Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism

1995

29 Comments

Today is a beautiful day. Daddy will take me shopping! A new couple from our community is having their first baby, and they are having a baby party. We need a gift, so we will go to a toy store and buy one. And then, we will go to a shop were Daddy will buy some pants for working out in the garden. And Mommy says “If you find a pretty sunday dress for her, you should buy that, too”

Other people from our community sewed a baby blanket or are giving them boxes full of used baby clothes. But Mommy can’t sew much and we need our baby clothes. So instead we will buy a new stuffed animal. Not a used one!

Daddy takes me along cause I’m the biggest and I know what’s pretty. Mommy says “You take her along, I’m so tired, and I have to watch the baby and the small ones.” Today it’s only Daddy and me, and all the small ones stay at home, and I can go look at all the pretty toys.

We get in the car and I put my seatbelt on. I’m so excited! Daddy starts the car and we pull out the drive way. The drive is going to be super long. I stare out the window for a bit, but then I sing because I like to sing and the radio isn’t on:

Denkt, ich weiß ein Schäfelein,
das wollt´ gar nicht folgsam sein.
Lief von seiner Herde weg,
kam auf einen bösen Weg.
Denkt, denkt, denkt, das Schäfelein war ich.
Denkt, denkt, denkt, das Schäfelein war ich.
Doch mein Heiland, doch mein Heiland,
doch mein Heiland suchte mich.

(Imagine, I know about a sheep,
it didn’t want to be obedient.
Ran away from the flock,
onto the evil path.
Imagine, imagine, imagine, I was that sheep.
Imagine, imagine, imagine, I was that sheep.
But my Lord, but my Lord,
but my Lord went looking for me.)

I sing for a very long time until we arrive at the toy store. I’m really excited, loosen my seatbelt and jump out of the car. My Daddy takes my hand and we walk towards the entrance. I skip steps, skip steps and sing. We go inside and it’s great. Daddy tells me to stay close as we look for the baby toys, passing the shelfs with the dolls, and the strollers, and the toys for boys, and then all the books, and then finally the baby toys. There are sooo many stuffed animals, but I find the prettiest one right away. It’s a light brown bear with the softest, fluffiest fur you have ever touched! And it’s big too. It will be as big as the baby, but babies grow fast so the baby can keep it for long and not grow too big for it. Daddy looks at some other toys, but I don’t think he likes baby toy shopping. He is a bit impatient and wants to go.

We go to pay for the stuffed animal and walk by the other shelfs again. I stop by the dolls because there is the most beautiful doll I have ever seen! She is blonde and wears a princess dress. And I say “Daddy, STOP! Can we buy the doll instead of the dress?” And Daddy says “No, you’re too big for dolls” but I don’t think I’m too big. I say “No Daddy, I’m not too big, please let me have the doll.” Daddy says “No, we have a baby at home, you don’t need a doll, you can learn how to be a Mommy with the baby.” I’m a bit sad and say “The baby isn’t as good as the doll…”. Daddy is really impatient now and hisses “Stop throwing a tantrum, people are already looking at us. You are being selfish and disobedient.” HE slaps my hand and I’m angry at Daddy, because I didn’t throw a tantrum and right now, I’m angry because he took me to the toy store where I can look at stuff but he won’t let me have any of it. I make a grumpy face and follow Daddy to the checkout. He pays and pushes me a little so I smile at the lady and say goodbye. We go to the car, and I’m still making a grumpy face and I have my arms crossed over my chest so Daddy knows I’m grumpy now. We get in the car and I put my seatbelt on and go back to my grumpiness. Daddy is upset and lectures me not to be so. I stare and listen, and he says “Do you understand?” and I say “Do YOU understand that I think you can’t take me buying toys and not get me one?”. Daddy is boiling and his face is really red but he doesn’t say anything. He starts the car and we leave the parking lot to drive to the store with the worker pants.

