In the vicinity of hope and sweet destination, I lie awake wondering what I did so wrong. There’s a darkness that lies about bringing memories of such a past only guilt and pain reside. The inner turmoil that exists from just the thought of all the neglect, hurt, pain, scolding, and constant negativity that encircled my surrounding environment, only hints at the screaming in my head so loud my brain goes numb. I wait around waiting for the next page of agony that seems to sneak up on me every chance it gets whether morning noon or night. The throbbing that takes place seems unforgivable caused by all the blame and beatings. His voice rings fear through my body as it did many years ago when she would find any reason to tip and tear me apart.
There was no God back then. There was no family either. There was nothing but the bottom of the can that you had to get to or nothing made sense. That’s what I was told. My hair dragging on chairs or swaying just past my ass was in perfect reach to get a point across when I didn’t hear what was said. My ear-piercing became a blessing in disguise as there was no longer a way to pull my head around when punishment was due. Pray every day and thank God every day that you have everything you will ever need I was told. What was this prayer I was told about supposed to do. I knew with every prayer came another beating, another day of neglect, or another reason to be ashamed of whom I was. So why pray when he didn’t care anyway? Why believe your family loves you when the only time you hear anything is when that can has been held up several times a day?
This man walks around in my safety zone and parades with the pride he can and will do what he wants when he wants to do it. The only thing that keeps my couth and respect from all the hatred, anger, and complete resentment from coming out is the small voice in my head reminding me, Granma loves you. How am I supposed to fight such a mental anguish that exists from a love trapped by a personal prison created from 15 years of so-called commitment? Why type of respect would I have for my elders if I just took all that I was taught and threw it all to the wind for the simple weakness I’ve been caused with the power of the can? How can I look someone I love in the eye and tell them, I give up when I’ve never known how to?
I remind myself of all the times I watched a movie and saw the weakness in the main character and kept thinking to myself, Why The Fuck Don’t You Just… or How Come You Can’t…. or even sometimes If That Was Me I Would Definitely ….. We fool ourselves into thinking we are someone different and stronger than we really are when we see these people putting on a show for your entertainment in hopes they hit a nerve somewhere and maybe just maybe we will pay money to see more. Why? I find myself in a situation that was brought on by love, understanding, persistence, and complete passion of the human race and my dad. I find myself trapped within all the energies that are screaming louder and louder everyday almost causing confusion between reality of myself and those that are around me. Not knowing who my anger is from or why I feel like buckling down and crying uncontrollably is a constant struggle that I can’t seem to clear.
The self punishment that exists inside is only a whisper of the bits and pieces being brought back from all that I went through as a child. Watching myself want to fall deep into a dark hole of quiet, non-existence from any type of reality with the hope that my world will finally disappear is almost heart breaking that this conclusion has come about. Music with words that dance through my head brings a depth of anger and hatred that shouldn’t exist in my world today. What has brought all this on? Why have I allowed such a bad situation to take place in my safety zone?
My body heat rises with so many feelings swarming over me. I have such an urge to drink it all away or find the first bag of weed that I can to take my mind somewhere else. Maybe a phone call to some people will share few types of pills that can hide or push aside all this darkness that has planted inside me. I begin my steps of solitary confinement. I begin the process of pushing people away and shutting down so no one gets hurt by my stupidity or ignorance. I remember what comes next if I get caught being stupid or retarded. I remember how that fly swatter felt against whatever flesh it came into contact with. I remember the sting it caused and seemed to last hours after followed by a belt or a drunken hand or foot.
Well at least I got to drink a beer while doing the dishes I was chasing down and kicked to do. Age didn’t matter at that point, since my sister proved you could be 16 or 18 and still get drunk with the best of them. So that’s all I had to do? Drink beer and now everything was ok? I wouldn’t get hit anymore? Why didn’t it work for me? Why did it matter that I was still in 7th grade? He gave me a beer to do dishes and all of a sudden everything was fine. Who cared about the headache from the beating just an hour before? I always wore pants and sweat shirts so no one would see any of the marks that were left either. I could handle this. I thought so anyway. Then I realized that beer was NASTY!!! I couldn’t bring myself to drink it. I took just two drinks and felt like I was top of the world since I was no longer being yelled at or beaten. Was there anything else I could drink instead? I wanted to keep him happy so I kept my mouth shut.
All these simple times of many years past have come rushing into my head smearing my reality and hopes and dreams with fears and personal hatred. All this time I convince myself that I really am strong and it’s just a cloak of guilt covered by a mask of frustration to what no one will ever believe or understand. My sexuality was the low-end of the stick since I was told by grown men and women while they played with my hair or groped me as I sat on their drunken high-on laps, that I was sexy, cute, adorable, beautiful, and so many other things that caused my mind to wander. If I was so many good things then why did I deserve the treatment I got? Why did I get tortured at school? Why was I only OK to be around when intoxication was there? It happened everywhere all the time. I got beat, screamed at, made fun of, tortured, and so many unthinkable things for a child my age.
