Conquests

Conquests

A Story by barleygirl
"

true story from my youth . . .

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Some people see life as a series of conquests. It’s always about how big or how bad or how smart some ego-maniac thinks he’s been. It’s just one anecdote after another glorifying himself to others. You know the type.

My dad had a favorite narrative demonstrating that he didn’t take s**t from anyone and how he was the toughest son-of-a-b***h you ever met. He told his story often, clearly impressed with himself for being a man’s man. Dad never woke up to the realization that his yarn paints him as a monumental a*****e.

Three-quarters of century ago dad worked in a sweltering hot steel foundry for a few dollars a day. He brought home all his pay to steadily support his wife, two ex-wives, and nine kids. Back in those days people worked piecemeal, especially in factories and farming. You only got paid for actual units finished acceptably. Waiting in line for the only toilet cut into a man’s ability to earn a living.

A coworker took his newspaper into the can and spent too much time stinking up the place, just as workers drank coffee, got busy, and everyone’s bowels were starting to move. Dad had had enough of this guy’s s**t, so he beat the daylights out of him one morning as he exited the bathroom where the guy had been holed up for twenty minutes. Dad crowned himself hero-of-the-workplace that day. Every time dad told his favorite story, he went into great detail to describe how badly he destroyed this guy’s face: “bludgeoned and bloody and well-deserved!”

Dad always finished by saying: “I beat this guy within an inch of his life. He would’ve died if other people hadn’t pulled me off!” The way he said it, I could’ve sworn nearly killing a guy was his lifetime thrill.

* * * * * * * * * *

When I was eleven, we moved to San Antonio Lake, a recreational area where dad was superintendent over two reservoirs, with camping facilities for tens of thousands of tourists on any holiday weekend. Dad was head honcho over a small army of park rangers and aides doing everything from patrolling the waters for boating safety to maintaining a sewage and trash system fit for a small city. With an hour’s drive to the nearest town, hospital or sheriff, the park staff routinely handled all emergencies.

Since I was the boss’s daughter, I had wide access to park facilities. Dad’s office was huge, with towering vaulted ceilings and all-around glass to enjoy a stunning view of the dam some miles off in the distance, with a fifteen-mile lake sprawling below. My sister was married on the spacious lawn in back of this office building, as I sang and played my guitar in accompaniment. My guitar teacher held recitals with dozens of students performing in this beautiful setting. There was a newly-built amphitheater in Redondo Vista Campground where I played my guitar and conducted sing-alongs on Friday nights in summer.

One of the summer rangers attending Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (a university about two hours south) hauled his honky-tonk piano up to the lake every summer so we could gather round and play music. Scott and I were the main attraction, he on the piano and me on the guitar. We played all the country rock from Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels Band, and Pure Prairie League. Once in a while there would be another guitar player, but mostly people nearby grabbed a kazoo, a harmonica, or something hollow for drumming. One summer a guy fashioned a washtub bass, but his gig was mostly about doing the jig.

One afternoon while most were at work, a small group on their days-off gathered at the barracks. The barracks was a cavernous building at the back of the maintenance shop where park aides slept and parked their gear for the summer. As a kid, I hung around the maintenance shop watching the carpenter, Cal, use a router to make signs from thick redwood slabs and then I’d help him paint in the letters. As the boss’s daughter, all these park buildings were my domain. That’s where I hung out in summer when I wasn’t working down at the restaurant or swimming or waterskiing.

I never thought of the barracks as being a large men’s bedroom. And this was in the late 1960’s, when it was improper to spend time in the bedroom of the opposite gender. Since Scott the piano player moved his stuff into the barracks every summer, his piano was located in the “commons” area where everyone sat around picnic tables to eat or read or play cards in their free time. One afternoon like any other afternoon, I was in the barracks singing as Scott played the piano and a few others joined in or just listened.

