My Father’s Violence: Part 1
Trigger Warning: I now come to one of my most difficult posts. I am about to recount some of the horrible abuse that I suffered while I was mentally ill. These experiences are the subjects of my flashbacks and my nightmares, so be forewarned that this post will be difficult to read.
After I was released from my first stay in a mental health facility, my mother and my older sister took me home. I recovered slightly for several months before I crashed once more.
My father had been physically abusive almost from the very beginning of my mental illness. When he came to bring me home the first time, I once jumped out of the van (it was parked) and started running away. My father had just said something that made me very hurt and angry, and I wanted to get away. He ran after me, picked me up, despite my protests and screams, and roughly dropped me on the step of the house where we were staying. I still remember the helpless indignation I felt.
That was just the beginning. After I crashed again in 2010, my father began to grow steadily more violent and inappropriate towards me.
The night before my older sister’s wedding, my parents and I met her and her future in-laws for a little dinner. I hardly ate anything, having fallen back into self-starvation as I grew sicker. I still remember the guilt I felt at not being able to be normal, at not being there for my sister.
When we returned home that night, my father reheated my leftovers and attempted to feed me. When I refused to eat, he took the food and smeared it on my face. I still remember the disgusting feeling of the potatoes clinging to my hair. My mother took me upstairs to clean me up, but I felt both of my parents’ anger and blame. It was obviously my fault that I had been treated this way. I sunk even lower into my guilt-ridden existence.
I was so convinced that I was too evil to live that I felt that the only righteous thing left for me to do was to commit suicide. I never seriously attempted this, although I did scratch my wrists with broken glass on one occasion.
Everything was my fault. When my father bit the finger with which I was compulsively reaching into my mouth (I was having obsessive thoughts that demons were entering me and needed to be pulled out), I was to blame. When he sat on me because I refused to rise from my chair, it was my fault. When he threw food on me and then took me outside to spray me down with a freezing cold garden hose, it was my fault. I still remember him ranting at me about how terrible my behavior was as I stood there shivering, miserable, in obvious suffering, unable to move even to run away from the horrible treatment.
As hard as it may be to believe, my father’s behavior only grew worse. I will release the second portion of this post later this week. Feel free to share your thoughts on this post or any experiences you may have had with abuse in your life or others’ lives. I recognize that this can be extremely triggering and is highly personal, so please share only as you feel comfortable. Join in the conversation.