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The Torture Box

His Tool Box

Photo by Hunter Haley on Unsplash

When someone is determined to cause pain, they will use almost anything to succeed. During my childhood, I was on the other side of these painful selections. These selections still affect me to this day and add on to the PTSD that I already have based on my childhood abuse. When I was younger, my stepfather was into most of the things dads are into, which included his love for tools. My stepfather enjoyed buying tools and getting tools for Father’s Day; he was always putting stuff together. 

However, I never imagined that the toolbox full of things that were meant to fix things would be used to break me. For almost every tool in a toolbox, I have a story about how it was used to cause pain in my life. First up is a pair of pliers. I never imagined that pliers would be used to twist someone’s lip with or squeeze their breast with. As a little girl, I was already introduced to ways in just how bad torturing could get. I remember waking up the morning after my nipples were squeezed and just seeing them black and blue in the mirror. I would show my stepdad, and he would act like it just popped up out of know where instead of addressing the fact that he was responsible. My breast seemed to be the go-to part of the body to be used when punished. Maybe it was because they were covered with my clothing and no one could see the bruises underneath my shirt. When my stepdad called me into the washroom in our house, I knew that the toolbox was open and ready to be used. Sometimes he would already be punishing me in the room and tell me to get the pliers, mallet, or whichever tool he anxiously wanted to use for that day or night. I remember one night he tried to clamp my breast with wood clamps; these tools look like big pliers or jumper cables. This punishment didn’t last long because the clamps were too big for my breast. Jumper cables were also used on my breast one day, but luckily the cables fell off my breast and instead of continuing with punishing in that way he chose a different punishment. While I was a child, we moved around a lot, and at one point in our move, we had to put a few things in storage, including the toolbox. I remember feeling relieved because he wouldn’t have access to his tools as usual. Little did I know he was willing to drive to the storage unit with me and perform the punishments in the back of the storage behind all of our things where no one could see or hear the pain I was going through. Lastly, one of the worst experiences that I’ve ever had from his toolbox was the introduction of the mallet. A mallet is shaped like a hammer but has a bigger head, with rubber covering it (I remember the specific mallet to the T). Racing through my memories as I type right now, I remember this torture introduction was done because of my stepfather's extreme jealousy with the thought of anybody showing anyone else attention in the world besides him. We used to live in a really small town that he was from where everyone knew everyone, as well as everyone was in everyone’s business. When my siblings and I started school, we got a lot of attention at first because we were the new kids. Some of that attention was from boys that thought me and my sisters were pretty. My stepfather found out about this and took it to the extreme. What could’ve been a father-daughter conversation about boys turned into a painful conversation with even worse consequences? I believe that my stepdad was jealous of the boys way younger than him. He was also jealous because he knew we were developing crushes at this age and they weren't crushes over him. 

After already being punched, choked, kicked around, and lectured for hours, he told me to get the mallet out the washroom. I was already exhausted from being thrown around and being choked that I knew death had to be next. As I walked to the washroom, my heart was being fast, my hair was all over the place, and I was in tears. Despite this feeling, I did as I was told and proceeded to walk back to my bedroom with the mallet. A mallet is heavy, so I had no idea what he was planning on doing with this. One time I was told to lay on my back as my stepdad dropped a 10 lb weight on it so I assumed the punishment would be similar. Well, let me say I was utterly wrong; instead, I was told to place my head in between his knees and stay still. What happened next was terrible. I received blow after blow after blow on my head. Moving around didn’t make it easier; at one point, I just told myself to take a deep breath and take it. I still have a lump on my head from this night. Every time I feel it, I am reminded of the time he made me bleed. My hair started to cover with blood that night. As the memories dig deeper, I can’t write about this anymore. Who would've thought everyday tools could cause so much pain in someone's life?

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