Heather Trim recalls how evil parents stapled eyelids to make her watch scary film
The 38-year-old mother recounted the horrific childhood abuse for the first time, 30 years after parents were handed life sentences
Warning: Some details may be disturbing for readers, discretion advised
HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN: On August 20, 1990, Gerald and Pamela Platz were handed life sentences for eight abuse and rape charges. Now, three decades later, one of their children, Heather has finally opened up about their actions and her brutal childhood. In an exclusive interview, Heather Trim spoke about the Platz's abuse, in a bid to "show others that it is possible to forge a happy life, no matter what extreme trauma you have endured in the past."
As we have extensively reported, child abuse remains a massive concern all over the US. In August, Luis Morales of Pennsylvania was arrested and charged for sexually abusing a minor while she was in 3rd and 4th grade. The same month, Sergio Hernandez of Chicago was arrested and charged for raping a 15-year-old girl with intellectual disabilities. The pandemic has also upended traditional definitions of abuse after a Cook County Judge stripped a woman of her parental rights since she hadn't been vaccinated.
Many abuse victims have slowly begun to open up, inspired by the #MeToo movement and stories of rape survivors. Trim is now the latest to do so, going into gory details in her exclusive. She wasn't the only one. Four of Trim's six siblings were routinely abused at the Platz's isolated woodland cabin in Alpena, Emmet County, Michigan. Until they were rescued by neighbors and their parents jailed.
What happened to Heather?
For six years, Trim was sexually, physically and psychologically abused by both her parents. She says Pamela was even "jealous" of Gerald's abuse of Trim, their only daughter. Among other things, she was stabbed and beaten with rocks. "I remember seeing a scary movie and refusing to watch it, and in my refusal, my eyes were forced to stay open by stapling the lids open," she said. In some ways, one could say the abuse began before Trim was even born. The Platz's were addicted to drugs and alcohol, leading Trim to be born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Between 1983 and 1989, the abuse was constant and left lasting impressions on Trim. She said that her parents often stuck items in her ears, damaging her hearing. She noted, "I have had nearly every bone broken in my body." Trim was also locked in the basement "for a very long time without food or water." However, that was far from the worst abuse she suffered. "I remember being peed and pooped on, spit at, and being forced to do things with those bodily fluids," she noted.
Trim was also sexually abused by both her father and mother. It's unclear why Gerald was so abusive, but Trim said it affected Pamela as well. "I believe (Pamela) was jealous of all the attention Gerald would show me," she added. Thankfully for her, the abuse ended in 1989 after a neighbor spotted Trim's brother, Byron, running naked and bloody. The person called the police, and the children were all placed in foster care.
Life post abuse
In 1990, Gerald and Pamela were sentenced to life in prison, where Gerald died. Pamela is still alive, but the scars they left on their children haven't gone away. Initially, Trim and Byron were placed in foster care together but had to be separated because of their behavior toward each other. Byron tragically died in November 2017. Trim was adopted after a few years in foster care and continued to receive therapy till the age of 15.
At 18, she really began to turn her life around and says she "broke the chain of becoming like my parents." She obtained a degree from Kaplan University Online and went on to work in the food industry. She also has a 16-year-old daughter Kayla, whose birth she credits with helping move on. "The minute I saw her newborn face, it woke me up too. I wanted her to never feel anything that I had personally gone through in my life." She added, "I knew, seeing her face, I finally understood what unconditional love looked and felt like, and I knew from that moment on the kind of person I wanted to be."
Trim also shared some valuable advice for other survivors of abuse. "No matter what a person goes through in their life, they have to decide on the kind of person they want to be. No one or no memory has power over you unless you let it. Every day that you successfully live without repeating the trauma or hurt on others, is a day to celebrate." Trim now lives in Houghton, Michigan with her daughter and another child Clark.
Her two older brothers are also reportedly doing well. Trim doesn't even know the names of her three younger brothers, so she's not sure where they are or how they have coped. But she's doing well, noting that "I just knew who I didn't want to be, like them. The fact that I am alive gives me strength. I survived something that should have killed me."