My Grandfather

Last night was a horrible night. It was after 4:00 when I finally got to sleep. I had a panic attack, the first one in a while. God I hate them. Nothing predicts them. They seem to come out of nowhere. And they still scare me so much. The Benadryl didn’t help. Even the Ativan didn’t help.

It was my memory again. There are times when I just can’t control where it goes. It’s like sometimes it simply has a mind of its own. No matter how hard I try to use the visual imagery I learned, or how hard I try to use any of the other coping techniques I have… There are times they just don’t work.

It was my grandfather. The summer after kindergarten, my parents made me stay there while they took my grandmother out of town. I don’t remember what I did that was so bad, but I got punished but good. He took off all of my clothes and made me lie on the bed. He put my arms over my head with my hands together and told me to stay that way. If I moved or cried, he hit me with a leather belt.

I don’t know how long I stayed in that position. It was so cold in there. He had the air conditioner on as cold as it would go. It felt like it was forever. I had almost fallen asleep when he came back into the room. I laid there while he felt my whole body, from top to bottom. He was on the bed with me. Then he left and told me not to move or I’d get it with the belt again.

I tried not to cry, but I did. As soon as he heard me, he came back and punished me for disturbing his baseball game. He told me that I better not move again. So I didn’t. I laid there and counted the cracks in the ceiling, over and over, and over again. But I couldn’t help but listen for him. I was terrified he would come into the room again.

After what seemed like forever, he came back into the room. And he got on the bed again. I was so afraid he’d get the belt out again. He wasn’t touching me anymore. He was on top of me. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. He was so big and heavy. The penetration was extremely painful. I wanted to scream and yell, but I couldn’t. It hurt too bad.

All of a sudden, he jumped off of me and the bed. I put my arms down. He started to scream at me. He told me that he had said not to move. He told me I was an evil child filled with the devil. He was right. He got the belt again and told me to put my hands back up or he’d punish me again. I begged him not to, but that made him really angry. He took me by my shoulders and shook me. He kept yelling how little girls should obey their elders. He put my hands back over my head and made me stay like that.

I laid on that bed for hours. It was so cold in that room. I really had to go to the bathroom, but he told me not to move or say anything. I had to go so bad, I ended up wetting the bed. When he found out I had wet the bed, he beat me again. And then he was on top of me again. It must have gone on like that for hours. I remember watching it go from day to night.

I was so ashamed of myself. All I can think is that I really was a very bad girl to be punished like that.

I’m definitely not looking forward to getting in bed tonight. I’m terrified, absolutely terrified. I’m scared of my mind. I’m scared of the memories. I’m scared of losing my mind.

11 thoughts on “My Grandfather

  1. Dear little one,

    Your grandfather was wrong. You are not bad, not evil, not filled with the devil. You did nothing to deserve his attacks, and you are worth much better than that. He was wrong, and what he did and said to you was evil.

  2. I would suppose you must know what Marcy says by now. You probably don’t and that is scary. That someone could thwart a children’s mind so badly that you can even consider yourself bad for what HE did is unthinkable.

    I pray for you. I hope he has seen some light since that and God help him, becuase his soul shoudl be in pain.

    Of course, I should think of you first. Do try to stear away of any thoughts that diminish you. If anything, you have erane dmy cmpassion, respect and moral support. Bringing this to the open is brave enough.

  3. M says:

    Have you ever thought about the possibility of confronting your father and grandfather with what they did? If one or both are still alive, that is. When you were a child you had to just shut up and accept whatever they did to you, but this isn’t the situation now. If you did this by letter you’d never know for sure whether they’d read it to the end, but if you spoke to them separately but with a friend or trusted relative accompanying you, you’d know for sure that they had heard you.

    I don’t see why people who behaved so badly and wrongly for so long shouldn’t be told what the consequences of their actions were.

    If by chance they apologized unreservedly, you’d have to think about whether you could forgive them. If they didn’t apologize or tried to justify themselves you’d at least know that at last you’d been heard.

    If they threatened you in any way you could point out that your therapists know all about what happened and who did it. There are other safety precautions you could take.

    I don’t think that continuing to suffer in silence is always the best course of action.

    All my best wishes whatever you eventually decide to do.

    edited upon request to change a typo — kathryn

  4. kprsjohn says:

    we are so sorry this happened to you, we can tell you, you did not deserve it, you were not bad, not evil. Your grandfather though is a different story. He should rot in you know where. May his pain be thousands of times worse than yours.

    many safe hugs to you


  5. There was a woman in my DBT group who was working on confronting people in her past, one by one. She was very realistic about her expectations, but very strong and brave, too. Did it mostly by phone in her therapist’s office, with the therapist listening in. These confrontations did not go well, and that took a big toll on her, but I still admired her courage.

  6. Just a general response because I just don’t know what to say to each of you individually (sorry).

    My grandfather is dead and has been for a number of years. I don’t know where he is now. I’m not sure if I want to think about it.

    I never did confront my grandfather. By the time the bulk of the memories came out, he had passed.

    One of the social workers at a hospital I was in about 7.5 years ago asked my father strait out about the abuse. He denied it. I see no point in confronting him.

    This blog is my way of letting the world know. It’s anonymous (as much as I can make it) but it’s all out there for the world to see.

  7. Natasha says:


    Sorry I’ve not been around the blogging scence lately… Haven’t time to catch up just at the moment..

    Hope you’re holding up okay.

    Tasha x

  8. M says:

    Your father knows that you know, ie he knows you haven’t forgotten, and he also knows that the social worker knows. This may at least reduce the chance that he’ll try to do the same with another child.

    Some people eventually just give up on c**p relationships with their parents and have as little to do with them as possible if they see that matters can’t be improved. Others battle on and try to maintain a relationship out of generosity of spirit and the strength of family ties. If I was in this situation I don’t know what I’d do.

    You have the advantage of far more insight and ability to communicate than your parents and grandparents must ever have had.

  9. TomN says:

    ~hugs Kathryn~ I am ever so sorry that these things could happen to anyone, and especially to you. You are a wonderful person. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, your feelings are appropriate, and nothing to feel bad about.

  10. I just discovered your blog. I feel so for that tiny little girl. She was not–you are not–evil in any way. You were an innocent and precious child–he was blind and his actions were evil, so he couldn’t see that. Take gentle care. (((safe hugs)))

  11. When I started counseling after many years of denial of my incest issues. A very dear friend, who was also an incest survivor, brought me a teddy bear to hold and hug and sleep with. I slept with that teddy bear for about 3 years to get through the worst of the night time memories. I still cherish that teddy bear. It is not childish to give in to tears and to feel the anger and sometimes terror. Feeling the emotions that we couldn’t as children is part of the healing process as much as it doesn’t seem so at the time that you are experiencing it.

    You are a strong and courageous person to have survived what you did. The future does get brighter and less frightening as you face your fears head-on.

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