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Speaking Up This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Fort Worth, TX
The story of abuse is one's personal testimony. It comes in so many different forms. Whether you're a mother being abused by her son, or a father abusing his daughter.  All too often it's carried down through generations of  father's beating mother's in front of the kids. From there son's beat their wive's and even his own children. There's even cases of brother's beating sister's. Of course, men aren't the only one's to abuse and that's been proven, but as I previously stated, the story of abuse is one's personal testimony...and this is mine.

To those on the outside looking in, we're a typical Christian family. We went to church every Sunday, my father was a deacon and my mom was the director for the Children's ministry. We had been going to the same small church since me and my brother were toddlers. Growing up around the same people, becoming so close with other families,  and making friends with just about everyone we came across. I guess you could say we perfected the fake smiles and laughter. I remember almost every Sunday before church my dad would yell at us the entire way for taking too long to get ready. Even in the parking lot walking inside he'd still be mumbling and giving us these god-awful looks. Once he stepped inside, however, whatever wretched demon that was inside of him jumped out and he suddenly became Father of the Year. No matter what though, right as we're leaving the church, he goes off yet again about something we did wrong. "Y'all need to talk to more people. That looks good." 

Enough of making my father look bad, now we'll get to the part where he makes himself look bad. Now, I'm aware that people's opinion of abuse vary in many different ways, but in my opinion, if you lay a hand or any other object on someone out of anger or with the intent of injury, it's abuse. Which is something my father seemed to do all too often. Whether it be grabbing us by the neck and throwing us across the room, smacking us upside our head, or hitting us in the face with a full gallon jug of water. Pathetic, huh? I'll explain. You see, one day my older brother and I were playing in the backyard. All hot and sweaty, we came in for a refreshing glass of water and, as kids would do, we went right back out to play. Not 5 minutes later the big, bad wolf came outside waving around the empty water jug and ordered us inside. "You're nothin' but lazy bums" he yells. By this point I'm pretty confused, why in the world would someone get so upset over water? When he turns around I notice the veins on his neck popping out. I know what that means...he's pissed. My brother knew too. He stepped in front of me as my dad swung the gallon of water carelessly. He hit a home run with my brother's face, and remorseless, he walked away. 

The sad thing about all of this. My brother is now 17 and I see so much of my father in him. The short fuse, violent outbursts, threats. He's rough with me, which I've noticed for a while now, but here lately he's started acting out against my mom. "Mom, shut up or I'm gonna slap you." he'll say, or "You make me want to hurt you." I know my mom refuses to see it because she did the same thing with my father. She ignored it, never sticking up for herself or even her own kids. Then again, I never did either. Had I never lived in fear or kept all this quiet for so long, my brother might not be like he is now. Maybe it's not to late to help him, but I'm still scared for him in the future.

My whole life I kept this quiet. I was told to in fear of a ruined reputation. Well, now my father cheated on my mom, went to live with the home wrecker, and blatantly lied about it to his whole family. Guess he ruined his own reputation.  Some might think this is just some teenage rebellion, but regardless, I'm done being quiet. My father abused me. 





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