November 24, 2014

Random Memory #2: Angie

I debated whether or not to include Angie in my descriptions of my dad's abuse tactics that we were all exposed to. But since the way he treated my stepmom was daily-occurring abuse that traumatized us all, I feel that I must. I hope that Angie understands my love and concern for her are what motivate my decision to post this. I know that she has been made to defend my dad during the public outcry that has come from the public scrutiny of our situation, and that she (or my dad using her Facebook account) has stated that I am "lying" about him and the abuse my baby sister endured. I cannot apologize for telling the truth, nor should I be made to. I completely understand her untenable position right now, and I fear for her safety more than ever, since I am certain my dad is raging about being exposed. She and Abby are the closest and easiest targets of his rage. It scares me so much for them. 

My dad treats Angie worst of all of us. Watching an adult in my home being physically, emotionally, and verbally abused has instilled intense insecurity, fear for her and for ourselves, and has caused me severe anxiety and distress that was constant during the time I lived with him. It was particularly difficult for me to see Angie being treated so poorly because it reminded me and kept fresh all of my trauma from watching him abuse and demean my mom while I was younger.

I have listed some of the many ways my dad publicly demeaned, controlled, and expressed anger toward Angie that my sisters and I have observed. I numbered them so that if anyone posts any questions about a specific item, they can refer to it in their comment:

  1. Dad has slapped, been verbally abusive, and constantly been extremely cruel to our stepmom in front of us on a weekly basis, constantly making her cry.
  2. He told Angie constantly that she doesn’t know what she’s doing as a parent like he does.
  3. He told Angie that he knows how to raise Abby more than she ever will.
  4. He lectured and berated Angie all the time for unusual things like setting her purse down the “wrong way.”
  5. He never allowed Angie to take her purse or phone into public restrooms or other public places without him, like the time he wouldn’t let her take her purse and phone with her on the train at the zoo. He insisted she let him hold her purse or phone instead.
  6. He would get mad at Angie if she didn’t back him up in his lectures, discipline, and in talking bad about our mom to us.
  7. He berated Angie often for shutting a door in a way he doesn’t like (usually if she touched it above or below the handle. Both car and home doors).
  8. He got angry at Angie for cooking him dinner (after he chose to eat fast food he would get upset when she assumed he was hungry).
  9. He berated Angie for NOT cooking him dinner (because he’d eat out and skip the food she cooked so often, a few times we didn’t set a place for him. Of course, he made an issue out of that as well).
  10. He scolded Angie for not having the food hot when he was finally ready to come to the table. He kept her guessing at all times.
  11. My dad would berate Angie for serving him too much or too little food.
  12. He would be vocally critical about what she cooked.
  13. He grilled her after she grocery shopped. She had to give him the receipts and he would go over everything with a critical eye.
  14. He’d rebuke her for buying something for herself (which she almost never did).
  15. He found fault with her for doing something for herself (which she almost never did).
  16. He would often talk disrespectfully about her family (he would tell her during fights that she had the “Borup gene” and that there was something wrong with her).
  17. He criticized openly the way she organized things around the home.
  18. He found fault with the way she dressed.
  19. He disparaged the way she wrote on our family chalkboard.
  20. He would mock how Angie talked and communicated (her tone of voice, etc).
  21. He would criticize her for the way she presented herself to members of the ward and community.
  22. He would berate her about the emotions she was feeling. It always appeared that she had to repress how she felt because no matter what her emotions were--happy or sad--he was upset at those emotions. It was like she couldn’t be a real person.
  23. He accused Angie of always doing things just to upset him.
  24. He accused Angie of being “ringleader of the houseful of women against him.”
  25. He criticized the way she walked.
  26. He openly found fault with the way she did work in the yard.
  27. He enjoyed disparaging the way she’d set down ANY item (not just purse, but bag, laundry, tools, etc).
  28. He faulted her for her communication with her family members.
  29. He reprimanded her when she’d express that she wanted to see her family or get together with them (some of them lived out of state and we rarely got to see them).
  30. He controlled when we did see her family, by only allowing short visits. He would often times opt to not be present. Or if he was present, he’d pout about having to see them for even a couple hours, making Angie and them and us uncomfortable with his pouting behavior.
  31. He criticized the way she did her hair.
  32. He made it so that she couldn’t make a single purchase or decision without consulting him or else he would be severely angry.
  33. He would get angry at her if she was ever on the phone without him present.
  34. He constantly checked her texts and calls and emails, but she wasn’t allowed to have access to his. He got angry at her if she even asked him who he was talking to.
  35. He openly criticized the way she acted in church.
  36. He constantly reprimanded her for the way she’d LOOK at something/someone. He would often ask her why she was so upset, when she wasn’t. She had to be on guard about her expression every second.

