My name is Randy Boyd and I am a 53 year old survivor of childhood sexual, emotional, verbal, physical and spiritual abuse. My earliest memory of the emotional abuse is around the age of 5 or 6 when I was out front with my mother in the garden wanting to help her. I went up to help her, and for reasons I still am unaware of today, she turned to me and asked, "What do you want you stupid little son-of-a-bitch". I can still see the anger and hate in her eyes and I remember how bad I felt, the shame I felt.
My name is Randy Boyd and I am a 53 year old survivor of childhood sexual, emotional, verbal, physical and spiritual abuse. My earliest memory of the emotional abuse is around the age of 5 or 6 when I was out front with my mother in the garden wanting to help her. I went up to help her, and for reasons I still am unaware of today, she turned to me and asked, "What do you want you stupid little son-of-a-bitch". I can still see the anger and hate in her eyes and I remember how bad I felt, the shame I felt. My mother also stuffed more soap down my mouth than I care to remember. I remember how scared I was of her when she would get upset with me. She was so full of anger, rage and hate. To this day I do not understand how a mother can do this to a child.
My parents divorced when I was 10 years old. I still remember the day. Myself, my mother & brother had returned home from a trip to Indiana to visit relatives while my father stayed at home to work. I remember how excited I was to get home and see my father, only to have him not be at home. I remember running around the house looking for him with excitement. When I asked my mother where he was, she told me he was not at home. When I asked when he was coming home, she said he wasn't. I remember how confused I was. I did not understand why he was not coming home and no one really explained it to my brother and I. To this day, I feel I have not really dealt with the trauma of that day. My father was my hero and remains so today.
While no one ever explained to us what was going on, my father did come and get us every other weekend. I remember spending a lot of time with him between the ages of 10 & 12. In the meantime my mother had began dating other men. The man that was to eventually become my stepfather was a man named Jack . Jack was a divorced man with three children of his own, however Jack would always treat us as his own. I do not remember any real emotional bond with Jack, although he was fun to be around and showed us more of material affection rather than emotional affection. What Jack did was earn my trust.
At the age of 12 years old, my father passed away. He was 32 years old and cancer had taken him. Again, I was only told that my dad was very sick, I was never told that he was going to die, just that he was sick and trying to get better. So, as you can see by the age of twelve, I have experienced two huge abandonment issues and learned that secrets and lying was okay.
So here I am, a vulnerable twelve year old boy, his father just died, he is hurting,needs a father's love and a father figure in his life. What a better opportunity than now for a perpetrator to make his move. That is exactly what Jack did, preyed on a wounded and broken child. It started as petting and fondling me and him having me masturbate him, "Don't tell anyone, this is our little secret". Cool, I felt special, I had a secret pal. Remember I was 12 years old and needed a father's love and this is what he was showing me and telling me he was giving me. I remember when he had me go get my neighbor kid and have him come in my room while he hid in the closet. He wanted me and this neighbor boy to perform sexual acts so he could watch from the closet. I remember getting him in the bedroom and becoming confused, I turned to the closet and asked Jack what I should do. I still remember how mad he was to this day that I gave him away and the shame I felt after he got done yelling at me. I was so confused.
You have to remember, while I knew something was not right, I was told early on this was to be our secret and now you had the church and “GOD” as they knew him in the mix, talk about confused.
Then there was the violence. He verbally assassinated my mother and myself as well as physically beat her and I. More than once she would come home with black eyes. If the beatings took place at home, I was usually next to get it as I would usually smart off to Jack while he was beating her. Remember I said Jack was the father of three other children. Two sons and a daughter. One of the sons was a product of the sixties and smoked a lot of pot and took a lot of LSD. I believe Jack took all his frustration and guilt of his son’s behavior out on me. I know this because I witnessed it first hand on the job sites. My step brother would screw up or pop off to Jack, and Jack in turn would take out his frustration with his own son on me, this happened on several occasions, being falsely accused of things I did not do. This was another wonderful trait of Jacks, I was constantly being accused and punished for things he said I had done, and truth be told I was not doing. Eventually my attitude became that of, well if you are going to accuse me of it and beat me for it, I will just as well do it.
