The world does not see me beating my fist against my forehead trying to numb my mind, to silence my thoughts, a cracked record repeating, “stupiddumbstupiddumb.” A young child filled with fear of her creator, I died with the first bloody thrust of the maker’s tool. Emotions muted by thick black clouds of depression nothing can penetrate the shell around my heart. I remain as a shameful stain poisoning the soul of this broken and scarred body.
My anxiety feels like molten lava poured over an iceberg inside my skull. My brain boils and bubbles up flashes of painful memories before transforming my thoughts into a reddish-black sludge. Taking deep breaths and holding them as long as I can before my vision goes gray against the pressure building inside. I am defeated. I am not enough and never will be.
If I’d been an adult, I could have seen the pattern of escalation in the abuse. Understood that no matter how I tried I would never be able to prevent it or escape it. Trying to stay on alert from the moment he came home until the next morning when he went to work was exhausting. Weekends were hell. There were times that I could not escape being alone with him. Alone meant being the sole focus of his mercurial moods. In the end, nothing I could have done would have changed the outcome.
The rain will forever trigger the events of that humid evening. Standing at my bedroom window my eyes searching the horizon for my mother’s station wagon with my siblings in it returning from a shopping trip to the mall. Grounded as usual forced to stay home.
He burst into my room cursing at me for something I’d left outside in the sprinkling rain. I didn’t bother to turn around. I knew what was coming it was always the same. My body relaxed as stiffening up only made it hurt more. I heard the familiar whiz as the belt cut thru the air. The sharp sting of the leather across my shoulders, my legs and especially my rear. I stood there not making a sound leaving my mind and body behind while I floated above and waited.
He must have deviated from the script and expected a response. I returned to myself too late to prevent him from pushing my head into the window cracking it with my forehead. Dazed I fell back into him. Grabbing me by the shoulders, he spun me around and slapped me hard across the face. I must have missed something pretty big while I was in la-la land.
Words did not make sense I saw the spit fly from his mouth his face twisted up and purple with rage. He stepped forward and with both of his hands grabbed my breasts and squeezed. Suddenly my body and brain synched and I felt a pain I’d never experienced. I screamed. His eyes brightened up, and he laughed.
Heart pounding, disoriented I woke from my nightmare not knowing where I was. Frozen. Slowly the familiar feeling of my bedding, the sound of my wife breathing deeply in sleep and her warmth began to seep into me. Home I’m home.
Do you see what I see?
A spirit unbound from fear’s chains once I smashed the chemical bonds of shared DNA. No longer enticed by the crumbs of what they call love. My heart released from the burden of guilt begins the process of healing. Still, pain overwhelms my soul. I am aware of the damage my wounded heart inflicted on those who tried to love me over the years. My awakened conscience blisters and burns, ignorance not tolerated as an excuse. Waves of newly discovered emotions cause my brain to slap against the inside of my skull to the rhythm of the blood flowing thru me. Slap squish slap squish slap squish