May contain content that is triggering for some, self first.
Looking back through the years it is difficult for my sister and I to remember a Christmas that wasn’t plagued with addiction and abuse. This is true for the Christmas that we will talk about today.
People always say that Christmas is for the children and not really for the adults in life, I think that is because the children bring the magic back into the adults life for just one time of year. Children have the excitement of santa coming to see them and all want to stay up late waiting for him to show up. children wonder if they will get what they had hoped for the most for the whole year. This was true for us also.
In the beginning of the season was wonderful. we would put up the tree and decorate it as a family and sit and enjoy the lights like any ordinary family. There were a few gifts that were under the tree from friends and family but not too much as we were children of a welfare mom. Then the santa anonymous came to our home and brought our food hamper for the holiday season. We knew at least we would eat good during this time and there were a few presents that we received also.
The Christmas excitement was in us this year, not sure what made this year better that in the years but us kids were just in the Christmas spirit. Maybe it was because our little brother was of the age to have the excitement and carried over to us older kids. we would play with each other and behave wondering what santa would bring to us this year.
Christmas morning came early for us as our mother could not wait till we woke up, but to her surprise we were already awake waiting for the call to open presents. I do not recall all the presents that we received that year as there were so many of them, but remember the tree being full of presents, more presents than I had seen before. The one gift of mine that I do remember was the sleighs we received to play outside. Tammy remembers the nurses watch she received that year also. We were always playing outside whether it was to build snow forts or ramps for our sleighs to jump. those memories bring a smile to my face.
We would build the ramps so high that we would fly in the air and land on our tummys and take our breath away. We would get up laughing and walk up the hill again and try it all over again. Looking back I am surprised that we did not get broken arms and legs from the crazy down hill slide me made. it took the whole community of children to build and went that one was made we would make another more extravagant one for the older children to play on. Wow what a time it was, to be a child and just play without no danger in mind.
Then came the alcohol in the scenario and that is when this Christmas took a turn for the worst. Our mother just could not seem to enjoy any of the seasons or celebrations without alcohol, there needed to be alcohol for it to be a celebration. For us children we just wanted a quiet family season with no worries about fights and other distractions. to my dismay it did not happen.
It was the week after the greatest Christmas that we could remember, to turn to the worst Christmas we ever had. I think my sister and I would give all the gifts back if we could not have gone through the loss of our innocence this same Christmas.
Our mother and her boyfriend of the time, went to a party and of course they were drinking. The story went that our mother did not want to come back home so her so called boyfriend decided to leave her there and came back home alone. I do not recall much more about this night, so Tammy will share more about it, in her piece.
I do not recall any Christmases were it was memorable before or after this one. Typically mom would either skip Christmas or we would get a gift basket from charity. I really didn’t mind charity, as when you are hungry, if food is offered you take it. This Christmas was different, her man was a working man and made good money. We had a beautiful decorated tree, and nuts and candy. We even had stockings. I was so happy. I thought maybe we were going to be like regular people. I had a couple of friends and one did not come from a dysfunctional home, that friendship did not last though. The blame for that rest squarely on my mothers shoulders.
However, I have a bad habit of going on tangents. That year we had turkey with all the trimmings. It was delicious! We were sent to bed, and as expected we had a hard time getting to sleep. My sister and I stayed up late, softly talking and giggling. We were determined to stay up and see Santa. However, like most children we fell asleep. To wake up really early to sneak up stairs and see what Santa brought. If I would have known our Santa was a devil in disguise, I would have never asked for a thing. However, being a child I was so exited, all the brightly wrapped packages, and two sleds for riding down hill fast,
Our mom, her man and the younger ones came down stairs, and the young ones were so excited. They were so giddy, prancing around like little elves. I was happy for them. I do remember looking at our mom, and she looked happy. Her eyes were shining, and she had a smile on her face. I think she really loved that man, but the price was so costly. I still can not put my mind into a set we’re I would ever be ok hurting a child, or letting some one else hurt them.When it came to loving me she was heartless.
We unwrapped our presents, and I was confused. Why was I getting items Tyra wanted. I was really confused and upset too because I could see Tyra really liked the stuff I was getting. She did get a watch too, but she liked mine better. Honestly, I liked hers better, but to trade would have infuriated our mom. So we made do and enjoyed the day. We went sliding on those last very red sleds all day! Pink cheeked and happy we tumbled into the house wet from the snow, but warm from the exertion.
