|Contributed by Christian Sparlock Freedom|
Soon, "Mrs Hyde" (my mother) met a man named Alfio Papa, who looked good on the outside, but was a terrible person on the inside. Mr Papa isn’t an alcoholic, but he believes in beating children up to make them toughen up....like in the old days....and if you ask for help because you do not know where you went wrong, you are a weakling. Joy Hyde soon became Joy Papa and the mother I could turn to for love and support suddenly disappeared from my life for good, no longer living. Mrs Papa had taken Mr Papa’s side in beating us three girls up if we said "no" to anything or if we didn’t like anything, especially for making mistakes such as, making a mess with flour in the kitchen. Before Mrs Papa met Alfio, our household was happy and filled with laughter, but then it went from being chased down the hallway to having screams in the house, because of the belt we got around our legs!
Joy managed to talk Alfio into joining the Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses cult by some easy coercion. To this day, my step-father still remains in the cult and if anyone tries to put down the cult in front of him, he will get all defensive and is not afraid to pound the stuffing out of anyone who disagrees! Alfio is a very violent man and still manages to hide the abuse from his sisters and friends very well because we keep up an appearance that makes us look like a happy family.
The Watchtower Society has destroyed our family so badly that, ever since I survived the brain tumor operation, I have been treated as if it were a mistake for me to still be alive. Both of my parents said that I’m a psychotic child, because I am so different and I always speak up about what is right, and they tell our relatives that whatever I say is lies. It hurts when your whole family is against you like this. As an example, when I found my fiancé online, my second sister attacked him and said all kinds of horrible things to us, because I found my happiness with this wonderful man. Since I survived the brain tumour operation, my two sisters, Alima and Jamaica, have been out to sabotage anything I say or do towards them or myself. For example, after I had saved up nearly $20 in coins from tuck shop money (lunch money), one of my sisters stole more than half it from me, leaving three or four dollars remaining in my jewelry box. Even though stealing is seen as wrong in the Watchtower Society, both of my sisters managed to get away with it most of the time, however if I stole from them to take back what is mine, I would get the biggest whipping in my life from Alfio and go to school the next day with a bruise on my leg. When my classmates asked about it, I had to make up a story to get them to leave me alone about it, because I was scared of saying anything to them that might "bring reproach on Jehovah’s name."
As time went on, I decided to take a stand in getting out of the cult, during my high school years. So in 2003, I began focusing on graduating from high school and since then, my parents have stopped trying to coerce me into returning to the cult, regardless of the teasing, I received from them, because I was considering whether to switch over to the Catholic religion or to leave home to become a slut, so people will like me.
Self-esteem became an issue for me, because I had trouble trying to associate with other people. Whenever anyone mentioned a joke to me, I did not know whether they were serious or were being dirty. Yes, being isolated from the world, especially my friends from school, had a huge impact on my life as I grew older, because after high school graduation passed, I still remained at home regardless of the domestic abuse that still went on in the Papas’ household.
When I found my fiancé online, Alima did all she could in her power to get rid of him and make him break up with me, before our relationship even began! Soon my whole family, including my relatives, are protesting for me NOT to go down to Melbourne to be with this wonderful man, who had guaranteed me love, a roof over my head and who was someone I could trust and lean on, when life was tough.
The funny thing about it is, if either of my two sisters do something different with their lives, everyone throws a party for them, metaphorically speaking, but when it comes to me, it’s WW III. Now, I don’t know why or how or what makes my family tick when I set out to do something good for my life, but it surely is not fair for them to do whatever they can to sabotage it, when they know results are gonna turn out good for me in the end.
Alfio and Joy gave me some advice about getting a job and just moving down to Cairns to be within their "invisible leash" reach, even though my gut and heart were telling me I need to do more than this, because moving down to Cairns would only end up selling me short and dead in my tracks. Finding my fiancé online has been the greatest thing that has happened to me and from now on, I no longer stick up for the Papas because all they care about is the Watchtower Society and making the three of us girls feel guilty and all alone in the world when we move out of their home to be somewhere different.
I hate my family for what they did, especially for destroying MY life, when I have found someone who makes me happy and guaranteed me unconditional love from the start and I have a perfect son to mother. If I am guilty for going after what is rightfully mine or right, why should it be my family’s job to sabotage it, just to keep me in Mareeba and away from the world?
I am NOT disabled, because two years after my brain tumor operation, I began to understand more and more of what I should be doing and knowing with the kids my age at school. Even so, I was so worried about what my parents would think that I acted as I were still disabled to keep the peace. My family went around town telling every stranger that I am disabled and will never understand anything. Blood is on their hands, because I have done nothing to wrong to deserve such hate from them.
The Watchtower Society of Jehovah's Witnesses has destroyed my family and it will never recover, because the damage has gone too far. If I were to return to them for help, the abuse would only begin all over again and next, my family will fill my head with their ideas to manipulate me into thinking that I need to return to Mareeba again, because my future is up there, especially for our son! How gruesome can they get?
It hurts when your whole family does whatever it can to destroy your future, but now I know that keeping them out of our lives is the best thing for my little family and myself. We don’t need them, when we get along fine with just having each other. I am a proud Mother and I know that I will be loving my son until the day I die, because he is ours and we couldn’t be happier. Our son has unconditional love and we will never make him feel alone in the world, when he has us to turn to for anything.