The Wicked Stepfather My Mother Married

Me, Kay, and Grandma

Me, Kay, and Grandma at a park in Iowa in the 1950's.
Me, Kay, and Grandma at a park in Iowa in the 1950's.

Mom Remarries

My mother was married to our father until they went their separate ways in 1956. My mother and father had five children between them, three girls and two boys, which were very young. My father had found another woman and decided to leave, and so he did leave with the other woman to live in California, and later Las Vegas, Nevada. My mother had various boyfriends up until 1968, when she met the man, who was to become her second husband and our stepfather. He was big, tall and he had dark hair. He was gruff. He seemed to be okay at first. My oldest sister, whose name is Kay said that he had been mean right at the beginning of his marriage to our mother. The stepfather's name was Barney, who is no longer living. My mother is no longer living, either. Our grandmother, Esther had died in 1968, when we were living in a small town, and then decided to move to a bigger town where there were more opportunities for work.

My mother and the stepfather wanted to move to his home town, which was not far away from where we were living. He and my mother had rented a big white house on a hill, which had many rooms. I really liked the house a lot. The house had many rooms, a big kitchen and everyone could have their own bedroom, which was nice. The house had a big attic, big enough to do cartwheels in. There was a fireplace in the living room, but it did not work, which was unfortunate. After the family moved in and got settled, everything seemed to be going okay for awhile. The stepfather, Barney seemed to be kind of ornery. He demanded things, for example: one of us girls doing the dishes, etc. He was not nice about it at all. Eventually he lost his job. He worked as an electrician for one of his brothers. His brother had laid him off.

Stepfather Not Working

The stepfather did try to find another job, but he was not successful. One early morning he had a phone call, which he thought it might be for a job, but my sister had answered the phone and whoever it was that talked to her must of said good bye and hung up, and the stepfather had a fit and yelled at my sister in a real nasty voice. My sister, then called up a good friend of hers and had him come and get her. She moved back to the town where we all lived before, and she got a job and went to the high school until she graduated. She disliked the stepfather for yelling at her. She was the middle sister. The oldest sister lived with us for awhile until she got married and had a little daughter, who was just born around the time.

The stepfather still could not find a job. My mother had a job working in a bakery, but she could not make enough to support the family and the house. It was difficult paying the bills, because he was not working, or supporting the family in anyway. His moods got darker and he was getting worse, meaner than before he lost his job.

Stepfather Getting Worse

Whenever my mother and I rode with him in an older car he had bought, he would be driving along, then all of a sudden he would slam on the brakes for no apparent reason. I was afraid to ride in the car with him. He seemed to be doing that whenever he drove. Something was wrong with him, but none of his family members would do anything about it. He had two or three brothers that lived in the area that must have known that there was something wrong with him.

My second oldest sister was living, working and going to school in the town where we had lived before. She was doing okay. She asked me to come live with her for awhile in the summer. So, I did for awhile. My mother and stepfather brought me to my sister's place. I remember one episode when I was sitting on a chair watching TV, and all of a sudden the stepfather charged me. My mother jumped up and got between him and I. She stopped him from attacking me. I was really scared. My mother decided it was time to go, so she and the stepfather left. My sister was real angry and yelled at him for attacking me as they were leaving. I only stayed with my sister a little while, then I went back to live with my mother and the stepfather.

My Sister's Friend's Dog

My older sister had a male friend, who had a cute little dog. The dog was staying with my sister in her apartment, but she could not have any pets, so the dog needed a place to live. My mother, stepfather and I were visiting my older sister, and she still had the dog, so the dog went home with me. The dog was not very big, it was a female and she was part poodle I think. Her name was Tuffy. Mom thought that she should have been called Tubby. She was a long haired dog and I think that she had dark spots. She was a real nice dog. She was the kind of dog that would attach herself to one person. Fortunately, she got attached to me right away. She was my best friend until she had to leave. My stepfather's sister and brother-in-law had to eventually take her to give to someone else, because we had to move from the big white house on the hill to an apartment. The dog did stay with us in the apartment for a while, though. I really missed her a lot. (The dog did not like the stepfather at all) More Later...

Dog Did Not Like Stepfather

The dog, Tuffy, came to live with us, which was good. She was a real nice dog. She would not have anything to do with the stepfather. I thought maybe she was afraid of him. He did not seem right, because there was something wrong with him. After the dog was taken by the stepfather's sister and brother-in-law, my mother and I left, too. The dog must have sensed that something was wrong with him. My mother and I moved in with friends of ours, and eventually he came, too. Later on, he left for good, and my mother got a divorce. He lived with one of his brothers somewhere, and we never saw him again. He ended up in a nursing home, dying from colon cancer.

He told me one time that he had been in the army. He was sterile and he had been diagnosed with dementia. I was thinking, maybe he had syphilis? Syphilis is known to cause sterility and insanity, if it is left untreated. I suppose there are other things that could cause sterility and insanity, besides syphilis. I do not know why the stepfather was sterile. He was treated for dementia, before moving in with his brother in a VA hospital.

Stepfathers, bad relationships

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Comments 10 comments

Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

Wow. I don't know what to say. Him attacking you slamming on the brakes.He was mentally ill.


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

I knew that he had dementia and he was sterile. He was tall and big. He was ornery. He made life awful along time ago. Thanks for your comment.


Caleb DRC profile image

Caleb DRC 4 years ago

Hi Gail. Between your profile and this hub, I feel I know you better than some members of my own family. I found your profile very unique and refreshing. Not because of the tragedies, but because you cared enough for your readers to give them a peek into your personal life--thank you.

Anytime we go against our conscience, we make ourselves vulnerable to mental illness. I think this is what happened to your stepfather. Many things factor into this as, for example, going against one's conscience after God calls is much worse than prior to it.


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Thank you, Caleb DRC. I have a brother who is one year older than I. He has cancer still, and is still fighting it. I rarely see him and his family. He developed bone cancer, after he had the oher cancer. Cancer sure is awful! The step-father was pretty ill with the mental illness. Thanks again.


Recently Awakened profile image

Recently Awakened 4 years ago

I applaud you for sharing such a deeply personal story. These experiences made you the person you are today and has connected you with us other hubbers and for that I am greatful. This is the first hub of yours that I have read and I look forward to reading more from you.


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Thank you, Recently Awakened. I'm looking forward to reading your hubs, too. That was years ago, but I never forgot the time when my mother remarried, and it turned out bad. I sure missed the little dog as she was really cute, and very loyal. She was a one person dog, but she liked my mother, though.


gail641 profile image

gail641 4 years ago from Mason City Author

Thank you for the comment. I'm grateful, too.


holdmycoffee profile image

holdmycoffee 3 years ago

Gail, wow, I am so glad for you getting away from this bad situation. Mental disease - would be my guess for your step-father. If nothing else, severe depression, but maybe with other issues. I hope you were able to get a dog you like in your later years - it sounds like you should.


gail641 profile image

gail641 3 years ago from Mason City Author

Thanks, I'm glad I got away from that bad situation! It was really awful! The little dog I had at the time was really a nice dog. The dog was very loyal. She like me and my mother, but sure didn't like the step-father. She wouldn't go near him. He did have a mental disease--I think he had dementia. I have two cats now, but several years back I had my mother's dog Skippy, who was a real nice dog. My mother was dying of cancer, so I took the dog where I was living. The step-father most likely had other issues, as well, as the dementia.


gail641 profile image

gail641 3 years ago from Mason City Author

holdmycoffee, thanks. I'm glad I got away from that bad situation years ago. I think he had dementia and other problems. The dog back then was nice and loyal. She like me and my mother, but not him.

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