Bruises and broken bottles

Student opens up about history of abuse

Story by Colton Johnson, feature editor

“We never told anybody. We just said she slipped on the floor. That’s what my mom told us happened. She said she just slipped on the floor.”

She remembered the slamming of the door as her dad stormed into the house. She remembered the alcohol on his breath and the anger in his voice.

She remembered blacking out as she slammed into the wall. She remembered waking up to foggy vision and a pounding head. She remembered the sound of her mother screaming and plates hitting the floor from the other room.

“It was just a mess,” she said. “My mom went to the hospital and she had to get a cast for her wrist.”

After the storm her father created, there was only silence. She went to her grandparents’ house for a month. Her mother wouldn’t listen, and her father made no attempt to apologize.

“My grandma has been more of a mom than my own mom has,” she said. “My grandma is someone I’ve looked up to. She’s always been there for me. I can always call her if I have a problem because she’s been in similar situations, so she can understand.”

Her mom had lived her life putting her problems off with hopes that they would someday get better.

“I try to talk to my mom about things, and she just doesn’t listen,” she said. “If I try to talk about my dad, she just makes excuses and says it’ll be fine. She doesn’t want to talk about anything. When there’s a problem she just wants to keep going. She just puts it off.”

Her mom became dependent on the men she brought into her life, even though they weren’t always the positive role models she may have hoped for.

“When I was younger, my mom married this man who did a lot of drugs,” she said. “She married him just to get out of the house, and she married her second husband because she needed someone to support her. I want to be different.”

However, sometimes it is difficult to find a new path when all you’ve seen is a broken one. She also found herself in an abusive relationship as a way to escape her home life.

“I was talking to this guy who was older and I don’t know why I did it. I just didn’t have anyone to talk to,” she said. “I was too ashamed to tell anyone that he kept asking for things I would say no to and he just wouldn’t listen. He was very forceful. I would try to just say things like, ‘You know I’m only 14,’ but he would just say, ‘That’s not an excuse,’ and try to do it anyways.”

Even though she knew something was wrong, he seemed like the only person who cared to listen to her at the time.

“It’s just something I want to forget and it just keeps building. I couldn’t talk to my dad, and I couldn’t talk to my mom because she was always dealing with my dad. I couldn’t talk to my brother since he was always at work because he hated my dad. This guy was always there to talk to.”

Though things had recently been nothing but chaotic, her life was finally approaching the calm after the storm, and it came in the form of her church.

“I wanted to go, but my mom told me no. I prayed about it, and my mom finally let me go,” she said. “When she saw me doing it she started to go, too. I think she didn’t want to go in the first place because she knew she was doing wrong in the relationship she was in and going to church would make her face it.”

Church became her happiness. It was a place of no judgement. It was a family that she didn’t have to worry about falling apart.

“My mom says things with my dad will get better if we pray about it, and I think it will. You just have to believe it will. He doesn’t drink as much anymore. He’s been trying to get better.”