Suddenly my dad burst in and grabbed me HARD by my bare upper arm and physically dragged me a quarter mile home. He yelled the whole way, spitting in my face as foamy white wads gathered in the corners of his lips. Dad’s strong fist yanking my arm was very painful and I was humiliated to be dragged away and yelled at in front of my friends. I had no idea what was wrong, since we were just having an everyday get-together in the middle of the afternoon.

Once we got inside our front door, dad started hammering my face with his fists. I was the only kid in our family (at that time) who got such fierce beatings, since I wasn’t afraid of him and I yelled back. Dad didn’t go for spanking or slapping. No, he pummeled my head with doubled-up man-sized fists. The whole time, he was berating me for being a s**t and disgracing him in front of his peons.

“What a f*****g hypocrite!” I screamed in dad’s face, which caused him to step up his attack on me. “Talk about being a f*****g disgrace!”

By the time I was twelve, dad’s reign of terror had stopped with me, although he still raped two of my sisters into their twenties. Dad knew I hated his guts and I hated his f*****g antics in my bed, two or three nights a week. My sisters were much more destroyed by lifelong self-hatred because they responded to dad with orgasms. Just because a young girl’s body has an orgasm doesn’t mean she isn’t being raped. It doesn’t mean she enjoys being raped. But to dad, it must’ve felt like everyone responded to his sexual prowess but me. Great gobs of his stinky spit slathered onto my pre-adolescent slit would never cure this frigid b***h and make me warm up to my father the serial rapist.

People in my family did not talk about what was happening behind closed doors. I can’t say what went through dad’s mind, but I have a hunch. I believe dad had it out for me because I hated him and did not want him near me (which I made clear at every opportunity). Yet I was definitely attracted to the boys. Living at the lake in summer was a great place for a hot attractive almost-woman. I did not screw around at this point in my young life. I didn’t even make out with the guys I knew. I was just having fun, partying, making music, going waterskiing and skinny-dipping (while mutually slathering baby oil). It was all innocent fun.

That’s why, as my dad was knocking my head off with his fists that day, I was overcome by the most profound and unforgettable period of hatred toward this beast. After that, I had rage-filled nightmares where I pulverized him slowly to death with a baseball bat. I was filled with hatred toward dad after a night of vicious dreams and it was hard to look up and face the family in the kitchen at the breakfast table the next morning, bloody visions still swimming in my head.

Aside from constant tumult and chaos, there are profound moments that change an abused kid for years to come. For me, this was one of those moments. Dad was beating me up for being a s**t when I had never had sex with any boy my age and HE had been the one steadily raping me since I was a toddler. Not to mention destroying two of my sisters even worse than he destroyed me. And there were two other stepsisters destroyed by dad as little girls (it came out later). The hypocrisy of dad’s beating was too much for my twelve-year-old mind to grasp. A few of my synapses were permanently fried by his red-hot fists.

That moment unleashed a blinding rage inside me that I haven’t been able to put back into the bottle after fifty years of trying. I was a rage-filled b***h most of my life. I still struggle with bouts of rage. One reason I prefer solitude is because I am reasonably assured my rage won’t be triggered by some a*****e spilling his unwanted ego trip onto my serene path. Besides, being alone is an easy sacrifice for me to avoid raging at someone and then hating myself afterwards. Nobody deserves being raged at and I don’t want rage to define me.

Oprah Winfrey (also raped as a child) often said her experience killed the person she might’ve been. She turned out fine, some might say. But nobody knows the deeper damage someone is carrying. So, if you find yourself thinking: “that person should just get over it” . . . please think again.

© 2019 barleygirl


Author's Note

barleygirl
Photo: My guitar teacher Miss Minor leading a recital in my dad's office building (1969). I'm the blonde with white skirt.

