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Our Grandmother

Our grandmother was a drunk, although no one acknowledged that.  she would drink sherry from tea of coffee cups all day, pretending it was something else.  Every week my mother would call in and collect the flagon case and fill 2 flagons for her.  No one mentioned the amount but they all knew and kept her stocked up.  We remember her as a small lady, fragile looking, but incredibly strong.  she was the matriarch, and everyone served her, kept her happy.  She would sit by the fire in that dark living room all day, holding  court.  That's how we remember her, sitting there with sour face, looking at us with contempt.  When we were about 11 she got cancer, a type of stomach cancer, that should of killed her.  But she survived, probably out of spite.  When she finally did die a few years ago the family spoke of this caring, fun lady, but we don't remember her that way.  To us she was a monster, a thing of evil.

Our grandmother was the brains of our abusers.  Not satisfied with just beating or molesting us, she had to devise games.  These all, followed the same type of pattern.  they were meant to terrify or disgust us, and therefore when we reacted as such gave her reason to inflict a punishment.  One of her favourites, was to fill a sack with something vile, rotted, maggoted meat, faeces, insects, things like that.  The sack would be tied over our head.   We weren't allowed to move or react, and under no circumstances were we allowed to remove the sack.   Eventually, however we were unable to handle it and would either start screaming or struggling and therefore the punishment would be deserved.  The punishment would range depending on her mood, from being beaten or kicked to eating the contents of the sack, but more often than not both things together.  This was likely to arrouse them both, as my grandfather was usually present at the games.  So after the punishment some kind of sexual abuse would occur.  We still panic when anyone says "lets play a game."

My grandmother was a sadist, and would take any opportunity to hurt us.  There is an old wives tale that vinegar takes the soreness of sunburn away.   It actually works.  You lightly dab vinegar on the burnt skin and the relief is wonderful.  We have always burnt easily, and were often bright red with sun burn.  We would be sent to our grandmother with a dry facecloth and a bottle of vinegar.  She would dab a little onto the cloth and then proceed to scrub our sun burnt skin.  She would often rub so hard bruises would form.  If we screamed or cried with the pain, we would get a clout around the head for being a baby.  She would often find secret ways like this to torture us, ways that looked at a glance to be innocent.

It was my grandmother that involved us in the Cult.  Not only was it an outlet for her sadistic and abusive needs, but she also embraced the doctrine and seemed to believe it all.  She soon became enmeshed in the beliefs and structure of the group.  It was the only time we ever saw her defer to another person.  She was respectful and obedient to the leaders of the group and being power hungry constantly tried to ingratiate herself within the upper circle.

Of all the family, it was her we lived in fear of the most.  She hated us, but took pleasure in our suffering.  There was no escaping her.  We lived around the corner from our grandparents, and we were sent there on a regular basis.  She took every opportunity available to continue our abuse and this continued 'til we were about 20.  We left to go overseas and when we returned there was less opportunities until she got too sick.  She never forgot what she did, and the last time I saw her alive she made a comment about how I would always carry the marks of her "influence" over me.  When she died, she willed $500 to all her grandchildren accept us.  My mother told me this, when she sent the money to my brother.  Considering she got more than that when she used to sell us to her friends for sex it was the last insult.