If you have never lived with someone constantly raining verbal and emotional abuse down on you, you may not understand what a soul crushing trauma abuse like this really is. I knew this might be a problem for Angie early on. When I first found out they were getting married, I wrote in my journal on November 10, 2007 (I was twelve years old):

This weekend I am going to my Dad’s house. We finally know for sure that he is getting married to Angie.  So now we can spend time w/ her, and she is really nice so I think we’ll have a good time. But I was just thinking, what if, after they’re married, he does what he did to mom? And then, Omi & Opa [paternal grandparents] are really close to her parents so they’ve probably told them that dad is really great. So she will probably hide it because they won’t believe her or something. If that happens, that’s bad news. I don’t want that to happen to her.
Since they married, I have personally observed or heard several instances of physical and verbal abuse my dad inflicts on Angie. Syd and Dani have also witnessed it.

Numerous times I've seen Dad slapping Angie’s arms in anger, grabbing one of her arms and squeezing roughly, or squeezing her thigh really hard when he's clearly displeased with something she's done or said. He especially does things like this when they're in a group setting and the thinks nobody can see him hurting her. I think he likes getting away with cruelties in the midst of people who think highly of him. I've seen him doing it, and his knuckles were white as he squeezed, and Angie knew to stop doing whatever had displeased him.

I would often overhear Dad’s angry tirades and criticisms of Angie behind closed doors in their bedroom after bedtime. My bedroom was directly below theirs and I couldn't escape hearing her distress. He made Angie cry almost every single night. 

This is no way to live. Not for Angie, not for my sisters, and not for me. It is traumatic and wrong. No person should be forced to live with this kind of abuse. I left the day I turned 18 because I couldn't stand it another second.


  1. Poor Angie. You're doing the right thing, sharing this story. She needs her family and friends to step in right now and check on her (if not take her out of that house).

  2. Hitting or slapping an adult in front of children is child abuse in my state and he would be in jail for that with a restraining order against him. You should tell the authorities in Kansas about it and make them aware of your blog. Now they are on notice as well since you are making the abuse public. What a little weak worm he is to treat a woman and children this way.

  3. You have clearly described a domestic violence perpetrator. I hope you all get help for healing and protection from the abuse. Emotional abuse is hard to prove, but it is very detrimental. No person is for being hurt by another.

  4. You are not alone! My high school boyfriends dad did the exact same things!!! I called CP's and they said, "its not abuse". IT IS ABUSE. unfortunately, my boyfriend turned out the exact same way. Abusive circumstances are hard to get out of and I know y'all will need a lot of help with this! You're not alone! I hope you get the help you need!

  5. What about your mom, Brittany? She needs legal help who'll understand her dilemma & the reason for her concerns for you, her daughters. The judge who gave this custody order in 2010 & others who backed that decision need to be reprimanded & your mom needs to know that she's going to be safe, along with you girls. Please, someone in the court system, listen to these girls & reverse the custody decision which was wrongly given. Stay your course, Brittney & may you be blessed for your goodness!