Strength from Within


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186 in stock


By Ruby McKenzie

ISBN: 978-1-84747-337-0
Published: 2007
Pages: 52
Key Themes: abuse, breakdown, recovery, poetry, hope



This book is an autobiography of unbelievable importance and honesty. McKenzie chronicles her own abuse as a child and how later, against continuing adverse circumstances, she manages to find the strength to pull through breakdown and be a mother herself. He courage and her search for knowledge, through therapy, are admirable. Whilst this is a hard book to read, McKenzie ultimately delivers a message of hope.

About the Author

McKenzie is a brave brave woman who has lived a remarkable, but unfortunately not uncommon, life. In her bravery and generosity, however, she is exceptionaly unusual. She writes that she has written this book to continue her process of catharsis and survival and to help others who may have had similar experiences. Chipmunka have no doubt that she will achieve both her aims.

Book Extract

I have started to write this book about six times now over the past ten years and I know the reason behind it you see I had so much more to deal with in my life as I could not even imagine what more I had to cope with .

Also I wish to dedicate this book to all who have helped me regarding the issues which I am about to write about also I sincerely hope that any one who is reading this and finding themselves in any of the situations that this book is about that they find faith and the courage to deal with it just as I did so may god and his angels be with you at this time in your life and through out your life time .

The day that I was born should have been the most joyous day for my parents but now I realize that my mother had come to rue the day I was born as she had made this very clear to me over the years how she came to hate me and how she could not stand the thought of me being near her as she always pushed me away from her since I was a small child as far as I was concerned my own mother rejected me from day one.

My name is Abigail I am the second oldest of six children I was brought up with my four brothers and one sister from an early age I felt I did not belong within the family I did not know where I belonged but it certainly was not within this family.

As far back as I can remember I was just four years old when my mother told me that she hated me and that she should of drowned me at birth and then she would hit me real hard across the face I never knew what I had done wrong for my own mother to just turn on me like this.

By the time I started school I was a very nervous child and an unhappy one what with the beating from my mother and the rejection I was so shy and I was so afraid of making a mistake more often or not I had home work to do but that was a waste of time as my mother or father never ever showed me where I was going wrong in my school work they were just not interested as for my mother she just kept telling me I was thick and worthless that I would never come to anything in my older years .

One day after I had washed the dishes my mother came into the kitchen to check on my progress and to check that I had washed the dishes right she picked up a plate from the draining board and she threw it back into the water and she told me there was still food on it and to do it again then she hit me across the face then she started to shout that I was useless and hopeless and it was all my fault I had no idea what she was going on about when she said it was all my fault then she told me to go straight to bed after I washed the dishes.

That was my life for years physical abuse and mental abuse from my mother nothing changed the only different thing was as I got older and the beating got worse much worse.

As for my father he would play games with me and he would throw me up into the air
also from a very early age how he used to throw me onto the couch and tell me to lie still so that he can touch me he would lie beside me on the couch and touch me down below he told me it was a game and not to tell any one about it and I never did I Must have been about five years old when he started his games with me and this went on for years before I realized what he was doing was wrong and this was why my mother meant by saying it was all my fault .

The physical and sexual abuse lasted for years I could not take any more so I had decided to runaway I went to see my aunt Helen she was my mothers aunt she was always good to me she would give me things and let me stay over at the weekends when I was younger I went to aunt Helens and told her I hated my mother and told her my mother was always hitting me for no reason but I never told her about my father as I was so afraid she would hate me and blame me too I could not bear the rejection from my favourite aunt so I kept my mouth close regarding the sexual abuse from my father.

My aunt gave me my tea and she told me I must go home as my mother was not that bad and then she told me I must of done something wrong for my mother to hit me this advice did not help me in any way in fact it made me feel worse it made me feel as if it was my own fault that I was getting the beatings so I decided on my way home that I must be as bad as my mother was saying I did not go home I just wandered round and round as I had no intentions of going home I did not like my parents and worst of all I did not like me in fact I did not know who me was I was lost I had no where to go I walked and walked until came to a park and it had one long hedge in it as it was getting dark I lay down under the hedge and curled myself into a ball to keep myself warm I lay there thinking about my life I did not have a life I just existed and far as I was concerned this existence was just pure hell I eventually fell asleep and when I woke up it was pitch black and it was so cold I got up from under the hedge and I wandered out of the park into the street as I was glad of the light I had been walking for about twenty minutes when all of a sudden this police car drove right up next to me then this police woman got out and asked me why I was walking about at that time of the morning I did not answer her she told me to get into the back of the police car I was glad to do it just to get some warmth into my body as I was so cold once inside the car the police woman asked me my name again I could not tell her as I knew she would take me home that’s when she threatened me with the police cells if I did not tell her I had no option but to tell her as the thought of the police cells frightened me more than going home even though going home I knew what was in store for me I did tell the police woman that my mother and father were always hitting me she told me to be quiet and to give them my address.

