When He Came Back


I was ten years old when my mother divorced him. I didn’t know at the time that he had molested my sisters. Neither did she. Nobody knew but them, and they kept their dark little secret to themselves until they became adults. I just knew about the abuse we all knew about. His verbal abuse against my mother and all of us children.

I also knew that he could be fun to be around at times, but then in the middle of the fun he would turn on us. He’d lash out and belittle us and threaten physical violence. He’d lure us into relaxing and showing our vulnerabilities, and then he’d move in for the attack.

He rarely actually resorted to physical violence, but his verbal assaults and threats were terrifying, just the same.

So when my mother divorced him, I felt relieved. Very, very relieved. My spirit lightened. The world looked bright and new. I learned how to relax and be vulnerable and how to play, without fearing the mercurial temperment of a sadistic stepfather.

My new stepfather was a drunk. A likable drunk, but a terrible, falling-down drunk just the same. Two years after the wonderful divorce, my mother made a stunning announcement. She was leaving the drunk and going back to my previous stepfather.

I was now twelve. I pondered what it would be like to have that asshole as my stepdad again. And part of me was excited about the prospect. Maybe he would be different this time. Maybe he had changed. Maybe this time he’d only show us his fun side, and never the sadistic side. I actually looked forward to having him back in my life again.

I was young, naive, and possessed of youthful optimism. It’s the kind of optimism you develop after you’ve gone for awhile letting your guard down, without any harm coming to you.

But I was wrong. He was just as abusive as before. Maybe worse. My carefree childhood was over at the age of twelve. I had to put up the old guard and once again try to hide my vulnerabilities.

I went a little crazy in the ensuing years. But I also learned how to resist and and stand up to this bastard. My failure was letting myself go crazy. That took a long time to overcome. But my success was learning how to stand up for myself. It’s a lesson that has served me well ever since.

I draw from my childhood experience an important lesson for those who are happy, and for those who are horrified, about the recent presidential election.

When he came back, I hoped my stepfather would be a different, better person. He wasn’t. You see, he was a sexual predator. Just like the president-elect. Sexual predators have committed themselves deeply to taking advantage of the vulnerable. If they don’t sexually abuse them, then they abuse them in other ways. Because it’s not about sex, it’s about power and control. And they haven’t learned any other way to obtain power and control, than through abuse.

Based on my personal experience with the sexual predator who was my stepfather, I doubt our new president will change after he assumes office. I believe the next four to eight years will be difficult for vulnerable people who place trust in him. He will not save you. You must save yourself. The occasional good times you experience under his leadership will quickly be overshadowed by problems he will create for you. Be alert, and avoid complacency.

And for those who distrust him, keep in mind that the opposition party will not completely protect you from him. Just as my siblings did not completely protect me from my stepfather. We colluded, and tried our best to be strong together. But we only had limited success.

You must protect yourself. Do your very best to learn how to resist oppression and stand up for yourself. And be as self-sufficient as possible. Try as much as you can to avoid relying on political leaders. Your best hope lies within you, yourself.

And most importantly, don’t let yourself go crazy over this. Calm, objective reason and sanity is what you need most during a time of crisis. When you lose that, it can take a long time to recover it.

Take charge of your life and be your own salvation. That will give you your best chance of succeeding during the next presidency. And for the rest of your life afterward.


  • Brave post. Thanks for sharing.

    It’s a shame that any child has to deal with a sadistic step-father or a sexual predator. That’s just one reason why I can’t believe in the myth of a Christian god. What all-seeing, all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful being could allow that kind of shit to go down?

    Liked by 1 person

  • this is a really good reminder. I was mildly bullied by other kids as a kid (nothing compared to what you dealt with, and nothing sexual). Like you, I got stronger and learned how to deal with shit.

    It always amazed me that Trump’s staff wanted him to just be rational until the election. WTF? He didn’t have any power THEN! Now he will!

    I will take your advice and try not to be crazy. But I will pay attention. I will try to remember the things he’s said and done. I will try to point out the broken promises, the absurdities and the lies. And laugh at him as often as I can.

    Oh, and hope he doesn’t launch a nuclear war or have anybody in my family shot for being an “other.” And destroy our democracy. And a few other things….

    Liked by 1 person

    • What amazes me are all these Republicans, like Romney, who espoused righteous indignation against Trump, and now they’re coming to him with hat in hand, and kissing the Trump rump. What hypocrisy.

      Sounds like you have good plan for dealing with the incoming regime. Just be sure to look out for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know. I’m sure they see themselves as the voice of reason in a dark land. But that doesn’t generally work out — they will be corrupted too. And I doubt they’ll see it coming.

        As for going forward, I hope so. I really am afraid of what might happen because Trump is so thoroughly corrupt. Brazenly so (conflicts of interest were factored in?!?). But we all need to pay attention.

        Liked by 1 person

  • may you continue
    finding each moment’s
    joy & wonders
    as they present themselves
    to transform the deep hurt
    & heal.
    the image of this inappropriate
    should strongly be heeded.
    may those who speak
    & act do so
    with compassion & peace 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • A very powerful post. How very sad that you have to draw from personal experience to provide coping advice for dealing with your new future president.
    Dark days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’m sorry for all you went through. Your first step father sounds a whole lot like my father. It’s horrible living in constant fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This is a powerful post. I’m so sorry that children endure what they endure from family. My abuse was from family visitors and brothers-in-law when I was a child. My distrust has never wavered. My defenses are always up even now with this new president. You stay strong and thank you for liking “Battle Scars.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • Okay so, when I read this I laughed loud. Not because it is funny but because I’ve been cycling through your posts and so many of them made me laugh that the seriousness of this startled me into laughter. I am glad you shared this. I did not see where it was going and it was very powerful because of how you started it. Like getting hit in the face during a melancholy song at the symphony. I enjoy your humor. But your serious side has a tongue that licks the joy out of you leaving very cold spit behind. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Haha I’m now imagining a serious French kiss. Which makes me imagine a funeral and you making out with your wife at a funeral. You’re a beautiful couple by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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