Don't Judge

By , Fayetteville, NC
I’ve known I was being abused since I was a child, but I often ignored it because I loved my mom so much. My dad wasn’t around, but my mom was funny and pretty and vivacious, and that made up for it. Spankings were normal in everyone’s life, but as I grew up I noticed that things were different in my household. My brother had his jaw laid open by a belt and had to get stitches, while my frantic mom told him to tell the doctor he fell. Of course he complied, because Mom didn't really mean it. She never did. I had my arm sprained, but of course I got it when I tripped. Of course.

By the time I was twelve, the punches didn’t hurt any more. I didn’t know if I had grown immune to it, or if my mom’s skinny frame couldn’t dole out the punishment anymore. The rants and lectures she gave me were worse, if anything. I never knew why people had said that – that emotional hurt much more then physical. As time passed, however, I learned the truth of that statement. The constant screaming and nagging, the mean and hurtful things she said showed me that it was real.

If my mom’s punches couldn't hurt any more, she found other ways that could. She would throw shoes; pull hair, scratch with her long nails. Later, my brother, one year younger then me by one year, took over for her. He was always short and skinnier then me, and he and I were friends, or so I thought. When he hit a growth spurt one year, he and my mom teamed up against me. He was always her favorite, the one she doted on. He would scratch me, kick me, and pummel me, all while laughing. I’ve always been too embarrassed to tell this to any of my friends, but the one person I did tell offered a lame, “I’m sorry.” She never broached the subject again.
My mom screams at me to get out of the house. Believe me, I want to. I need to. One more year of enduring this and I’m gone, gone, gone.
Oh, and by the way, I will never, ever tell a living soul any of this. To the eye, you will see a cheerful girl with a great life. If you pass me in the street, you’d never know the turmoil inside me. Don’t be fooled by appearances; no matter how happy a person may seem, don’t judge them without walking a day in their shoes.





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