We don’t drive long and Daddy is still red in the face and I’m hiding a tear because I’m so angry at Daddy. I can never have anything because I’m the oldest and I’m too big and I don’t need it, anyway, because we have babies at home I should play with, and not toys and dolls. And suddenly, Daddy doesn’t say anything. But he grabs a fist full of my hair and smashes and throws my head around and screams, but I don’t understand because there’s a stabbing pain in my head. He is still driving with his left hand, and his right hand is slapping me in the face. I scream because I don’t know what else to do. Daddy stops at the side of the road, and he’s still screaming, and I hold my cheeks and ears because I’m so afraid. And when the car stands, he again grabs a fist full of my hair and holds my head tight so I can’t escape, and he beats me in the face with his other hand and screams, and I scream too and cry. And he doesn’t stop and my entire face hurts and burns and feels huge. He still screams, but now, I try to escape him, try to wiggle my way out of the seatbelt to get out of the seat, but I can’t, because Daddy’s fist is holding my hair and when I move away a bit, he pulls me back into the middle. And then he stops hitting me, but still holds me and I’m shocked and not sure if I should cry. And he says “DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” and I lie and say “Yes, Daddy, I’m sorry.” but I didn’t understand anything and I don’t know what I’m supposed to understand. “THEN BE A GOOD GIRL NOW!” he yells at throws my head to the side, letting go of my hair. He starts the car back up and we continue driving.

I’m crying and wipe my tears with my hands but it hurts bad. My nose is running too and I wipe it with my hands. It’s full of tears and sliminess from my nose and touching my nose causes a stabbing pain. But then I see there’s blood too. My hands shake and I grab a pack of tissues from the pocket of my dress. I want to clean my nose but I can’t because it’s so painful. I dab the blood and tears off it, tho, and then it really comes running down. The blood drips on my hands and dress and I can’t do anything to stop it. I hold the tissue under my nose. It doesn’t take long until the tissue is nothing but a dripping wet blob of broken pieces full of tears and blood. I take the clean tissues out of the plastic pack and put the dripping wet one in to avoid a mess. I have only two tissues left and by the rate I filled up the first one, the other two won’t last till we are back home. I crouch against the window and I want to make sounds like a dying animal, but I’m afraid it will upset Daddy.

We arrive at the clothes store and I ask Daddy to leave me in the car but he says no. So I get out and follow him into the store, quietly, quietly, looking down. When there’s a mirror, I look around to make sure nobody sees me, and I look at my face. It’s bright red and the nose and upper lip are swollen up really bad. There’s stains of blood on my face and dress. I wet the tissue with some spit and wipe my face as good as I can, but it hurts really bad. I look for Daddy and stand behind him quietly as he browses through the pants. A woman greets him and by the voice I can tell it’s a nice old lady from our community. She sees me and say “Oh and Lisa is here too! Hello Lisa!” and she looks at me. I look down but she sees it anyway and says “Oh goodness, what happened to Lisa?”. Daddy smiles and says “She was a disobedient brat at the toy store and this is what she got from it.” He sounds really proud when he says it and he pets my head with his hand. The Lady just frowns at me and says “Well it looks really bad, you might have to see a doctor.” and Daddy says “No, she’ll be fine. If she’s repentant, she’ll heal up just fine without a doctor.” They talk a little bit more but not about me and then the Lady leaves.

At some point, a shop lady comes over to ask us if we need her help. And when she sees me, she looks shocked and say “You’re bleeding really bad!” but my Dad says, Oh no worries, she’ll be fine. But she keeps looking at me weirdly and before we leave I ask her “Can A ‘ave A tishoo ples” and I realize I can’t speak normal anymore. And she says of course and gets me a whole pack and carefully strokes my cheek and whispers “It’ll be fine”. I nod and say ” ‘Ank you.”

My hands are stained with blood in the car, I stare at them. My face burns like fire and hell, but when I carefully touch the skin, the skin’s numb and thick with swollenness.

