Where it all began…

Next to my mother’s side of the bed was a well worn Bible passed down from generations. Next to my dad’s side of the bed was a girlie magazine. I grew up in a house divided. We all picked our sides.

I’ve read the Bible cover to cover. I’ve also read many articles from porno mags. Did you even know they had more than pictures? I figured that out by the time I could read. Once when I was in 2nd grade I showed my cousin. She told her parents and I got in trouble. But was that really my fault?

My dad had a Playboy calendar hanging in the basement. He kept the same image up for 20 years. Although I have forgotten the month and year, I don’t ever think I will forget the girl.

Sometimes my dad’s greasy friend would drop off movies. Sometimes my dad would leave them in the VCR. Sometimes my brothers and I would watch them. Then when my brother was 12 or 13 my dad gave him his stash and told him not to let our mother know. Great dad, right?

It’s not as if my mom would’ve done anything about it anyway. She buried her head in the sand. She didn’t have any boundaries. The only time she ever got upset is if she thought someone was hurting Matt. Ironically, she usually got really worked up if Matt attacked someone and he got injured in the process.

My brother Matt was psychotic and violent. He heard voices that told him to hurt/kill little girls. I think most of my childhood trauma revolved around my autistic/schizophrenic brother’s attacks on me and the others I loved.

She did try to have boundaries with my brothers and I when we were teenagers and failed. Mark and I were the obedient children. But Luke did whatever he pleased and no one could stop him. But if we had any question as to whether mom would say ‘no’ we would ask dad. Dad didn’t care. If I asked him if I could shoot up heroin with some sleaze balls twice my age his answer would still be yes. It made my mom angry.

Sometimes I wonder if Matt didn’t physically attack us if I still would’ve suffered trauma. Looking back I don’t think a lot of what I experienced was in any way normal. I would like to think that if a parent chooses to view pornography, they would not leave it lying around for their children to see or give it to their children. I think that is pretty messed up.

I would like to think that most families develop healthy boundaries of what behavior is acceptable and what is not. I would like to think that all parents would protect their children. Not just the weakest and let the strong fend for themselves.

I’ve learned in life that I had to take care of myself. I was pretty good at it too. But I am no good at trusting others and accepting help when I truly need it. It was great for survival but it really doesn’t suit me well now.

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