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Featured Review

How do you respond to a write like this one? I think writing what you know is a brave endeavor alone, but writing out your deep and harsh demons takes courage and that is the canyon I spoke of when I said, "jump" because this is part of your journey back to the surface ..the details are intensely horrific and as a writer I would suggest editing it down as some of the details are not all that necessary but ..this is amazing what you have endured and I don't usually speak about "content" but in this case..Holy Hell!.A wonderful catharsis and I hope you keep on your journey because once again I can feel the vast improvement in skill. Releasing your monsters from their cage, so to speak. Thanks Margie for sharing your story...Amazing!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Perdition

1 Month Ago

Well put as I truly can appreciate that..thank you again for the courage of sharing...fondly as wel.. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I have been remiss in not acknowledging what a great review this is from you! I was still wrapped up.. read more
Perdition

1 Month Ago

My pleasure as you've done the same and more, quite outstandingly for me, It is very hard to be on a.. read more



Reviews

So sad. I am sorry for what you went through. I am glad you are able to write it and get it out.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Thank you for a supportive & understanding read! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie
I am on the outside looking in here; and for that I count myself so very lucky.

Words don't often fail me; but here they do and I can only let my silence speak.

Beccy. X

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Thank you for a very understanding silence. I know this is shocking to people who had no idea about .. read more
I read the story, carefully taking in everything, trying to visualise it all, feel those things you must have felt. It raised the utmost feeling of revulsion and rage in me and bewilderment that a man can do this to his own daughter. I wonder what thing on earth can turn a man into such a vile, loathsome and evil brute. Not a man but a bloody animal.You have done such introspection and have tried to understand the rage that burns within you and you have tried to contain it by isolating yourself from others. That is very noble of you but please know that your rage is a most natural outcome of the inhuman treatment you received at the hands of this filthy, misshapen creature who by some misplaced whim of God was ordained to be your father in this birth. I’m sorry for the language. I’m just so angry, Margie. No one deserves what you underwent yet you’re to be lauded for sharing it in all its vividness and starkness so that others may know and learn about life. May your takeaways from this ordeal help to enrich your future and make it that much more beautiful and meaningful. Power to you!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

You have said so many profound things, I can't answer all, but this . . . you say my rage is justifi.. read more
DIVYA

1 Month Ago

I so appreciate the positivity in you. Thanks for sharing always. Hugs 🤗
Those youthful years you spent at the lake should've been idyllic. There should've been no monsters worse than the occasional snake or thieving raccoon. Your father should've been your protector, a source of strength and love. My heart breaks to know so much was not right. As I look back on life, I realize that many of us who're generally good people have done bad things. I certainly have, though I didn't recognize my malfeasance at the time. Maybe a lot of people are similar. Your father seems to have been more bad than good, however, and may never have come to regret his horrendous behaviors. Only God knows.
On a brighter note, I love the photo and would dearly have loved to hear you darlings play and sing.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

While dad didn't believe in doctors, I believe he must've been bipolar, as I am. I could write anoth.. read more
This is a most courageous and beautiful share... from a most courageous and beautiful soul:) I know I have said this many times but I really can kill a rapist childmolester with a toothpick... that rage never goes away sometimes it gets misdirected to others and sometimes to the self but it always lingers and oh for the triggers Margie:) That, for want of a better word... Man looks mighty small standing next to you.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

As you know, I've written on this topic many times, in many ways, from since long before I was here .. read more
Robert Trakofler (Bad Bunny)

1 Month Ago

I am sure at some point in the day I will double over and tear and curse whatever deity I can think .. read more
I have been thinking about this since I read it yesterday. Sometimes I don’t know how to respond. I’m still not sure I have a proper response, but I feel like I would like to say something of how this made me feel.

To begin with, your beginning seems to sum up something of the abuser’s mindset. If each action is a singular thing, than you can go on committing the most heinous acts and never feel a compounding sense of guilt or shame. Something like being a god in the mind. Or maybe, if the person feels such sentiments, asking for forgiveness from a higher power after each act and feeling absolved. These kinds of people also seem to have the ability to separate themselves from the broader consequences of their choices. Destroying lives one tick at a time. Your discussion about how your sisters fared after the abuse and what their experience was like will never leave me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that.

