Thursday, May 21, 2009

The teenage years, part 7

This time, we delve into my stepfather.

I blogged about how he became my dad. How much I loved him. How scared I was to lose him when he got his new kidney. I've touched on his eventual hatred of me.

Lets go a little deeper, shall we?

His kidney is what brought about the change. Well, not the kidney itself, but the side effect. You see, while he was given a second chance at life, his eyes were taken from him. The last time he ever saw anything was before they knocked him out to operate.

Understandably, this made him angry. It wasn't ME that he was angry at, but it took me a number of years to get that. I'll let you know when it sinks in...

So he was angry at the world, and I was an angsty teen.

I used to excuse myself from the dinner table to cry. My mother asked me what my deal was, but I didn't feel like I could open up to her. But then, given my history, I didn't think she really cared.

But yea, I was troubled, hormonal, and now the target of an angry blind man.

He threw things at me, with surprising accuracy. Knives, dishes, coffee makers. Pretty much whatever he could get his hands on he'd pitch at me. Once, he called me a stupid little bitch, so I told him to go fuck himself. He lunged across the room to get at me, but I was quicker to start.

Never underestimate a man full of rage and hatred. He chased me down the hall and managed to catch my arm in the front door as I attempted to leave. He slammed the door on it two more times before I could get it out, and I'm fairly certain he knew my arm was there. I wasn't exactly quiet about my screams.

Finally pulling away, I ran for the back door. he caught a hand full of my hair, but that was it before I was finally free. I hopped our fence, and ran like the devil was chasing me.

It was at that point that my parents friend decided to restrain him.

I was found a few hours later by the same friend who offered me his couch for the night. It was nice to get refuge.

When I went home, my mother gave me hell and grounded me for a month. She told me that I was out of line to have swore at him. That I should have just let him rant and rail, and that if I was a better daughter, he wouldn't want to hurt me.

That day, I tried to kill myself for the first time. I swallowed a bottle of my migraine medication. It was all the medication I had for my headaches for the next 3 months, and I swallowed it five pills at a time until the bottle was empty.

When I eventually woke up, and kept falling down, my mother added extra weeks to my punishment. It just added insult to injury, because I was still alive, grounded, and I was going to have to suffer through migraines for the next 3 months.

And while this portion of the story isn't concluded, I will stop here for now. I promise I'll revisit the rest of it soon.


eva said...

i can see how he would get upset when going blind - but he had no right taking it out on you.. one thing is family arguing with each other - an other thing is an adult man physically trying to hurt a young girl. it's totally out of the line. he could have seriously hurt you when throwing things at you. it's sad that your mother managed to stand up for him and make excuses for him like that.. it's sad, but not unusual for mothers to do this when there's a manipulative man in the picture.

how is your relationship with your step dad today?

Shana-Marie said...

Our relationship is better. It's not great, but I don't live there anymore so it's easier to handle.
When I had my son, he kind of mellowed out a lot, and even apologized for his actions.
He's still not a happy man, but I don't think he's quite as angry anymore. It's amazing what changes a child brings about in people.

eva said...

i think i tried to reply to your other life story post, but now i see there's no comment there, so maybe i fucked it up somehow.

anyway. this is all a bit strange, i have a friend who has had.. a LOT of trouble from his step dad. he still talks to him and treats him like family, even though i wish he wouldn't. it's like he wants things to be normal and by treating his step dad like a normal person it all IS normal and maybe things never went bad ad all. maybe he just exaggerated things. it is easy to think so when everyone around you plays up to it.

it's tricky and hard. once someone counts as "family", it's not easy to shut them out.

i don't think the fact that your step dad has mellowed out makes up for the fact that he has made your life a hell for a while, has thrown things at you, and possibly could have harmed you BADLY physically.. and most certainly harmed you badly mentally. the worst abuse is not physical, but psychological. i doubt this was all in your imagination as your mother also recognized it - and it can take a lot for mothers to do so in such situations. they WISH everything is fine and close their eyes to what is going on.

i've been at the birthday of such an old man. he was an uncle. i knew he had been pervy towards my mother, and thrown her out of the house violently when she got a child without being married.. and abused & been violent towards his own wife and children.

it was weird. i didn't like it when he hugged me - i've not been very welcoming to him since i knew. i still went, because my mother wanted me to and because he was "family" (her family, it mattered to her as he was her brother, as i'm sure your step dad matters to your mother..)

he seemed like a normal old man at his birthday. people talked about him, he smiled, he was maybe 70 years old. you'd think people that age are all friendly. he looked friendly, and old. too old to be evil, pervy, violent.

but i know what he's done. it's hard to imagine it, when looking at his friendly old-man's face - but i know it.

people shouldn't get away with stuff like that. what your step dad did to you is NOT acceptable.

Shana-Marie said...

I spent the last couple of days thinking about this, and what goes on in my mind when I interact with him.

I don't at all treat him like everything's okay, like he never wanted to kill me. I do however, keep the peace for everyone else.

He's not my father. I refuse to call him anything but by name. I generally don't speak to him more than I have to.

And while at this point, my son doesn't know about my past with my step father... I'll make sure he knows what ever is necessary as he gets older.

I watch his temper closely. He hates the hubby, so I'll often make sure that I'm around when they interact. That way I can step in if necessary.

I think I can do this for two reasons. the first, I know what kind of man he was, and what kind of man he can be. I know the signs, and I watch him closely. and the second, I'm not afraid of him anymore. I know that I can take as much as he can dish, and I can dish it straight back at him.

He may still be a part of my life, but he doesn't run my life anmore, thus I can be in his presence.

He's not my family, but he's my mom's family... and to get her, I have to have him. It's a small sacrifice to make. And he's amazing with my boy... whether or not that'll change when he's an opinionated teen, I'm not sure, but I'll be watching.

eva said...

It's good that you're on your watch, especially with your man and your little man. It's weird, but little looks and words can be poison sometimes. It doesn't take much. I take it your man knows what sort of person your mother's boyfriend is, and what he has done?

I totally relate to what you're saying about keeping the peace for everyone else.