A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

I have a picture of a man, laid in bed with his baby son sleeping on his chest. He is reading the paper. I look at it, and I wonder what happened to make that man hurt that child.

My abuser – My father.

I hate to call him that. I hate to label him.

He is my dad. The person that helped to create me. The person whose genes I carry. Whose reflection stares out at me whenever I look in the mirror.

Yet he is the one who took from me. The one that beat me. Starved me. Committed countless assaults on me for over a decade. Sold me. The one who broke me. The one that made me a mess and left me with all these shattered pieces to pick up.

I should walk away but I can’t. I think maybe that is hard for people to understand. Perhaps those that are fortunate enough to have real parents. We see child abuse in the paper, on the television. Hear about it on the radio and each time often peoples thoughts and even my own sometimes. Is why didn’t someone take the child away and do something?

Why didn’t the child leave?

Why do I still keep my father in my life?

I was asked once by a teacher if everything was okay. She had put up with me for months coming into the classroom and sitting at my desk and just crying. Of course I tried to hide it, but I could never stop it. It would just happen. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was because I was safe and I could.

I’d cry because I was hungry, because I had a new bruise or it hurt just to move.  I’d cry because I was tired and hadn’t slept or I was sick because my mother had given me more medicine and still I wasn’t good enough. Sometimes I’d cry because I was alone in my world. I was ten.

My teacher saw me crying again one morning and took my hand. She walked me down to the library. Gave me a drink and a tissue and sat with me. She held me when I cried and then she asked me ‘is something bad happening at home?’

I froze. I stared. I stuttered. I had no idea what to say because I realised in that moment I had given it away. I had shown my secrets.

I lied to her. I said no. She asked me why I cried and I lied and told her that I was upset because my brother had more toys than me and didn’t share. It was partly true, but a lame ten year olds reason.

I lied because I didn’t want my mum and dad to get into trouble. I didn’t want them to go to prison. I didn’t want to be taken away. I didn’t want to live somewhere safe. I just wanted my mum and dad to stop what they did to me and love me like they did my brother. It was that simple for me.

After that day I never let what was going on at home show to the outside world. I had to protect my parents. People wouldn’t understand. People would think they were bad. They would think they were evil and they weren’t.  People didn’t know my parents like I did.

I realise that I still hold that same hope. That’s what keeps me from walking away. Nothing has changed. He called me a week ago, and within twenty minutes had sunk me. Not with anything malicious, just the gentle hints of manipulation that remind me I am nothing to him. I am nothing more than the scrapings of a child he helped to make.

Yesterday he called me again. He was happy and excited. He talked to me about his grandchildren like a real father and grandfather. He gave me a glimpse of the dad I wish I had.  I held onto that. I fed it to my guilt. I told myself I was wrong for being upset with him. I was wrong for even having Dear Teddy out. It was saying bad things about him and he doesn’t know of its existence. I felt so guilty for the way I have treated him. The no father’s day card. Everything bad that I had done towards him came crashing down in my mind, because for a few minutes he gave me hope.

A friend of mine whom I talked to. She told me to look at it. See it for what it is, because if he was the father I was wishing for. The one I was waiting for then he would show remorse too. He would apologise. He would feel bad for the things he did.

He doesn’t.

Maybe the wolf dressed as the sheep and I believed it.

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Dear Teddy.

        Sneak Peak. Doing rewrites of the next book in the Dear Teddy series and for some reason this one seems to be coming out in a different tense. Not that it is a bad thing, but clearly I don’t want to mess with something so much that it loses its readability.

I’m posting this here mainly for opinions of anyone who has read Dear Teddy already. If the change is bothersome. It’s a little triggering and a little graphic at the end, so please as always read with caution.

Thank you for your time.

***

I love my Mr. Ted. He is all mine and he is magic. He keeps me safe from the bad man. I hug him all tight. We sit on the floor by the fire. I don’t be allowed to sit on the chairs. I am too evil.

