Swim or Drown

I don’t remember when the molestation with Don began but I remember when some of the fear and controlling began. My mom and Don had a swimming pool at their house. I didn’t learn to swim until I was older than most children. I had a real fear of water when I couldn’t touch the bottom or when I felt like someone was going to try to push me into the pool. I remember being in the pool and hanging onto the side  the whole time….especially when Don was in the pool. Don would always take me away from the edge and hold me horizontally and tell me to swim. I”m sure he had good intentions of teaching me to swim but I was so afraid that it was really counter productive. There were times that I would get out of the pool and the tips of my toes and fingers were bleeding from hanging onto the edge the whole time.

I think the military side of Don was very frustrated with my fear of water and the fact that I wouldn’t swim. He just couldn’t understand what was so scary about being in the pool and why I couldn’t just learn to swim like every other child. He began pulling me away from the edge of the pool and tossing me into the deep end so I had to swim. All this did was make me even less trusting and more afraid of getting in the pool.

One day my mom and Don invited my grandmothers and I over to hang out by the pool and have dinner. Just to clarify, I enjoyed playing in the pool, I just didn’t want anyone messing with me or forcing me into the deep end. We all arrive and are having a good time and Don is drinking the whole time. About the time that the steaks hit the grill it becomes very apparent that Don has had too much to drink. All of us have changed into dry clothes and are setting up for dinner when for no reason at all Don grabs me and throws me into the deep end of the pool….clothes and all. He said “swim or drown” then walked into the house and passed out in bed. I got out of the pool and walked into the house soaking wet. Everyone looked at me and asked what happened. I told them that Don threw me in the pool. My mom burst out laughing, apparently that was about the funniest thing she had every heard.

After that incident my grandmothers told me that I was going to have to go to swim lessons at the “Y”. I cried and told them that I didn’t want to go but they said that I was going because I had to learn to swim. To this day I remember the way voices would echo and that the lights were dim at the pool. Going to swim lessons was like pulling my fingernails out one by one. I would have such anxiety about it that I would go into my grandmother’s bedroom at night and sit on the floor crying and begging her not to make me go. She would tell me I had to go and to go back to bed.

For any of you who have read the About Me page, you know that I do triathlons as well as other types of races. Triathlons involve swimming which to this day is a real struggle for me. My races are limited to pool swims because I just can’t get comfortable in the open water (lakes, rivers etc). Maybe one day i’ll give it another try but for now i’m content staying on dry land.


~ by Isis on August 2, 2011.

2 Responses to “Swim or Drown”

  1. First time visiting your blog and I know I’m going to be back. You’re a powerful writer and it shows great strength of character to be able to write about the subject matter that you do

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