November 23, 2014

Random Memory #1: Bear

I remember this like it happened yesterday. Abby, my youngest sister, was only two. I was sitting at our kitchen table, and I watched the entire thing. 

Dad got upset at Abby for doing something normal for a two-year-old, like spilling on the kitchen floor. He picked her up roughly by the outer arms clenched against her little body, and barked at her “I’m going to get Bear and throw her away, and you’re never going to see her again!” She started sobbing and begging him... “No, no, no...!” Bear was this huge, soft, white stuffed animal bear that Abby had had her entire life. She hadn’t slept a night of her existence without it. He went upstairs to her room, brought it downstairs, and held it up above her, demanding, “Do you want to see Bear go bye-bye FOREVER?” This made her cry and plead more, and when she was absolutely hysterical he made her watch him shove it down into the trash. I remember him saying, “You’re never seeing Bear ever again because of what you did.” She fell to the ground sobbing and screaming hysterically. 

I didn’t understand why he had to build up the anxiety like that. The way he did away with Bear was very threatening and traumatic. He obviously wanted my sister to be as traumatized as possible. When she'd cry for her bear in the days after the event, my dad told us we weren't allowed to talk about it. She was depressed about her companion animal “dying” for months.

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  1. Your Dad sounds like a cruel psychopath, very sick and twisted in the head. Obviously he has no idea how to deal with children. He is certainly not fit to be a parent.

    I'm so sorry you lovely girls were subjected to this for so many years. I pray you are completely free of him soon.

  2. That is definitely abusive! Abby will probably remember everything someday, she will have memories pop up and she will have questions, too. Abusers assume that their young prey will not remember things that have happened to them. Praying for you girls.

  3. This hurts my heart.

  4. I can't even fathom how one gets to the headspace where treating a 2 year old like this is okay. This makes me feel so sick. I'm so beyond worried for that baby and her mother in that house. :(

  5. I know these are so painful for you but you must keep sharing them. You write well and I can feel the honesty and the pain. Wiring is so important. You will help your sisters by continuing to document each random memory that comes. It is so evident to me that these are not fabricated. Allison has been asking people to pray that the truth will come out. And it is! It's just what she believes is the truth. But it's the truth none the less.

    1. Thank you so much. It gives me strength to know that my memories and other writings are making a difference. I'm going to continue to write about everything I can remember, because all silence does is enable the abuse and I wouldn't want the consequences if I stayed silent. My sisters deserve to have their stories told, and stories of what their life was like. I strongly believe the key to getting them back is found in the reason they ran. They want and need safety.

  6. What a horrible thing Brian did!!

    It is AMAZING Brittany that you are so willing to both process these very difficult memories and post them where they can be seen publicly!!

    Just in case a skeptic is reading this going "what is the big deal, he only threw away a teddy bear." This one event effectively did several things.

    1. Severe punishment over no infraction produces a mental/ emotional state where the victim believes that they do not posses the ability to do right. Thus creating extreme self doubt. Thus creating a lack of confidence in their abilities and their ability to discern truth.
    2. Removing Abby's night time comfort ensures she will feel more vulnerable at night.
    3. The loss of a good "friend" with strong attachments will cause her to morn (as stated here) and thus make her feel more vulnerable for a long period of time.
    4. Establishing a sense in the child of "I am vulnerable" and my abuser is all powerful is easy to do at such a young age. Once established it is difficult to break. This fear alone can be strong enough keep a victim of abuse silent.
    5. Abby's mother tolerating such actions confirms to Abby that the action was correct.
    6. The older sisters seeing their younger sister be so mistreated, yet not being in a position to help or change the outcome, establishes vulnerability and control over them too.
    7. Severe illogical actions by the abuser combined with the abusers ability to explain and reason away their lack of logic to Abby's mother further makes her question her own ability to discern truth.
    8. Abby's mother having self doubt meant she did not feel confident enough about herself or her own judgment to step in and stop it. Which looked like she was supporting the abuser to Abby.
    9. We do not know what happened between the abuser and Abby before this event that motivated him to use this bear to establish more control. It could be that this bear event was created by Brian because we was upset at Abby for something else. This was his way of getting back at Abby.

    1. THIS is what we saw, today, as we watched Brian stare down Brittany on Dr. Phil. You have this part spot-on: "This fear alone of my abuser being all powerful can be strong enough to keep a victim of abuse silent." Brittany has been fighting through Brian's silencing methods he taught her from the time she was baby with serious grace and poise. I am amazed, because I know how hard this really is when facing a violent abuser.

  7. The abuser Mr. X would do the same to my children - psychologically torment them by breaking or stomping on their toys, or threatening to throw away toys or telling them they won't get nothing for Christmas/their birthday if they don't do (fill in the blanks)... Both kids suffered from PTSD and severe anxiety, which was diagnosed at age 6 (my son) and 3 (my daughter). My daughter withdrew into herself, and stopped talking. By age 3 she was almost non-verbal. When we escaped the abuse her first words were like "Daddy call me stupey" (stupid) and "Daddy call me fuckey" (fuckin). My daughter would draw pictures of home with a tornado inside.

    My son is now a teenager and was so traumatized by what his father did to his "stufties" (stuffed animals) that he cannot tolerate to see any perceived harm come to his stuffed animals. It is a huge PTSD trigger. A kid in school was throwing a Beanie baby and my son was triggered and had a huge meltdown. My son also used his "stufties" in therapy to help process the abuse. My son had a really good therapist, but of course the abuser had to attack the therapy to hide the tremendous harm he had done to the children.

    I am so sorry for what you have been through. As a mom, who has witnessed my children be abused in a similar way, I can honestly say that this is a big deal. Your feelings do mean something important. It is not okay to hurt anyone or make them feel afraid. You deserve to be treated with love and respect. And to feel safe in your own home. xoxo

    1. Emily,

      I appreciate your comment so much. Psychological torment through these kinds of acts leaves devastating and lasting effects on children. It's soo difficult to explain to those who haven't been in a home with these kinds of abuse. The abuser knows EXACTLY what they're doing to the child they're targeting, and too often than not the child will never get the understanding and help they deserve because others can't see (or refuse to see) what is going on.

      I'm so sorry for what has happened to your children, because of their father. I feel for them so much. They do not deserve to live with trauma for the rest of their lives, because of what he chose to do to them. I will never understand why abusers choose to ruin such innocent lives! It will never be fair. But I hope that you and your family have found a place of peace and healing, so that you can gather the strength they need to overcome. I'm praying for you and your sweet children. May God be with you!