"So, what did you do wrong?"

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by joyboytoy79, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. joyboytoy79

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    When I was 8 years old my father punched me in the face. He cracked my upper jaw, and dislocated 5 teeth on the right side of my mouth. After many hours of surgery, the teeth were replaced in their sockets, and my jaws were wired shut to stabilize the break. Everything healed up, and the wires holding my jaws closed were removed. Then, a few years later one of the replaced teeth abscessed, and the resulting infection traveled along the old crack in my jaw. I nearly died, but survived. I did, however, loose two teeth, and a good section of my upper jaw. Again i had surgery (to rebuild the lost jaw bone) and again had my jaws wired shut.

    The story doesn't really end there... but anything further is beside the point.

    I don't talk about this very often. What happened, happened, and there is nothing i, or anyone else can do to change it. However, every now and again it comes up in conversation, one way or another. Today was one of those days. I was eating dinner at my friend Willy's house, and he offered me some applesauce. I declined, and was countered with the question "why don't you like applesauce?" So, i explained the above. And also explained how, when my jaws were closed, applesauce was one of my most common meals.

    After the usual expressions of sympathy (which annoy me to no end), Willy asked me "So, what did you do wrong?" Of course, he meant "what did you do that your dad had to punish you?"

    Whatever I did, or didn't do, it didn't warrent the pain and suffering that i STILL go through because of my father. I get asked this question by many. I don't really blame the people that ask it, but when people ask me "why didn't you ever tell anyone your dad was abusive?" I have a rather handy answer for them: As most people assume it was my fault that my dad broke my jaw, why would i tell anyone about any of the other times he hit me? Small children live to not be in trouble, especially when they expect that the punishment for a small infraction will be a kick in the behind, or 10 lashes with a belt (or a whip). If a child suspects that he will be asked "what did you do wrong," he's probably not going to tell a soul about what's been happening.

    The moral of this story? Don't ask a beaten child what he did wrong. 99.99% of the time, his only crime was that he was born, or that he acted as any child would.
     
  2. Chrysalis

    Chrysalis New Member

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    Thank you for sharing this. I know that whatever environment you grow up in seems normal to you as a child (at least for a time), no matter how fucked up it is.

    I would never have dreamed of complaining to anyone about the severe neglect I experienced. It was all I knew.

    Christmas (or whatever you choose to call it) tends to bring up memories for all of us. I wish you peace and healing, and I'm sorry that someone made it sound as if you did something to precipitate your abuse.
     
  3. yhtang

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    I feel pained by your experience, Joyboytoy.

    Henceforth, I shall remember never to ask a child such a question.
     
  4. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I know what you mean, jbt. I was the oldest of 4 kids, the son of a mean s.o.b., and I have chipped teeth and a crooked nose to show for it. I can still remember the time one of my teachers took a look at the bruises on the backs of my legs and asked me what I'd done wrong. I did what I always did. I looked at my feet and shrugged. That happened alot.

    Bravo, jbt, for becoming the good man that you are in spite of it.
     
  5. MH07

    MH07 Member

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    Well...

    ...despite all, the surgeries worked out; you're a very handsome young man at this point. :smile:

    ...people are really, really whacked sometimes. If a guest declines a dish, one NEVER asks why (it's just plain rude to do so), one just makes a note not to serve that dish to that guest again. (I'm allergic to shellfish; I can't eat it, it will send me to the hospital; I don't care how delicious your crab dip is or that it's Great Aunt Tillie's recipe, I'm not going to eat any because I don't like anaphylactic shock. I usually try to politely eat around shellfish, but sometimes people are insistent and then I have to go into the whole story.).

    I can't believe someone would have the nerve to ask an abused person what they did to deserve it. That's just shocking, but I guess it's par for the course.

    Hang in there. You are a valuable person; look how many people on here love you! I always enjoy your posts.
     
  6. STYLYUNG

    STYLYUNG New Member

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    JTB, if that had happened to you in Michigan, the police would have been called to the hospital by the hospital staff. An abuser of that degree would probably be doing jail-time in this State.
     
  7. JustAsking

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    joy,
    Even though I would have thought your father's behavior was criminal, I might still have asked the question, wondering what small incident set him off. Thanks for making this clear. I will remember this.

    There is nothing that a child can do that deserves treatment like that, and neither like the neglect that Chrysalis mentioned. When I look at the life you have made, as indicated by your pictures, and when I read Chrysalis's extremely imaginative writing, I have to say you both are self-made success stories. I have only admiration for you both.

    Its pretty obvious how devastating an abusive father can be to a son, but its not so obvious to most people how devastating a fathers physical or emotional absence can be on a daughter.

    Bless you both.
     
  8. Lex

    Lex
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    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    JBT--Thanks for coming forward to share this--it is important.
    Pecker--thanks for adding your own story as well.

    I am continually touched by the openess that we can share here. And by the strength and fortitude that so many show by being survivors in the wake of such tragedies.

    Bog HUG handsome,
     
  9. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    Its very humbling to hear of the life experiences of others in this forum and see what kind of resilient , decent, human beings that they are. It says alot.
     
  10. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    I know you said you dont like the sympathy but..Im sorry, that is so aweful. If you had only had the support to do something about it, who knows maybe things would have been better for you.