His way of punishment was with violence and beatings. He used the term, “With thy Rod and Staff” from the bible as his mantra. There was no discussing anything with Jack or my mother. What they said was all that mattered, my opinion or feelings did not matter. In fact when I would try to talk about how I felt, it usually resulted in a beating or restriction of some sort, my feelings were not valid and didn’t matter.
My mother had absolutely no parenting skills herself. If I would get in trouble after school, she would send me to my room and let Jack deal with me, which meant a brutal beating. I remember countless times laying on my bed all tucked into a ball trying to protect myself from either his fist or the belt. I even tried laughing at the belt lashing one time, only aggravating him and increasing his rage towards me.
I remember when I was 17 years old. I had come home from school and my mother and I were having a conversation about something. Once again I was trying to tell her how I felt about something and her answer was, “That’s it, you are going on restriction” Well being the rebellious 17 year old I had become by now, the next day the surf had come in, I came home from school loaded up my surfboard and as I was leaving my mother approached me and reminded me that I had been put on restriction at which time I laughed and said you have to be joking. I try to explain how I feel and you put me on restriction, good by. Jack was out of town working at this time so it was just me and my mother. Well my mother called the police on me and when I got home I got a good lecture by the police reminding me that I was only 17 years old and what my parents said is what I was to do, period! Well Jack got home the following night about 10:00 p.m. and my mother told him what had happened the day before. I am sound asleep in my bed and Jack burst into my room, grabs me by the hair on my head, yanks me out of bed and starts beating the living daylight out of me. My mother was yelling at him to stop and brother was woke up by the yelling and had to pull Jack off of me. Years later I asked my brother about that night, if it was as bad as I thought or am I crazy. He told me if he had not been there to pull Jack off of me, he probably would have killed me.
So by the age of 17 I believe, yet am truly unsure, the sexual abuse had stopped. However the physical, emotional, verbal & spiritual abuse was still in full force. My brother played football in high school and was a real good player, he was named defensive player of the week on the varsity football team damn near every week. Again this was around the age of 17, we were all at the dinner table and Jack asked my brother if he was going to play football again the following year and go on to college to play. My brother replied very respectfully, NO. When my stepfather proceeded to ask him why, he told him he wanted to get a job so he could buy a surfboard and eventually his on car. Jack told him that as long as he was playing football, he would not have to worry about any of that, it would be provided for him. Now when I turned 16, I was given a brand VW for a Christmas present. I loved to play baseball among other things, however later Christmas night I was pulled aside and told “I” would have to pay for the car on monthly payments, the insurance and maintenance, wow what was presented to me as a gift, once again, had a price tag on it. I reluctantly said ok as they had already put the money down and could not recover it. However this meant I would have to get a job and give up certain things like “Baseball” in order to be able to work and study in school. I know ultimately I made the decision, however I was a very confused teenager and was doing anything for acceptance from whom ever I could get it from and however I could, and I knew the car would make me noticed. At the time I received this car, I was driving a 1957 VW that I was in the process of rebuilding and fixing up and I really was ok with it. I don’t want to sound like a spoiled unthankful person here, so on with why I am telling you this. You see when Jack told Richard he would be provided with what ever he wanted and needed as long as he played football, I could not keep quite. I told Jack he had to be kidding, he plays football and you will provide him with what ever he wants, yet you bought a VW and presented it as a gift to me, only to tell me later I had to get a job and pay for it and I had to give up the game I loved, Baseball, to do it? That’s just wrong I told him. Well needless to say it was the wrong thing to do, challenge Jack. At the dinner table a pretty heated argument ensued and I was kicked out of the house that night.
