July 16, 2013
A Beyond Survivor's Story: Shards of Glass - Part 2
This week, CW Seymore, author of Shards of Glass continues her story of hope and healing...
I will now dive just a bit deeper into my childhood story of abuse by beginning with my first eye witnessed account of domestic violence that was soon to be an everyday occurrence when I was only four years old. I was watching television in the living room and heard my parents arguing in the adjacent kitchen. Suddenly, there was this loud popping noise and I heard my mother scream out and when I turned my head, to my horror, the entire kitchen floor was filled with blood. I remember thinking that my father had just killed my mother because of the large amount of blood. What I did not know then was that he had broken her nose, but the puddle of blood is still an image etched in my mind.
My father loved to inflict physical abuse on my Mother, my sister and I, whereas he never touched my other sister and brother. Hardly ever yelled at them and I don’t remember them ever getting into any kind of trouble. My father’s beatings were so relentless that they often left each of us with the inability to move or walk. We would have massive bruises, welts, cuts, and occasionally cracked or broken bones. He had no shut off valve and his fits of rage were always escalated by alcohol.
He almost always used objects in his abuse. They were usually anything that was in close proximity to the altercation. He would use his hands; fists; feet; boots; stick; belt; broom; chunk of wood; truck or gun. I once read in an online article somewhere that one single act of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse on a child is enough to cause long-term trauma and do permanent psychological damage. I experienced fourteen years of sustained long-term abuse. There is significant physical harm in the use of objects because the abuser is unaware of the force of the blow he is inflicting. The abuse can last for longer periods because the impact is not hurting the attacker! I had many non-accidental injuries growing up, and I often wonder why nobody ever noticed or spoke out about them, especially the teachers at school. That is a whole other subject in and of itself. Nobody ever intervened and most everyone knew, including my grandparents and extended family.
Another object he used to inflict permanent emotional distress and absolute panic was his shotgun. When my mother, Marie, or I darted for that door and started running, sometimes the asshole was lazy and did not give chase. He would just grab the shotgun, which was usually loaded by the front door, and start shooting toward us. Of course your back was turned in the other direction, so you only knew that you were the object of target practice when you heard the shots being fired! There is no greater source of anxiety than having a gun pointed at you—as I saw him do to my mother on several occasions—or when you are running for your life with your back turned and hearing buckshot’s whizzing past your ears and hitting those objects that you’re passing by.
One of his favorite objects to use was his frigging truck. When the gun was not loaded and he did not feel like chasing after us because we had a substantial lead, he would just jump in his truck and try to run us down, revving his engine and coming up to only a few feet away from us! I cannot recall the countless times I would be downtown and he would try to catch me, and I would start running up the hill toward the house and he would be revving that damn engine again. He was only about three feet away from me, close enough that I could see the headlights out of the corner of my eye. I knew I could not slip or fall then. If I did he would not have the reaction time to slam on the brakes, and I always feared he would run me over, so I was forced to run as fast as I could out of fear and pure adrenaline, despite being utterly exhausted. I would dart left and then right, up embankments and through bushes and brush, and he would be right behind me, never taking me out of his sights. It was a mile run, all uphill, and by the time I reached a place where I could safely get out of his path and where the truck could not go, I would be hyperventilating. I would fall to the ground and lie there on the verge of passing out from sheer panic and exhaustion until I regained my breath! A lot of these occurrences happened when he had been drinking or was drunk and in one of the lunatic moods where he had no perception as to how close he was or how fast he was pushing you to run. As I lay on the ground, I would be relieved that I had survived another one of his games, but I would cry, out of panic and fear, and feel so very alone, helpless to change my life.
These are the games I played with my father while growing up. “Do you wanna play?”
These are only a few “snap shots” into the physical, emotional and psychological games my father liked to play. There are many more instances listed in my book. There were countless sleepless nights. Nights spent in hiding outside in the woods, the cornfield, behind a building or under a pile of brush. Where I was alone, terrified and felt utter despair. In those times of trauma and fear so incomprehensible while hiding my constant prayer would be, “Please Lord, don’t let him find me, Please Lord don’t let him find me.” This was my childhood national anthem. On those nights I would try to figure out why my father hated me so much, praying to God, “What did I ever do to deserve all of this?” “Where are you Lord?” “Does anybody care?” I would secretly wonder to myself whether this cycle would ever end and whether I would survive my childhood.
Check back next week for more from CW!
CW Seymore lives quietly in Florida working with area youth and is available for guest speaking engagements via website and email. Please visit shardsofglasssecwseymore.com for inspirational quotes, blogs, helpful resources, and links in aiding the recovery of the abused.
This photo was graciously authorized for my inclusion in the book by D. Sharon Pruitt. This picture most accurately depicts the horror I often felt as a child. This journey has been tremendously difficult! Recalling the past and reliving the intense fear and pain associated with each memory was emotionally draining awakening my many "Triggers" and sending them into overdrive causing severe panic attacks, anger and intense anxiety. This book is healing for me ending the silence and one step closer to my Higher Calling the Lord has planned for my life. My greatest of all hope, is that these stories and vivid accounts will help other Survivors find hope, healing and comfort in knowing they are not alone! This book is for all those who have suffered in silence at the hands of a Guardian or Protector where Domestic Abuse; extreme Physical Abuse; Verbal Degradation; Mental Anguish, Rape and Sexual Molestation resided. CW Seymore has written Shards of Glass under a pen name to protect her family.
Please visit http://www.shardsofglasscwseymore.com to learn more or get your copy of her book.
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