Things soon went back to normal, our normal. Mom would stay in her room all the time and her man had free reign of the house, and us kids. He was such a vile, repulsive man. I had no good will for him, but at the same time I was scared what he could do to me, or even worse my siblings. I hated it when mom would abandon us and let him get away with his odious behaviours.
Sadly, my Christmas was ruined, in fact I did not celebrate Christmas ever again. There was just no reprieve from abuse, especially from him!! I was torn between running away and leaving my siblings behind, or staying to be destroyed bit by bit for a mans twisted desire to possess and ruin. He just would not relent, not even during a holiday meant to honour family and goodness’s. He hurt me again when mom was not there. He said she was not there, but maybe she was just on the other side of the wall passed out on drugs and booze. I Was going to my place in my mind, I could run away in my mind, and then what he did would not matter. I told myself this, even though it mattered, it mattered a lot.
Our mother and her man went to a party, Tyra thinks it was a New Years party. I am sure she is correct in her memory, as dates are hard for me, I tend to tell time by the seasons and the weather. I heard the door close, upstairs, and rushed up to meet our mom. However, the only one standing there was that monster, disguised as a man. I stoped dead in my track, dread filled my body and made it tingle with fear. This was going to be another night of horror and pain. My soul retreated even deeper into my secret place, my mind screamed silently, run away, run away. I was paralyzed, crippled by my mothers teaching me I had no choice, no value, no reprieve. I was not allowed to have boundaries, therefore I had none. Our mother created the perfect victim, me. Just even writing that statement down, makes me profoundly sad, the lessons she drilled into my very being were to haunt me well into adulthood. Even to this day, I fight my demons, sometimes I win sometimes I don’t, but I never surrender.
I went back down to the basement, we’re I slept with my sister in a big bed. I always felt safest when I was with her. However, in our house there was no safety in numbers, and no were to hide. Mom’s man was on a mission, hell bent to get what he wanted, and it was me he wanted. Sometimes I wonder what goes through a grown mans mind when he is sexually abusing a child. Then I think, I really do not want to know, because if I did my mind might shatter irreparably forever, because their mind must be even more frightening and dark than mine.
Calling me, demanding my presence, every time he said my name, my feet would move towards him, while the rest of my body wanted to disappear, never to be found again. I went though, for fear that my sister would be targeted if I didn’t. I remember looking at the Christmas tree, and remembering how magical it looked. Now it reminded me of a gaudy, and grotesque bar I seen on tv once. The smell of his alcohol stink didn’t help matters. He demanded I drink with him, I had drank before, sips of my moms tia Maria, or sneaking a beer or two. However, this was different, he wanted me to drink so I would be more compliant while he went about his dastardly deeds.
I remember eating chestnuts, now if I eat those, they turn to fouled goods in my mouth, as they remind me of the night Christmas became a nightmare. I would go downstairs and I hid behind the furnace, hoping that he would get tired of this cat and mouse torture. However, he wouldn’t give up, and when he targeted my sister, I knew my time had run out. I could not sacrifice my sister, for one night of reprieve. I took a deep breath, and stepped forward, and accepted another night of hell and anguish. I was ten years old, Tyra was seven, and I felt like I had already lived to many lifetimes, for the short amount of years we had been on this earth.
Stripped of boundaries, self and dignity. Robbed of choices and self determination. Feeling like I was going to shatter into a million pain filled fragments. He took my body, my childhood, my innocence. I knew to much, yet not enough. I could regal you with the horrors of suffering, pain and abuse, but for the life of me, I could not tell you how to save yourself. I could teach you how to survive, but not how to live. A flash of brilliant white pain, the penetration, the invasion, the sickening feeling of being smothered. I am hurt… I am going away now…
This covers in more detail events that were shared in our memoir. If you would like to join us on our healing journey, please, feel free to star, “two sisters perspective, or the beginning of our memoir “ The Beginning” It is Christmas, and I am happy and I want you all to be happy too. I want you to create memories that will last forever, as I will be doing the same. “So have yourself a Merry little Christmas.” Enjoy, be blessed, eat lots of Turkey.