child abuse

Fight or Flight By jfarrell

Fight or Flight

By jfarrell

 

The door opens…

The unseen dog goes for me…

It’s owner raises his fist as I cower..

“I’ve had enough of people like you….”

THUMP!!!!

 

My therapists tell me, the way the brain works,

All them hormones and chemicals being released,

It’s all about ‘Fight or Flight’

Our body preparing us

To resist or to run.

 

I freeze.

Anticipating the pain,

Anticipating the shame;

There is no running or fighting back

Just waiting for inevitable violence.

 

6 years old, my dad drunk, angry because….

I couldn’t spell bronchitis…. I took the wrong book to school…

My sister hurt herself at home, while I’m at school…

He’s mainly angry because he is unhappy with his lot

And this is his way of dealing with it.

 

6 years old - where would I run to?

6 years old - I’m gonna fight my dad?

Maybe, this is why no ‘fight or flight’;

Just waiting for the inevitable;

Waiting for the beating.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

no more fight or flight for me - my invisible dragon gonna burn everyone ;-)

Broken leg

Broken leg

By jfarrell

 

I was 7; hit by a car; leg in plaster;

Alone at home, parents at work;

With 50p left me, to get me dinner,

No food in the house.

 

So, off I go to buy me dinner;

A usually 5 minute walk took ages,

Taking me past my school,

Scared of being told off for being outta school

 

I get me cup of soup from the baker’s

And return home

And passing my school

I had to stop, to rest, so tired

 

Spotted by a teacher, dragged into school

Forgot about the day, in school, as I should be.

Arrived home to the mother of all beatings

I’d left the front door open, all that time.

 

I’m 7, leg in plaster, no food in the house

And no bloody key!

What was I suppose to do?

Lock myself out?

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

yep, brains of britain were my parents

To hear you say…

To hear you say…

By jfarrell

 

To hear you say “I love you”

I would have sprouted wings and flew

So happy, so joyous those words would have made me feel

From you, my mother

 

To hear you say “I’m proud of you”

I would have pulled the stars from the sky

And made of them a crown

For you, my mother

 

I heard you say “I should have smothered you at birth”

And I feel crushed, hated

Outcast and rejected

By you, my mother

 

I heard you say “I should have had you aborted”

And I feel aborted;

Stopped, cast aside

And incomplete

 

I still hear what you said

After all these years, over all these many miles

Has my silence, my absence, gotten through to you

After all these years, can you still hear me

 

But,

I still want to hear you say

“I love you”

To me, your son

Author's Notes/Comments: 

sadly true

Building Bridges

Building Bridges

By jfarrell

 

Watch them burn…

Isn’t it beautiful?

That black, poisonous cloud, 25 years over South-East London…

Last time I saw my mum.

 

The pagoda pub….

Back then… burned down many times since,

With many different names…

Last time I saw my dad.

 

“Jim, you’re so negative……”

“Jim, you should really change your act…”

At least, on this one, I struck the match.

Last time I saw my, so-called, ‘friends’.

 

I’ve done my building bridges;

And all got spat back in my face;

Now I hold the matches

And I will set light to any bridge I see..

 

Take my hand and stand with me,

In the centre of the inferno;

The raging fire of bitterness;

The popping and thundering of burning hurt.

 

Put your arms around my waist,

And dance with me,

As if this was the last night on earth….

And now, is all we have.

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

baby with a box of matches

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Family Truths

Family Truths

By jfarrell

 

 

It was addressed to me; it’s my 6th birthday;

Dad’s gonna open it… well, why not? Who do I know at 6?

Little white envelope with a stamp;

I’m chuffed I can read my name…

And someone sent me something, on my birthday.

 

There was a letter and some polaroid photographs;

1973, the height of technology :-)

Dad read the letter, looked at the photos

And went to the pub.

I didn’t think any more of it.

 

About 6 hours later…

“Tell me what you did!” whack!

“Tell me the truth you little……” thump!

“Tell me about these….” as he throws some bits of card in front of me.

I blacked out, somewhere there.

 

And awoke face down in kitchen sink

With hot water being poured over my head;

I couldn’t work out why all the water was red.

“Tell me about these!”

‘These’ being polaroid photographs of my being raped that Summer.

 

Turns out, ‘Uncle Brian’ had sent a similar letter and photos

To my cousin’s parents; he groomed and raped us together;

They went back to Ireland and I know nothing else about him, them;

For me, dad had to beat the ‘gayness’ out of me;

And Uncle Peter still blames me for ruining his marriage.

 

And I still feel like a frightened 6 year old

With no idea of what’s going on.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

neither my parents, nor my cousin's contacted the police - mine was a messed up family

Sticks and stones….

Sticks and stones….

By jfarrell

 

 

(I don’t know the origin of the saying, but heard it often growing up)

 

“Squeal for me, little piggy”

Uncle Brian screamed as he beat us with his belt buckle;

He and his friend raped my cousin and I, aged 5;

 

“You always were a girl”

My dad screamed (after he heard);

Beat me so bad, I passed out.

