Home Is Where The Hurt Is: Mary’s Story, Part Six
HA notes: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Mary” is a pseudonym. The following series is an original non-fiction story that spans 33 pages of single-spaced sentences. It will be divided into 10 parts. The story begins during the author’s early childhood and goes up to the present. At each stage the author writes according to the age she is at.
Trigger warnings: various parts of this story contain descriptions of graphic, often sadistic, physical abuse of children, apologisms for religious abuse, deprivation of food, as well as references to rape.
Extra trigger warning: this particular part of the story also involves a description of rape.
In this series: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part Eight | Part Nine | Conclusion
Part Six: Losing Control
We sit there as she walks from room to room of the house, trashing every room as she goes through it. She comes back in the living room and says we have 15 minutes to get the whole house spotless. Abby and I go in our room, but I don’t even try. I know that I’m going to get beat no matter what and I know that it is impossible for us to get it all clean in 15 minutes. Abby is crying again and trying to clean the room. She looks desperate. She says that she knows she should be able to get it cleaned up in time the way Mom wants it. I tell her that it is pointless but she begs me to help. I try for her because she looks so weak. I cry inside for her. I can’t let her see me cry because I need to be strong for her.
I try to make her feel better. I tell her that we are princesses in disguise and that Mom is the evil person that we will be able to punish later when our father comes to save us. She smiles a little and we work hard.
Mom comes to the door and screams that we are not working hard enough. She grabs Abby and yanks her into her room. As I listen to her cries of pain, I yank on a pair of shorts under my pants as fast as I can to try to add more padding. I am next and she tells me to pull my pants down this time. I know I am in more trouble. She sees my shorts and gives me extra spankings with the belt and then tells me I now have a 10 page paper on lying. I try to pull my pants back up and get out of her room as fast as possible.
We only have 2 minutes left to clean the house and we haven’t even finished our room.
We don’t make it before the timer goes off. Back in Mom’s room we go.
I try to keep count of the spankings to keep my mind focused on something besides the pain. I refuse to cry. I know that’s what she wants and I won’t give it to her. Wait, was that 120 or 130? I’ve lost count again.
After that round of spankings, she trashes the house again and we start all over.
I know this is going to go on for the rest of the day. We haven’t even finished our regular chores for the day or started our school work. All of today’s school work is going on our undone lists. Mine is about 5 note book pages long. She says that we will only get yucky meals till we are completely caught up. I know it is impossible.
As we start to clean the room again I let my mind wander. I am a princess again. My father is away for a long time and my stepmother is forcing me to be her slave. I just keep hoping that my father will come home and rescue me soon.
Oh no! I just heard the front door slam. Dad is home. That means another meeting and another round of spankings. At least this round of spankings will be from Dad. He doesn’t spank as hard.
“LEE!!! WHY ARE THE CHIPS IN THE WRONG CABINET?? YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT! THE CHIPS HAVE BEEN IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM CABINET FOR YEARS! CAN’T YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT?!?”
Why is Dad letting Mom yell at him like that? Mom is treating him like a child. Maybe she will get mad enough and leave the house. Yes she is! I hear the door slam and the car roar out of the driveway.
Abby and I look at each other and sigh a sigh of relief. I pray while we finish cleaning that she gets in a car wreck and dies. I hate her. I want her out of my life.
After we finish cleaning, Dad asks us if we have eaten today. He tells us to eat a bowl of cereal and then go to bed. It’s after 9 pm.
We climb into bed and Abby goes right to sleep. I lay there and start thinking.
It starts happening again. I feel myself losing control of my mind again. I start getting chills.
I’m laying on some pavement. I don’t know where I am but I look up and am surrounded by four men looking at me in a way that I don’t understand but it terrifies me. I suddenly realize that I am naked. One at a time they start doing things to me. I don’t understand what, but it hurts. After they are done, they start laughing with an evil laugh. I still can’t figure out why I can’t get up.
They have me tied down somehow. One of the men walks away and comes back with sheets of ice. He starts covering me with ice and laughing. I don’t understand the looks they are giving me. What is funny?
I am freezing. Then they all come over and start peeing on me. Why are they doing this?
I am screaming for them to stop. This goes on forever. Finally they stop. One of them brings over a bucket of freezing water and uses it to wash me off. Then they all start to do things to me again. This time I really don’t care because I am so cold. At least them being on top of me is warming me up.
Suddenly the side door slams and I am jolted back to my room. I realize that my hand is between my legs and I am all slimy and wet and it’s not pee. I don’t know what that stuff is but I think it’s gross.
