Part 7 and 8 of It’s Time to Open the Attic Door


Life in our home was out of control.  It was hard to get through one day without something upsetting my father and I thought the police had our address on speed dial.  Leaving the house became difficult and I was often called back to referee the latest battle.  My mother was no match for my dad; he could out talk her and constantly told her how worthless she was.

For some reason, I went everywhere mother went and I was allowed  to have a voice in the decisions that needed to be made, it just wasn’t my own voice.  My opinion was sought out but truth of the matter, I was just a child, and reminded of that when, on the rare occasion, they agreed on some point.

I tried to keep my father from hurting my mother and my mother from upsetting my father.  I would also try and stop my father from hurting my brothers.  One night while doing dishes my father charged my brother in a rage for some “offense”.   Out of instinct I threw the dishrag I had been holding and hit him square in the face.  It stopped him cold.  I was scared to death, but he never said a word to me and my brother managed to get out of his way.

 My brother Bill had nice hair and he liked to put hair cream on to hold the style he was wearing. He was told repeated that his head was not to touch the wall behind him at the dinner table.  One night, Bill leaned back in his chair and accidentally touched the wall with his head. My father bolted out of his chair and knocked Bill to the floor.  A knot formed in my stomach. We were all the told to finish our soup, like nothing had happened.  I hated mealtime  For years after that,  any small argument could make it difficult for me to eat, especially if it occurred at mealtime.



It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to be around people.  Other people’s  lives were “normal”, and mine most certainly wasn’t.    I wanted help for our family but at the same time, found that I was ashamed and humiliated, being part of a living nightmare. I never invited anyone over…  ever.  Other than my friend Christine, who lived next door, our home was off limits.   Our relatives stopped coming over because they knew what was going on and felt powerless to help.  So that left us all alone without any hope of anything ever changing.

My grandma would come over and cry. Father hated her, but she would come to see her daughter and grandchildren anyway.  Our home was filthy. One day grandma taught me how to clean my room.  I can still see her standing there in my room. I can hear her voice and remember everything she said. “Pick up everything on the floor.  Now put away everything laying on the dresser. Now make your bed.”  I was amazed and thankful. My grandma was my lifeline to everything sane at that point, but her visits became fewer and fewer because it was too hard on her to see the condition her daughter was in.

People I met in school had no way of knowing why I rarely spoke or interacted. I was slipping more and more into the world I was creating in my mind.  I would lay on my bed and imagine a place far, far from home.  It was a happy place where no one fought.  We laughed, played and most importantly, this place lacked one thing: My parents.  I wanted to disappear into my “happy place”.

I began to have trouble concentrating, and I struggled to stay awake in school. I was tired from staying up at night watching my mother.  She would fall asleep with a cigarette in her hand, and I wanted to catch it before she burned down the house.  More and more of the things my mother was responsible for, fell on my shoulders.  I remember having to wrap everyone’s Christmas presents one year on the end of my mother’s bed. She wasn’t feeling well enough to do it.

About lanadee

How to get through life with a smile on your face and hope in your heart. There is a better way, through a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and a believer in the Lord, Jesus. Do you have a problem or need someone to talk to? Write me at:
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