Zooty Owl's Crafty Blog

Colourful Crochet, Craft, Cooking, and Contemplations

Friday 4 September 2020

The day before my father went to Alcoholics Anonymos

Early January 1982 we went with my mommy to drop my father Jacob Johannes Kruger off at work.  He was a belligerent functional alcoholic. 

The night before had been particularly horrible.  He had been drinking most of the night, throwing stuff and hitting my mom.  For a change I hadn't had a beating (he got my mom pregnant before she was 18 and apparently it was my fault that he was such a failure).  I was just short of fifteen and for what I can remember of those fifteen years mommy and I had been abused every day. 

For the first seven years we lived next door to my beloved grandparents and it was just emotional abuse and fear, having a gun stuck in my face and being told to shut up about what he did to my mom. 

After we moved away the physical abuse started.  He always beat us where no one could see it.

Most of the time he was out of steam when it came to my sister Tania who was five years younger than me.  She has the same selfish nature as our father and loves to play the victim.  I think that is why he left her alone for the most part.  My nature is the exact opposite. 

On the way to Krugersdorp where he was manager at Stern's Jewellers, my sister was as usual whining about something. He stopped the car just by the railway in Wentworth Park.   Got out of the car, went into the bush and cut a branch off a tree.    He always was armed and had a lead pipe and a massive bush knife in the car.  He pulled me out of the car and beat me actross my back, legs and shoulders.  Then made me get back in the car telling me to shut up or he would give me something to tjank about (whine in Afrikaans).

He had beaten me so badly that my skin split open and haematoma started forming ( I have permanent nerve damage in my shoulders, back and legs).   Mom had tried to shield me and he had for the first time hit her where it could be seen splitting her arms open.  

Mom had to take me to my Nanna's doctor as she could not afford the doctors fee because my father drank out all the money.   The doctor phoned my Grandparents.  They came to the rooms.   The doctor phoned my father and told him he had a record of the abuse.   My Oupa went to my father's work and told him if he ever touched me again he would have him jailed, and if he didn't get sober he and my Nanna would have us taken away.  That was the first time my grandparents found out about this as mom and I had hidden it so well.

That night Mon fetched him.  We stayed home and found a place to hide.  He just dropped mom off and went straight to the bar.  

He came home drunk out of his mind after the bar closed.   Having already lost control of his bodily functions he threw his soiled clothes in the passage and started raging around naked.  Hurling glass and pots out of the cupboards looking for more booze.   He was so off his face he drank methylated spirits.  Which he vomited up all over the kitchen.  

I locked myself and my sister in the sitting room which was the only door with a key and we hiid under the furniture.   We could hear him hitting mom with a police belt he called "Sloegem".   His favourite was beating us with the buckle end.

The next day was the first day of my second year of high school.  I patted baby powder over my face to cover up the redness from crying most of the night.   Put on my uniform and went to school as if nothing had happened.

When we got home there was an intervention from Alcoholics Anonymous.  That was the last day he drank.

He got sober.  Got the badges and the pats on the shoulder for beating his addiction.   He got to be the hero.  

The fact that my father had broken me in every way possible was conveniently forgotten.   He remained an emotional abuser and gas lighter.

My grandfather got cancer and died February 1983.

The thing that enrages me the most was that his sanctimonious eldest sister, Kitty, knew about the abuse and did nothing. If my brother abused his family I sure as hell wouldn't turn a blind eye.

The first time I tried to commit suicide  was just after I left school.  I had been interviewing  for a bursary and he told me I was too stupid to get it and would remain a nothing for the rest of my life.  I  have an IQ  of 145 which by no means makes me a genius  but I'm far from stupid.

Luckily  I knew nothing about meds back then and took just enough paracetamol  to make me violently ill.  I had to be hospitalised  for two weeks.

I did get the bursary, came first in my class and got a brilliant job.   I had to work for two years at the company  to repay my bursary.   

I hope this helps give others a voice to speak out and find healing.

Name THEM and shame THEM