When we get home, my Mom sees me, but Daddy says “She needed a lesson” and Mommy just nods. I’m sent to my room to go to bed, but it’s only 4 in the afternoon, and I go anyway. I stay up long, until Mommy calls me down and I’m really afraid of what will happen. I come downstairs and see they have already eaten but I wasn’t asked to come. My Mommy says “Lisa, Daddy and I decided you’re allowed to get a cooling pack from the freezer.” I nod and get one out, wrap it in a small towel and put it on my face. My Dad gives me a slice of bread with some butter on it and says “Go back to your room, I don’t want to see you any more today. It’s bedtime for you now.” I nod again and quickly go upstairs.

In my room, I take a bite of bread but my front teeth hurts biting it and chewing it makes my face hurt again, so I let it be. I touch my nose, trying to press a little to feel if the bone was broken, but it hurts like crazy and I still can’t feel the bone because it’s swollen, so I let that be too.

I lay in my bed with the cooling pack on my face and try to pray but I can’t.

I really hate Daddy right now. And I don’t like Jesus either. And I’m angry at God.

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29 thoughts on “1995

  1. Oh hun…my heart just completely shattered. I’m crying with you- too angry to say anything else. :’( **HUGS**

  2. I’m sure this was hard but thanks for sharing. I can’t believe the women or the girl at the shop didn’t call the police! I would have. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been living with this man!

    ((hugs))

  3. Ok, so it’s a good thing I don’t have this guy’s address right now, because I’d go teach him a lesson for turning into the spawn of Satan on his daughter, who is supposed to be a blessing, and a treasure. Never mind that was years ago, he still needs some “training”. Lol! And, if he did that to you, what makes you think he hasn’t done it to the other kids?

  4. If you still have young siblings, you really might want to think of calling Child Protective Services on your family. What your dad did was wrong and illegal, and if the authorities had known, they would have taken you away from your parents right then and there. Your dad might even have done jail time.

  5. Just like the previous posters, I can’t believe the police were not called. This was not a “lesson,” this was abuse. You needed medical care and you needed to be removed from that home–permanently! Having a child the same age–you were SEVEN! You were not too old for a doll. You were too young to understand why you couldn’t have a doll. My heart goes out to you and all your siblings. What he did to you could too easily have killed you. Please consider calling the child protective services on your parents. It’s too late for your father to be prosecuted for this incident but it’s not too late to save your siblings.

  6. I’m flabbergasted that nobody else thought there was anything wrong with this…and that if they did, they didn’t act on it. Those kinds of people are enablers. They are basically just as guilty for anything else your dad did to you as your dad is.

  7. I am so, so sorry. What a terrible childhood memory. How terrifying and degrading. How can anyone with common sense equate that with the “rod” of the Bible or godly discipline at all?? Discipline is teaching, not retaliation, and clearly he was retaliating for you having inconvenienced and embarrassed him with the “audacious” request of a seven-year-old to own a doll. I don’t know where you lived at the time, but I am shocked that a man could admit that he had done that intentionally to his very small daughter, and no one intervened. Here in my state, child protective services and the general public would have jumped all over that one, especially in the mid-nineties (not like in the seventies and eighties). Do you think he has mellowed with the subsequent children, or have you seen such abuse with your younger siblings? Just curious, was this an isolated event, or was this a normal occurrence whenever you stepped out of line? Was he this abusive even when you were older? No wonder you felt you had to marry the man of his choice, against your will…

    • Children are supposed to grow up rather fast. Especially girls are often raised to act more grown up as they are because their help is needed for childcare and house work. Playing is a waste of time when you should be taking care of your siblings. Even the relatively young girls are taught to play baby games with the younger ones instead of games appropriate to their age. It’s a bit different for boys, they are often taken along to work or get to help in the garden and such, which seems a bit more appropriate to me.
      This was an isolated event in the form I described, but spanking was normal day to day stuff for us. There was always someone around the house getting spanked.
      Older kids (around 14) aren’t really physically punished, there isn’t much need for that because at that point, you realize how you’re supposed to function.

