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Archive for May 19th, 2010

*******trigger warning – emotional abuse*******

This story is actually a year later (in third grade, when I was 8). I am jumping ahead because this is another S story. After this, my next several posts will center on the ritual abuse, which is what S was grooming me for with all of her torture in her basement.

In the 1970’s, a movie came out called Baker’s Hawk, and I was dying to see it. For whatever reason, my mother would not take me to see it. So, I bought a copy of the book.

The teacher assigned book reports, and I really wanted to write my book report on this book. The problem was that the book was not developmentally appropriate for an eight-year-old child, but I begged and pleaded until the teacher relented. Sure enough, it was too difficult for an eight-year-old child to read. I made it through most of the book, but I still had 25 pages to go the night before the book report was due, plus I had to write the book report.

If this had happened to my son (who is nine), I would have told him how much I love him and how proud I was of him for reading as much as he did. I would have cuddled with him on the couch and read him the remaining 25 pages. That is not what my mother did. Instead, she berated me for being irresponsible and locked me in my room until I finished reading the book. I was crying so hard that I could not read the words through my tears. I lied about the ending, and she busted me because she, herself, had read the last 25 pages, and my ending apparently did not line up.

My mother grounded me for two weeks. In addition, so she told S about my “irresponsibility,” who took it upon herself to “teach me a lesson” about finishing my homework. What she did to me is a big flat blank, which is never good. I only know that it was extremely traumatizing.

When I turned in my book report, the teacher asked me if I really read that entire book because it was so much longer than any book that any other child in the class had read. She said it was okay if I did not. I looked her straight in the eye and lied. I had paid enough.

That experience taught me that I must be perfect. It does not matter if everyone else only reads 50 pages. If I don’t read 200 pages, then I am a failure and will be punished. I have been working hard for many years to dismantle this flawed thinking and accept that it is okay to mess up sometimes. Most of the time, I have a hard time believing it.

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