I am the youngest of nine children and the daughter of a narcissist. When I think about domestic violence, two people come to mind: my father, and this guy named Kevin, the son of a family friend.
Years ago, Kevin stayed at my house while one of my brothers got married. That guy had just left the military and blew his housing budget on God knows what. A few weeks after my brother’s wedding, we all realized that he really just sneakily moved in without asking anyone. My father felt that we should be neighborly and loving and let him stay until he could support himself. He either felt that it would be wrong and sinful to kick him out when he was needing a home, or he knew how badly everyone in my family wanted to kick him out, and my father wanted that control over us, maybe to teach us a lesson.
My father used scripture to make us guilty for thinking that guy should live on the streets and he threatened us if we tried to kick him out ourselves. Kevin didn’t pay for anything while he stayed. He was put on probation at school for getting into fights with teachers and faculty; he felt entitled to have anything he wanted without working for it. He was loud and he yelled at me and my family. He called my sisters and I sluts and bitches to our faces. He unsuccessfully tried to rape my sister and defended himself by saying he didn’t know what he was doing because he was drugged. He never showered, he ate our food, and he would interrupt my mother’s homeschooling so he could argue with her and our books. He argued with everyone about everything, except for my dad, who he praised for controlling his household and being a good father who gave his children what they needed.
I would go crying to my father, just asking him to keep Kevin away from me, this terrifying 20-something-year-old man who had been arrested for cracking his ex-girlfriend’s head on the sidewalk. I was always told that I, a little girl, had to be the bigger person and be loving, just like Jesus would want me to be.
That man lived in our house for over five years, and that wasn’t the only time someone felt entitled to be in our house, take our things, or scream in my face, and I had to be the bigger person.
Because of that awful period in my life, I have no faith or trust in my father. I am incredibly judgemental towards white men who aren’t actively breaking their own perfect little stereotypes. I often don’t feel worthwhile or worth protecting when it comes to relationships. I don’t believe in humanity and I don’t believe people are capable of change unless God himself awes or terrifies them in His good time.
I’m the type of person who apologizes for everything, blames themselves when things go wrong, hates to ask for anything, will sacrifice her happiness for the people she cares about and hates sharing her ideas or opinions. I overcompensate because I never want to be like my father or that man I had to live with. No one should have to live like that. I shouldn’t have had to live like that. I’m very lucky now to have the most sensitive, loving and understanding partner I could have ever hoped for. I still feel like I’m not a good enough person for him, and I know I don’t have a good reason for thinking so. Slowly, but surely, I’m making strides to restoring my trust and faith in others. Thank you for your time.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, there is help. You can visit our website or call our Survivor Helpline at (855) 287-1777.