Hello! My name is Martha and I’m 19 years
old. I want to tell you that I do believe that there are many happy stories about stepmothers.
The stories about the kind women who came into the life of a child and took their mother’s
place. But I didn’t get that lucky. My childhood was a nightmare because of my stepmother,
and now, I know for sure, she only wishes me all the worst. So listen.
I don’t remember my mother – she left my father when I wasn’t even three years old.
As far as I know, another man was waiting for her, and I was not needed there. My father
was a busy person, a top manager in a large corporation. He did not give me up for adoption,
but he never had time to take care of me. For a while, he hired nannies for me, but
it turned out to be an unfortunate experience for him – one of them broke something, the
other ignored that it was cold and wet outside, and I caught such a severe cold that I ended
up in the hospital. The third simply disappeared without warning… All this caused unnecessary
concern for my father, who was busy with much more serious things — his work. So, at some
point, when I was already four years old, he began to bring his work subordinate, Lorraine,
to our house, so she could look after me. And soon he married her.
Lorraine already had two children – Stella, two years older than me and Bruce, my peer.
I don’t remember how Lorraine treated me before, but when she became the mistress of
the house, she suddenly began to hate me. There was nothing personal about it – she
probably would have hated any other child in her territory. And .. and she did not limit
herself. But before I tell you how it was, I will answer
your possible question: yes, my father did not notice what was happening in his family.
He was fully consumed by his work, and once he had delegated caring about me to Lorraine,
he stopped wasting his time and attention on his only child. I even think that he married
her only to free himself from this responsibility. And I don’t know … Lorraine probably knew
it and hated me even more for it. Her hatred showed in every little thing, every
day. She always talked to me rudely and sharply. And she also knew how to talk to me so that
I would start shivering from fear and begin to cry. If she touched me, she hurt me physically
and at the same time, she clearly showed how unpleasant and even disgusting it was for
her … And she made me overeat. She made huge portions of tasteless and poorly prepared
food especially for me and made me eat everything – my bowl had to be clean. I will spare you
the details … You just have to know that I was so afraid of Lorraine that I ate everything
that was in the bowl, no matter how hard it was to pay for it in the bathroom later…
How many of you are now asking why I didn’t fight back? I’ll answer. Just imagine from
the age of five, you are subjected to constant psychological … and physical abuse. So you
simply don’t know that life could be different. Yes, I saw that Lorraine treated her own children
differently. But I was not her own child. Stella was copying her mother’s attitude
towards me. And Bruce … Bruce was the only one who was always kind to me. He tried to
secretly give me his toys and sweets … Once, I was struggling with nausea, sitting over
a huge bowl of undercooked porridge – I couldn’t push it into my mouth anymore, and Lorraine
and Stella looked at it, smiling. Then Bruce burst into tears and shouted at his mother:
“Stop torturing Martha!” I looked at him with horror – I understood that punishment
was inevitable. And I was right: from that moment on, Lorraine became very cold with
her son and soon sent him to study at a boarding school for boys. In the following years, I
think, she visited him several times a year, but, of course, no one considered it necessary
to tell me about it. Bruce’s very name was some kind of taboo for me… I was left alone
with my tormentors and an indifferent father… …I had always had thick, beautiful hair,
and another painful ritual was connected with it for many years. When I was still a baby,
and Lorraine washed my hair, she turned this lovely caring procedure into torture with
pain and humiliation. And she continued to do this when I was already grown up enough
to wash my hair myself … and even when I went through puberty. Yes, I was 13 years
old, but Lorraine did not allow me to wash my hair myself, because she was the only one
who decided when to do it. So, most of the time my hair looked disgusting and greasy.
My head was unbearably itchy, I couldn’t stop scratching at it all the time, and of course,
my classmates teased me … But I put up with all this, because washing my hair with Lorraine
was much worse than suffering from an itch or being an object for jokes at school, and
I didn’t even begin to think to ask Lorraine to perform this torture more often.