The next evening right around dinner time, I went by the house knowing they would be eating dinner, went through the garage door to my bedroom so they could not hear me to get my things. However, they did hear me and when Jack approached me and asked what I was doing, I told him I was getting my stuff and moving out. Once again a heated and this time a physical confrontation, on Jack’s side, ensued. I remember standing in the driveway with my arms full of the ceramic pots I had made and Jack coming up and hitting me in the face. My mother threatened to call the police, however she was stopped by Jack. I was able to leave without any further confrontation and I remember the girl that took me home to get my stuff, a member of our church could not believe what she had just seen, yet it remained a secret in the church.
“So what?“, you might be asking. As I am writing this I realize this incident along with some of the others I have mentioned are the root of some of my character defects. You see I always felt less than, not enough, not worthy of love or the good things life had to offer. Anytime things started going right or everything was good in my life, I would self sabotage it. You see everything good that I had in my life had a high price tag attached to it, something negative. Starting with the love for my father, him leaving us when I was 9 years old, then he died and left for ever when I was 12. At Christmas, our house would be full of gifts, more than any one person should get, yet it was all “MORDITA” gifts. I learned how to manipulate Jack into getting things I wanted or “else”, man he hated those words. And when he told my brother that he would by him whatever he wanted, including a car, as long as he would play football, the message I got was that I was not worthy of such goodness and I carried that feeling with me all my life up until I became sober and starting working on my core issues.
I talk about “Spiritual” abuse. You see, while all this was happening, as I mentioned earlier, my mother and Jack had become “Born Again Christians” and used the bible and “GOD” as not only a tool but weapon against me. I literally had the “FEAR” of God instilled so deep into the fiber of my being, I eventually grew to hate and despise God. This is to say the God they were teaching me about. Remember we were all going to church, twice on Sunday and to one or two prayer meetings/bible studies as well as a youth group during the week. I was being told not to judge people, yet this congregation would tell me if you did not believe in there God, you would burn in hell, being very specific about other religions such as Buddhism, Jews, Catholics or any other religion, I was being brain washed. They talked about being loving and kind to each other, yet what I saw was a lot of people who, as I like to say, Love you on Sunday and F____d you on Monday. Hell I could not even surf on Sunday as they thought I was worshiping “another” God when in fact I was getting closer to God when I was in the ocean enjoying the natural beauty and energy that God provided for our enjoyment. The bible term “thy rod and thy staff” were used literally against me in the beatings I received from Jack.
Here is one of the toppers for me. Jack and my mother were counseled on a weekly basis by the minister of our church. He would come over once a week, and the three of them would sit out in his little Blue Maverick and have there “Counseling” session. Well this on particular evening when Dick walked in the house to greet us as he always did, as he turned to walk out, he asked myself and Jack to come out to the car instead of my mother and Jack. I sat in the back seat and Jack and Dick were in the front seat. Dick turned to me and said, “Jack has told me what has been going on between the two of you sexually. I just want to tell you that it is all part of growing up and it does not mean your homosexual.” I remember how I sunk down in my seat and the overwhelming feeling of shame overtook me. I wanted to kill both of them, “Its part of growing up and I’m not homosexual”! I knew I was not homosexual and as far as part of growing up, what exactly did Jack tell him, or better yet, what did he “NOT” tell him. Now I have the minister of the church condoning what Jack is doing. The religion part got so bad that when I went on a trip somewhere with one of my friends, I put all my eight track tapes in the headboard of my bed so they would not get stolen out of my car, these were tapes I had worked for and bought with my own money.
Well when I got home, they were all gone except one, Jim Croche tape. When I asked my mother where they were she informed me she took them and threw them away. When I asked her why she replied, “Because it’s all devil music” Well I got the brilliant idea to call the sheriff on her for theft. Well when they arrived I told them what had happened and they told me once again, because I was only 17, she could do what ever she wanted as she was my mother. I argued the fact that I had worked to earn the money to buy all those tapes myself, only to have them tell me she was my mother and I was only 17 years old. I came to find out later that my stepsister was at the house the day she destroyed my tapes and did everything possible to talk her out of doing it. She was able to convince her that Jim Croche was not a devil tape, that’s why that one was still in my headboard.
