Monday, October 12, 2009

Domestic Abuse,

I find there to be Irony in the fact that people know when they are wrong and still continue on a journey of dysfunction. I really don't have memories of my mother before the age of ten. I have seen pictures of her, but I don't relate to the woman. I do remember that her eyes gave away her emotions and that when she knew it was going to be bad, she would say to my eldest sister get the children out of here they don't need to see this. I guess that is why we spent a lot of time down by the river or in the city park.
My father had tape recorded his memories as far back as the death of first child. When he passed away my sister held on to the tapes. She called me troubled and rambling. I said why would you want to listen to them, when we lived them. Let it go! She is not one to let much of anything go. My parents weren't drinkers, my mother would have a social drink maybe once a year. Her vice was condoned, it was medical prescriptions. A rather bizarre situation as my father was extremely violent with the children and my mother with him. Some kind of off the wall circle that encouraged viscous and uncontrollable behavior between them.
Looking back as an adult I now understand more about the social sins of mental health. The time in which they lived and how little is known about the deprivation of the brain and its need for a source of nutrition, health and well being.
Some stories were repeated over and over so many times, between strangers, newspapers and my father, that what we didn't witness we felt we did. Sometimes we saw the blood,sometimes not but the fall out was always there. There is no condoning such violence and as I tell my sister to let it go, I don't ask her to forget but to blow it in the wind, is to free her soul.
I am not actually sure what set it off all the episodes. There was a blend of issues, depression, health and that led to financial as well as personal problems. Suicide was an almost acceptable alternative when you didn't know what to do. My grandfather had succeeded in taking his life,my mother had made many attempts without success and following in their footsteps was my only brother who or more than once had his stomach pumped.
Noise blocking out noise, that is what allowed me to sleep, to this day I need noise to block out noise so I can rest. My father looked down on me as the weak link, I think he didn't beat me because he didn't want to. He was afraid that I would be the mouth piece that would reveal the horrid stories of abuse to children and adults alike. Literally not able to stop shaking from a very young age on, it raised a red flag, Sent to the doctors they were told to bring some kind of normalcy to the home. When all that could be done was I was sent to a private school where I spent seven years. These seven years were a time of healing and though separate much of the time from my siblings I was able to experience a world outside of the daily dysfunction.
I was certain there wasn't any good which would come from reliving the stories but as I see it, there is a certain amount of baggage that needs to be tossed out. Not only is it to help in the final healing process, but also to acknowledge and reveal the hidden secrets of an abusive family.

My mother was seventeen her father had asphyxiated himself by allowing the exhaust into the car. She never truly dealt with the death of her father. She blamed her mother for his death, because she had asked him for a divorce. Though several stories surfaced, a few that he was going deaf and his health was ill. My mother was never really clear on where he was emotionally obviously he was depressed, alone and separated from my grandmother. My mothers closeness with her father left scars on her soul.
It was world war two and many of the young girls wrote letters to the soldiers, my mother wrote to several of the men, my father would be one of them. An attractive young woman my mother dropped out of school in her senior year. She took several jobs as secretary, waitress and in a toy factory. My father had become smitten with her and as the war was coming to and end a new war one on the home front would begin.


Gail said...


I am humbled by your shared truths. I am in awe of your courage and honored to share this space with yo along your journey and mine.

Love and hope

Anonymous said...

Children have few options, they are at the mercy of those who claim to love them.

Children with out voices said...

Hi Gail,
It is always nice to have you here. I always think that because you understand so much that we must kindred sisters.
Thank you