Being Beat Animal

Beat Animal

(updated: 06/13/2012)

Being beat animal is not pretty.  Being beat animal means you are beaten so bad for so long you become an animal.  The mind “goes away”. For this reason you fight it: this loss of ‘self’.

I saw my brother ‘beaten animal’, I’ve seen dogs ‘beaten animal’.  Their domesticated qualities abandon them and they become vicious snarling beasts fighting for their lives.  Keep beating them and they finally submit – quivering on the floor in their own pee, trying to hide their faces, ribs heaving in short gasps . . . yes, we were there too.  I don’t know it, but I can think it, knowing these quivering emotions within me.  And it was really bad.

As a child you don’t dare fight back (brother did once – and PAID) – so you do as brother did: run around the room screaming like a monkey, trying to climb the walls – do anything – to escape the pain – until, nothing left; there’d be a quivering doll on the floor: trembling, shaking, foam at the mouth, eyeballs in dazed pain: Hello? Anyone home?  Nope.  Home’s gone empty.  My turn.

I would just sit there, ‘zoning’.  Still as a rock, though before father would come in I would occasionally bark at my wailing brother: “Shut UP!  Your not helping anything!  Crying won’t help!”.  (Because crying never did.)  And because his crying hurt me too, no matter how much sometimes hated him (and him me.)

It hurt, waiting.  Did you know waiting can hurt a child?  Especially waiting for something like this kind of punishment.  Dad would always have us wait – for a half hour, maybe some more – while he worked himself up (or got off on the thought) of meting some punishment.  Or perhaps it was as he said “So you can think about what you’ve done.”  When I was a Marine I learned: waiting is 90% of the torture: anticipating the pain to come.  And yet it wasn’t the pain I feared . . . it was the ‘separating’ . . . the going away from myself – as well as the pain.  Weird, huh.

Brother would wipe out the instant punishment was announced – or even threatened.  Instant burst of tears, wails, et cetra ad infinitum.  I was stoic.  You wouldn’t catch me crying if my life depended on it.  That’s because I reckon I secretly knew: he enjoys watching pain.  He enjoys tears and howls of terror.  That’s why he’s gonna have us wait for him; enjoying my brother’s screams . . . while I sit down and ‘remove’ myself from his presence – and all of ours.  Years later I think in afterthought: I should have been more like my brother.  He would usually just beat you to screams and tears, not this other thing.  But I was close lipped; hard to ‘get along with’ during these sessions – I would hold my tears until the last second; right before the thing happened . . . when the burning got too bad …. (o’tay, skipping away from that, man, that child has some problems; he’s sooo friggin sad.)

Being beat animal is no fun.

He’d have us strip down – usually leaving the underwear – bend over, grab your ankles; two white butts showing.  And then it would begin.

That’s also where I learned: Always face the bed when you’re getting beaten.  Otherwise he’s gonna throw you into the wall.  Our faces were sometimes as beaten as our butts and behinds (and backs and thighs and legs and calves and shoulders and arms and sometimes a good thumping ‘whack!’ to the head).  And by our faces I mean from striking the wall, some furniture – anything.

It’s odd, being beaten animal.  You reach a point where everything kinda fades out – but not completely.  What is left is the dim fuzzy memories, kind of like when you’ve awakened from a dream you can just . . . barely . . . recall – but sorta more real, if you know what I mean.  (And I KNOW that some of you abuse survivors reading this KNOW what I mean; you can be beaten ‘animal’ at any age, I reckon; knowing: I’ve seen such things in my Marine Corps career.

The weird thing about being beaten animal is . . . you just can’t remember things.  It’s like, okay, I went into that room, he came in; okay, pants then OFF pointing butt in the air and THEN- BANG! – gone.  Just like that.  And then … dim memories (in the corner? on the floor; always on the floor; the hell with what I said about the bed; you always ended up on the floor booted feet kicking you.  He’d drag you off the bed; yanking clawing so hard it hurts – dangling you by one foot, the belt slashing, lashing away – a thick leather one, or the one with the ‘hooks’ on it – and old military combat belt he used.

Getting beat animal sucks.  Big time.

Okay, moving on.

What is left is a slobbering, sobbing, curled up animal.  It isn’t a ‘state of mind’ because when you are beaten this bad, you have no mind.  It’s gone.  You don’t remember it – a part of you shuts off, turns off the world – and YOU – off. There is simply nothing there. What remains is just an animal mind. And that animal’s desire is survival.  Unable to attack its attacker, it cowers in the corner and defends with thin unwieldy arms that have tired from shielding from the pain.  Shins that ache from bruising.  Yeah, that kind of thing.  You just ‘go away’.

Extreme fear I hear can do that too, and I’m pretty sure it did – but by the time I was eight or nine, fear had been pretty much burned out of me.  Like I tell folks: “I don’t get afraid – I get cautious!” – because ‘caution’ or ‘wariness’ is the emotion I feel – not ‘fear’ or mind raging panic.  All that’s gone from me.  The more ‘dangerous’ things get – the more cautious I get- but I’ll proceed because that is what I was trained to do.  Never say quit, never say ‘uncle’, keep on going until there’s no ‘go’ left anymore . . .  Handy in tight places.  Invaluable in a life saving situation.

