For three years before I was born, even with another sister between us, Kathy got all dad’s attention.
Mom was pregnant again. If my folks didn’t have a boy, that would put an end to any future generations of our family branch. In that vein, Marcia was probably a disappointment of sorts, not being a boy, which contributed to Kathy maintaining dad’s favor after Marcia was born.
It’s a Boy.
Namesake, even. Photos of me being held by every distant relative, many whom had not appeared in any previous family photos, and virtually no sign of Kathy in any of those early photos.
Kathy must have felt deeply rejected and hurt, and apparently, no one noticed. Even in this photo, Marcia is very relaxed, I’m having a great time, but look closely at the stress in Kathy’s little hands. Since some of my earliest memories include unprovoked hostility from Kathy, I really wonder when it actually began. As young and innocent as I was, I had already become a target.
A rejection that so obsessed Kathy, she never let it go.
Memories of my childhood are filled with my abusive, alcoholic father spanking me, and only me, when I was young, then turning to hitting me as I got older. My mom would place herself between us to let me get away. Then I’d hear dad yelling at mom for “interfering.” My oldest sister, Kathy, was violently hostile to me, and me alone. It was obvious to me that they hated me, but since it was what I was used to, I simply accepted it. What mattered was staying safe.
I was spanked often, even though he didn’t need much of a reason to spank me. I don’t recall my siblings ever being spank. There was the bare hand spank (usually avoided since it would hurt his hand), the belt, the wood paddle, the broom stick, and whatever else was within reach.
Witnessing a public persona.
When we were young, we always went to church services together on Sunday. Not that I knew what I was witnessing back then, but that was when I first experienced my dad’s public persona. He could be yelling at us in the car one minute, but as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, he’d smile and wave. I’d watch him walk up to his buddies, laughing and shaking hands, and I wondered how he could change so quickly.
He had just been swinging into the back-seat attempting to hit me, and next he’s yucking it up with his church pals. He belonged to the mens’ club, volunteered his company’s services to the church, and always greeted everyone with skilled showmanship. He should have sold cars.
During summers, when I would go to dad’s office with him, I realized he was a completely different person to his employees as well, and if they were around, he’d treat me with a modicum of respect, too. He treated his employees so well, that I remember wishing I only worked for him. But once we got in the car to go home, he was able to remove his persona, and remind me what he was really made of. He would open-up on me for something I said, something I did, but no matter what day it was, there would always be something.
Having it backwards all these years.
Living during those times, I always felt that first and foremost, it was dad who hated me, and since Kathy was dad’s favorite, she hated me, too. And knowing she would not get in trouble, she also contributed her own hostility. At least, that’s what I believed until recently … amazing how a series of current events can correct history.
In some ways, dad’s and Kathy’s abuse was very similar, but not in every way. They both abused me physically and emotionally, such as being continually called “stupid” and “will never amount to anything” — funny though, but it was Kathy who never amounted to anything. She’s never kept a job. But one way they differed was in their physical approach: dad wanted to hurt me, but Kathy wanted to injure me. There’s a huge difference.
Dad was physically abusive to me when he drank, and although he drank everyday, he didn’t begin drinking until 5pm. A tall tumbler filled with vodka on ice is what he’d call one drink. He never had just one, though. So I did my best to stay away during that period.
When push came to shove, mom stood tall.
Once, when I was 16 or 17, I walked into the house to find dad waiting for me with closed fists. Luckily he was a terrible aim when he was drunk, but he just kept coming. Mom came in, yelling at dad to stop, but he wasn’t listening. Mom became almost hysterical, and headed to the other side of the house. Minutes later, Kathy ran in, announcing that mom had called the cops. Dad immediately stop and left the room, but Kathy continued looking at me, and said, “If I were you, I’d get out of here.” Her comment made me believe that I was in big trouble … probably what she was hoping for.
I did leave on foot, just at dusk. Sometime after dark, as I was walking through an unlit field, I was suddenly hit with a spot light, and then a second … I simply came to a stop, and waited. I heard footsteps coming towards me from two directions. The first officer simply asked if I was Larry … to which I replied, “Yes.” He then asked if I’d come with him, and I agreed. We walked backed to his car, he opened his front passenger door for me, and drove me back to our house. In addition to the car I was arriving in, there were three patrol cars parked in front. The word “serious” probably never had a greater meaning. Once inside, a detective introduced himself and asked me what happened.