We arrived at my home sometime in the early morning they took me to the front door I was absolutely petrified by this time and I was shaking when the police knocked on my parent door my father opened the door he looked very very angry I could not look him in the eye I just hung my head and as I walked into the hall my father told the police to go into the living room and he told me to go into the kitchen as I was going into the kitchen the living room door closed I tried to make out what my parent and the police were saying but I could not hear anything but mumbled voices I was sitting in the kitchen for about twenty minutes when I heard the living room door opening and the front door closing I started to cry at this point as I knew what was coming my mother walked into the kitchen and she walloped me real hard in the back and she told me that I was a waste of space and to get down and scrub the kitchen floor this was about four in the morning after I scrubbed the floor I went to bed it was as if I just got into to bed when my mother told me to get up with the rest of the family and get breakfast it was while I was washing dishes my mother told me I was not going to school as my father wanted to see me and after I had finished the dishes I had to go up to my room and wait on my father I tried to make doing the dishes last long as possible as I did not want to face my father eventually I did finish washing the dishes and then I went upstairs to my room I just sat on my bed when I heard my father come up the stairs and into my room we just looked at each another then I watched as my father took off his belt he then told me to lie across this chair in my room I knew I had to do as he said as it would be the worst for me he then started to hit me with it he was hitting me across my back and my body I felt the pain in my elbow as the belt connected with my elbow bone I was screaming as this point and I just prayed for some one to come and help me but no one came no one heard my prayer my mother came into the room and that’s when the beatings stopped .

My father walked out of the room I was sobbing breaking my heart but no one cared all my mother said was clean the rooms out then go to bed there was no feelings in her voice nothing then she turned and walked out of the room I could hardly lift the brush to sweep the carpet because of the pain in my arm and my body but I knew I had to do it as my mother would be up to check on my cleaning as I went to bed I could not lie down I was totally in pain but I was glad of the solitude .
I must of fell asleep due to the fact I was crying a long time I was not long awake when my brothers came home from school and my big brother asked me what had happened and why I ran away I told him that I hated my parents and he just shrugged his shoulders my brothers and sister never did show any interest in me it was as long as I was taking the beating from my parents then my parents were leaving them alone they did not care about me in fact who did care about me .
One Saturday night my parents were out and as usual my big brother David and I were left to look after the other kids and one of my friends Rose came to stay the night as my parents were out drinking with her parents.

My friend rose and I went to bed and we eventually fell asleep when I was awoken by a noise it was dark and I wondered what was happening when I heard my friend Rose crying when I eventually got used to the dark I saw the outline of my father and I smelt the fumes of the drink from his breath my friend told me that my father was touching her under the covers I told my father to go away as Rose was frightened he got up from the floor and he left the room after he left the room I pleaded with Rose not to say any thing as I was frightened I would get the blame for what my father was trying to do to her that night I was afraid to go to sleep all that night as I was so afraid that he would come back into the room I was so tired the next morning I could hardly keep my eyes open due to the lack of sleep after I gave every one there breakfast my friend Rose told me she was going home I was so afraid she would tell some one what my father done to her I was on heckle pins all that day but as the day turned to night I realized that she must of kept quiet about the whole episode I never did find out if she said anything but she never mentioned it to me again and she never stayed the night again.

A few days later I was sitting in the living room when my mother told me to go and make her a cup of tea I got up and after I made the tea and I took it back into the living room and lay it down on the fender of the fire place as I walked back into the kitchen to tidy up when I heard a sound behind me it was my mother she asked me what is this muck meaning the tea and then she threw the cup at me and it bounced of my sore elbow and I started to cry she told me to shut up and then she slapped me across the face and told me to make her another cup of tea then she walked out of the room I was left standing there with the tea dripping off me and as I tried to lift the kettle I could hardly lift it because of the pain in my elbow.

One day the carnival came to town and my mother said she would take us to the carnival and that we had to behave all that week I tried my best to please her as I knew she would not let me go if I angered her in any way
I tried my best to keep her happy sure I did on the day of the outing I was in the bathroom washing my hair when my mother told me to get out as she wanted to use the toilet as there was shampoo in my hair I could not see a thing and I tried to get out of her way as I never moved quick enough she got hold of my hair and threw me across the bathroom I told her to leave me alone but this just made her worse she screamed at me she hated me and wished I was dead and then she had her hands around my throat and she was trying to strangle me I thought she was going to kill me and at that point I really wished that she would as I just wanted out of this life I wanted away from the pain that I was carrying inside of me she stopped then she kicked me and told me to get out I ran from the bathroom like a scared rabbit.


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