International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 2020

Last Thursday was International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression 2020. I wrote this article on that day, but I guess I couldn't bring myself to publish it until now.

Wow, when I think of this, my heart sinks, but this is my story. I had grown up in an environment that unfortunately, my mother placed me in bad situations during much of my childhood. It was clear that she did not have a handle on who the good guys were compared to the bad alcoholic, abusive guys.

I have a challenging time admitting that because she was my best friend all my life and in November of 2011, I lost her to cancer. I was there during the entire three-year journey of cancer. I found it ironic that I was there when she took her last breath and she was there when I took my first. Upon first diagnosis, I knew I would need an outlet and being a creative decided to create a blog. I encouraged her to contribute and she reluctantly did. On Mother’s Day of 2018, I published the blog ‘Two Women 1 Disease’ as a book in her honor! However, facts are facts. I am going to share a poem I wrote when I was about fifteen. It is very emotional for children going through this experience. When you are young and the perpetrator weighs more than four times your weight, there is NOTHING you can do! Here is my poem, spoken from the honest heart of a child who was forced into experiencing domestic violence. A Child's Cry The innocent, helpless child lies in bed . . . left ear pressed tightly to the pillow clutching the Raggedy Ann doll to her right. Still, it is not enough! The poor child still hears the bickering She reaches for something - yet nothing is within hands reach The child stretches as far as possible, grasping emptiness. The only thing this child can reach is her inner self. The only light reflects her confusion and anger, fright and loneliness. All mixed up in one little child due to lack of knowledge . . . the child is helpless. She does not know where to go or even what to look for. All she knows is that the fighting is even louder now. As someone's head banging against a wall, or someone falling down a flight of stairs. The child cries, not knowing what else to do! The child will grow up with a feeling of helplessness. Blaming it on her childhood a step behind the rest for something she couldn't even control. A Child's Cry . . . is left unheard!

This is a true perspective that I wrote during the one fight that I remember with this one particular man. Although there were many, even the police were called. I have no recollection of the police ever showing up at the house, but I have had neighbors confirm years later that they were called and showed up. Experts say that you block out emotional trauma and apparently that is what I did. I have had a neighbor and friend of the assailant apologize to me many years after the incident and told me that at one point I climbed out of the basement window and ran to his door for help. He opened the door and told me he could not get involved and shut the door in my face. This is also something that I have no recollection of and that makes me question how many things happened that my mind has blocked from my conscience state to protect myself. I personally think that I have to remember everything that happened in my lifetime to be able to move on. I have contacted the police department in the city's that we had previously lived where there were suspected physical abuse to her and me both and they claim they shred files after seven years. I still find that odd! Let me just be clear though, the only time I remember this particular man being violent to her, throwing her around upstairs and kicking her while she was slumped in the corner, I ran upstairs in the hopes of protecting her. He saw me in the doorway and had the most evil look on his face and headed towards me laughing as if I could possibly do anything to help her. In his mind, he had every plan to hurt me too. My mother ran in front of me (despite being beaten for the last hour, including him pushing her face in the toilet almost drowning her, I found out later) she begged me to go back downstairs and that is the first time I heard her have a voice and tell him, “Do NOT touch my daughter!” I did go back downstairs, reluctantly, because I knew she had a good beating coming. He had her on the ground and kicked her over and over. There was nothing I could do to prevent this all from happening and it broke my heart! Once I got back to the basement, which is where my bedroom was, I fell so hard to my knees to pray he did not kill her that my knees were bruised the next day. I laid in my bed afraid to move even a little bit. Suddenly, I heard this strange sound that I had never heard before. I was still afraid to move as I did not know what this sound was; however, it was a much calmer environment. I was still paralyzed with fear! About an hour later, I remember getting out of bed to find out what this sound was that I was still hearing. I found out it was my mother trying to pass a note to me under the door saying she was okay and he finally passed out in his drunken stupor but to not open the door because he might hear it, wake up, and start all over again. I felt so guilty for not realizing that she was trying to pass me a note under the door for the last hour, but she did not want to wake him up. We held each other's fingers under the door and cried; she on one side and me on the other.

We left him . . . again and she promised me she would never go back. I have heard this many times before. Therefore, I told her, “I promise you; I’m NEVER going back!” It was not long before one morning I woke up to find them both sitting at the dining room table talking. They asked me to sit down and told me they were going to get back together again. I told them I would not go. I made a promise to myself and I planned to keep it! He tried to guilt-trip me by saying that I was making her choose a side. Well congratulations, she chose you. As much as I loved her, it took me years to forgive her for the decision she made. I moved in with my best friend and her family at the age of sixteen.

I missed her with everything in my heart and it broke mine to think that she chose someone who claimed to love her; however, abused her on a regular basis as opposed to her daughter who would do almost anything for her other than watch her continue to be abused. I had nothing left. I could not watch and hear it anymore and not be able to do anything!

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727.432.8856

St. Petersburg, FL 33710

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© 2019 by Beth Pauvlinch