As I’ve always been, I opened-up with complete candor. After no more then five or ten minutes, he got up, and asked me to wait there until he returned. He headed to the other side of the house, where my dad evidently was. Minutes later, he reappeared, and said, “If this ever happens again, please call me” — and with that, he handed me his business card. I recall being shocked, with my head spinning … I was led to believe kids would usually take the fall if it involved parents. But instead, it was the first time an authority figure revealed to me that my dad was in the wrong.
Mom did an extremely brave thing for which she probably paid for. The cops didn’t arrest dad, as I had no injuries. But he never attempted to hit me again.
Kathy, though, had no time constraints. Every chance she got, I was in her sights. And she was brutal. She wouldn’t just scratch, but she’d attempt to create canals … deep bloody gouges. I always had to be aware of her legs, too, as they were her weapons of choice. As soon as I saw one leg swing back, I had very little time to twist and ruin her targeting. Instead of hitting her desired targets, I’d take the kick in my upper thigh. An impact with such force that it would result in a black and blue bruise the size of a baseball. She always tried … she never succeeded.
I was also keenly aware that whenever Kathy brought home a friend, and introduced them to the family, her friends would greet my siblings quite differently than me. They would warmly acknowledge Marcia and Alan, but with me, they’d rarely make eye-contact and maybe mumbled a “hi.” Though I was already a victim of it, it would still be many years before I knew the term “character assassination.” The introduction I clearly remember was when Kathy introduced us to her future husband, Marlin. After seeing how warmly he greeted the others, I felt I had leprosy when he greeted me.
Kathy answered only to dad … not to mom.
I also witnessed Kathy physically brutalizing mom. It was during one of Kathy’s arguments with mom, one which turned violent, that I first felt Kathy’s capability of true evil, cold-blooded hostility.
I was about 10. After just arriving home on my bicycle, I heard yelling between Kathy and mom on the opposite side of the house. I arrived to see mom literally flying backwards across the hallway, slamming into the closet, her spine hitting the doorknob, screaming-out, then dropping to the floor crying, obviously in intense pain. Mom saw me when she first looked up from the floor, as I approached to help her. When I got to mom was when I was first able to see Kathy’s closed bedroom door.
Kathy never opened her door to see if mom needed help. I remember feeling a very eerie chill that, behind that door, Kathy was smiling. And because she never opened the door, Kathy never knew there had been an witness. There was no one else in the house.
Out on my own.
Within a month after graduating high school, I moved out. The abusive relationship I had with dad evolved into no relationship. Kathy had achieved her long-term objective of having dad to herself. Kathy and Marlin had married and moved to Alaska. During my 20s, there would be periods of 2-3 years of no contact with dad. Mom and I were very close, and I had a relationship with her like no one else in the family.
Dad would not let mom have a private conversation with me, so we’d have to wait until dad would be out doing errands. Then we’d talk and laugh for 1-2 hours sometimes, until mom would say, “Oh, I hear the garage door opening … your dad’s home.”
Right when I’d hear him walk into the house, mom would say, “It’s Larry, he just called.”
Mom was such a funny lady, yet I don’t believe anyone in the family, but I, was aware of it. Mom would never speak openly to me unless she was alone, and as time went on, I realized that meant not only dad, but no one else in the family could be present.
Of course, now that makes more sense than ever. Dad brought the “bad gene” into the family. Dad, as well as all three of my siblings exhibit sociopathic characteristics. I’ve caught all of them lying, and I believe they’ll lie to be safe.
For some reason, I was spared the effects of the bad gene. I assume I was the skipped generation. That also meant I was closest to mom than any of the others, but other than in mom’s eyes, I was the borne outcast.
Time for change
At about the age of 30, after all those years of emotional and physical abuse, which led to my own fairly-low self-esteem, I met a very attractive woman who virtually fell for me. She treated me differently than anyone else ever had, which in turn had a very positive effect on my own well-being.
In just less than a year, driven by Julie’s desire to establish a solid future together, we were married. And with that, I began the next chapter of my life, with the most psychotic sociopath I would ever know. Bipolar, borderline schizophrenic, and dangerously vengeful — all verified when I found her psychological evaluation, twelve years later.
More on Larry, but from the physical side: Parallel trauma.