What can I say about scars? We all have them whether they be physical, psychological or emotional. The latter two are the hardest to see. Many times when the heart is broken for whatever reason, the scars a easy to mask from others, and smiling through all the pain.
I remember when I was in my twenties, I suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of enduring child abuse when growing up. My father ran our household worse than military style, although he was never in the military. He treated my brothers and me, especially me worse than animals. I remember a time when I came home from school. No sooner had I entered the side door, he grabbed my duffel bag, threw it to the ground, slapped my face, because he wanted the house cleaned. He was furious I chose to go to school instead of staying home to tend to the housework.
He wanted the housework done 24/7. I insisted I do my schoolwork before anything else, but he wouldn’t hear of it. My father had no respect for education nor religion. He even punished my brothers and me for praying at the dinner table when thanking the Lord for the meal we were about to receive. Religion was forbidden in our household. So, therefore, I prayed discreetly. I had to go behind his back and pray silently to myself when I laid in my bed at night.
When I was growing up, I had the Lord as my confidant. I found strength in him. He helped me keep my sanity all those years I grew up in a household of violence. Without the Lord in my life, there was no solace. Without any solace there was no means for survival. There was no life for me at all.
I was often brutally awakened in the middle of the night by my cruel father. He’d grab me by the hair and throw me to the floor, kicking me and spitting on me, because he wanted me to clean the kitchen. He dirtied dishes, pots and pans late at night just so he could have a good reason to punish me. I was punished, because they weren’t cleaned. Actually, they were cleaned, but he dirtied them himself for the pleasure of making me suffer.
He told me often in his broken English, “You going to suffer for the rest of you life. You listen?” Then he spat in my face and slapped me in the face, breaking my capillaries, and making my flesh bruised. It was no way for anyone to live, but what else could I do?
Many of the other relatives knew about the abuse I endured, but turned a blind eye for fear as to what the Greek community would think. However, what they should have considered first and for most was my brothers and my safety and wellbeing above everything else.
All some of the relation say is, “He still your father. You must love him and respect him.”
I replied by saying, “How does a person love and respect someone who doesn’t believe in the Lord. My father said vulgar things about the Lord, the saints, the Virgin Mary, etc… and you expect me to love and respect him. Let me tell you something. I consider the Lord as my father. He is the Heavenly father, and I put him above any human being, especially above the man you so refer to as my father. I love and respect the Lord. I will not go against the commandment where it says about loving the Lord. I have no regrets about speaking up for the Lord when the so called father of mine spoke against him in a vulgar way, and beat me to a pulp. I’d gladly go through all the pain, torture and suffering again in defense of the Lord. I have no respect for anyone who talks against the Lord. The father of mine you refer to is evil and the work of the devil, and I want no part of him. I don’t need nor want such people in my life.”
Upon saying this to an uncle of mine, he turned his behind to me and walked away. Such people like him are not worth talking to nor worth acknowledging as relatives when they are so unreasonable to go against what I know in my heart to be right.
For so many years of my life, I suffered from emotional scars which left me feeling worthless and unworthy, because of the way my father made me feel all of my life. It wasn’t until some point in 1998, my post-traumatic stress went away. Then, again, it was with the help of the counseling I had for thirteen years which helped me to recover from the pain, torture, suffering, and violence my father inflicted upon me the first twenty-two years of my life. No amount of suffering should be experienced by a child, especially for believing in and praying to the Lord of whom I consider to be the true father of man, the Heavenly father. I consider him to be better than the father I had on earth.
I remember a time my father grabbed a hold of my hair and pushed my head into the kitchen sink, rubbing my face against the inside of the sink. He was and still is crazy. Only a monster would do such a thing to a twelve year old child and say to her, “You never should have been born. Your mother and I should have had you aborted. What good are you? You’re no good.”
What he failed to realize then and still does now is he has always been the one who was and still is a burden to me. The weight of his words still haunt me even today. What kind of a father would say something such as he did to his daughter. Only a monster, and the devil would say such things to any child. Many people outside of my family tell me I should pray for him; however, I refuse to do so. He’s not worth any blessings. He’s never been a blessing to me and he never will. I believe an eye for an eye as is stated in the Bible. I believe he’ll suffer his fate on judgment day. The Lord will somehow punish him for what he did to me. Somehow justice will prevail.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016