I thought I would write about something a little more serious for my second edition to the blog: the abuse I suffered as a child. This is not an easy topic for me but I’m hoping to gain some peace by doing this.
As far back as I can remember as a child my parents always fought. Screaming, yelling, punching, kicking. Really, really bad fights. I grew up thinking this was the norm. I remember waking up very late at night to the sounds of my parents fighting on too many occasions to count. Feeling scared and helpless, I would run in to my younger sisters room and check on her before making my way down the hallway to my baby brothers nursery to make sure he was still sleeping. The night that stands so vividly in my mind is what I like to consider the official end to my childhood. I was 9.
I heard a loud, blood curdling scream and sat straight up in bed. A few various expletives later and I was out of bed, heart beating out of my chest and poised at my door ready to assume my roll as big sister. This time however, was different. I heard what I know now to be the sound of flesh hitting flesh. That unmistakeable smack of hands hitting body parts. And then, silence. For what seemed like hours but was probably only a minute I stood frozen, waiting to hear something, anything. Then, my mothers voice: “give me a damn joint, I want to get high, GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”. As I walked down the hallway I could see the two of them standing in the kitchen. My father yelling some insane babble about how shes a crazy addict and he was done with her. They spotted me, crouched next to the opening of the kitchen and both turned and looked at me with a look I have never seen before or since. Crazed, unstable, eyes wide and full of hatred and anger. My mother retreated to their bedroom and my father stood in the kitchen looking at me like I didn’t belong there. Minutes later my mother returned, stoned and disoriented. As she entered the kitchen, my father was snarling “why don’t you tell your daughter what you’ve done”. With defeat on her face my mother turned to me with tears in her eyes and confessed to having an affair. She sank to the floor and covered her face. As my world shattered around me I felt my father brush past me in a fit of rage. He grabbed my mother by her shirt and bean dragging her out of the house while she was screaming and pleading. He threw her out in to the yard, flung her car keys out behind her and slammed the door. The image of her bleeding and crawling on the grass will forever be burned in my memory. My memory is unclear of exactly what happened after that but I do know I received no comfort from my father. He walked by me as if I wasn’t even there. The next thing I remember happened hours later.
I had fallen asleep on the couch in the living room in hopes to see my mother when she came home. I heard her key slip in to the lock on the door and I jerked awake. She stumbled in and tripped over the threshold unaware that I was awake on the couch. My father came screaming out of his bedroom and demanding she leave. I remember her pleading with him to allow her to see me and my siblings and he refused. Another scuffle ensued and before I knew my father was on top of my mother on the kitchen floor. She leaned to one side and threw up a little. In the vomit, which smelled like strait whiskey, I could make out small round objects. At this point she had become unresponsive and was laying under my father. I made the decision to call 911. I don’t know what prompted me or how I had the courage after the night I had but I had to stand on a chair to reach the telephone. As I gave the operator our address my mother began vomiting more but this time no pills were coming up with it. My mothers body lay lifeless on my kitchen floor and I sat with her and held her hand until the fire department and paramedics got there. My mother had to have her stomach pumped on my kitchen floor. The kitchen floor that only hours earlier I watched my little brother crawl around on and my sister colored a picture that hung on the refrigerator. My only thought was that they were well. And as I walked away and looked back at my mother the first tears I had cried that night started to fall. I checked on each of my siblings and there they both were, sleeping soundly. Unaware of the chaos and hatred swirling around them. As thankful as I am that their memories were spared of the horrifying events of that night I also feel very alone in my experience. I have never told either of them about that night and I intend to keep it that way.