Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Summer quickly approaches... and reminds me of swimming

**Just to anyone who might find this a little disturbing to read, it contains a little more graphic information than some may care to read.. so please, just read with caution or stop reading where I have placed an asterik. Thanks.

I'm looking forward to summer.. and then I'm not. It has been kind of going back and forth.

See.. I work at a school and I have two school aged children. And while I love my job, love my children, and love being able to be available to them (since I work there)... summer is a bit different.

As any mom or dad could probably relate... summer is a time that goes WAY too fast for kids and seems to drag on and on for parents. If past summers prove anything, it is that by day 3 of summer break, my children will be belly aching and complaining that they are *BORED* and that there isn't *anything* to **DO**.

When I was growing up, I don't remember much of the summer months - especially when I was younger. I remember it being hotter than hell outside and I also remember my mom yelling, "In or out!" almost constantly (can't say that I blame her).

Just up the street from where I spent most of my childhood, there was a "pool club". To this day, I don't know the correct term for it... but it was a neighborhood thing that you had to pay an annual dues to and had to live in this certain area. Other than that, I don't know what the hell to call it.

Anyway... I remember spending MORE than a few days at that pool. It was almost exactly 1/4 mile up the road and I was in charge of my younger siblings. I was responsible for making sure they had sunscreen, towels, pop money and most importantly, I was responsible for getting everyone home - on time.

I was the eldest of three, with my brother 3 years younger and my sister 3 years younger than him. My sister really wasn't a problem.... but now my brother. Ugh.

See, we had to walk that 1/4 mile to the pool and back (daily) and since the pool didn't open until 12:30, it wasn't exactly the coolest time of day to make a trek and especially when you were carrying a load of crap with you.

Most times, my sister would pull herself reluctantly from the pool when I told her it was time to go.. but now my brother on the other hand.. he'd take great joy in seeing me 'lose' it. I would start to yell, then I would start to screech and walk up and down the length of the pool pleading, begging him to come out.

I knew what was waiting if I didn't get all of us home in time. I would get blamed and in turn - beat. That's just the way it was. I guess I was supposed to be able to force my younger siblings into doing whatever I said because.. well... just because.

My brother didn't care - it wasn't his skin on the line.

There was one day in particular that it was really bad. We wound up being almost a 1/2 hour late coming home and I was close to hysteria by the time our house was maybe a 1/2 block away.

My dad was home early.

It didn't matter that it wasn't me keeping us from getting there on time... and it certainly didn't matter that I was near hysterics by the time we walked through the front door.

What did matter... is that I was in charge and once again... I failed.


My 'punishment' was getting whacked across the backs of my thighs with the wire end of a fly swatter. He held on to the floppy plastic part and beat the hide off the back of my legs with the metal part. I made the mistake of sticking my hands back there because it hurt SO freaking bad... and he didn't care. He kept going, smacking thighs, fingers and arms.

Have you ever been in so much pain that you literally, couldn't breathe? That is exactly how I felt. I remember the exact spot I was standing, I remember that I was screaming bloody murder, which seemed to fuel him on.

I wound up with black fingernails and bloody welts across the backs of both legs. I had gone upstairs, peeled off my swimsuit and got into underwear, shorts, and a teeshirt. Later that night, I had soak in a tub of water to get my shorts off, because they were stuck to me because of my oozing welts.

I still have a very hard time NOT hating him for that!

We didn't go to the pool again for over a week, needless to say.

After all, how could I explain bloody welts and black nails - he was a hard working guy with well mannered kids after all... who would believe us....?


BPD in OKC said...

I was abused by my father when I was growing up. He used a fly swatter on me sometimes. belts, boards, rope, whatever he could get his hand on. I know what you went through for sure. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

Karen ^..^ said...

UGH. I can so relate to this. Your brother sounds as horrific as my 3 brothers were. He saw what you went through, yet still taunted you and allowed you to take a monstrous beating because of him.

Do you speak to him? As far as trying NOT to hate your father, well sometimes that poses almost as big a struggle as coming to grips with our past does. I say let what you feel come naturally, and if hate is what you feel? Let it be. You cannot go against nature.

You can keep it from eating you alive, though. Very well written post. You had me right there next to you, and it made me want to wring your brother's neck.

Fran said...

I can't say something, to much violence makes me feel down.
Michelle, you are a braverous woman, writing this on your blog will help you (I'm sure of that).
Take Care my friend !

Mushy said...

I wrote about "Beltman" in this post:

...But I failed to describe the belt cuts on the back of my legs. As I sat in my bath water I squeezed the cuts until the water was red. Then when mom came in she went ballistic on old "Beltman". I got some bet of satisfaction in that, but never quite enough.