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Betrayal of Heart and Mind

sent in by Maria

This is quite a long and terrible story, and I hope readers will forgive any lack of articulation or misspellings.

>From the very beginning, I was born into a life of difficulty and hardship. I was born the oldest child, into a household of domestic abuse, alcoholism-- my father was in and out of the picture after age 4-- in and out of jail for drugs, abuse toward my mother, ect. Due to these troubles, my mom temporarily decided to seek help and counsel by attending a local Baptist church. The pastor, a real Man of God, instructed my mother to do the will of god and submit, to reconcile with my abusive father-- at least until he finally put her head through our back door and she was rushed to the hospital after fleeing with myself and my younger brother and sister-- the church didn't quite know how to respond to that, though they would eventually come up with some very interesting solutions. Sometime in the middle of these happenings, I remember attending an "adult" service for the first time-- there was no one there to do children's church that evening and so I sat with my mother, at 5, and listened to the preacher scream. I do not remember what compelled me to go up to the altar at that age. But I did. And I remember praying with the ministers wife. O Please Forgive My Five Year Old Sins!

Anyway, after my father was sentenced to 45 days in jail (reduced sentence) for putting my mother in the hospital, and after my mother felt that she was temporarily safe from him (we had gone to a women's shelter for almost the entire second half of my first grade year-- I completed most the assignments at the shelter and my mom would mail them back to the elementary school) we stopped going to church on Sundays and begin going to a beach about an hour north. For awhile, I forgot about god, but before long I was wondering why we stopped going-- a mystery that would remain so for several more years. In the meanwhile, my father was in and out of jail for various things-- mom had a restraining order against him but he still came around. There were several things going on at the same time-- I for one, was diagnosed with a rare syndrome and had two major reconstructive surgeries before age 11- meanwhile my dad did things like-- jump our car and try to kidnap us on memorial day, then broke into the house one night and beat my mother nearly unconscious against the bathroom door--

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