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Daniel L Keith

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Member Since: Mar, 2009

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The Hanging Tree
By Daniel L Keith
Sunday, October 03, 2010

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Just one of the many things I had to endure as a child.

 

The Hanging Tree

     When I was 10 or 11, one day my Dad came home drunk as usual.  At first he seemed to be in a happy mood, and that was a relief.  The house we lived in was a large home, and the property was large as well.  There was a house in the backyard that Dad rented out to people who didn't have children, but as I look back the house wasn't big enough for more than two people.  We also had two of the largest trees in the neighborhood, and being a kid, I never thought to ask what kind of trees they were.  My brothers and me used to love to climb them.  It seemed I could stay up there for hours.  For some reason or another our dad didn't stay happy for very long.  He went out to his car and brought in a gallon of Bali Hai wine.  He told us kids, lets go to the back yard, and afraid of what would happen if we disobeyed, we all went.  Dad said, look at this, and pulled the jug of wine out of a bag and took a big drink of it.  He then passed it around to each of my brothers and our sister.  They all took a drink of his wine.  I would not take a drink of it, and sure enough, Dad saw me pass the bottle without taking a drink.  He looked at me and said, "What the hell is your problem?"  Oh, no Dad, I don't have a problem.  I started stuttering, "I, I, I just, just don't like it."  It's not the taste of it I didn't like, I just didn't want to be like my dad. 
     By this time he was so mad I thought his eyes were going to pop out.  He said, "I don't care if you like it or not, you get that damn bottle and take a drink!"  No sir, I will not drink it!  My brothers and sister knew, and they said, "Daniel, just drink it."  No, no, I will not drink it!  My dad said, "You think you're too good to drink with us?"  "Fine then, I think I will hang your skinny ass on that tree, what do you think of that?"  I was so tired of being beaten and always hungry, then seeing my dad do things to our sister.  I can't even mention what a dad would do to his own daughter.  I think you probably know what I mean.  By now I knew he wasn't bluffing and neither was I.  At that time I was young and didn't know the Lord Jesus, but I always believed there was a God.  And so, in my young mind, I was thinking, maybe if I died, I could come back as an angel or something like that.  I would then be able to help my brothers and our sister some how.  I wasn't afraid of dying.  So, after thinking of these things, I said, "That sounds good to me."  Dad walked to the tool shed and came back with a rope that already had the hangmans noose tied.  I have no idea when he did this.
     I remember thinking that Dad would most likely bury me in the backyard and would tell everyone that I ran away.  I remember seeing dad throwing the rope over a large branch.  He then picked me up and put the noose around my neck.  I was watching my brothers and sister.  They all had tears on their cheeks.  I knew my life was almost over.  Dad then dropped me and I didn't remember anything until my brother,
David, was slapping my face.  That's what made me come to.  My dad wasn't there, I don't know where he went.  I didn't realize until now that God had other plans for me.  Often times we kids would talk about  telling the police, but we never went through with it in fear that we would all be placed in different foster homes.  All we had was each other.  I'm not writing this true story for sympathy.  The reason I'm writing this story is because I am worthy of voicing my opinion on this matter, and there is absolutely no excuse for abusing anyone, especially children.

                                                            Daniel L Keith

   

   

 


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Reviewed by Sara Mosher 12/23/2014
I'm so sorry for your pain, Daniel. Thank you for your courage to share.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 12/14/2010
powerful work
Reviewed by Connie Faust 10/29/2010
Daniel, how did you survive emotionally? God surely had His hand on your life and those of your sister and brothers. This story is painful to read and fills me with hurt for you.
Thank you for sharing this deepest of emotional wounds with your readers--may it change the lives of each one who reads it.

Connie
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 10/4/2010
The reason I'm writing this story is because I am worthy of voicing my opinion on this matter, and there is absolutely no excuse for abusing anyone, especially children.

Points honestly and powerfully made, Daniel. Love, peace, and healing to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Annabel Sheila 10/4/2010
Oh! My precious friend, I am so deeply heartbroken to hear this horrible tale,no child should ever be able to write of such things! Thank God you survived the abuse, both mental and physical! Far too many children have childhood memories like you, Daniel.....your story needs to be heard! Reading Dustin's comments, I know you chose not to perpetuate your father's behaviour! That speaks volumes about the wonderful person/dad you turned out to be!

Blessings,
Anna
Reviewed by Dustin Keith 10/3/2010
Wow Dad, I didn't know about this one. Or at least I didn't know the whole story. I am so thankful that even with everything you went through, you were still able to grow to be exactly the father that I needed growing up. I love you and can't wait to see you this month.
Reviewed by Twylla Stickler 10/3/2010
I concure with your statement. There is absolutly no excuse for child abuse. I personally went through it with my mother. I am one of 6 children. My mother put me through so much trama when I was a child its unbareable to think about at times. I left when I was 15. One of my sisters left a few years ago when she was 15, then my otehr siblings recently were taken away from her. Her fiance, being druged out of his mind tried to kill my little sister and my mother. He went to jail, and my "wonderful" mother bailed him out. She had the never to call me and let me know that my brother had been molested. Not to mention to cry to me about it. I told her that if she had been the mother she should have been that would never of happened. That i can not wait to see her on judgment day and i hope she gets everything she deserves. Oh and she took him back.
Your story helps me to know that there are people who are really care about the welfare of other children. In all honesty I believe that you should try to reach our in your community and help the younger kids. I know in my experience, i was able to open up to someone that actually had been through what i had been. Keep up the writing, your touching many souls with this. :-)
Reviewed by JMS Bell 10/3/2010
DANIEL...WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. MY LORD...WE 'HEAR' PEOPLE SPEAK AND WE NEVER HAVE THE FAINTEST IDEA ABOUT WHAT WENT INTO THE MAKING OF THAT 'VOICE'. YOU ARE RIGHT, OF COURSE...GOD HAD OTHER PLANS FOR YOU AND YOU ARE LIVING IT OUT...EACH AND EVERY DAY. GLAD HE LED ME HERE TO AD SO THAT YOU COULD TOUCH MY LIFE...JUST BY YOU WRITING AND SHARING YOUR WORK. THANK YOU. BLESSINGS, LOVE AND FAITH TO YOU AND YOURS....JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS


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