You see I had absolutely no voice growing up. Every time I tried to talk about how I felt, every time I disagreed with my parents, it resulted in either a severe beating, restriction or I was extremely discounted. It was made very clear to me that my feelings were not valid. Like I said earlier my friends would just laugh at me when I would start to tell them about some big trip we were suppose to go on that would never materialize. I remember clearly the day Jack had gone on a rampage and was tearing the house apart. I ran out of the house running up and down the street screaming and asking neighbors to help, only to be turned away and discounted. There was a couple of other incidences where I mentioned to people in the church how violent Jack was, only to have them tell me, no you can’t be right, Jack is to nice of a person, you must be mistaken. So for those of you who are saying to yourself, “Why did he not tell someone what was going on and happening to him?” Well, I believe the answer is quite evident and if it is not let me make it clearer for you. Remember how I mentioned I was constantly being accused of things I was not doing, remember how if I would try to talk about how I felt or if I disagreed in any way with my parents said, I would get beat. Remember the minister telling me that the sexual abuse was “Just part of growing up”. Remember the people shutting the door on me and turning they’re backs on me as I asked for help when Jack was tearing the house a part. Remember when I would tell people about Jacks violent outburst and they would just discount me. Remember how my friends would just laugh at me when I would tell them about a trip I as suppose to go on, remember all those little messages of your voice means “NOTHING”! Well if they were not going to listen to or hear any of that, what the hell would they believe me for when I told them I was not only being beaten but sexually molested, raped as well. The facts are this, that there are thousands of cases of sexual abuse against boys, as well as girls, that are not ever talked about for fear of what would happen to the family if people were to find out. I say to bad, what about the child’s life that is being destroyed, what about them? Our parents are suppose to raise us, protect us, comfort us and guide us on a “Spiritual” path through life for a life of love and happiness, not a life of fear and despair. For many of you, you might just shrug a shoulder and think this is all nonsense and for a lot of others I know this all holds true. This is not just based on my experience of abuse, it is based on the other men and boys I have talked with that have been abused.
Growing up was not all bad. There were lots of good times and I never went without and until I turned to drugs and alcohol to numb all the pain and shame I was feeling, I was a happy go lucky, fun loving kid. I was a good student with close to straight “A’s”, I loved playing baseball, playing the guitar and having fun in life. Because of the drugs and alcohol I lost a lot of that stuff in school. I did become very rebellious, however with good cause, living with this secret and the shame I was filled with along with the daily fear of what I was walking into at night and feeling that I did not matter anyway were all my reasons for doing what I did. I thank God that he watched over me for all these years and let me go down the road I had to go, to get to where I am today and I thank God I came out as normal as I have. God has been by my side all my life and for that I am grateful.
I said growing up I never went with out. I had a roof over my head, food on the table, nice clothes, went places and did things a lot of kids will never do in there entire life time. What I did not have, was loving parents and I would have given it all up for the gift of kind, gentle, teaching and loving parents. I often have conversations with a good friend of mine, who unlike me grew up very poor, yet had very loving and kind parents and I always tell him, I would rather of had parents like that than all the “stuff” I had but no loving parents. Both of us have grown up with problems of our own, however different they may seem, in a lot of ways they are the same and both of us have grown into successful men contributing to society they way we should. We both are loving husbands and fathers, we both are successful contractors, we both have achieved more than we ever imagined, yet we come from different sides of the railroad tracks and walked different paths and we are both recovering alcoholics. I am grateful to have friends like him in my life today.
Please if you have been abused in any way, please have the courage to speak up, you are not alone. As hard as it might be for you to do, I promise you, it will be the best thing you can do for you! Know that I, as well as group of other men are here for you to walk this healing path with. Rather you are an adult male, adolescent or teen male, it is never to late or to early to begin your healing journey. Join us please, you are not a lone.
I am in the process of writing a book of my life story that will go into a lot more detail of my life and life journey. Let me know if you would be interested in reading it once it is published.
Remember, YOU ARE ENOUGH, YOUR NOT ALONE, IT IS NOT A PART OF GROWING UP AND “IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT”
If no one tells you they love you today, Randy does.
Thank you for reading.