  8. Thank you for sharing this. I agree with the previous posters – CPS should have been called. No child deserves to be treated like that. How Satan must laugh when this happens… parents scream at their children to “obey”, then THEY – the parents – disobey God by being cruel to their children, and feel self righteous doing it. Totally messed up.

  9. Your father is a controlling, angry man. When you described how he proudly marched his bleeding, abused child through the store, so full of “power” and smugness, patting your head as though he had done you a favor… It made me feel nauseous. Your child self slipped through his realm of control for a split second, and he couldn’t allow that. He is a very sick man, and certainly not a “man of God”. I think you should definitely discuss this with your aunt and uncle, if you haven’t already, and discuss your siblings still in that house. I would be willing to bet that wasn’t the only time he did that to you, and it certainly has been extended to your siblings and probably your mother, too.
    You are able to write about this, so you are healing. You are an extraordinary person.

  10. I don’t have a thing to say, but send you love.

  11. I am speechless. That wasn’t discipline, that was out and out abuse. Your father was embarressed by what he considered a tantrum in public and more concerned about what people would think of him than anything else. Taking that embarressment out on an innocent child even once is always wrong. There is never an excuse for a parent to ever treat a child that way. Like the others have said, why wasn’t CPS notified? I also agree with what others have said, report it for the sake of your siblings still at home. He needs to be held accountable for what he did and could still be doing to your siblings.

  12. Oh sweetie, Oh mein schatz! Did he break your nose? My heart goes out to you! You and yours are in my prayers!

    • I don’t think so, because it didn’t stay painful for long (just a few days) and my nose didn’t change afterwards like it maybe would have if it was broken, so I don’t think so.
      Danke für deinen lieben Kommentar – thanks for your sweet comment!

  13. It breaks my heart that you endured that and no one intervened for you!
    It also makes me angry, what parents will do to their childern in the name of Jesus/God!

  14. reading this breaks my heart. I do think your dad would be an abusive man even if not in a fundamentalist group. It just seems to give him more liberty, in his head anyway. I don’t think anyone promotes this type of discipline. A spanking is a whole lot different than being beaten in the face repeatedly. Your father needs to be in jail. Prayers for your poor mother and siblings. Did he abuse your mother? I do not at all blame you for the anger and in reality, the hate, you must have for him.

  15. In a few careful words .. so I don’t … get thrown out of the whole internet – your father was wrong. Totally. You were a CHILD. A small one still at 7 who should have been playing with dollies – not clearing up after other children. One who should have been loved gently as Christ wanted for you .. and for all of us.

    I am sorry to say this too .. after all he IS your father – but he should NOT be anywhere near children, ever.

    Much love …. XX

  16. This is just heartbreaking :( I’ll be thinking of you next time I give hugs and kisses to my son and daughter tonight.

  17. What your dad did was wrong. Your attitude was also wrong. You were a brat. It’s a shame that you don’t see that. You were old enough to know better.

    • You’re talking about a CHILD here. A seven year old, who wasn’t throwing a tantrum but was simply disagreeing with her father over whether or not she was “too old” for a child’s toy.

      I’ll assume you’re trying to be fair here, to be nice, but basically by saying she was “also” wrong is one way people keep supporting the abusers. Abuse is abuse, period. Even if Lisa had thrown an actual tantrum with floor-stomping and screaming, that gives NO room for her dad to act the way he did.

    • @Anonymus of 10:55: If you really think that, you shouldn’t have access to kids.

      I guess it’s hard for you Lisa to talk about it and that reporting your father is probably not an option for you internally but if you think that this could hapen to one of your siblings you should at least discuss tis seriously with you aunt if you haven’t already. My best regards :)

      A spanish girl.

  18. Anonymous I am afraid you are very wrong. She wasn’t a brat at all. She was a small child and didn’t understand. I fear you have no idea of ‘age related behaviour’ and that children need love and gentleness.

