Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chapter 4

Days flew by.
As I said before, I loved it at the orphanage. Does that seem odd?
It was clean and we were fed. We were together. 
All three of us. 
We had chores to do. Dusting. I love to dust. 
We made the wood of the walls and rails of the wooden bannisters glow. We were given nickels, dimes and quarters each week according to our age. The older you were, the more money you got.
We each had a ratty old sock that our money was dropped into and then tied at the top. We each had a small cupboard we kept our small belongings in. Our name taped to the outside door.
 It seemed like eternity but once the toe of that sock got heavy with coins, we were all allowed to walk to the Five and Dime store to buy candy or a small toy. It was a wonderful highlight and it was fun. Simple but fun.
Our Mom came to see us a few times and try as hard as I may, I remember very little of her visits.

It passes.
We grow up just a bit each day.
By now it is 1963 and I am in 3rd grade.
I remember the day we were sent home from school. President Kennedy had been shot. I didn't understand it then but I know it was life changing.
Our lives were about to change as well.

The "powers that be" at the orphanage made some ultimate decision that we had a father out there and set out to find him and that they did.
They told this man, "You have three kids here. You either start paying child support or you take them!" Child support for three kids?
That's an expensive undertaking.  Much less expensive to take us, right?

I didn't know this man as a father. I only knew his name.
Bob had been married to my Mother. Before I was born they divorced.
Bob had married Barb.
Barb had just given birth to a daughter.
We went to live there.  Bob was far from poor. I wasn't scared.  
I loved the baby.  I missed my friends at the orphanage but a new baby to love and care for. Much better than a doll!
Besides, all three of us together and in a real home. 

I'm not exactly sure how and when it began but begin it did...

My big brother's birthday is in June. On that day in June on the calendar someone had circled it in red and had written the word "speshial."
We were each taken into a room separately and asked to spell the word "special."
I had no idea why but wrote it out s-p-e-s-h-e-a-l.
Then my sister.
Then my brother.
We each took a turn spelling the word.
They found the culprit. My brother. Barbara egged it on. 
"Who does this bastard kid think he is? Special my ass!"
It pissed Bob off and pissed him off royally.  He took off his belt and spanked all three of us. Hard. As he took turns on my sister and I, 
I could see my big brother steaming as he watched the belt lashing out at our bare bottoms. 
Barb watching with a smirk of sheer glee as we were hit over and over.
We had never been abused or hit in any way before now. As always, he was there to protect us.
His small but mighty boyish body put every thing he had as he rushed forward to get this brute of a man off my sister and I.
He had no hope to win. He was beaten and beaten 10 times harder than he ever should have been. Bloody and bruised, he lay in a pile on the floor.  Bob kicked him in his tiny ribs and as he walked away said, "You are not my son. You are a piece of shit and I will take great pleasure in kicking your ass. Daily."  
Every day he beat him. If he didn't beat him he would do something equally as cruel to hurt him. Hurting us was one way. Another was to kill an animal or pet and make my brother watch.
We had a small pet possum that my brother had saved for. The possum slept in a coffee can next to my brother's bed.  One morning, we woke up to my sister's father, Bob boiling water on the stove in the coffee can with the possum in it! 
I don't think any beating could have hurt as bad as knowing that our pet possum was dead and died in such a cruel way.
This went on for months and my brother tried so hard to protect us and paid a horrible price for it. He was beaten and treated like less than any human being should ever be treated much less a little boy.
We knew Bob wasn't his father.  He wasn't mine either. He let us know it every minute of every waking day.
We were children. Property. Bob and Barb owned us now. 
We all had Bob's last name. He had given my brother his last name at birth and I was born with his last name as well. Back then, there were no paternity tests. The courts saw his last name as ours so we were his.

I think Bob and Barb knew my brother would fight them to protect us girls and he would only grow bigger and stronger and his protection of us grow fiercer.  
He had to go.

