The physical punishments were real, they did happen and the thought of them makes me shudder. If I do think about them or describe them to someone, it causes me to cry. Not because it happened to me, but it is as though I am witnessing the scenes and their awfulness, causing me distress that this should happen to anyone.
I am aware that, compared to some, I had luck on my side in that whilst head whacks and slaps were a daily occurrence, the more viscous attacks were less frequent and could often be months apart or more. I am only too aware that some poor individuals suffer this type of torture on a daily basis and to the point of fatality at times. It is just the memories of the severity of these attacks that causes them to remain, the physical scars and the thoughts of the very real possibility of ‘But for the grace of God,’ I might not be here.
In many ways it is the emotional abuse and the isolation I suffered that had a more everlasting effect. As well as the isolation I felt within me, I was frequently physically isolated, separated from the rest of the family. My time in care was an obvious example of this but it was also evident on a frequent basis at home. It was used frequently as a punishment whenever I had done something wrong, not done something well enough, not done something I should have or if I dared to open my mouth. I think even Sylvie and Larry realised that they could only punish me so much physically and isolating me was suitable alternative.
I would be made to spend long hours sat in my bedroom but only after I had completed the necessary jobs first. I would be ordered upstairs to go and think about whatever it was I had or hadn’t done. On the face of it you would think that this punishment was preferable to some of the others but it would be long hours, sat bored and lonely, toys, books and anything that might occupy me, taken away. I would be made to sit on a chair with my hands placed under my thighs and every so often someone would be sent to check on me to ensure I was still positioned as such.