Jan. 30, 2019

Dear Reader

by Douglas Blaine Matthews (author's profile)

Transcription

Dear Reader,
Hey, I hope everyone is doing well. I'm going to start off by telling you about the life I have loved. I will be as detailed as I can be without infringing on anyone else's right to privacy.

I was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on August 26, 1981. My mother was serving in the United States army at the time and had to take paternity leave to give birth to me. I had an older brother and an older sister at the time. And of course, a father. But my mother left him after he became violent with her. I remember nothing of him except what I've learned growing up and from my investigations. I grew up with the understanding that he was an abusive alcoholic. As an adult, I found out he wasn't always like that. War did something bad to his mental health and he turned to alcohol and drugs to medicate himself. I learned he was a good man until he came back from war.

When I was about one year old, my mother left my father and started dating another man who was also in the army. My mother, my older brother, sister, and my young brother then moved to Fayettville, NC and lived on Ft. Braggs army base.

I forgot to tell you something. Before my mom met her new solider. She dated this other guy who was also abusive and she kicked him to the curb too. But not before having a child with him.

I can't remember much of living on base. My memory goes back to after we moved off base and to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where I grew up. As a child, I didn't know I was living as an abused child. No child does. Life is just life and we learn as we live. My new stepfather, who was dishonorably discharged from the army for failing drug tests due to his love of reefer. Was the serpent in my home.

My mother was a truck driver and was gone several days, at the least. At a time. In that time, he abused my sister and me. I won't go into the details of my siblings. I was beaten on my occasions the way a child should never be beaten on average. My orders were to strip and put my hands on the wall. I had to "sound off" each time he hit me with an extension cord or belt or my sister's baton. "Sounding off" was counting each strike. If I dropped my hands, turned sideways, or cried instead of sounding off, he'd start over at one. I had to make it to ten before he'd quit. I learned a hard lesson about dropping my hands. I only did it one time that I can I remember. He cuffed my hands together and hung one center chain on the handcuffs on a plant hook. I was stretched up onto my toes. I was there for awhile. I don't know how many times he hit me. But it was more than the normal ten. And I don't remember "sounding off".

I was the only child that was abused this way in my household. He pacified my sister's accusations that I was being bad and would punish me. I was my sister's deflection growing up. I hated her for always living on me. I never knew what I had done wrong for her, my older sister, to lie on me. Had I known what she was going through. I'd have taken those beatings with pride. To keep his... mind off my big sis.

I learned the details of this while I've been on death row. I felt so bad for hating my sis growing up, but now I understood. So I wrote her a heartfelt letter wanting to re-establish our familial ties. I never did anything real bad to her. I'd go off the deep end and cuss her out when she lied on me. That was it. But still, if I'd have known, I could have done something, right? She doesn't write. I'm lucky if I get a card once a year.

I don't hear from my family much. You'll learn why in the next few blog posts.

That stepdad left when I was about 10 years old. I'd been beaten bloody on several occasion. I don't know how much of a difference it's made in me as an adult. But I can say this: I'm against beating children—point blank. We are adults! We have years and years of intelligence that we've learned throughout our lives. But it doesn't mean jack if we can't use it to outsmart our children and teach them how to behave without being violent. Violence creates violence. Period.

A child knows nothing until it is taught something. Their sponge-like minds soak up everything they see, hear, and feel, and whatever. Sticks is what/who they will become. I didn't grow up an abuser. But I am a violent person. I hate men who abuse children and women. I've hurt many men who've abused someone in my presence. Bad. But that's where my violent side stops. I don't want to hurt anyone I like to chill, laugh... make others laugh. But when a man beats and abuses a woman or a child, well, that's the difference my childhood has made in me as an adult.

I'll end this blog post here. And with this.

I was beaten bad as child.
Now I'm on death row. For defending my life when someone tried to kill me...
They said it was overkill so it had to use murder.
But I say I have extreme reactions to people who try to hurt me.

Until next time.

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Replies (1) Replies feed

G. Posted 4 weeks ago. ✓ Mailed 2 weeks, 1 day ago   Favorite
Hi there,
Reading the story of your childhood almost brought me to tears. No one should ever have to endure abuse especially not a child. It’s great that you are reaching out to your sister again, even if she doesn’t reply. You are letting her know you still care.
The way you write is very sophisticated and I think you should never stop!

Keep your head up, love.

G

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