I am the little girl who at five years old, hid in her room all day. She didn't want to upset him so she avoided him. She didn't want another "spanking". I am the seven year old who learned to stop complaining about staying in the corner all day. I make it through, silently, and in pain because I know that standing up for myself has consequences. I am eight and I will not cry because crying means a beating. I show no emotion. I am that ten year old who spent every second she could with friends because she was afraid to face him. I haven't faced him since the day he left when I was 12 years old.
My sister loves him, and I don't blame her. He is her father. He treated her better. So when he comes to pick her up, I hide. When she posts his photos, I cringe, and move on. I am ashamed to admit that he still controls my life. I am shy, quiet, reserved. I back away from arguments, avoid conflict. I don't know how to stand up for myself. I live in fear. I wonder how different my life would be if my mom hadn't let Steve into our lives. How different I would be. He still controls me. I am so ashamed of that.