    When i was a kid and in my family it was very much a case of kids should be seen and not heard. And if there was a problem just deal with it and dont whinge or dob anyone in, so i understand how this could have happened to you and you felt like you had to put up with it. But i also hope that your father did get what he deserves

    And you made me think. I realise i actually only ask kids 'Did you deserved it?' or 'what happened?'. A kid getting that severly punished could never do anything so wrong to deserve that kind of treatment
     
  11. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

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    I know you're not looking for sympathy, JBT, but it makes me angry whenever I hear of child abuse and this is no exception. It also never ceases to amaze me that adults like you have somehow learned how to get past it as well as you have. I applaud your strength. John
     
  12. D_alex8

    D_alex8 Member

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    Welcome to the world of my 'issues' with mashed potato. Anyone who's never had their jaw wired can't imagine what it's like, and anyone who has... is busy trying to repress the memory of it, if they have any sense. IMHO at least. However, in my case, no external factors were involved in the development of the cracks in my jaw... having to add the weight of knowing someone else caused you to be in that position... is even more abominable, and simply unthinkable in its horror for me.

    Y'see, I would have asked a rather different question: "What set him off?". Which may sound at first like simply a dressed-up, politically-corrected version of the same question... but it would be my way of trying to express the knowledge that there's never any blame to be placed with the child in such a case; and that knowing what led up to the incident can serve to show primarily just how unwarranted the abuser's actions were. That would be my motivation in asking more, at least.

    As always, you are a shining beacon of loveliness and strength, JBT, and I hope you see just what a positive, enlightening effect so many of your threads have on these boards.:hug:
     
  13. baseball99

    baseball99 New Member

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    sounds like you are dealing with it ok and in your own way. These things, obviously, affect you for your entire life.

    Your last comment is along my semi-joking opinion that parents should be required to be licensed before allowed to have kids. I'm now at 5 times where I had to be restrained by security after a father or mother has hit their child in the emergency room.....i dont mean a tiny hit on the butt, i mean jerry springer type of fighting.....it amazes me that i go into protector mode like that and try to do anything to protect the child.....so sad when you have to give the child back to those types of parents
     
  14. Wrat

    Wrat New Member

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    As mentioned above, in the middle, between the eas
    Maybe not 20 years ago, but maybe so.

    I'm pretty fortunate. I've only been hit on the butt and the back of the legs, and usually not hard enough to hurt. Just a whack to get my attention. As a result my children have not been struck or grabbed or abused.
    That chain grows either way.
     
  15. NCbear

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    I completely admire you for this, baseball99. Children of abusive parents need someone to step in and protect them, often physically.

    JBT, I wish you could have had someone to protect you while you were growing up. I'm glad you were able to find your own strength after such a horrific experience.

    NCbear
     
  16. trufitjock

    trufitjock Member

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    sorry you went threw this.. i too had to go down the same path.. i learned to forgive because if i hadnt.. i would have ended up being an angry bitter adult... ive forgivin not forgotten.. i hope this is the only time this season you have to re-live this.. happy new year..
     
  17. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    This is precisely why I never discussed my upbrining and also declined to answer why I hate my father so much. I generally don't drag this out unless it's someone I'm close to. Most people don't understand. The top of my despicible list are those who abuse women/children/animals/elderly. My father hits 3 out of 4 of those. I've considered killing him for years as have all my mother's living close relatives. My father abused all his children and his wife and now he's doing it to my nephew. I'm doing my damndest to get my nephew and sister out of that house. Thankfully she's getting married. It will be soon.

    I was well into adulthood when I realised that homes of other families aren't battlegrounds. In spending time with families of my friends and my partner, my perception of healthy family life has been enriched. It's taken a long time but I let down my guard with these people and let them care for me and vice versa. I still don't trust anyone outside my close circle. I've done my best to let go of my father. It's still hard, sometimes I seize the resentment and let it ruin my day.

    I'm sorry to hear about the pain your father caused. I know the physical pain was only the tip of the iceberg. If I had to guess, you were probably doing your best to be invisible the day your father came at you and did that to your precious face. I hope you've gotten some professional help in understanding this. I've been to lots of counseling and 12-step recovery which is ongoing. If you haven't done so, please get help. You'll be glad you did later.
     
  18. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Man, everyone says things so well.

    I can only add that my heart goes out to people who have experienced anything like this.

    You always think it is the "bad kids" who get these types of punishments. When in fact, it is kind people like JBT. I have never understood what gives a person the drive to cause such physical pain to a child, regardless of situation.

    I do know, as a teacher to be, I shan't allow it to happen to a single student I have, more than once.
     
  19. Gisella

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    :hug:
     
  20. D_Elijah_MorganWood

    D_Elijah_MorganWood New Member

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    Jeff, I was polite, well-spoken, well-mannered and very mature for my age when I was a kid. I kept myself occupied and never made trouble. I was helpful, I was entertaining at parties and I was good at many things. It was never enough. My sadistic father still came after me. It was constant psychological torture. He could utter one word in a certain way in a full room and have me under his thumb. He did it with all of us. Most people wouldn't have believed me if I told them. My mother didn't, she called me a liar. Same thing with my sisters.

    Usually they were abused themselves and pass along the family curse. My grandfather beat the shit out of my father every night after dinner. Their family looked perfect: they lived in the big white house in the best part of town. Most people thought the family was perfect.

    I don't know how close you are to realising your chosen career but you may want to spend some time talking to a social worker(s), visiting a group home, taking some workshops...you're in effect going to be the guardian of these kids for about 7 hours a day. You will absolutely get kids who are being abused and you will be mandated to report it. Many parents like my father made sure to beat me where it didn't show in clothes. That's when all the other signs come into play which I won't go into here. I think you'll be a good teacher as you have the empathy. Unfortunately many people who have children shouldn't. My father is one of those people. I don't even think he likes them.
     
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