Were there legal or other punitive consequences for your father and stepmother? Apart from the teachers who you mention, did other adults in your life help you? My hope is that your stepmother was held accountable in some way.
This is as good an opportunity as any to tell you that my memoir, Behind the Woodpile, is now available on Amazon. You can read it on a Kindle or using the Kindle app on your cell phone, tablet, or computer. I will probably eventually release it on other e-platforms. This Thursday, Behind the Woodpile will be free for just one day on Amazon. I hope you’ll spread the word about the book and help others to find it. Please mention the book (and the free promotion on Thursday) on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and the neighborhood corkboard at the library. Please also consider reviewing it on Amazon (and giving lots of stars) and Goodreads. In other words, please TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT, because I’ve found that every time I speak or write about my childhood, it reaches people who are then able to finally speak about their own childhood abuse.
OK, promo time over. To the question. Legal consequences? No. They kept their son and faced no charges. At all. Other than us leaving, there were no practical consequences. But remember what Albus Dumbledore tells Harry Potter about Voldemort’s horcruxes: there are things one does that split one’s soul. To repeatedly harm children must be one of those things.
No other adults helped beyond those I mentioned in the book. Adults like to look the other way if they can, because it’s hard work taking down a child abuser. It’s easier to hope it’s not happening. No one wants to be demonized for falsely accusing someone, and it’s not like abusers hang out a big sign on the front lawn. You can be wrong, and so people assume other adults are innocent until proven guilty. But who is going to prove someone guilty?
That’s what makes the adults who did help such superheroes. They stuck their necks out for two kids who had nowhere to turn. And that’s one reason why I talk so much about what happened, because I want people to know it is very possible that what you’re seeing is what you think it is.