Ever since I was a small child, my father beat me. I don't know why, but it seemed to ease his frustration. At the same time, he was always there to protect me from whatever else tried to harm me. He was always paranoid that I was doing something that I shouldn't be, and he was very possessive, a trait associated with child abusers.
A month and a half before my twelfth birthday, my father was killed in a motorcycle accident. As traumatic as that was for me, I still felt safer now that he was gone. After all, I wasn't getting hit anymore, and the bruises were slowly fading off my arms, legs, and torso.
About a month after his death, I was playing outside and noticed a man standing in my yard, who remarkably looked identical to my deceased father. The figure ran to me, and I ran from it into the house. My mother thought that I was just seeing things. She had the false impression that I was just hoping that my father would be back, that the whole experience to me had been one big nightmare. She sent me back outside. I got my German Sheppard, Doc, and put him on his leash, feeling safer with him there.
We played a while, and about 30 minutes later, I saw the same figure. Doc turned his head towards it, pinned his ears back and began to growl, bark, and bare his teeth. He ran at me again, and I foolishly decided to run across the street, letting go of the leash. As the figure began to gain on me, Doc ran through it. As he passed through it, he whined, put his tail in between his legs and ran up towards the house. As I approached the road, the figure caught up to me and pinned me to the ground, threatening to hit me as I lay underneath it. Not even fifteen seconds later, an eighteen wheel truck came flying over the hill, doing about 65mph in a 45 speed limit. The figure, who looked and sounded like my father, told me not to move from this spot until my sister got home from work and could drive me up my long driveway. As I waited for her to get there, the figure stood at a short distance (about 50 feet) away, seemingly looking at me. I was crying, and when Doc heard me, he ran back to me and sat with me until my sister arrived, not taking his eyes off the figure.
When my sister pulled into the driveway, she looked at me and told me to get into the car with her. She asked me what was wrong and I told her what had happened. When I looked back into the yard, the figure was gone. It's five years later and I still haven't forgotten the uncomfortable familiarity that I felt when he pushed me to the ground. I don't think I ever will.