My father would often beat John just because he felt like it. There was no rhyme or reason for it. My father took out his rage on John and he did it often. John did not do anything in particular at that moment in time. Except maybe breathe. John’s breathing probably did upset my father. And by this I mean John’s existence was what upset my father. There was not much John could do about this. The hatred was evident. The hatred was evident even to me as a small child. I did not understand my father’s hatred of John. At least I understood that my father loved me even though he was doing these awful things to me. It was pretty evident to everyone in the know that our father did not love John in any way. There would often be cues as to how my father would start behaving. John and I learned to look for these. John started taking to hiding from my father as a regular habit. I couldn’t blame him. John would often go to the side of our house and hide out there behind the trash cans. No-one would spot him there. No-one that was except for our neighbor, Mrs. B. Her kitchen window looked out over the side of our house and our back yard. She would often see John hiding there from my father. Once she said to John, “if you kids were better children then your father wouldn’t have to treat you this way.” I only know this because John told me about this recently. I could not believe it. This neighbor was basically saying to John it was his fault my father beat him. She was after all a friend of my parents. They are still friends to this day. I haven’t seen her in many years. I would probably have to take issue with her for this. She knew my parents were beating us and she did nothing about it. She also worked for the county school system for years. I hope she chokes on it and goes straight to hell when she dies. Mrs B was the one person in my universe who could have helped me. She was the one person I know of who actually knew what was going on when it was going on. She had the real ability to help John and myself and she chose not to help. How can someone who makes a living working with and for children condone child abuse? Maybe she didn’t see it that way? Maybe she thought it was ok to beat the living daylights out of your child because he looked at you. Maybe she thought it was ok to constantly deny a child dinner because she had said something that didn’t match her version of what being a child should be? Maybe she thought that beating the crap out of me on my front lawn for going into my neighbor’s house was an accepted thing to do? Maybe it was just easier to be my parents friend and keep her mouth shut.