Me and Mr. Ted like to write stories. He tells me what to write. Then I draw the pictures about it and we make it all nice. I put it in my scrap book. My Nan bought me the scrap book. It is big and has lots of pages. It has a car on the front and my name.

I write about all my stories inside it. I don’t write about the bad man though. I don’t tell anyone about the bad man. He can hear me. He reads minds. Mr. Ted keeps him away.

My mum says she doesn’t want to hear about it. But the bad man makes me scared in my tummy. Mr. Ted says don’t tell anyone. If I do then the bad man will come and get me. My mum says he’s a demon. He is from the devil like me. But I’m not a demon. I’m just evil. But my mum is going to make me all better. She gives me medicine.

The medicine doesn’t get to work yet. That’s why the bad man comes at night. Then he does the hurt thing. It makes me scared. Mr. Ted says it’s a secret. The bad man bites me and scratches me. Then I don’t get away. My mum doesn’t hear me shout. The bad man makes me go to sleep.

Me and Mr. Ted write a story about a penguin and a mouse. I make all the pictures. They live together in the mouse house.  They are very happy. They go to the fair and have candy floss. The mouse is very kind. He shares all his things with the penguin.  He shares his candy floss. The penguin thinks it is very yummy.

Me and my Nan are going to the fair. It is my birthday and I get to be six. My mum and dad don’t come. They have lots of things to do at home.

I get candy floss. But I don’t get to give Mr. Ted any of it. My Nan says it will make his fur all sticky. Then my mum will be mad and he will have to go in the rubbish bin. He is my Mr. Ted. I didn’t want him to go away in the rubbish bin.

No candy floss for Mr. Ted. I tell him no. He doesn’t be sad about it. He is a good Mr. Ted.

I am allowed to go on the rides. They make it all tickle inside. My Nan goes on them too. She likes the rides. I hold onto my Nan’s hand. We get on rides that are like tea cups. We sit in the cup and it spins around in circles. It makes me all dizzy in my head. My Nan says I am being silly because it makes my tongue fall out of my mouth and my eyes go across.

There are big rides too. They go very fast and I want to go on them. I ask my Nan but she says I am too small.

I am big.

I am six.

My Nan says, “Not big enough.”

I pull a sulky face and make my arms fold up. But she says I was still too small. One day I will be big. Then I will go on them. There is a board with a line on it. I get to stand on my tip toes. My Nan says I am cheating.

We finish on all the rides and we get to ride on a tram. It is time to go home again. My Nan takes me to my house. My mum and dad are there. They don’t remember it is my birthday. But I am allowed them anyway until I don’t be evil anymore. My mum says when I am better I can have one like my brother does. I try my best to get better.  I take all my medicine.

I sit by the fire with Mr. Ted after my Nan goes home. We draw a picture about the candy floss and the tea cup rides.  My mum is in the kitchen. She is cooking dinner. It is roast chicken. My dad sits at the table and drinks his beer in the can. He asks me what I am doing. I tell him I am drawing a picture about the fair.

“Can I look at it?”

I show him my book. He gets the pictures in his big hands. He asks me if I drew them myself. I make my head all nod. Yes I did. They are mine.

My dad does the stare thing. “It’s bad to tell lies.”

But I don’t be lying. I did them myself. I didn’t trace them. Me and Mr. Ted made them. I get my paper and my pencil. I show my dad how to draw the rides and the penguin. He picks it up. He says it is very good.

My dad asks if he can look at my story. I show him the one about the fair. My dad sits on the floor with me and then he looks at my book. He reads it out loud. He makes a silly voices with it. It makes me laugh. He makes the voices sound all funny.

He gets my hand. He puts it inside his pants. I wish I got to hug Mr. Ted. My dad gets to the end of the page. He tells me to turn it to the next one. He says my stories were very good.  He wants to read some more. He keeps my hand in his pants until it get all wet. He tells me to go and wash my hands. It is nearly dinner time.