It has been said by many that the truth can set you free. I feel like my whole life I've been "protecting" the truth from being revealed, until now. First of all, I would like to say that I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I love the gospel and the direction it has given to me my entire life. I have a beautiful life, and I am truly blessed. I've been given another chance as an adult to see how beautiful life can be. Through my obedience and my relationship with my Heavenly Father I have been healed from abuse and neglect.
I grew up in a home with many siblings out in the country. At a young age, I remember feeling scared and anxious about life and my family. I remember my father always being gone and when he was home I stayed clear of him. I remember not liking the noise and messes everywhere so I would often find myself escaping outside to build another fort on the 7 acres of land that we lived on. I spent many hours outside with my siblings turning the natural grown bushes into my secret palace with tons of rooms, a kitchen, family room and a front and back door. My favorite was the small pine tree that became our "elevator tree". We would climb to the top and hold on as we were elevated down to the ground.
But sadly, I do remember the abuse from my father. It was like watching a wild animal chasing it's prey. I remember him hitting my older brothers and sisters on many occasions. I remember him holding my oldest sister up against a tree by her neck and hitting her. I remember being hit in the face so hard when I was 5 years old. My face was very swollen and there was blood everywhere. As I lay there on the ground I remember being kicked over and over again by his military boots, and my nose was broken, all because I wouldn't share the big wheel with my older brother. I remember on multiple occasions being drug up the stairs by my hair for reasons I can't remember; I will never forget that pain. I remember the contention that always existed in our home. The rage from my father created a scary place for all of us. My 3 older sisters were removed from the home by CPS (child protective services) because of accusations of abuse against my father, which he denied. My three older sisters said they were sexually abused by my father. I was the next girl, but I have no recollection of sexual abuse by him, only physical and verbal abuse. My sister tells me of a time when he was so angry with my oldest brother that he chased him out of the house with a gun threatening to kill him. I remember him chasing my mother and I out of the house as we were leaving for her graveyard shift as a telephone operator. She tried to roll up the window as quickly as she could, but he managed to get his hands in the crack, he pulled it and shattered her window, then began to hit her. The time that scared me the most was when my father laid on top of my mother strangling her neck until her face was blue. Without hesitation, I yelled with a loud voice "I am calling the police". He immediately jumped off my mother and began to charge toward me. With the phone in my hand he successfully ripped the phone out of the wall, and threw it across the room while screaming vulgar language at me. I feel good in knowing that I did the right thing in that moment. Had I waited 30 more seconds to yell, could have been too late. After that he began to chase me, and I ran fast, faster than him down a dirt road barefoot, but mom was safe and managed to get out of the house safely.
A mother who was once a beautiful surfer girl was now someone who thought very little of herself, she couldn't amount to anything and she was worthless because of what she had been told and came to believe because of my father. But after all the abuse, my mother was still willing to stay with him, but he wanted another woman and left my mother and all of us. After he left, I remember my mother being embarrassed because she had to go on welfare and use food stamps to buy food for her many young children. She couldn't afford a lawyer, so she suffered financially and so did all of us while he played. Extreme poverty raked over our family. Today my mother lives in an old run down home and managed to get nothing from him but he lives the high life owning multiple properties with many luxuries. I have never received any form of financial help from him or even a birthday present for most of life. While he shoves all of this away, he can't see damage he has done. The many beautiful children that were entrusted to him by God have been destroyed because of his rage. I just want justice for my siblings who longer have a voice. I know that if justice is not served in this life, God will serve justice on the other side.
I do not tell you this to make you sad or angry, I tell you this to give you HOPE. Miraculously I lived through this and stayed strong, and I know you can too. Heavenly father is there. His son Jesus Christ atoned for every single person who has ever lived, and will ever live. He atoned not only for our sins, but for our pain, our trials, our weaknesses, our burdens, our fears and the abuse we suffered. He knows what we are going through more than anyone. Although my life hasn't been easy, it has been very rewarding. Unfortunately many of my siblings did not end up with a happy ending. My oldest brother passed away from lung cancer that was caused by drugs and smoking. Another sibling has spent many years battling an addiction to retail theft, and has been incarcerated many times. Another sibling has been in a mental institute with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia most likely caused by her drug addiction. She was hearing voices and they were telling her to do very bad things. She's been at a correctional facility for over 15 years. I have another sibling who has drank her sorrows away with alcohol and has heavily used drugs her entire life. She has undergone two detox treatments that lasted a month each time, leaving her with a destroyed liver. My three older sisters never married, but they have children. My oldest brother who died was never married and never had any children. The rest of my siblings struggle with addictions and many other problems.
If you are in an abusive relationship you have the power to free yourself. Walk away now! Break the chain and the cycle of abuse. There is never a trial too great that you cannot overcome. One of my favorite quotes says...“Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.”
-Jeffrey R. Holland.
I choose to not reveal my identity at this time to protect my family. I am grateful for a wonderful husband who is kind, and sweet and allows me to grow. But, most importantly, someone who makes me feel safe. Someone who is the complete opposite of my father; I am truly blessed.