That little red house didn’t treat everyone equal.
I was never touched, never hit & rarely was I yelled at, by my grandfather. It wasn’t often that my siblings & I were there alone, when my grandfather was home. As a kid I hated that we couldn’t always stay with our aunt, uncle & cousins whenever we wanted. Now I am grateful for all the times my parents said, “no, you’re coming home with us”. They knew he was due home.
My youngest aunt & uncle weren’t so lucky. I’ve seen my grandfather drag my uncle down a flight of stairs screaming and crying as he beat him with his belt. I’ve seen my aunt chased up those same stairs yelling to us to hide in the crawl space as she was getting hit with that same belt. I tried to help her but I was afraid. I peed my pants as I begged him to stop. I watched as my Dad, not a big man & never in my time confrontational, came in, pinned my grandfather to the wall & held him there while all of us ran out to the car. We were going home. We made it.
My aunt was blessed that one of her older sisters took her a lot. She practically lived there for quite a while. She did fun things & rode 4 wheelers, she learned she could be more than what her father thought of her. She was blessed with those few moments of peace, thanks to her sister. Throughout our childhood, she & my uncle lived with us off & on as well. Everyone thought we were siblings & they asked if my uncle and I were twins! They were my grandmother’s youngest & my Mom was the oldest of the 6 children. My uncle was a month younger than me & my aunt was 2 years older. My parents tried hard to help them see they mattered, & they were loved. Sometimes it’s just not enough, to give them the strength to out run their demons.