I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional home. I had a cold, distant and alcoholic mother. I had an unbelievably cruel father who enjoyed inflicting pain on my two brothers and me. Some examples: He hit me full force with a punch to my nose, shattering it for the sin of interrupting him when he was talking. I was six years old and the force of the punch was so strong it knocked me across the room. He told me to take a bath and go to bed, leaving my broken nose untreated. 6 years later I experienced something that has profoundly changed me for life. My 6 year old brother rebelled in a way that came to haunt us. He went over to his school in the summer with another boy and threw paint all over the school. The police were called and they were caught and brought him home. My father said that he would take care of it. He took him back into the bedroom where he shared with his 3 year old brother, next to my room where I was. He proceeded to beat him with a belt and would not stop. I was convinced that he was going to kill him. He was a bloody mess from all of the cuts from the doubled leather belt.
I desperately wanted to stop him. At 12 I was trying to figure out how to stop my father from killing my little brother. I considered that I was not big enough or strong enough to stop him. I thought about my baseball bat. I was plagued with doubts as I tried desperately to figure a way to stop my father while hearing the blood curdling screams of my little brother being savagely beaten. I thought that I could go in and threaten him and he would stop. Then I realized that he would take the bat away from me and use it on me. Then I thought that I could go in and hit him in the head and knock him out. Then I realized he would wake up and beat me with the bat so enraged that he likely would kill me. Then I thought of hitting him in the head so hard that I killed him. The thought of going to jail for life stopped me. In the end I sat in my room in tears and desperately hating myself because I was not big enough or strong enough to stop him. He continued beating my little brother until he exhausted himself. He had to go and sit down in his recliner to rest. After resting for a half hour he went in again and beat on him yet again. I don’t know how my brother survived it and my little brother was terrified at age 3. There were many other beatings in the household.
As I got a little older, I was always picked on by bullies and always cowered because of my father. That incident so filled me with rage that two years later, I got into a fight with a kid who squirted chocolate milk on my white shirt at school. I beat the crap out of him and then had to beat the crap out of another guy right afterwards. Then two days later had to beat the crap out of someone again. It was an awakening for me. No more did I have to tolerate bullies. I told the old man that the beatings were going to stop at home or I would beat him to death and meant it, unafraid. Never again would I fear another man. I learned hand to hand combat in the military and how to kill someone with my bare hands. It was empowering. I have since backed down a lot of bullies without having to get into a fight. I would look them in the eye and tell them that if they felt froggy go ahead jump and I would let them throw the first punch. Men look into your eyes and when they read no fear, it scares them. They back down like the cowards that they are.
I wondered at man’s inhumanity to man. Like all kids who were abused as kids, you grow up bent in one of two different directions; you either grow up to be a bully or you grow up to join the ranks of the helping professions. I decided to get into the helping professions because there was no one there to protect my brothers and myself when we needed it. This is why I help couples to make it better.
I see marriages breaking up, parents fighting in front of kids and terrifying them. Using kids in the parents battle against each other. I want it to stop and I am willing to do whatever I can to stop it and help couples get along and grow and nurture each other. That is my goal as well as my dream. Please help me to spread the word.
I have forgiven my parents, but have long since excluded them from my life because they are poison. It caused my brothers to reject me. Kids will do anything for their parents approval, sort of like the puppy who licks the hand of his abuser.