Like I said, being beat animal: weird, no good – you FIGHT it.  It feels like your soul is struggling to survive – and it can’t, so it leaves.  You mind tries to hang onto reality – but is transported by pain and the really deep dark and very disturbing knowledge  that you are totally helpless.  There is no escape, you cannot stop it – you can just dangle there and die.

Weird.  That’s the only word I can think of for it with my kazillion word vocabulary: weird.  And it hurts somewhere way deep down inside – I don’t know why (but yes I do: it’s one of – several of – but mostly the “one who went through it” – he’s hurt, feeling abandoned right now, and sad.   We will ‘hold’ him later on, when we are finished with this posting. )   Sad, don’t you think?  And weird.

Being beat animal.  A hard thing to know.  A harder thing to do . . . but HE could do it (our dad).  It was never fun – never.  Being beaten until you puked then even more – raising hands to have them whipped down; raising face to have it backcrossed with a belt or the backslap of a hand as a foot was kicking and the belt coming down again for what felt like the hundreth hundreth time . . .

Being Beat Animal.  Not a good thing to do.  Especially to children.

Really kinda sucks sometimes.

About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle ( ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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6 Responses to Being Beat Animal

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    God Almighty, I am stunned, utterly stunned at your telling here, Jeff. I am aching, utterly aching for what you have experienced. I just cannot comprehend someone rendering another human being so empty, dazed, pained – let alone my own child.

    I am mortified, and deeply sorry this has been your life. I’m curious what job your brother ended up getting, or where he’s at. As for you, I admire you can talk so eloquently about something so black evil wicked. God bless you. I just don’t know what to say. I wish you a warm hug, and love.


    • jeffssong says:

      It’s funny, in a dry, odd, queer sort of way – “It’s my life and the only one I’ve known” – so for me you might say it was/is all “normal” – though as I’ve learned, it was far from normal indeed. It kind of sets you back realizing that for all extents and purposes, all you learned was a lie: that no, this was not the way to love/treat children (or animals – that went on often, too) – and then trying to have a ‘normal’ life from then on.

      I don’t suspect “I” will ever be ‘normal’ – that possibility will never be there. No matter: we all need somebody from “outside the spectrum” to point out what is real (sometimes) – and give a point of view from the “Far Side” (as my daughter says).

      My brother? Dysfunctional relationships, 3rd marriage he’s on – works in high level banking, rubs shoulders with the rich fellows. He has blanked out and sealed off his past – doesn’t want to remember it, he says. His greatest “successes” in life thus far have been A) “I haven’t hit my wife” (he did the others), and a desire not to be mad/angry/enraged. He used to be quite violent – so did I, but he got the worst of it (I think) – poor guy. Regardless, we are not very close at all – I am part of that past he wishes he did not have, and therefore we talk seldom if at all. I wish him the best of luck.

      Thank you for your kind reply.


      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        My God, Jeff, I have not ever met or “met” a person I could actually apply the term “well-adjusted” to. Life hits you like tsunami & you get up & up – that to me is normal (not well-adjusted) – but you & your brother: OMFG: YOU are what I could actually call “well-adjusted”.

        YOU have been through “tsunamis” the force of 100 “tsunamis”, and you come off like, well: like ‘this’ (as you reflect in your blog). You are extraordinary, to my view. I did not know it is possible for a person to be so calmly accepting of overwhelming savagery/injustice/theft of potential for joy (and you break my heart mentioning the animals) – I did not know it was possible.

        The reason I didn’t realise, is because I am badly affected by my childhood, but mine was not of beatings to a pulp. So, given I have strived to be – not normal, but to view life as worth hanging onto; given that, I am just blown away you didn’t kill yourself as soon as you were free to.

        Your brother is not “well adjusted”, I see (being materially successful is not a measure of ‘see, I’ve made good from my past; my past is nothing’, to me). And it’s funny how you say he doesn’t hit his wife, & feels this to be one of his greatest successes. My father in exact attitude, said to all who’d hear him, “I never molested my girls – I could have, but I didn’t.” He could have? And he didn’t? Whyever did it cross his mind, even if just to prove himself a “good father”?

        Anyway, that’s off track. I admire you enormously for landing where you are, being you seem to be standing in an energy/world you feel okay in – I don’t know how you did it.

        As soon as you mentioned your daughter… I did wonder, did you beat your children/your wife – as indeed, that IS as you say, “all you’ve ever known/is normal”. If you’ve broken that cycle of abuse and actually showed the fellow humans you’ve chosen to share your life, gentle care, then I’d take my scalp off to you, for that is an enormous turn around.



      • jeffssong says:

        I’m pretty convinced that as human beings, we all go insane about 12 or so – we have to, to cope in this world. There’s a tale about that. As for ‘normal’ – everyone has their quirks, some more abnormal than most – but that makes them ‘normal’ in a way, if you consider it. LOL’ing.

