Growing Up Terrified. What It Was Like To Live In Constant Fear.

I don’t remember a single solitary thing of my life before the age of 10. No clue why. Some say it’s trauma related. Honestly I don’t know. Doesn’t really matter. I do, however, remember my first beating at the age of 10. I’ll never forget it. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like I relive that day every day of my life or anything. Nothing like that. Some shit you just don’t forget.

So I decided one day I wanted to skip school with the one and only friend I had. For some reason, she did whatever I said to do. Her mother hated my guts. We were in Grade 6. I hated school. The girls were so mean to me.

Anyway, mom found out and when she got home from work that day she unleashed a fury I had never seen before. The only part of that whole scene I remember was being curled up in a ball in the corner of the kitchen with her yelling and screaming at me in a voice that resembled Satan and her fists beating down on me in a rage that would soon become the norm at our house.

And so it began….

I honestly don’t remember the first time dad got his hands on me. Dad used his belt, always, and his fists but sometimes if you were on the ground you got kicked. I used to always be so glad when dad was on afternoon shift because it meant an evening of peace. Until one night, he came home from work, stormed into my bedroom, tore off my blankets, pulled me out of bed and proceeded to whip and kick me. I had no clue what I did.

Then I thought I would be safe as long as we had company. If there were people visiting surely he’s not gonna beat me in front of them, right?

Nope, wrong again. They could all be sitting around having a great and fun time and as soon as I walked in the room, dad would see me, rage reared its ugly head and away we went. Everyone just turned their heads. I think if I remember correctly, one of my uncles had voiced his distaste and my dad told him to fuck off and if he didn’t like it he could go home. So he did.

That’s when I realized that no matter what time of day it was, no matter who was there, no matter what, I was never gonna be safe.

At any given time when I saw the look of Satan in my dad’s eyes my mind would race frantically. Oh fuck, what did I do this time? Sometimes it wasn’t even anything I had done. He was just pissed.

I’d scream and cry as he would beat me. “I didn’t do anything, it wasn’t me, stop daddy please daddy stop. I promise I didn’t do anything!!!”

I’d limp to my room sobbing hysterically and want to die. I just wanted to die. I don’t want this to be my life anymore. I walked on eggshells every day.

I can remember coming home from school or from days out with friends and turning the door knob and be filled with crippling fear. I never wanted to go home.

Dad’s home from work. Is he mad? Is he in a good mood? Did I do anything lately that might warrant a beating. You never knew. It was like playing Russian roulette.

“Today’s your lucky day Iva! Dad is in a good mood which means you get to roam the house freely and joyfully until bedtime! Yippee”

I hated my parents, mostly my dad, so much. Mom would very rarely stop dad. She would just leave the room. I couldn’t stand to look at my father or talk to him or even be in the same room as him. This feeling actually never went away. I felt like that right up to the day he died at 88 yrs old.

Coming home from school was terrifying, when dad got home from work was terrifying. When mom got home from work was terrifying. I remember when I used to hear the garage door open I would feel like throwing up. My heart would pound out of my chest. I’d curl up on my bed and brace myself.

Is he coming downstairs to my room tonight? Am I safe tonight?

It was constant.

It all ended when I finally moved out of the house at 18 yrs old. I had ran away a few times between the age of 12 and 16 but the consequences of that were worse than anything I could have imagined. Best to just stay put Iva.

I don’t remember very much of anything else from my childhood. We went on road trips, we had some fun, we had family picnics and bbq’s and shit. There were some good times. Too bad I don’t remember much of them either.

I swore to myself that if and when I had kids I would never lay a single hand on them. I have one son, and remember once when he was about 3 or 4 yrs old I spanked his little bum for something and I cried for 3 days. Never again.

I often read stories about loving relationships with parents and having great childhoods. They make me cry for two reasons. The obvious being I’ve never known what that’s like nor will I ever and that just makes me sad, and the second reason is that I’m so glad some people were blessed with beautiful and loving moms and dads. I love to read their stories ❤ It warms my heart. Jonathan has beautiful stories about his relationship with his mom

I imagine one day my son may also pen a lovely story about his mom. Here’s to hoping :)

The inspiration for this piece comes from Erika SauterYou can check out her story here.

Peace and Love

xo iva xo

Self help Guru|Expat|Website: mini self help eBook series here:

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