Part Of Chapter 2
I was scared for two reasons. One because I had on my new Easter dress and I knew I couldn't do dishes without getting it wet somewhere. I was also scared, because if the dishes weren’t completely clean and dried it would be terrible for me. I remember washing those dishes so carefully but thoroughly. My grandpa was in town that morning and came into the kitchen he asked me why I was the only one doing dishes? Why didn't my sister help? (My sister being only six at that time) I told him because I was older. (I knew this was because the consequences for dirty dishes was severe and she was my dads favorite)
Not that she didn't also suffer because of my parents need to make us fear them. She did, but she wouldn’t that Easter Morning. It was my day. I remember my little Easter dress was beautiful. The top was white and the bottom skirt part was aqua, it had a vest that was aqua and matched the skirt with trim in little yellow flowers. I will never forget that dress!!!!
Back in the kitchen standing on my chair doing dishes and trying so hard to do everything right, I finished the dishes. I had checked them all over and my dress. Not one dirty dish and my dress were dry. I thought I will make everyone happy today and I will also wipe off the stove. I pushed my chair over to the stove (which was right beside the doorway to the dining room) I washed and wiped that stove and I thought it looked really clean. I jumped down from the chair so proud of myself. Well has proud as a seven year old can be, and I grabbed my Easter basket and went out to sit on the porch and see everything that was in it.
I was sitting on the porch in my new dress looking thru my basket, so happy to have it and so proud that I had done the dishes and the stove so well. I went over it in my head and knew I had checked every dish three times. They were all clean. I had taken the burners off the gas stove and they were all clean. Everything was shiny I knew it was going to be a great day; I had cleaned everything and tried not to talk at breakfast because "she" always found something wrong with what I said.
Then I heard my father hollering for me. I was confused and scared. I went over everything I had done and I couldn't think of anything I hadn't done perfect! He was at the front door by then 6 foot plus, 200 plus pounds. He was a giant to me. His belt was in hand. At that time it was a thin black one. I saw him taking the buckle off so he could leave the snaps undone and he told me to get in the house. I knew what was coming I jest couldn't understand why. I knew that I had done everything right. I walked very slowly thinking about the kitchen and all I had done that morning. When I got, close enough to the door that he could reach me…..he grabbed a handful of hair and jerked me in and slung me on the floor………
That’s when I seen "her" standing there with a smirk on her face, I knew she would find something wrong I jest knew it. She always looked to me like a wicked witch out of a book. And even at that moment, at 7 years old I thought I can't wait to be 18 and away from her. I tried to remember really fast my grandpa was here, they surely won't do it with him here…… My dad grabbed me by the hair again and jerked me up off the floor and explained to me in the most sincere Christian voice that I had left the chair at the stove and "she" had run into it when she went in the kitchen.
Oh my God how could I forget something like that? It was coming I could see it in both their eyes. Nevertheless my grandpa was there surely it won't be severe. Except the snaps he had taken off the buckle. At that time he said "bend over the couch" she stepped up. I thought maybe she's going to save me. I was in more shock at being saved by "her" than the beating I was going to get. She looked at my dad and said "that pretty little dress didn't do anything, make her pull it up." So shaking and scared I raised my dress….then she said "those little flowered underwear didn't do anything either, take them off." So I did, knowing I wasn't going to cry and give her that satisfaction I bent over the couch my underwear in the floor and my dress pulled way up past my waste. He folded the belt in half and held it at the fold with the snaps open and separated the two separate straps. That way with every swat I would get two and one would leave the little round bruises from the snaps on my sides and the sides of my legs. It was almost always 10 swats….which in reality were 20. I knew in my head it wouldn't take long. I had already endured this numerous times in my life. My siblings had also. So I went into my own world and the thrashing began. I looked over at her and she was enjoying it. She stood there watching this giant beat her kid and enjoyed it as much has he had.
When it was over she said to him, "That didn't even hurt her, she isn't crying!" She always said this because she hated that even at seven I had hardened my heart to her and her control!! She wanted him to do it again…..but we were going to be late for church. That was the most important part of our lives is what people at church thought of us. We had to be the perfect family. We had to be happy and loving. He told me to get up off the couch and get dressed and I better act happy at church. Acting happy….always!!!!!
........I knew the reason my mother hated me and wanted to undermine me was because of what my sister and I had witnessed. I also knew that she knew when we were older and realized what it was about that my sister would not bring it up, but that I would. I wouldn't try to hide it. My sister wouldn't lie about it but she also wouldn't want and need answers. This is because grandpa never went to her. I still have to wonder why my mother allowed this.
........My dad would go to church praise God and thank him for his wonderful family. When right before we left for church he made us take our pants off and lay in the floor while he horse whipped us with a rod. And my mother stood, next to him watching.