November 21, 2015
I woke up from a terrible dream today that my father barged though the front door of my house looking for my brother. It was loud, terrifying and dramatic. Ev was there I was frantic but trying to be strong and then I jolted awake. (For the record I really don’t know my dad for any intensive purposes and thankfully was mostly spared exposure to his violence as a child, thank you Jesus).
That dream was probably less than three minuets long but it really rattled me. It broke loose a wall of emotions that I meticulously cemented into place long ago. A wall that damed a flood of chaotic emotions that rarely let loose any longer. Unfortunately you can’t always anticipate what seeps out in your sleep.
So, what it’s like to live a life where every man around you (save my SAINT of a grandfather) is extremely violent?
My brothers. My mother’s partners who stopped short of being a step-dad but never hesitated to beat me like their own. The man that I would eventually make a baby with. Were they every man? No. But they were a daily barrage of anger, lashing out, irrational decisions and walking on egg shells.
So what’s that like? It’s hell. (I aim to only speak from my experience as every woman leads a unique existence). But let me assure you that it is hell.
I grew up in a snow globe, always getting jostled about. A world where violent rages against you and your mother were always on the horizon or just over your shoulder. Any one specific time was probably no worse than the time before and look you’re fine. No blood no tears huh? Brusies heal, eventually you’ll catch your breath, next time maybe don’t antigonise so much. I don’t know that I was ever told verbally to suck it up but that was the way.
An expansive rhetoric existed about me being so privileged. I was cute then pretty. I was charming then verbose. People liked me – out side of my house. Life was easy for me. I was a spoiled brat, I had it coming. Thus a campaign to cut me down to size was waged.
It was hell.
I was (am) hated. Genuinely hated by the people that were (are) supposed to be my family. I don’t think that pointing fingers though I’ve done plenty of that serves useful. Each of those people were and are very broken. Each with a laundry list of their own deamons. I was simply an outlet. I’m learning to not take it personally.
For all of my formative years I was so grateful to have a resounding sense of self. To know exactly who I was and that I had worth. Where that came from I am so eternally grateful for. Lord knows that they tried to beat if out of me.
So what happened to me? I became really tough. Resilience is built not learned. I fought back. Eventually my mother gave up on men that weren’t worth the air they breath(ed). Eventually the bad guys whittled themselves down to one.