Monday, March 24, 2008

The day I knew that I was different

It was a summer day. The only way I remember this, is because I was wearing a romper. It was my favorite.. red and white checks with little lady bugs on a big pocket across the front.

I am the eldest of three children. My brother, three years younger than me and my sister, three years younger than him. My sister was born in 1974 and was just a baby when this took place.

My mother never worked outside the home except on the rare occasion that she felt the need to have some pocket money or needed a break from us kids. I don't know if there were other reasons or not, I'm only making assumptions.

My parents struggled quite a bit when we were all little.. much as any other family with young children, I suppose. We never went to bed hungry, we were always clothed and we were never without a home. All the material things that a kid could want, we had.

The one thing we didn't have... was peace of mind. Affection either, for that matter.

On this particular summer day, the window AC was running really loudly in the dining room and my mother was frantically digging through the china hutch. It was directly on the other side of the dining room across from the AC unit.

I remember standing there watching her and staring at her long brown wisps of hair that had fallen out of her bun, floating around as if someone with invisible fingers were playing with them.

She slammed the top drawer shut, and then dumped her purse on the dining room table.. cursing. She started crying, flinging papers all over the table top, and some were falling to the floor. At that point, I wandered into the living room to play with this doll I had. It was a pretty cool doll... it stood as tall as me. When I took it's hands into mine and walked backwards, the doll 'walked' with me. I don't think I had named it, but I loved it just the same.

Next thing I know, my father comes in from working outside and I hear mumbled voices at first. Fighting. Soon, he was yelling at her and said something about some doctor bill. From what I could gather, he was very angry because they were looking for some canceled check or receipt or something along those lines.

My brother wandered in from his bedroom and my dad yelled at him to, "Get the hell out of here!" and he came running into me carrying some rubber toy......

Then, it happened.

My father rushed into the living room and asked my brother and I if we had seen a small box that had checks like this (he held up my mom's checkbook). I said no and my brother just shook his head.

Apparently, this isn't what my father wanted to hear. He charged at us, smacked my brother upside the head, knocking him to the floor, and then lifted me up by one arm and whaled into me like there was no tomorrow. There was my brother, laying on the floor, screaming bloody murder, my mother was screaming at my dad to 'leave them alone' and me, dangling by my wrist being hit repeatedly until he finally dropped me to the floor.

He asked again.

"Have you seen or did you take, a small box with checks in it like this!"

I whisper/cried, "No..." Instead of yanking me up this time he grabbed my doll.. the one I loved SO much, and he swung it around and broke it over my back. Broke it so badly, that the torso split in two, the head popped off and one leg went flying.

I felt like that damn doll looked. I often wondered what he'd done if MY head had popped off instead of that dolls head. I was so scared. I remember sobbing so hard that I couldn't breathe. I wanted to run away and I was laying there.. my back, head, legs, wrist and arms.. burning and stinging like mad. I couldn't figure out why he was so angry... and why my mom didn't DO anything.

Time went by and things are a bit fuzzy for me memory wise, but next thing I knew, my mom walks in and says she found it. My dad proceeds to bend down and give my brother a hug and tell him that he was sorry.


I sat there staring at him. Why was he sorry for hitting my brother, but he wasn't sorry for beating the shit out of me? Do you know what I was told by my mother later when I asked her, "Why did dad say sorry to **** and didn't say sorry to me?"

"You're the oldest. You have to be the example for your brother and sister."

That's the day I realized looking back, that at that moment, I knew I was different than my siblings.. and things for me while living under their roof, would never be peaceful for me.

The year was 1975 and I was six years old.


Buffy said...

I'm saddened to read of the pain you for you as a child must have been heartbreaking (and at times body breaking!) I'm reading your posts daily and I hope that this blog helps you heal. (Pity we're not closer...sounds like ya need a hug!)

Greg said...

Peace to you, Mrs. This blog will bring you that, I hope, and some power, too.

What a shame to grow up thinking this is how children are treated.

Kudos for remembering and double for sharing your memories here. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

Anonymous said...

That's a heavy burden.. and all to familiar...I hope getting it out helps in some way

Jillian said...

That was awful, I couldn't help but get angry.

Mushy said...

I am so glad you dropped by my dear, otherwise I would never have read this post, and that would have been a shame.

I am so sorry, but glad you have broken the chain of pain.

Please come back...'cause I will!

Fran said...

Have you talked to your father ?
I feel our generations have to deal with the fact to be the oldest.
That sucked, it's unjust.
Take Care

earthlingorgeous said...

Wow... this is very deep... (((hugs)))

I'm glad to know you, I feel you are such a wonderful person.

Thanks for sharing your life(((hugs)))

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

Mushy (of Mushy's Moochings) told me to come and check out your blog.

Some great posts here.

You have a very compelling writing style - you can count me in as a fan.

The_Mrs said...

@buffy - Thanks for coming by and reading, Buffy. It's harder than I thought it would be to write this all down but at the same time, I feel like a weight has been lifted. Thanks again for coming by.

@greg - You're right about that... what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.. I'm a firm believer in that. Everything happens for a reason and sometimes, it takes a little digging to find out what the reason is. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back.

@robert - I hope so too... I hope so too... thank you my friend.

@jillian - I would be lying if I said I don't get angry anymore at this kind of stuff when I think about it... but I'm trying to get past that and onto the healing part. This stuff has been knawing at me for over 30 years now, and I want to dump it and get it out of my system.. although I wonder if it ever really leaves?

@mushy - Well thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you found me.. although this is the kind of depressing me, it's still me. :) I originally wanted to post daily for there's so much ... but like I told buffy.. it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. Thank you too for stopping by. I hope you visit again soon.

@fran - I know this may sound silly... but I'm afraid to talk to my father. When I was 34, I would still 'duck' whenever he walked behind me because I was still (I'm ashamed to admit this, actually) afraid he'd hit me in the back of my head. He used to hit me so hard there, that it would make my glasses fly off the front of my face... I'm just now at almost 40, getting to the point that I'm not scared of him. Pretty sad, eh? To be scared of your dad?

@earthlingorgeous - Thanks for the hugs, dear.... I know I could use them! ((hugs back))

@david - Wow. Austrailia? How're things on your little piece of the Earth? :) Thanks for coming by... I hope you'll come back and visit. The more perspectives I can get on this whole ugly thing, the better I think it will be. I'll have to thank Mushy for telling people about my small spot here. :) And thank you David, for your too kind words!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Awwww Sweeeetie....that was really well written....I am so sorry for your childhood....I hope writing will help you sort it all out. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

âşık meyhâni said...

Accidentally this is second thing I have read/seen about childhood. I have watched a short movie on Youtube (search it: "10 minutes by Ahmed Imamovic")
I hope this is a unique-particular event, not repetitive.
happiness for all.

Karen ^..^ said...

Oh, god. I hate that son of a bitch. I truly do. What a pathetic, cowardly piece of shit.