I remember sitting on the floor in the white room after the fire…white carpet, white chair, white sofa…white. We weren’t really allowed in there, my sisters and I, but when it was really bad we hid in the space between that big white chair and the wall with the tall windows that faced the drive. The same windows where I sat and watched the curve in the dirt to the gravel road…and waited… birthdays and holidays when he said he would visit and so many times never did.
Dr Phil used to say, “I’d rather be from a broken home than in a broken home.” How would he know? Broken is broken.
I feel the pain in my chest return as I write the words in pencil in this book. I remember the words and the shouting and sounds of the unmentionables…and my father saying, “Not in front of the children.”, but he didn’t have to say, we knew ourselves too well my oldest sister and I.
There are unmentionable truths in the fabric of my childhood that in time made me this man. Those memories to me are polaroids in motion. Images and sounds, faded and torn, matches and cigarettes, wooden spoons and kitchen knives, doctors and lies, and the feelings…even the internal dialogue, the voice in my mind as a little boy…they all come rushing back. To say I remember is the tip of my childhood lifetime of abuse between the everyday. There is so much to say and so much not to say…as a child, for a child.
Will I donate a Tweet a day to help end child abuse? Yes.
I see the pale blue reminders in the mirror and in my children’s eyes and imagine being all the parent my parents never were in so many simply perfect ways. No, I am the parent my parents never were.
“There’s no taking things back. Words can’t be taken back. The way you raise your children can’t be taken back…I raise my children the way I should have liked to be raised.” Peter Ottley Karena