Being a Lab Rat (part 2)

Being a Lab Rat (part 2)

A Chapter by Shep

Chapter 46-1

Being a Lab Rat

(part 2)



Shawn growled, “Mule boy” and Dad chased after him; telling Shane “go put on a shirt.” taking off his belt in one fluid motion and hurried down the basement after Shawn, I heard the belt snap and Shawn screamed. It terrified me every time I heard the scream I jumped and tried to hide under the table or try to run anywhere that Dad or my father couldn’t find me. I knew better too hide, but it didn’t stop me from trying, fear and panic always win. Shane quickly grabbed me around the waist and placed his right leg in between mine, wrapping his foot around my ankle making it impossible to move in any direction. I screamed as the belt increased rhythm and my screams added to his.

Mom placed her hand over my mouth, placing one underneath my chin to stop my screams, and to make sure that I was looking at her instead of the room. She said, “Don’t. Take a deep breath and slowly let it out.” She took her hand off my mouth and released my chin, leaning me against Shane, lying my legs and feet across the chairs and her lap. She placed her hand on my chest and held my other hand, telling me to do it again and again. I was almost calm. My shoulders began to relax and my breathing was slow and calm. Mom said, “Now repeat your safe words.” It was a breathing exercise known as ‘abdominal breathing’ or belling breathing; a form of deep breathing exercises to induce calm after a severe panic or PTSD trigged flashback of a traumatic event. Psychologists suggested trying it instead of drugs, which Mom was all for.

Shane released his grip and turned enough so that he could lean my head on his chest more comfortably for us so that I could hear his heartbeat and match my breathing to his. Mom told me to close my eyes and concentrate on Shane’s breathing and his heartbeat. “One beat, one breath. Slowly feel his chest rise and fall.” The more I concentrated on Shane the more Shawn’s screams lessened. It was as if they were far away. Mom released me so that she could take my stats. Mom had Kerry remove everyone slowly and wait in the living room. She replaced her hand on my chest, telling me to repeat my safe words while taking deep breaths and slowly releasing them.

Arthur bumped the table and I jerked. As my body tensed, Shane put his arm around my shoulders, telling me I was safe in his arms. He said that it was just him and Mom in the room; having me repeat the exercise. The room was quiet and the screams were still faint. I concentrated on letting my breathing match Shane’s, feeling his warm chest touch me. My breathing matching his; Mom slowly, and carefully, took my stats, letting me relax completely. I was almost at a resting rate and close enough to sleep that I could almost feel my body enter. I slowly breathed to match the rhythm. Deeper and deeper I went with each heartbeat that Shane and I took.

The second the basement door open, my eyes jerked open and my body tenses and I saw the belt in Dad’s hand. I screamed in complete and utter terror as Shane wrestled me down onto the floor, Indian style. Mom had to start all over again and scratched out resting state to traumatized state; growling at Dad. She yelled at him to leave now or they would never be able to calm me down, pushing him outside and locking the door. It was too late, Shane, was no match this time as I was completely terrified. I escaped and fled down the hall to my room, crouching in the corner, screaming at my father’s phantom. My mind couldn’t process quick enough to determine which was real and which wasn’t, not without sleep in such a long time. I screamed louder and louder if anyone touched me until I knew for sure who it was.

Shane pushed everyone out with the exceptions of him and Kerry. He slammed the door, letting them lock us in, so I couldn’t get out until I was me again. Until I knew where I was; knowing my mind could process his face or a close resemblance of Jeff’s face as it shifted from one form to another. It if it was Dad and made it three times worse until I felt he was no longer angry or a threat. Having Mom’s face shifted into my mother’s face, so it increased my theorized state if they were both in the same room with me. My mind couldn’t process through the trancelike state I was in as it shifted through the realities.

We found that it worked better with Shane or Kerry. It took longer with her because I couldn’t feel her heartbeat, so I would lose my concentration when her shirt or blouse would hide her breathing pattern or feel the warmth of her body as I could with Shane. It was the close skin contact that made it more effective; feeling warm and safe, being able to feel them breath in a calm rhythm that made the attacks break. The doctors called it ‘diaphragm breathing.’

Shane slowly approached and put his arms around me as I struggled until my mind could determine there was not a threat and I wasn’t in any danger when I listened to his calm voice. Slowly letting him bring me to the ground leaning me against him repeating the exercise the psychologist outlined. Within thirty minutes I was calm and relaxed and almost to doze like state. Kerry knocked on the door, whispering that Shane had calmed me back down to resting state.

Letting Mom in so that she could slowly approach me; she took her time so that my mind could realize that Mom wasn’t my mother; it was more difficult with Dad. He had to prove he wasn’t angry and that he didn’t have his belt or whip. After he convinced me, he took Shane’s place; removing his shirt so that my blood didn’t stain another one of his shirts and that I could hear his heartbeat. He would let me feel the warmth of his skin and know that I was safe in his arms; repeating the exercise. Soon after I was back to reality; knowing I was safe and unharmed. When I was calm and I knew that Dad and Mom weren’t angry, I could leave the room.

Since dinner was basically over and put away by the time we came out of the room; we had dressed in our swim trunks and got ready to go. Shane had placed clean towels with our boxer and shorts in a small gym bag so we had something dry to change into. Dad tossed me the football, yelling to the girls to make sure they had clothes for Jared and Jason, as he dressed them in their swim trunks Shane left me in the living room with Mom so that she could take my stats before we headed out; he needed to tend to Arthur and make sure he was clean enough to go out in public.

