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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Okay, so a little bit about myself.

I feel as though I'm boring you all to death with my posts about Andrew. I can't help it--I have no life otherwise!

So here's my attempt at (hopefully not) putting you to sleep even more.

I work full-time at a nursing home as the HR representative. I also serve as assistant to the administrator (the Big Boss). He is an extremely serious gray-haired man who wears a suit every single day. The big, big boss (Corporate) tried to get him to dress down to ties many years back but was unsuccessful in his attempts. Thus, we have a serious-looking man whom the residents have confused as everything from a priest to a funeral director. He is awesome though--my boss. He will always listen first and then comment, and I have never heard him raise his voice. He gets sappy at times and when he talks to us staff about how much we mean to him, gets all teary-eyed. I've been here since October of 2004 and I love my job. I get my own office with a door that closes--I take advantage of this sometimes when I am doing paychecks (nothing more annoying than people trying to get their check early or breathing over my shoulder when I just want to get them done). I do interviews (love it; time goes by fast and I love interacting with new people), post-hires (after someone is hired, they come to my office to do paperwork--W-4, I-9, other forms for the state; drug testing), timecards (printing them out and distributing them to other department heads), and corrections (when people miss punches, which is oh, pretty much ALL the time). When someone has an injury, I handle all the paperwork for worker's comp. and assign limited duties to inujured employees. There are some other menial boring tasks I do--I won't get into them now.

So, that's my work life. I'm here 8-4 Monday through Friday and I have a system and it works for me. If anyone were to mess with my files, I'd freak! :)

I am the oldest of five children. It's me, my sister, and three boys. We were raised by my wonderful mother, whom I adore, and my psycho father, whom I have no contact with. To sum it up, he physically, verbally, and emotionally abused us, and my mom is really lucky to be alive. She filed for divorce in 2001--my dad didn't see it coming--the police staked the house out waiting for him to come home from work, then served both divorce papers and a restraining order. Of which my dad did not obey. After several violations in my small-town hickville little Minnesota city (stalking, mostly...also my dad coming into the house when he wasn't supposed to; one time he kept riding past her house on his motorcycle--it was my mom's birthday--the police stated that she couldn't prove it was him because he had a helmet on; nobody else had a yellow bike and a yellow helmet but him), my mom moved across the border to Wisconsin. My uncle is a cop in the town she lives in now and they have a big fat file on my dad in case there should be any issues. He hasn't bugged her at all since she moved to WI. A guardian-ad-litem was appointed, and after visiting with the two minors (at the time of divorce), she ruled that visitations were to be supervised only. My dad didn't show up to pick up my brother because he didn't need to be supervised. That was the end of that. I'd also like to add that his abuse was not fueled by alcohol--it was completely driven by power.

Nobody ever knew about the abuse as it was going on, because it all went on behind closed doors. We felt ashamed and therefore; never told anyone. The police were never called and no pictures were ever taken; therefore in the police department's eyes, it never happened.

My mom REALIZES now that she should have left a long time ago. She has apologized over and over for allowing us to live in that environment. What matters is that she DID leave and didn't go back to him.

The creep has tried to have contact with me (and my siblings); he sent me a Christmas card with a note, but I don't know this man! There was no affection ever shown, he didn't come to my band concerts--not even my final one senior year when I got the coveted scholarship; it was like this mean stranger lived in our house. He threw his kids around like they were worthless junk. He managed the food and money. My mom's mileage was documented by him and if she went a little bit out of her way on any day, she would be accused of cheating. He did not allow us to eat snacks or anything else without permission. We could have Saltines, but that was it. $70 a week was the money my mom was given weekly for groceries for a family of seven, gas for the car, and any other expenses. If she ran out of gas, she ran out of gas. A few times she had to walk back home from work because her car stopped on the way.

The good times were when he was away. We had 15 minutes after arriving home from school to party it up! We would be loud, play, kid around, and act like normal kids. As soon as the garage door opened, we would scatter to our rooms where we'd remain the rest of the night, only coming down for supper. If we did happen to watch a movie as a family, we were to be silent and still so as not to "misbehave".

His tool of choice was a leather weightlifting belt. It was thick and he wasn't afraid to put force into beating us with it. I would run--run around the pool table and he would chase me, yelling after me to just stop or it'd be worse. Eventually, I would give up and stop. Punishments could be for something as simple as playing too loud or making too much noise. We called each other names because he called us names, and we learned from him. He would throw us across the living room and pull us down the stairs by our hair. When my little brother was in kindergarten, the two of us were in the bathroom brushing our teeth before school. We must have made too much noise, because suddenly, he had Mike in his arms and was slamming his head against the door frame. They told the doctor he was fighting with his sister and that's how the injury occurred (he needed stitches). This was on my mom's birthday.

Anyway, I came out of this with no real "issues". I had migraines from the time I was 8, but otherwise I am a happy person. I look in the mirror sometimes and can't help but see the resemblance between my dad and me, and it just KILLS me sometimes, but I just tell myself that he was only the donor. My sister has been dealing with anorexia with bulemic tendencies, clinical depression (she used to cut herself), suicidal attempts, and post-traumatic stress disorder. She's been going to a counselor for 6 or so years now, and it seems to be helping.

As a mother, I do not know HOW someone could do this to his/her own child. To look that child in the eyes and hurt him--it just blows my mind. I am going to give Andrew this life I never really had. I am just so very lucky to have him. I squeeze him tight whenever I see or hear about tragedies involving children.

I will share more about my mom soon. I have a pic of her that I need to upload. She is writing a book and it is SO good. She has something like 300 pages done so far and has had a lot of people read it and give feedback, but the consensus is that it's really hard to put down! She is only up to 1996 now, so I'm hoping she can hurry up and finish it. Once you see her pic, you will never believe she could possibly have been a victim. She used to think he'd kill her if she left; she finally realized he'd kill her if she stayed too. I'm glad she got smart.


Rachel said...

Wow. I mean, I knew some of that from what we've talked about before but... wow. I can't believe you had to live through that as a kid, you and your poor mom and siblings! It just makes me want to cry.

He's an asshole and he doesn't know (and does not deserve to know!) what a sweet daughter he has. You're an all-around nice person and a wonderful mother- which means that your mother is obviously also a strong and awesome person if you came out so good despite all that happened!

nancy said...

Jeez. What a crazy man. My dad was a lot like that - but without the physical abuse. But the being scared to bother him - you never knew how much noise was too much. He's done a 180 since retiring though - VERY nice man. it's crazy.

I'm so sorry you had to endure that.

(okay - next post needs to be about you, k? now that the niceties about work are done and the story of your background. I want to know what you like, shit like that.)

Anonymous said...

Sarah, it was great to get to know a little bit more about you and what you do (although I am never bored by your Andrew posts :-) so don't worry!).

I'm so sorry about what your mom and family had to go through. That is horrible! Thank goodness your mom DID get out.

Anonymous said...

Your honesty and clarity are so refreshing.

I'm a trauma survivor who struggled with undiagnosed PTSD for 25 years. And then I was diagnosed and went on a healing rampage! Now, I write a healing PTSD blog and advocate for PTSD awareness, education, treatment and healing.

Does your sister participate in any social groups? Therapy is important, but reaching out to other survivors can add a very effective element to the healing mix.