You’re an upper middle-class kid.
Everyone thinks your family is perfect because your siblings are wearing matching sweaters.
You have photo albums full of memories and smiles. So carefully crafted.
Your mother believes in “modest dress” and “children should be seen and not heard.
Of course that works well to hide the bruises and welts on your 10-year-old body. And the brainwashing prevents you from ever telling anyone.
Because if you do, she screams at you, “THEY will take you away! And you’ll only wish that you lived here and just got beat. But I do it because I love you.”
Just a beating.
Just an 18 footfall to a concrete garage floor at age 11 after which she screamed at me and sent me back to do chores.
Just “you did the chores too well so now your punishment is more chores!”
Just not being allowed to have friends.
Just being kicked out into a raging snowstorm and having to walk a mile in thin clothes to a construction project to find shelter in the middle of a bitter Idaho winter.
Just your father lying and telling you that he never noticed how abusive she was, even though your siblings backed up the stories and showed him proof.
Just starving your kids whenever you wanted extra money for a massage. Or new hair color. Or a fancy meal out.
Just looking like the perfect family.
Just blaming your child for ruining your life.
Just mixing any substance you can find, hoping you won’t wake up in the morning.
Just blaming your kid for her own sexual abuse.
Just training innocent children with big, loving hearts to keep these horrible secrets that begin to disintegrate and destroy them.
Just to protect the facade of your good reputation.
Just because that is the MOST important.