This is a true story, as told to us by Alice (not her real name):
When I was born my mother was dismayed — she didn’t want a child so soon after marriage and resented the attention I received. She told me several times that I was a mistake and unwanted. She told me that I was unattractive, repulsive even, and she avoided physical contact with me as much as possible, though she lavished it on my sister. She would go to shows and other fun events with my aunt, and my cousin, and occasionally my sister.
When later on as an adult I asked her why she disliked me so she didn’t hesitate to say that from the moment I was born I had looked at her with “infant rage in your eyes.”
My father was permanently angry and even vicious. He physically punished us and we were terrified of him. He too didn’t want to spend any time with my sister or me and the time he did spend was insufferable—he was constantly attacking us either verbally or physically. I used to pray when he was at work that he wouldn’t come home. Ever.
My sister had learning disabilities and other problems and our main interactions were when she was hitting or torturing me physically.
My father’s father died when I was very young, and my other three grandparents saw at least some of the abuse but remained silent.
After a little more than a decade of marriage, my mother’s father died and she inherited several million dollars and walked out the door, leaving my sister and me behind. My father hired a detective, found out where she was living, and promptly dropped my sister and me on her doorstep with a suitcase apiece. My mother called the police who then drove us back to my father’s house.
I stopped eating. Within a short time I became very ill and fainted at school one day. The school nurse rushed me to the hospital where my father was called to my bedside. He arrived, crying. Despite my intense fear and dislike of him, I had a glimpse of hope. I thought if he was crying he must care about me.