Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

May 14, 2010

treated like a dog

From birth until she started kindergarten at the age of four Vicki was severely restrained by parents who probably wanted to protect their child from injury but ended up killing the little girl's spirit.

"I hadn't thought about my childhood much until I read a recent story about a baby who was left at home all day alone - strapped into a high chair - while her parents were at work," says Vicki.

"I cried with pity for that poor child because it was my fate to suffer a similar experience."

"My parents didn't go out to work and leave me at home alone all day," explains Vicki, "but they worked from home and essentially tied me up all day long so that I wouldn't bother them."

"I suppose they didn't have time to watch me and tied me up so that I wouldn't run out into the street or hurt myself," says Vicki, "but we had a back yard and they could have fenced it off and allowed me to run around freely - couldn't they?"

"It was much more than fear of my getting hurt," says Vicki, "because I was in a harness with a lead attached all of the time."

"When they took me out they let me trot along beside them like a dog on a lead rather than holding my hand like other parents did."

"I can clearly remember being tied to a tree in the back yard watching my parents making blinds for a decorating company."

"They weren't poor and could have afforded to buy a playpen for me - so that I could jump and play like a normal baby - but they didn't."

"Instead, they just tied me up to a tree or a table leg - depending upon where they were working - and I couldn't move and I had nothing to do but look at them."

"It's amazing that I learned how to crawl and walk with this sort of childhood treatment," says Vicki, "but it wasn't so much my physical development that was affected as my mental and spiritual development."

"Starting school was a glorious experience for me," says Vicki. "I loved it. I loved the freedom of being out of that harness and being able to run around and be normal like the other kids."

"But I wasn't normal," sighs Vicki. "I was different from the other kids and they knew it."

"I gained freedom when I started school, but I never gained acceptance from normal people."

"I'm 36 now and nothing much has changed in my life," says Vicki. "I go to work, come home to my little apartment and sit watching television just like I sat watching my parents working."

"After my parents divorced my father told me - probably in spite - that my mother had tried to abort me when she discovered she was pregnant with me," confides Vicki.

"I didn't need him to tell me that I wasn't a wanted child," explains Vicki. "I'd figured out long ago that anyone who restrains a child for four years has no love for it."

:"Learning how to love myself just doesn't work," sighs Vicki. "Those four years I spent being tied up - and the nine months I spent being in the womb of a mother who didn't want me - killed my spirit."

"I've never been like a normal person with normal desires and normal relationships," sighs Vicki.

"By the time I was given my freedom at the age of four it was too late."

"Physically I am fine - I can run like the wind and I often walk for miles just for the hell of it," explains Vicki, "but my spirit seems dead in comparison with everyone else."

"When I've saved enough money for a house of my own I'd like to get a dog as a companion," says Vicki. "I think I'd have more in common with a dog than a human being."

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