That’s ok he was drunk. That’s ok she was drunk. Don’t mind that, they were drinking. They didn’t know any better, they were drinking. You’re not a hero just because you don’t drink. It doesn’t make you a HERO to tell on anyone. It’s nobody’s business what happens in this house. Beer me up. Children are to be seen and not heard. Here’s a few bucks, now get lost. You are such a gorgeous beautiful girl, why do you have to be so young? The things I could do to you. I could show you where to use that talent. You should wear makeup and dresses more often, show that beauty. Why couldn’t I get the drift that drinking was a part of life? Why couldn’t I just grow up and join the club? Why did life and personal choices matter so much to me when no one else seemed to care? How could someone just sit back and drunk just one more for hours on end until their brain cells seemed to deteriorate for the evening?
It seemed so much easier to close my eyes and wait for another daylight to hit where I could hide in school or the churches. Granted the schools made life even harder since children were allowed to cut hair, set it on fire, dump stuff on top of you, ruin your homework, call cruel names, sexually harass you, steal your stuff, and pretend to dry fuck you in the hall ways or class rooms when no one was around. It was great being a sex object at home and at school.
I’m losing it!! I can feel it!! I can feel all the thoughts inside my head telling me it’s all over!!! You’re done!!! You can’t do this anymore!!! My childhood was that of a fun park adventure for sick and twisted adults, but it gave me a new light on life. I tried to be a model and a great singer that was sexy. Nobody wanted me in school; nobody seemed to love me if I wasn’t dressed right. Nobody stuck around sober enough to know the struggle I was having. My need to be sexy came early since that’s when I wasn’t getting yelled at or in trouble. That’s when I was getting LOVED on and HUGGED and grownups liked me. It was OK because they were drunk. It wasn’t their fault because they were drinking. It was my fault because I acted like a slut or because I dressed too sexy. Yet if I didn’t I got yelled at and smacked around that I looked like a bum and I was a disgrace. How do you make any sense of that? Those tight jeans and tiny belly shirts came in real handy.
The way I was touched sent chills down my spine. Why? What was all this about? It didn’t matter. Children are to be seen and not heard. That’s the rule and I had to do my damnedest to remember that. Silence was golden and everyone wants to be rich. You are to respect your elders no matter what and do what they say. Just remember it’s never their fault because you caused it.
As I’m older more and more day by day, I break free of some of these teachings to make sure my children don’t receive the same blindness I was given. I would hate for them to know the pain, hurt, anguish, suffering, self-hatred, self resentment, confusion or anything else that was caused by growing up with alcoholics. I do drink now from time to time, but only liquor catches my interest. I wait and wonder by taste more than how I feel from it. I put up with a few years of a man who couldn’t control himself with his alcohol either. Though being older and drilled that love and matrimony meant to stay no matter what, was drilled into my head. So all the times that I found pop bottles or liquor bottles left out over night for the children to find and try, never made up for the empty apologies and constant promises that flowed through the air several times a day.
Now somehow I have let this whole round of drama come into my life again. This time snuck in under the respect and love of a dear family member who means more to me than I’ve known how to feel and trust a family member. Somehow these evil thoughts and desperation creep into my life and want out to run around and shout or to lay the law down and freak out. How do I keep my composure? How do I control myself and what is going through my head? Why can’t I handle this? Why is this so hard? Why does any of this matter? What keeps me from screaming at the top of my lungs, slamming doors, or shouting obscenities countless times through the night or day? Why do I allow the fear to overcome me when his voice trails off at the foot of the stairs about respect and quiet just because he’s been drinking? Why do I cripple to the thought of footsteps climbing to find a scolding from a mouth that shouldn’t matter? Why am I so trapped in a place I should be at peace in?
There’s nothing that makes sense anymore. Nothing seems worth it at this time. Nothing is showing the light of day when I’m smothered by all the terrible memories of a past I’ve written and sang about to move past. Nothing seems to be that creme of the crop or that light at the end of the tunnel. All this time I struggle day by day to make ends meet and to make sure kids are clothed and fed, but just a couple of stairs and steps away lies a beast who eats away at my happiness and hope. There’s a beast that has the uncanny ability to get right under my skin and find those tiny weaknesses that I try to hold in silent prayer of never being found for the good of my family. Somehow that tipping motion still controls me. Somehow I get frazzled and confused when I smell that intoxication on his breath and watch him stumble away. For some reason, I am speechless to the verbal horrors my boys are being put through when I’m not there and I freeze with solid anticipation to do something when I am.
The courage I seek is hidden deep within. The confidence I need has to break free again. A deep breath is too much to ask. A care in the world is where a spell is cast. All hiding underneath that blanket my phone to my ear praying some will pick up the phone to hear my desperate call for help and understanding. Waiting for another drunk to walk through the door wanting something else from me… once again!!!! Waiting for the accusations of whatever went wrong in life and has to be my fault!!! Waiting for this moment’s punishment either it be verbal or physical…. I close my eyes, pray to a God that’s supposed to exist, hold my breath, cover my head, and just remember it’s not their fault… they’ve been drinking…
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