Laddie, a new member in our church, married when she was only 16 years old trying to get away from an abusive relationship with her parents. She knew nothing about life and other that what her husband would tell her. Keeping the newspaper and TV away from her, she just knew very little about life. She grew up with two parents who were so controlling it almost became an abusive relationship. Little did she know she was leaving one horrible situation to a worse situation.
Throughout their married life, they had three boys. When one of the boys did anything wrong her husband, James, would instruct her to beat them. The few times she refused to beat her child, he would beat her until she thought she was going to die, even had time she wished she would just die. Once she was able to stand, he would again instruct her to beat the boy that was causing trouble. If she did not beat them enough or with enough force, the cycle would begin, again so she got to the point she would beat them to the severity her husband thought appropriate.
Each one of the boys grew up and started raising a family, however, each relationship they found themselves following their father’s example. Eventually Laddie and James became grandparents, however; none of the boys have had any success with each marriage. Laddie and James now grandparents refused to participate in any of their grandchildren’s life, such as school sponsored events, sports, weddings and births.
James was an alcoholic who expected her to drink with him as well. If he found her drinking something other than beer, she knew she would be punished so again she gave in to his demands.
We really do not know a great deal, about what the boy’s actually endured day and day out. They would slip, but make light of what they actually endured by their fathers hands. Last year James passed away and since that day, Laddie has seemed to be a much happier person. She began attending church, visiting her grandchildren and even her great grand’s. She has begun participating in other activities throughout the church as well.
It is amazing to me how much control he had over her and the boys. Since James passed away, Laddie has become much more outgoing and loves her church family. I have even seen her smile when she thought no one was looking. With God’s help, she is making a new life for herself. I could not be happier for her.