There were some people they knew and we were going to visit them. We were told to get in the car and we drove the 150 miles to their house not knowing what was coming. Not knowing why or who we were visiting.
When we arrived, these two very cruel looking strangers came out to the car. My brother was pushed out the door onto their front yard as we drove away.  He was left in the dust on the gravel driveway in a heap like trash.
I will never forget pounding on the back window begging them to let me go with him.  Let me out of this car!

I didn't see my brother again until I was an adult. Just writing this makes me sob. My brother is my life. Who were those people? 

We no longer had our big brother to protect us.... 


  1. Oh Lana. I am disgusted by these monsters from your past. At first I was sad, but now just angry. How could they? I admire your strength. Keep on telling your story. Love you.

  2. This is hard enough to read, oh Lana, I cannot imagine the pain then and now. Bless your heart!

  3. im so sorry you had to go through that, im glad you made it through and that you found your brother again.
    i look forward (hopefully)to a chapter when these awful people gets what coming to them.

  4. My heart breaks for you, Lana. I know that your story needs to be told and I so appreciate you telling it. It makes me cry for little Lana, and your sister and brother. It is unimaginable that there are people out there like that - and yet there are. So please tell your story! xxxooo

  5. Wow Lana this just breaks my heart. That is a scary thing if someone can hurt or kill a innocent animal I always said they could probably do this to a human being. So sad you had to go thru such horror with these evil people. I know I had a rough life but I try not to think about it but when I read your story them memories start popping up in my head. I just know all these things will come back on these evil people. Karma is a biotch!

  6. Oh wow... Words cannot possibly describe. How could anyone make it through that in one piece?

  7. this is devastating to read and im deeply sorry you and your brother and sister had to live this cruel life. what goes around comes around and i hope karma shredded these people to an inch of their life and then spat on them before taking that last inch.

  8. Oh my gosh Lana, I had know idea of what you had endured and witnessed. That sounds like a horror movie. I'm so so sorry. Big Big hugs.

  9. Lana sweetheart, this reduced me to tears. The tears started when I read about Barbara egging this monster on rather than do something to stop it!!! If it wasn't written by you, I wouldn't have read on beyond that point, because it hurts to read about child cruelty. Then I thought how cowardly that would be of me to sit in my comfort zone, watching you on youtube, only seeing the loving, successful, beautiful woman you are. This ugliness, this monstrous evil situation you were put into has made you the complete opposite. You could have grown up gnarled and bitter, hateful and resentful, jealous and spiteful and no one would have given you a second look because none of us likes to be around such people. Instead, you transformed your life around. Something deep inside you led you to become a complete contradiction of that painful childhood. I've said it before and I'll say it again Lana. You are one AMAZING woman - you give us all hope, strength, faith. You are an outstanding role model, living proof that no matter what circumstances people find themselves in, with determination and a positive attitude, things can improve. Truly my heart aches for what you and your brother and sister went through Lana. It's beyond my comprehension. You did warn us it was going to be a bumpy ride. Much love and affection to you and your dear Henry. God bless. xxxooo

  10. Dear Lana ~ This is so hard to read... I'm almost physically sick, and I have tears running down my face. I feel so much compassion and empathy for you and your brother and sister. I have a visceral, rage-filled reaction to any bullying, and I'm feeling that now, in addition to extreme sadness for what you went through. Getting through this book is going to be tough for all of us.

    Much love to you,
    Mary Sue

  11. It honors me that you would share such a personal story with me. To learn of the horrors you have experienced and to see the woman you are today is extraordinary. Your beauty, compassion, humor and love you show through your youtube videos is truly remarkable. No one could know you grew up this way and you did not let it define you. You are so much more than the sum of your past. Thank you for sharing and my God bless you and your family.