But one day it was all over. Despite the lack of proper care, my hair was thick … and
it was long, while Stella’s hair was weak and grew very poorly. When Stella was 16 years
old, she wanted to enhance her hair, doing hair extensions, and … she and her mother
just cut mine off. They left it very, very short, badly and unevenly cut, and although
now other kids teased me even more at school, I felt an incredible relief: Lorraine had
lost all interest in washing my hair. Lorraine gradually lost interest in me completely
as I got older. Now she preferred to ignore me. I don’t know if it was because she understood
that I was no longer an unrequited child and that I could strike back in response to her
harassment and torture? But the fact is that now I could only complain about the COLDNESS
of my stepmother… if it occurred to me to complain to someone. The nightmare that was
real in my past seemed to me to be more and more distant… well, like a nightmare. And
all I wanted was to completely forget about it. I planned to move away from this house
as soon as I graduated from high school. I was sure that my father would be more than
happy to get rid of me – he told me once, when we talked briefly, that I should not
limit myself when choosing a college. I understood that this was ridiculous, but
I literally chose a college on the other side of the country, and I wanted to go there long
before classes began. But my departure was suddenly delayed. The college administration
sent everybody a note that, due to repair work on the campus, they would not be able
to welcome new students for another month. That’s how it happened that I saw Bruce, who
came home – for the first time since Lorraine sent him to a private school. You probably
already forgot that Lorraine had a son? I almost forgot about him over the years. But
as soon as I saw him – so grown up and mature – I remembered everything in an instance.
I did not forget how he tried to protect me from his own mother, how he secretly brought
me sweets and toys … I was so happy to see him !! And Bruce seemed to be happy, too – he
rushed to hug me and said how lucky he was to see that I hadn’t left yet, because Lorraine
wrote to him that by the time he arrived, I would’ve already left for college. At that
moment, I looked up and saw that Lorraine was looking at us … and she was furious.
Now I understand – that day, we had shaken the hornet’s nest up. I don’t know if Lorraine
was seriously counting on Bruce’s filial affection, but he hardly felt anything good
about her. He only called her only by name and treated her with cold politeness. This
created a striking contrast to his relationship with me – we spent almost all of our time
together and hardly parted when it was necessary to go to sleep. If Lorraine thought that I
would disappear, and her son would come to her, she was mistaken: it even turned out
that he had come to ME. One evening he told me that he had remembered me all these years
and that now he knew for sure – he loved me. It was time to go to bed, but this time we
did not part until the morning. That night we decided that we would get married.
…It was a beautiful morning, but … Lorraine burst into our room and made a terrible scene.
She yelled at me, and I … I felt like I had become that little girl again, who could
only silently suffer and endure… But when Lorraine went in to grab and hit me, Bruce
caught her hand. “We’re leaving tomorrow, Lorraine,” he said very firmly and added,
“Forever.” Lorraine silently left the room, and Bruce hugged me and said that he
had decided everything: we would leave and go study together.
We thought that this would be our happy end, but it was not. Lorraine tried to convince
my father to not pay for my college education. She accused me of so many terrible things,
she told him that I was always a spoiled girl, that she and Stella suffered because of me,
and that she had to send Bruce to that school only to rid him of my bad influence … And
that, now, I had persuaded Bruce to get into an argument with her, his own mother, and
to run away from home – just to annoy her. I’m not sure whether my father didn’t believe
her, or perhaps all this was just an unnecessary nuisance for him, but he attached no importance
to her words and said that his daughter would get an education – it’s a matter of prestige.
And then Lorraine … she demanded that, in that case, he should notpay for Bruce’s studies!
I don’t know, maybe at that moment my father finally realized what monster he had brought
into his home many years ago. Bruce and I left and are now studying together.
We are doing fine. There’s a possibility that sooner or later I will need the help of a
psychologist – because of everything I had to endure in my childhood. But for now, Bruce’s
healing love is more than enough for me. This Christmas I received a short congratulations
from my father, and … and probably I was glad about it. I don’t want to hear anything
about Lorraine and Stella, but if my father doesn’t mind devoting some of his precious
time to exchange Christmas cards with me, then I have nothing against it.
Like this story, if you are glad that it ended well, Bruce and I sure are! And don’t forget
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