I sneak to the bathroom to clean up. I try to be quiet because I know that Mom is home again. As soon as I have cleaned up, I rush back to my bed again. Abby has woken back up and is crying. We both know that Mom is about ready to come yank us out of bed again. We know that we didn’t get the house cleaned like she wants it.
We sit and hold each other while listening to Mom and Dad fight and scream. Even if she doesn’t come get us up, we can’t go to sleep with that going on. Sure enough, a few minutes later she storms in our room and screams for us to get out of bed because we didn’t have permission to go to bed. She yells at us to all go into the living room. She screams at Dad to bring our desks in the living room. She says that we are not allowed to go to bed till we each have 20 undone school assignments done and passed.
I look at the clock. It’s 11. It’s going to be a very long night.
She says that if she finds us asleep at all then we will get a ton of spankings. She lays down on the couch and goes to sleep with the belt across her lap. I know we will be here all night. I try to work on the school work but I am so tired I can’t think. I lay my head on my desk for just a minute.
I wake up with a sharp pain across my back. I jolt up and see Mom standing over me with the belt coming down again. This time it hit my head because I arched back to stop her from hitting my back again. She yanks me out of the desk and then the belt lands across my chest. The swings keep coming.
She stops and pulls me off the floor and shoves me back into the desk. She wants to see the math page that she told me to work on. I can’t figure out this problem and I asked her for help, but she says that she isn’t going to help me because I should be able to figure it out on my own. She says that I am stupid because I can’t figure it out. She says I can’t be her daughter because a child of hers can’t be that stupid.
It’s about 4 am now and she finally gets tired enough to want to go to bed. She says that we can finally go to bed but we will resume this in the morning. Abby and I go collapse in our bed.
The next thing I realize is that I am cold and soaked. Our whole room smells like pee. No! I peed in the bed again! I wake Abby up and try to get the sheets changed on our bed as fast as I can without waking Mom up. It is so hard because her room is right across the hall. I can’t do it and Mom storms in our room. She calls me a baby. She says that I should still be in diapers and that she is going to tell everybody how I am such a baby.
It’s about 6 now and she decides that we have to stay up. I start to let my mind wander again. If I don’t, I won’t survive. This time I have been kidnapped and sold as a slave and I’m praying that my father will find me and save me. Why does my father never actually save me?
Yay! Mom is getting a headache! She says that she has to go lay down. I know that she will sleep a long time because she didn’t sleep last night. She goes in her room and shuts the door.
I head to my room and crawl under the bed. I am so tired… my mind drifts….
Am I dreaming or is this real? I honestly don’t know anymore.
To be continued.
Mary, your story breaks my heart. I am so sorry this happened to you. Please forgive me for my part in helping keep home schooling “free”. I never minded any regulation that I ever had to comply with, and now it is plain that even that was not enough.
My deepest sympathy to you and your siblings, from one whose own childhood was VERY SIMILAR, though thank God I always had public school to escape to every weekday.
This story is heartbreaking. Mary is still young at part 6 and I shudder to think there are more years of this daily torture. It seems the mother could very well have been an ordinary mother but then got sucked deeper and deeper into sadism and dragged the father into the sick cycle.
I’m curious if the rapes are actually dreams or real, and if they are just dreams, where would you have gotten the idea for them?
They were not real, not at least when I was old enough to actually remember what went through my brain. When these would happen (which I only gave 2 examples, they were pretty frequent and what “happened” changed every time) I would have no control of my brain or my body. I want to know what happened. I want to know how an isolated, young girl could even think those things. I would love answers myself, unfortunately I don’t know if I will ever get them. Some have suggested that something happened to me when I was too young to remember and I just don’t know. I know that I do have a very good memory and can remember quite a few concrete things from all the way back to when I was 3, but that’s not saying anything if somehow I managed to block some things from my memory. I join everyone reading my story and wanting answers. I want them myself.
I also had images like this come to me from a young age- like sick sadistic torture rape- and I was abused by a girl around my age against my will (all but the first time age 4 or 5 it’s vague cuz I spent so long trying to block it out) I never told anyone til I was 18. It was usually during times of wandering off to play during worship in a religion I didn’t even belong to. I think I thought I knew better than any adults who all seemed kinda crazy and unable to focus, and so I kept it to myself and maybe it somehow caused these creepy images associating sexual pleasure with harm- no idea in your case but I’m so sorry for the pain you endured at the hands of those who are supposed to be your greatest protectors. Love and prayers, Julia