Archive for the ‘abusive’ Tag

What happens when you put too much butter on your bread?


Steven R. Zellers

A few years ago there was a little boy about ten years old and kind of skinny who decided he was hungry and wanted to make a sandwich. When he was finished putting butter on his bread, the boy looked up to see his Dad standing behind him with red glazed eyes. Right away the boy knew he was in trouble. He had been beaten before, many times. His crime was using too much butter on his bread. He had been beaten for lots of things. He watched his Dad beat his step Mom many times for using too much of this or that, or for spending too much money at the grocery store.

The little boy saw the look of rage on his Dad’s face and begged for mercy. “Please Daddy I’ll be good. I promise I’ll be good from now on.”

The boy’s Dad grabbed him by the back of the neck and smashed his face into the kitchen sink several times with so much force that the boy’s feet literally came off the ground. Luckily for the boy the faucet was there to catch his face.

After the beating was over the boy’s Dad locked him in the basement like he often did for punishment. At ten years old the boy didn’t hate the basement as much as he did when he was five and six. When he was that young he was too short to reach the light switch. No matter how much he screamed his Dad wouldn’t let him out. The basement had a dirt floor and a damp musty smell. Spiders and centipedes as big as rats loved to crawl around in the basement. At least now the boy was tall enough to turn the lights on and even though the basement was a scary place, that dark dirty basement became a place of refuge for the boy.

When the little boy was five he lived with his real Mom who had divorced his Dad shortly after he was born. One day his Mom told him she was going to the store. She left and never came back. As you might expect a five year old can’t be left to live alone. So the boy was forced to live with his Dad and Step Mom and step brothers who were older and bigger than he was.

As you might imagine, the five year old little boy cried a lot because his Mom left him. He often wondered if he would have behaved more, if he would have done better in school, if he wouldn’t have gotten in trouble so much, maybe his Mom would have stayed. “Was I a bad kid?” He wondered.

His step brothers were mean as snakes and laughed at the little boy. They called him a “sissy” and a “cry baby” for crying about his Mom. So soon after moving into his Dad’s house he decided that he would never cry about his Mom again. He decided he didn’t like being called a sissy and a baby. He decided no matter how much they hit him or made fun of him, he would not cry. He didn’t either. He may have been a skinny little kid but he was no sissy. He didn’t even cry when his step brothers put him in the big chest freezer and sat on the lid. It was really cold in there and they made him stay in there a long time. No matter what evil things his step brothers did to him the little boy never cried.

A few years later when the boy was all grown up his Dad died. The boy didn’t cry one single tear. He didn’t even go to the funeral. Not long after that he got a phone call from his brother saying that his Mom, his real Mom, died from lung cancer. The boy didn’t cry for his Mom either. Why should he cry? He didn’t even know her. She walked out of his life when he was five.


The little boy in the story grew up and decided he didn’t want to be like his Dad so he decided not to drink and he made a vow to never beat his kids. It was a simple choice for him. Be a mean drunk and a child abuser or don’t. He chose not to.

Sometimes he still has nightmares about the basement. He is still claustrophobic and at forty five years old he’s still afraid of the dark. It might be a silly thing to you but it matters to him. He often wonders if his kids will cry at his funeral.


The story you just read about the little boy is true. Every word of it. Do you know how I know it’s true? I’ll give you two guesses. But you’re only going to need one.

The world we live in today isn’t that much different than it was thirty five or forty years ago. Sure there’s more traffic and a million channels on TV instead of three. But for the most part a loaf of bread or a tub of butter is still relatively just as expensive now as it was back then. For most people money is tight. For most kids Moms and Dads still work and bigger kids still pick on smaller kids. Dad’s still get drunk and beat on Moms. Sometimes the Moms or brothers or grandparents are the ones that become abusers.

We can choose to ignore child abuse and pretend it doesn’t happen. But we all know it does. To say the word abuse is still taboo.


Every day in every city in America there are kids are being brutally beaten. They are victims trapped by the circumstances they were given. These kids feel helpless and hopeless. It’s time to let these kids know that they don’t have to be afraid anymore. There is help out there.


If you need help. Get help. It’s time to make a stand and say “NO MORE.”


The Power to say “NO MORE” to abuse. Available anywhere books are sold or you can get a free copy if you need one. Email and I will personally see that you get a copy.


Steve Zellers