        I am like a dog, I often think. Look at one – one who’s been treated badly. Do they think their life is awry, any different than most? Don’t they just “accept” what happens to them – because they’ve known nothing else? Yes: they do. It’s all ‘normal’ to them. And so it was for me.

        Not having any ‘references’ – that’s what I call it: where you’ve been raised abnormally and don’t realize it – and then do: you realize everything you think and see is colored a different color than most, so to speak. That everything you do is colored by this particular nature of yours: the abusive one, the past – it carries on through to your ‘normal’ life. And when recognizing that it comes on to you to change that – and that’s when you realize you are lacking these ‘references’, these skills required to become ‘normal’ – or as normal as normal can be in this society (world?) of ours.

        I’ve always managed to fake it rather well, however. But with that mentioned, I must also say I’ve had my darker days and darker times. I worked in the Army animal labs for awhile (about 2 years) – where I systematically became cruel and heartless (sometimes) – because I was just a teen, and hadn’t realized what had been done to me. I can still be somewhat of an asshole and a jerk – but I recognize this and try to control it. Realizing: this is not the way I *can* be – that “I” can BE better than that, than *I* am – and then doing it. It’s a hard cure, a bitter pill to swallow sometimes (“Why should I treat them better than I was treated myselves?” kind of thinking – and then realizing that I should – and would, and have done it.)

        I rather imagine your dad had some issues himself – and I guess he feels proud that he didn’t do it, for apparently (sideways hinted by his statements) – he wanted to, and was tempted to do it, but restrained himself. THAT’S OKAY – because it means he was able to keep himself from doing it. Some people don’t. The fact is: we are all (I guess) mostly raised messed up – in some way or another. If he can console himself – be proud of himself – for resisting a basic animal temptation – then the more power to him. I wish more people would do that (resist their bad impulses). Now: why he choses to SAY that is another thing. I don’t know ya’lls history. But in a way you could almost see it as some kind of subtle threat, as in “I could of – I should of – and I could right now.”. I don’t know. As for crossing his mind: why not? Society teaches sexual behavior, not chromosomes. Our genes “force” us to consider things that are wrong. (It goes along with thinking things like “I wish the SOB was dead” or getting mad at some driver ahead of you.) Just thinking: don’t take any of this too personal, or think it actually might apply to you. It might not. Just giving you something to think about.

        Was I the perfect dad? I’d say “NOT”. My daughter has anger issues – but I think those are more genetic. I never hit nor beat any of my kids – couldn’t. I spanked my stepson just one time when he was five – and it upset me so badly I couldn’t do it again. But I do get mad at *things* (not people) – and my daughter saw me express my anger towards a barn door that wouldn’t fit, a roof that wouldn’t go on – things like that. I wonder if that’s where she got her anger issues. I don’t know. She takes after my mom so much it’s scary – she shares my mom’s blood type, not mine, even! Makes me wonder if there was something behind that witchcraft nature my mom has: she always said she was going to curse me by coming back after me when she was dead (she’s not dead yet). And when I saw my daughter’s bloodtype (the day she was born) I said: “Oh god, it’s my mom ‘reborn’. She’s making a baby to get reincarnated in.”. (wry smile). Sometimes it seems true. But my daughter and I are close – she trusts me like no other, not even her own mom, which is good. So I guess I did all right as a daddy, just not a perfect job.

        Until later – sorry to hear you had a hard time, too. But (I’d reckon) – you’d say it was “normal” if I’d asked at the time, when you were a child and didn’t know what you do – now. 🙂


      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        Hey, Jeff,
        I’m in a cafe in my lunch break & don’t have much time but reading you was first thing I did. You’re awesome, to my mind, as a human being, and I think you are enormous to admit you didn’t do “perfect” as a parent. Touche!

        It is wonderful you have been responsible regarding raising another human being, and mindful. Bloody awesome.

        I am not offended, just apologise I don’t have ample time to indulge in return. I’ve been slack with my responses, & I feel stress when I’m not up to date because they are people who thought to comment – which I think is wonderful of them, & I appreciate to know what they think.

        So cheers with this one, & thanks for letting me into your life. You absolutely definitely need to be read. I read ‘ANGELA’S ASHES’ and cried, literally, in parts. I do not comprehend people’s cruelties, and my sensitivity to what I see and in turn feel, which has been so overwhelmingly absorbent (my feelings), that sensitivity has crushed me.

        I wish you the best the rest of life has to offer you, with my heart wide open to you, your daughter, and if you are still with the mother of your child, who would be the mother of the stepson I guess – well basically, to all in your world!

        Sincerely, N’n.


      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        Oh yeah, & what you said about dad thinking it, not doing, being proud, the resistance of the inner beast – yes, you’re very “right” in these observations, & have had me view this aspect of this 70yo man (now) with less loth & horror at his male being. So thank you for that… or being male? no… male being.


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