January 9, 2007

Random Memory

I loved making Val laugh. She had such a cute smile and laugh. She was only a year younger than me, and we shared a room, so this happened often. We'd lie in bed late at night, and make each other laugh by being funny or making strange noises.

That night, I made a funny noise somehow, probably a farting noise using my mouth on my arm or something, and we were giggling so hard, but trying to stifle the noise. We were supposed to have been asleep a long time before that. I was probably around five years old, and she was four. We moved to Montana when I was six, and I remember we were in our bedroom in our apartment in Orem.

Right in the middle of a particularly giggly moment, our bedroom door suddenly slammed open, and hit the opposite wall with a bang, hard enough to bounce back halfway.

There stood Dad, furious.

He ground out with clenched teeth, "WHY are you not asleep yet? Do you have any idea what kind of noise you are making in here?!"

He stormed into the room while removing his leather belt. I was closest to him and Val was between me and the wall next to the bed. I cried out, "Dad, noooo!" but he came forward anyway, and I cowered as he reached over me to roughly lift Val by one arm until she was hanging above the bed a few inches. He dropped her to her feet, and his right arm lashed out with that damned belt across her legs and thighs. She screamed and cried out, and so did I.

"Dad, STOP! Don't hurt her! I was the one who made her laugh! STOOOOP!"

He kept hitting her, over and over, and Val's little body was trying to climb that damn wall to get away.

He finally stopped, and she crumpled into a heap beside me in agony. My arms reached out to her to comfort and protect her the best I could.

All he said as he left the room was "I don't want to hear ANOTHER sound. Now go to sleep."

Oh, Val. Sweet Val. Why didn't he hit me instead of you? WHY?! I would have taken that beating instead. Why, fucking WHY did I have to make you laugh that night?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I can feel your pain and emotion in your writing. I am so sorry, Lisa. I am so sorry, Val. I am so, so sorry.

I know this won't help, but I am sending virtual hugs your way!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that made me cry.

Anonymous said...

There's a special place in hell for people who beat or abuse children. I'm sorry your father did this to you and Val.

Anonymous said...

Our fathers sound very similar (unfortunately)

Freckle Face Girl said...

Sorry - that comment from Lexi's momma is me.

Anonymous said...

This post breaks my heart in more ways than one. I'm so sorry you had to experience that. :(

MikeP said...

SML:
Wow! that one hurt! You have a way of taking your readers with you on these journeys. Many hugs to you and Val.

Whoever treats any child like this deserves a slow, painful end...

Anonymous said...

Ouch. That hurts. You know what this reminded me of? The line from the movie "The Green Mile" where the big guys says "He killed them with they love."

The way to truly hurt you was through Val. Sick. Sick. Sick.

Someone who beats a child like that doesn't deserve to have them.

Anonymous said...

I am pretty emotional reading this right now... Dad always treated Val the worst. I remember her crying herself to sleep most nights. She would rock back and forth with my little arms around her at tight as I could while she said, "I'm a bitch. I'm a bitch." over and over again. I can forgive Dad for a lot of things because he was treated bad, too. But not for this... I love Val so much. She is, by far, the most tender-hearted of all of us and he stomped on her sweet spirit until she no longer cared about herself at all. DAMN him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the two of you... Your writing reeks with emotion! Btw, you mind if I bookmark your blog in mine?

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for what you had to go through.
Please tell me that you know in your heart that you could never be blamed, Sister Mary Lisa. You were also a child and the responsiblity was never yours. The abusive adult would pick a reason, no matter how well you behaved.

An adult can never be excused for hurting others, no matter what they have gone through themselves. It's everyone's personal responsibility to ensure that violence towards children ends.

Now I'm all a mess and crying, but I'll end by seconding what Janet (jmk) wrote.

Pete Dunn said...

I swear to gawd I would personally beat every abusive father to death if given the opportunity. Despicable.

It takes a small man, indeed to beat little girls.

Bishop Rick said...

What an asshole. I'm right behind (or in front of) Pete to kick his sorry ass. Adrenelin is flowing thru the veins right now.

Cele said...

What a chilling account. I am so saddened by this, and I pray for both you and your sister's healing.

I find it so wretched (and not to say that abusive fathers are only Mormon - because the world knows that isn't true) that I know of several men, from this religion that preaches family - family - family who have no qualms, second thought, or conscience for savagely beating their children. And fie on their wives who stand aside, for they are just as much responsible.

Anubys said...

that's so sad. i hope that wasn't anything of a common occurrence. poor little val. man.

markii said...

i have one memory of my dad coming in, getting pissed at me an my lil' bro, and then my dad KICKING my lil brother in the stomach full on. nothing like that ever happened again (besides an occasional rubber spatula, or rubber slipper), but until now i've never forgotten that day and until now that small experience of abuse will forever be a part of his character to me- forever tainted, if even in the smallest way.