 

“I wish I’d had you aborted….”

You can guess who said this to me;

Though she could hit hard, her tongue always hurt worse.

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But names will never hurt me.”

This was a favourite saying of dad’s… as he let loose.

 

Funny…

45 years later…

The scars from the beatings have healed up…

 

But the pain from the names….

And everything associated….

Twists like a knife in my heart, today.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

one of the greatest lies in the world.... along with the licence is in the post and of course i'll still respect you in the morning

 

tick...tock....tick....tock.....

 

;-)

Slap!!

Slap!!

By jfarrell

 

 

Stop being a girl! Stand up and be a man!

SLAP!!

Don’t let them call you names… hit back…

SLAP!!

 

Take the sweets…. and the comics….

SLAP!!

Now, take my member…

SLAP!!

 

How could I have given birth to you?

SLAP!!

You’ve ruined this family!

SLAP!!.

 

You live in a children’s home?

SLAP!!

Lick my shoes, scumbag!

SLAP!!

 

You know you want these magazines… take them….

SLAP!!

Join my gang, take these pills….

SLAP!!

 

35 years later…

My ears are still ringing

From all that slapping.

 

I think it’s called post traumatic distress disorder (PTSD)

But, every psychiatrist I see

Gives me a new label.

Borderline personality disorder, aspberger’s syndrome,

Acute anxiety disorder;

Sexual anxiety, socialphobic….

Depression….

 

Maybe,

It’s none of them things….

I just got slapped about the head too much as a kid;

My ears (and my mind)

Are still ringing from it.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

.... sorry, didn't hear what you said, you'll have to shout above the ringing..... ;-)

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School scraps

School scraps

By jfarrell

 

“My dad’s bigger than your dad!”

…... remember that, from school?

When I got home from school,

With cuts and bruises,

I’d get 7-8 slaps and hits, before

…. “Did you hit back?”

 

Once,

I hit back.

Can’t remember what the fight was about.

Jason was a year younger than me,

A neighbour, a friend, on my estate,

On my block.

 

I beat him up;

His two teenage brothers beat me up.

 

Should’ve ended there.

 

After the customary 7-8 punches,

To get me talking,

to get me to ‘share’…

He stops hitting me…

Squares his shoulders…

And storms out! “No-one gangs up on my kid, like that!”

 

I watched a hero, my hero,

Storm off down the balcony

And start hammering on Jason’s door…

“I WANNA WORD…..

“WHAT YOUR KIDS DID TO MY SON….”

…. the door opened….

 

…..I’d never noticed Jason’s dad before…..

….He was short, nose to chest, with my father…

And my father was not tall…

…..SHOUT, SHOUT, SHOUT….

One punch…

My ‘hero’, my dad, out cold.

 

I saw it all there, don’t know how;

7-8 years old;

Dad gets drunk hits wife and kids….

He’ll only hit… stand up to…

People smaller than him….

Coward… but I still feared him.

 

In 3 days I will be 50….

You know what….

I think I should stop fearing him…

After all…

He died over 25 years ago

And I’d seen him only once since I was 14.

 

3 days before 50 I, finally, realise…

I’m better than you…

And always have been!

I may not be the ‘man’ you think of….

Beating up littler kids to make me feel better….

I am MORE…. greater… then you ever were.

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

my dragon's bigger than your dragon ;-)

Care

Care

By jfarrell

 

At noon my ‘parents’ went on strike;

Children’s home, NALGO union…

National strike…

Nothing to do with us…

The children in care.

 

They walked out at noon.

The ‘Suits’ came round;

Council officials…

“We have to move you.”

 

My younger sister…

Boarding school in Wales….

Me… only space we got is borstal…

“SORRY! NO! NOT MOVING!”

 

Throughout the afternoon - police amassed;

Helmets, riot shields, batons….

That ONE police van….

Rocking, with muffled barking…

 

A dark grey freezing cold afternoon quickly became….

Dark, overcast, scary….

I saw that van open and all I saw was…

Teeth, hungry teeth, million dogs gonna eat me, bite me, hurt me….

 

I ran…..

Didn’t know where to, just away from here…

My breath misting in the air….

So cold….

Smell of burning….

It’s nearly guy fawlkes night….

What do you expect?……

 

The ashes floating past me

Were my CSE ‘A’ s …..

My education, my future,

Racing ahead of me in the freezing cold night.

 

I didn’t know….

And if I did,

Was there anything I could do?

15 years old, my children’s home going up in flames.

 

this is CARE!

For a political dispute….

I cut myself off from my family, forever;

And didn’t see my future burn as I did it.

 

I was just scared and running away from the dogs;

35 years later….

I’m not a meaningful, productive member of society;

I phone my sister her birthday, she phones me mine;

That’s it!

 

At 11 I was taken into ‘Care’;

“the Care of the State”.

Knowing why I, and my sister, were here…..

They still went out on strike…

 

Has the ‘Care System’ changed since then?

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

my children's home was not burned down, but a lot of fires were started, no idea who by, i was gone

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