Making sure his hair was combined, that his hands and face were washed; making sure he had a clean shirt, matching socks, and that his laces were tied. He refused to go barefoot and leave his shirt behind; even though he was told we were just going to the pool. He threw a fit if he didn’t get his way. So it was just easier to deal with it and let Dad take care of it when we got there. I did say he had the mind of 3 years old sometimes?

Shawn was locked in his room, because of his outburst. He wouldn’t be joining us so that he could think about his actions. Mom hated going down to the basement, but she couldn’t leave until she had a personal talk with Shawn. Mom wanted to make sure that Dad hadn’t gotten carried away like he had done with me; washing the calamine lotion off her hands. She told Dad that he would have some bruising on his bottom for a few days. “He’s lucky I didn’t follow through with my threat of putting him in the hot box,” Dad said.

Monday night was always a good time to go to the pool because it was basically empty. Dad, Arthur, and the girls changed in the locker rooms while the rest of us wasted no time in jumping right into the pool. Mom had purchased a new bathing suit after finding out how good it felt not to have to carry so much extra weight. She was four months pregnant and had a semi-round belly. She moaned as she slipped into the pool and the game was on. Jared, Jason, and Arthur swam in the kiddies’ pool with Mom and Jody keeping an eye on them. The rest of us dived into equal teams as Mom refereed. She used her cheating techniques whenever anyone came nearby.

Dad and Kerry fought dirty every time Shane and I had the ball. Grabbing our ankles as we swam to our goal line. They would tickle our feet and find our ticklish spots having me and Shane loses the ball. But having the room made the difference as Shane would swim under Dad’s legs and grab him by the ankles holding him back as I made it quickly to the goal line. Jody and Mom tried to get Arthur to join us, but he refused, staying in the corner until Jody got mad to find what the problem was. She yelled for Mom when she found fresh bruises across his back, chest as well burn marks that weren’t there yesterday. Of course, that was considering it was the last time any of us had actually seen him without a shirt. Mom yelled for Dad, stopping the game and bringing him closer, but he refused. It caused him into a screaming fit that was very unlike him.

Dad asked him who did this. Arthur cowered in the corner and said that if he told anyone he would be punished. Dad looked at Shane who said it wasn’t him, considering he’d been with me nearly every minute. Dad asked, again, “Who did it and where?” He still refused to answer, repeating in his broken English. “He kill me if I say.” Dad growled Shawn’s name to which Arthur confirmed. “Dad, please don’t. He’ll make worse. Say I told on him.” Arthur pointed to me. “Shawn say his fault do my chores.”

Dad was more than angry as he climbed out of the pool, dragging Arthur with him and back into the locker rooms. We started to follow, but he told us to remain calm and not draw attention. He told us, “I’ll be back at nine when the pool closes. I will not have Shawn or anyone ruins another family night outing. Come, Arthur, let’s go.” Arthur screamed, kneeling, as Dad just picked him up and placed him under his arm. He said, “Calm yourself, boy, right this minute, or you will get a beating.” Arthur stopped struggling as I saw the hatred in his eyes as he looked at me, yelling. “It’s his fault, Dad.” Dad sat him down. “Yes, Arthur, I know its Shawn’s fault.” Arthur said, “No, Dad. Mule boy’s fault. Not me, him.” Pointing at me.

Dad looked back at me then back at Arthur asked. “Why he felt it was Eric’s fault.”

Arthur said. “Because Shawn says it him, making all us do his chores, just when you whipped him, and now got do nothing… mule boys fault, mule boys fault. Not me”

Arthur screamed and cried as it echoed off the walls. “He made fool us in church, he don’t do share, don’t go school. He got do everything that I don’t or James did. Shawn say he got good room say he betters then us. While I got nothing, no nice bed, no nice blanket; no nice clothes, no nice shoes, don’t earn nice food. Shawn say his fault why he grounded when be him Dad, not me, not Shawn, mule boy bad, very, very bad. Need punished; bad mule boy, bad, bad, not nice.” Arthur pounds the ground with his fist yelling over and over; “bad mule boy, bad, need punished, not nice. Make fool Shawn say make fool Dad, make fool Mom. Make fool all family. Bad mule boy, bad be punished Shawn say.

Dad growled. “Arthur gets up,” picking him off the ground by his waist threw him over his shoulder kicking screaming and carried him into the locker room. Shane got out of the pool telling me to stay with Mom and Kerry. But we all knew the night was ruined as people began to stare. So we left Mom apologizing saying that the boy was mentally retarded like it explained everything, but seeing my back didn’t help matters as Kerry quickly covered me up with a towel telling me don’t stop, just meet them up front.

Mom grabbed Jason and Jarred and their things while we high tailed it out of there. Mom and Kerry laid our towels on the seats of the car; while Dad and Shane quickly placed Arthur in the car telling him to sit quietly. I watched as he rocked back and forth shaking saying. “Bad mule boy, bad, Dad will punish mule boy now, not me, no not me, mule boy.”

Kerry said, “shut up and be still.”

© 2019 Shep

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Added on April 10, 2019
Last Updated on May 10, 2019



Santaquin, UT

Updated Feb 09, 20 2019 In short I am a Male 52 years of age and Permanently Disabled due to a car accident and suffer from seizures and Sever PTSD. So I have a lot of time on my hands. One of t.. more..

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