There were many frightening events that happened during my childhood. The one that stands out the most concerns the events that happened one night when my older sister was left to babysit me and my siblings (while our parents were away). My father left instructions for my sister; they included our bedtime, the activities we could engage in, and his rule concerning company in the apartment during his absence (We were supposed to be in bed by 8pm, we could watch TV, and under no circumstances could any company be in the apartment).
Our neighbor, who lived across the hall, spent most afternoons (after school) in our apartment. I believe he stayed with us until his parents came home each evening. He was like family to us because we spent so much time together during the week. He came to the apartment that night. When he knocked, my siblings and I reminded my older sister that he was not allowed to come inside while our parents were away. She ignored us, and let him in. She explained that the rule didn’t apply to him because he spent so much time in our apartment. She also pointed out that we were only going to watch TV together, so she felt it would be ok.
We were sitting on the couch watching TV when my parents came home. When my father saw our neighbor inside the apartment, he became enraged. He physically picked the boy up, and threw him out of the apartment. He started yelling at my older sister. He then tied her hands to the radiator, and beat her with an extension cord. His yelling and her screaming seemed to go on forever. She tried to break free, but couldn’t. I felt so sorry for her, but I remained still and quiet because I wasn’t sure if we all were going to get the same punishment.
By the time he finished beating her, she had a nose bleed, and welts all over her body (some were raw and open, and others were bruised and swollen). I had nightmares about the event, and her injuries for a long time after that.