family events. And if I didn't eat EVERY BITE, I'd be in for at least a verbal tongue lashing when I got home. So, when I gained 30 pounds in a year, the school nurse was called in. She was a nutjob but I dutifully recorded my food for awhile for her. She asked me what was going on at home, and I let it slip out what he did. So, then I got to speak with a social worker, who went to interview the family. Well, my mom told what she knew, but she missed so much because she was working at the hospital quite a bit, and he usually saved the worst for when she wasn't around. And of course, the old man completely denied everything. So, I was called back in and basically gave me the impression that they would do nothing about I pretty much had to buck up and take it.

He finally moved a bit from the restricting my activities, food control, and a lot of the hitting. Unfortunately, it was not in a good direction. After a soccer banquet, he asked if I wanted a backrub. I was a little weirded out, but I agreed because I was afraid of the consequences for saying no. So that continued...and then he got a lot more touchy feely. He climbed on to my bed and sat on top of me...and when I protested, he said "It's only a backrub! Quit fighting it!" His hands roamed elsewhere, and he began sneaking into my room on nights when my mom wouldn't give him any loving or was at work. I screamed when he slid his hand underneath my panties the first time. But, nobody was home to hear me...and my sisters weren't old enough to do anything...still in the crib or a toddler at the time. He became more daring and started sneaking in when my mom was home, so I screamed, he jumped off the bed quickly, and when she came in, he was down on his knees claiming he was cleaning my room. I don't know why my mom fell for it...or if she just didn't know what to do about it. He made good money, and with her having two kids by now, there was support issues. After the lack of action received last time and threats, I didn't say a darn thing. I just worked really hard to keep him out of my room...piling things against the door, tucking sheets firmly around me so nobody could get underneath, staying awake, making myself as uncute as possible...I'm not going to go into more detail, but eventually that stopped too.

He has a history of mental illness in his family, which is no excuse, because he could get treated. He just refuses to go to an appointment. Sometimes, there are months of things being ok....right after Christmas his temper and anger started getting worse again. My mom brought him in to the hospital to be evaluated, and they advised him to set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. They deemed him good to go home, so away he went. My mom has set up appointments for him, but he cancels them. I guess he has had issues before we knew him with neighbors, but of course, nobody bothered warn my mom. Well, I guess his ex-wife tried to, but we were warped at that time by his good acting. My mom knows the truth about what happened to me and she believes me, but right now with her trying to get a new house, it just isn't financially possible to get rid of him.

Well, I was over last night, and he had another major blowup because I received a call from Paul. It is so much easier to do a long distance relationship right now, because my bf doesn't have to get subjected to much of the family drama except when he's visiting. My stepfather can't stand any attention I get from guys...he has went ballistic on many occasions. He is like a darn unpredictable volcano, and most guys can't handle having to deal with him. So, my stepfather spews every explicitive I can think of and I send them right back at him (wrong approach I know). He goes after me with a hand, My mother gets into it and shoves him out the door. He spends a couple minutes punching and kicking the door and then the garage (thank goodness she had his keys) and right when we were going to call the cops, he gets in his car and leaves. He came back a few hours later, I guess, all cool and collected. Everytime my stepfather erupts, everything else he's done comes flooding back, and I just can't handle those memories. They were nice and faded over the months of him behaving, where I almost thought I could forgive and forget. Move on and live with it, right? But I just don't think it's possible. He has helped me become a reserved, standoffish, and sometimes a cold-hearted bitch, and I don't like it at all. Many relationships in the past have been affected by my doubts and insecurities, because if my stepfather can turn horrible, when are they going to start hurting me too? Maybe I'll have to take advantage of one of those missed psychiatric appointments for myself :)

I don't want to be around my stepfather, but I really love my mom and sisters, so I can't avoid all contact. There has to be a good resolution for this... Sorry for rambling, but I had to get this off my chest.