But your strength as a person is evident. And if abuse is partly about removing a person’s sovereignty and power, I feel like you were able to usurp that attempt. Of course, there is so much more that hasn’t been said. But your strength and personal authority are something to be admired.

When I look back at pictures of myself (like the picture you have paired with this story) there is an eerie sense of things. If I look happy, sometimes I have to think about where that energy came from. My experiences are very different than yours, but, the sense of living the public life and the private life as two separate entities is something I am very familiar with. The picture of the girl playing her guitar- clean, well-dressed, poised (these are my impressions) is such a contrast to the life experience you detail here, but it is a way toward survival. Grabbing whatever moments of normalcy we can.

I don’t know how people come to feel treating others as their own property is acceptable. It is a terrible fact of life for many children and adults. Your sharing of your story offers a stark portrait of one example. The graphic detailing is like a punch in the gut, but details are what make experience clear and they are necessary if we are ever to envision the sufferings of others.

I had a lot of other things I wanted to say, but I’ve lost them now. I just wanted to say I appreciate you putting your raw experience out here. I still feel a need for those two lives (the public and private). I need the ability to control what I can. But maybe someday I will feel stronger in letting my experience be read in the light of day. And works like this make me feel stronger in my own understanding and vision of myself. Thank you, Margie.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

This is a stunning gift of sharing & I thank you from the bottom of my (cold this morning) toes! I'l.. read more
In spite of being primed by some of your earlier writes Margie this is still shocking. What a contrast between the sweet young musicians and what you recount. I 'M sure that your indomitable spirit to fight back has help you survive but I'm aware of the deep seated damage it must cause. It seems incredible that he was able to get away with this but we just need to look at Epstein and Trump to see how this vile behaviour becomes normalised. I hope nobody underestimates how brave it is to share these secrets and even in WC you can see that there are many others.
Well done for this fine writing.
Cheers,
Alan

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I've been working up to this for the almost-four years I've been at the cafe. For years I've been un.. read more
Abuse has many variants … whether physical, sexual or phycological they are all devastating to the victim. I can't tell you, as a young boy how many times I wished my dad dead, for the abuse we suffered at his hands … but the demons that would transform him from a happy go lucky man into that dark and dreadful beast he could become was almost too much to bear. I suppose the label they would put upon it nowadays is PTSD, but it didn't matter at the time what the cause was, all we knew was when the darkness took over, he was not our father, but some twisted caricature of a man.
We survived, as did you, but the scars remain.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ted Kniffen

1 Month Ago

Well, my dad passed away in 1964 ... I guess he drank himself to death ... a prime example of a man .. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

As one of God's finest ideas for retribution, dad spent 15 years dying an excruciating death from Pa.. read more
Ted Kniffen

1 Month Ago

All good things come to those who wait. Can't remember who first said that but I think it fits.
How do you respond to a write like this one? I think writing what you know is a brave endeavor alone, but writing out your deep and harsh demons takes courage and that is the canyon I spoke of when I said, "jump" because this is part of your journey back to the surface ..the details are intensely horrific and as a writer I would suggest editing it down as some of the details are not all that necessary but ..this is amazing what you have endured and I don't usually speak about "content" but in this case..Holy Hell!.A wonderful catharsis and I hope you keep on your journey because once again I can feel the vast improvement in skill. Releasing your monsters from their cage, so to speak. Thanks Margie for sharing your story...Amazing!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Perdition

1 Month Ago

Well put as I truly can appreciate that..thank you again for the courage of sharing...fondly as wel.. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I have been remiss in not acknowledging what a great review this is from you! I was still wrapped up.. read more
Perdition

1 Month Ago

My pleasure as you've done the same and more, quite outstandingly for me, It is very hard to be on a.. read more

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Added on November 20, 2019
Last Updated on November 20, 2019

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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Just loving life & sharing my blessings. more..

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