  12. I cannot believe this is a real life story that I am reading. Doesn't this stuff happen only other people?! I am so sorry to know that this is your real life story. I am just so thankful that you have become the amazing person that you are today despite the horrid beginning! I love you! Stacie xo

  13. Oh my, Lana. My heart is just breaking as I read your life story. I wish I could go back in time, and swoop you up and take care of you. God bless you dear Lana. Big hugs,~Marilyn

  14. Its amazing to me that in spite of the horror that you suffered as a child that you are such a good and genuine person. you're an inspiration. x

  15. My Heart aches for you Lana.I myself came from a abusive home. I was the protector of my brother.I never escaped nor did my brother.We lived with the fear of the unknown. I never knew what would happen after returning from school each day. Would they my parents be drunk and fighting,would the police be there? I couldn't have a peaceful moment in my life. Being tormented by my father. My mother was a very weak woman,she allowed him to do terrible things to my brother and me. My parents did not want either of us. So Lana I feel your pain. Thank god for you exposing the cruelty that is placed on children. DeDe

  16. i can't find the words to even begin to say how reading this ade me feel,you are an azing woen to have overcoe all this,i we don't even know what else you went through,god bless you lana xx

  17. im sorry just read this back and my m wasnt working

  18. poor baby! I know how it felt...my mom was beating me,for nothing,always thought,i was hiding something,or did something,paranoia ,she had...aurore is a little girl,who lived in some little village in quebec.they did a movie,based on her story.you can find aurore on yt with subtitles.they speak quebequer...true sad story of that aurore girl.love u lana.me don't want u to be hurt no more.no more pain,no more drama.mary j blige song...love u.alexanna.

  19. Lana your story has me in tears. I wish I could just take your pain away from that time. How can people be so cruel to children. You know I was also beaten for stupid things. But I never lived in fear or despair so that I'm grateful for. I wish I had a daughter to love, I would have taken you in a heart beat. But I was not born at the time. I don't get it how people shun children, they are the future. My god, why does this happen. I want to scream!!! I don't get it I just don't, why so much cruelty, no heart. I think how many kids out there living this right now and i pray for them. Sending you a great big hug to you and your dear husband. Love Lola

  20. I can relate to everything you wrote, Lovely Lady....I grew up in foster care. My tormentors are gone now and I am lucky enough to be the mother of 5 and married to a wonderful man! Love your blog

  21. Lana Honey, I'm so sorry. But from one possum lover to another, somehow those evil people in a reprehensible and vile act, were, in their turn, their own victims of irony, in molding one of the most beautiful of God's creatures, you.

  22. Dear Lana, you truely are an inspiration and thank you so much for wrighting this book and sharing your story, wishing you and Henry a healthy and happy holiday and many more to come
    God bless you

  23. It is hard to comprehend what one human being can do to another, let alone a defenceless child.
    to live it - endure it- as you had to is also incomprehensible.

    I hope writing about it is cathartic for you Lana.

    for me...it makes me realise how lucky I have been...and how precious my children are to me.



  24. Lana dear, I can't even begin to imagine what that was like for you. I don't even know all of it yet and I feel like after a childhood like that your life should be a bed of roses, because you deserve nothing less.

  25. I hope those bastards are rotting in Hell. How anyone could be so cruel to children I'll never understand. It really makes you question your faith. God gave us free will. Why are these people allowed to get away with this? Anyone who knows of children being mistreated in anyway & doesn't report it should be ashamed of themselves. You've been through so much in your life. You deserve every sort of happiness. I think your wonderful humor saved you from going crazy. I love you & pray for both you & your husband. It kills me to read your story but it deserves to be read & heard.

  26. How people can treat children like this is beyond comprehension, I can never understand either how being so inhumain can be witnessed and shared with another, how they can be evil in front of others and know that the other person will not turn a blind eye. I'm so glad you found your brother again, such a wonderful courageous brave boy, here come the tears again. Lana it's so important that you have shared these awful tragic memories. Your are incredbly brave and wonderful. x


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