Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gather round the shotgun...

My mother did the best she could to protect us.  She was made to quit school at 16, she could not get her driver's license, she could not work, wear makeup, skirts, or cut her hair, and no, we were not amish...

My father beat her regularly for stupid shit. If he was drinking, I have saw her beaten because she put the ice in his drink AFTER she had filled the glass.  I swear to God.  She was accused of sleeping with everyone from neighbors, friends, even her OWN brother... and my father would beat her and berate her in front of me and my little brothers.

Sometimes, I would try to jump on his back when it was really bad, at nine years old I remember him throwing me against the wall.  One night he was beating her so bad I tried my best to pick up a wooden chair that went to the kitchen table and "put it over his back" like I had seen on TV.  Guess you can figure out how that worked out.

I do not want you to think bad of my mom because once she was weak.  She needed so badly to be loved. I can remember several of my dads friends or family members (male) trying to stand up for my mom and he would turn on them, fight them and then when they left she really got it.  But one day, this guy who worked wiht my dad and came over a lot, really started  to be nice to my mom, Man, I was 8 years old and I COULD SEE THIS GOING SOUTH.  I remember dad passing out drunk while he was there, and i stayed next door (duplex and walls were thin) at my friends apartment, I was listening through the wall and could hear something was not right, I could hear my mom and this man named "al" talking in the back room.  I actually snuck out from the sleepover and went back to our apartment.  Anyway, a few days later all hell broke loose.

Again,  please understand my mom had been held captive pretty much her whole adult life, locked away, forbidden everything, we were so poor, my dad would stay gone with women for days while our power was cut off and we had no food.  So this man "Al" shows attention to my mom and she ends up having a fling with him. I really don't know how long, all i know is one night, my dad passes out, and my mom and this man end up outside on a blanket making love and yes, I do believe that is what it was... at any rate, my dad wakes up and catches them.  He let's "Al" go, AT THAT MOMENT....

A few days later my dad comes home, drunk, cussing and calls me, 8 and my brothers 5 and 6 into the living room, and he starts cusing my mom, and he gets the shot gun.  He holds it to her head and tells us she is a whore who cheated.  Forever we sat there while he hit, slapped and kicked her and telling us how sorry she was.  he made my mother tell us kids over and over the same thing. I can still remember to this day, he made her tell us "I am your momma and I am a sorry whore, I cheated on your daddy and I don't deserve to be your momma"  (remember the earlier blog where she caught him in HER bed with a 16 yr old? guess that didn't matter(

Anyway, being so young I can remember thinking "Was it the milk man? Mail man? "  I just could not figure out who it could be, my mom did nothing but take care of us.  Anyway, he beat her so bad that night, when she managed to break free she ran to the neighbors and I followed her, dragging my brothers with me.  I remember she hid us in the closet while she called the police while he beat at the door, trying to kick it in.  The neighbor did NOT want to get involved but mom did not knock, she just ran in, begging for help.  Want to know the irony?  It was the neighbor who;s 16 year old daughter my mom had caught my dad screwing in their bed...

You know we went to my grandma's that night and my dad came there too, trying to beat the door down again.  We called 911 but that was 1980... you know what they told my grandma?  He has a right to his kids and if his kids are in there, he can do what he needs to to get them.  Sorry SOB, he did not want us or care about us... he just wanted to control my  mom...

His control would not last much longer though... she would break us free soon.  Only then would I realize my nightmare would truly begin.  Only then would the wounds that actually scarred me for life be inflicted...

PS... I forgot about what happened to Al.  Later he went back and beat him so bad the man bled from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth, he was hospitalized for quite some time from what I remember.  My mom was so upset by the hurt she felt she had brought upon him, I think she was hurt too because he was the first person to treat her like a human being and not a possession in a long time... not since a man named Hank that she ran away with at 14... not long before she met my father.  Little did she  know hank would return to the picture many years later... in time for the end of my fathers reign


  1. Long before I read any of your blog entries, I realized that whenever I read of a woman killing her husband or a kid killing his parents, if I were on a jury at their trial it would have to be proved to me beyond doubt that the man did not deserve it. I do not believe the silly idea that 'no one deserves to die'. What I DO believe is that no one deserves to live as you and your mother did.

  2. Was your father of African decent maybe? I live in Africa and the kind of behavior you are describing is rampant here. It is part of the African culture to maltreat women and children. To have more than one wife is seen as a sign of prestige and power and they think nothing of raping 3 month old girls because the sangoma (witch doctor) told them that if they have sex with a virgin they will be cured of aids. They also take girls as young as twelve years old, force them into marriage where they live a life of slavery with not even basic human rights afforded to them. So, you are not alone in your grief.Take solace in the fact that there are thousands of women and children in the world who have gone and are going through very similar trauma. I agree with DavidShag that no one deserves to live under those sort of conditions. Your mother did the right thing - she just waited too long to do it. I sincerely hope that telling us about your trauma will bring you some sort of closure and though the wounds may never heal, I hope that the festering will subside to a degree where you can start to build on your self worth to a point where you can give willingly of yourself to your husband without the ghosts of your past taunting you back into the dark shell which you have built around yourself just to survive. We are with you all the way - let's exorcise those ghosts together!!

  3. My heart and soul hurt for you and your family. I have no words that won't sound trite and meaningless, but I wish I knew how to convey to you how amazing and strong you are to be able to put this horror into words.

  4. I just want you to know that I'm here for the journey. None of this is, or ever could be, your fault, your mothers fault, it is never any child's fault. Stand proud of your own emotional strength in surviving, and writing. Your writing is intensely moving.

  5. I also definitely agree with Davidshag. I don't blame your mother either. Ever person needs affection. And she was starving for it.