    Not only was her father ‘wrong’ every single adult she met or who saw her, bruised and bleeding and did NOTHING either to help her or to call the police, are one day going to have to explain WHY NOT to a Higher Power.

  19. Anonymous was right. You were being a brat, which is normal for 7 year olds, and 8 year olds, and 9 year olds, and all kids. Part of being a parent is loving them, talking to them, disciplining them, and helping them grow into awesome adults, adults God loved so much that He sacrificed His only begotten son on the cross. Lisa, I’m sorry you were abused and mistreated. I’m so glad you escaped. Your dad is a sick man who will never know the warmth of his child’s love and adoration. I feel sorry for him too. And I don’t know if you know this, but your mother hurt for you too. As you know there’s not a lot she can do to protect you but she did get him to give you the ice so you would feel better. It’s not a lot but it’s all she could do.

  20. Shari – I believe that you and Anonymous have a really weird idea of what being a ‘brat’ is. She wasn’t badly behaved. A child should be able to query WHY she can’t have something. To discuss it. To have it explained to them. They have the right to be unhappy about it too. Three short sentences she uttered before he slapped her hand and told her ” Stop throwing a tantrum, people are already looking at us. You are being selfish and disobedient” – Which she wasn’t. She went out with him to the car, got in and had a grumpy face. He lectures her – instead of being sympathetic and validating her feelings, and then he starts to smash her head around. Now .. explain again just WHO was being a brat in that store? Who was it that couldn’t control his temper because he felt embarrassed ?? You are right .. he is a sick man. But calling a 7 yr old, who did nothing wrong at all, a brat – is exceptionally sad.

  21. To Lisa:

    Da ich mich erst seit 2 Tagen mit deinem Blog vertraut mache, wollte ich noch nichts kommentieren. Aber nun da ich diesen Eintrag gelesen habe und wirklich sehr geschockt bin, moechte ich doch etwas beitragen. Wie auch die anderen Leser bin ich der Meinung das dein Vater sehr falsch gehandelt hat, mir wurde schlecht als ich die Zeilen gelesen habe. Das ist kein Weg sein Kind zu “disziplinieren”, niemals. Ich finde auch du solltest CPS zum Wohle deiner Geschwister informieren, natuerlich wird dir das wahrscheinlich sehr schwer fallen da es immer noch dein Vater ist, aber bitte, denk wenigstens darueber nach. Ich kann dir nicht sagen wie leid mir das tut was dir passiert ist, jedes Kind (jeder Mensch) verdient eine liebevolle Kindheit und Umgebung in der es behuetet aufwachsen kann.

    To Anonymous:

    What the heck is wrong with you??? She was SEVEN!!! And even if she would’ve been 13 or 15, that is in no way acceptable behavior with a child.

  22. Pingback: Why I will never spank my child(ren)

  23. Thank you for sharing! I agree with other comments that you are strong and courageous to put this story on the web.

    I am amazed that in 1995 no one called the police or CPS. I thought our society had become less tolerant of child abusers by then compared to my childhood in the ’60s and ’70s. As a pastor in the ’90s, I was legally required to report suspected child abuse to the authorities. I wish I had been there when it happened.

    I am also amazed by several comments that being a 7-year-old ‘brat’ somehow gives a parent permission to physically abuse the child. That’s like saying a man has permission to rape a woman in a sexy outfit.

  24. Darling girl that most definitely was abuse…I know how hard it is to face the harm done to you by those you truly love. But the thought process behind the act was warped and wrong… I hope that someday , when you are ready you will be able to process this aspect of the event even more than you have already. I’m sure he probably didn’t do this regularly…I understand that…but his motivation behind it was NOT from love. It was about his own pride, control and anger. You were the helpless victim. That is abuse. As time passes you will become even stronger, wiser and oh so compassionate. Our past traumas are often like an onion, there are so many layers. Hang in there, continue to be courageous! God does not waste a single thing that happens to us. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

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