(If you’re new, you may want to check out A letter To Dad – on say it with a bang. This is where the journey to my own peace began. That post was followed by Finding Me Through The Fantasy which you may also want to check out first. Today I let go of more of the memories and pain. Warning: Trigger Subjects with light cussing)
Dear Lost Soul,
I dare not leave your name for all to shame – though I feel the punishment would be justified in its own way. However, that’s not what I’m here for, your judgement will always sit upon your shoulders – with any luck – you’ll carry those sins for an eternity and I figure that’s punishment enough for anybody.
I almost feel sorry for you: to have to sit under the weight of all that shame but then I remember the sting and the heat that flooded my face as you “put me in my place” for making your spoiled child cry – it was always the same, she didn’t get her way and ran off to you, who would blame me no matter what happened.
You towered over me as I frightfully clung to my seat, as you went on yet another manic rampage of twisted truths: all while screaming obscenities as you try to convince me that you treat us all the same. I laugh inside as I note every lie, that tumbles from your lips and I’m pretty sure the only person you were truly trying to convince is yourself. As for me, I knew better.
This wasn’t my first rodeo, I was to blame for everything and it was easy to do when your children out numbered me 3 to 1. I was very familiar with these one-sided matches that always seem to go on forever: you made sure to leave me feeling fully drained of everything; hope, faith -who’s God anyways? I prayed, he never came and you beat me down just the same – my childhood, purity… What’s the point of continuing?
You could never understand all the pieces you stole from me. Your presence in my life left me broken: not one time did you show me the same love, I was an outsider in your home and it was a place you made sure I maintained. Constantly reminded that I was to remain the poor- ragged Cinderella, in the single wide castle, of the wicked witch of the south. I make jokes now but the life was rather alike, though there was no ball or prince to run off to and those damn animals never lifted a finger.
No matter what I did it was wrong – I’m pretty sure you were just looking for an excuse – something to justify your need to take out all your life mistakes on me.
Your life didn’t go according to plan? It’s because I was plotting against you.
Dad won’t marry you? Yeah, I did that too.
You think he’s still in love with my mom? I may as well take the blame for that as well.
You’re mad he wants to see his child? Well, I guess fuck me for existing.
I subtract from your own blood financially because if he’s taking care of his responsibilities by putting out money on me – well that’s less drug money for you and there’s no way I am worth that much to a junkie. Not to mention that if he gives me any attention, it would take away from your precious kids’ egos and once again, I’m not worth that much either. Oh, you wouldn’t say the same – you’re almost a saint? Fuck that! You’re nothing but a fake and I refuse to let you get away because I blame you for all the pain, just the same – possibly more but it’s hard to say as the list has grown so long over the years.
I blame you for stealing my chances of having a real family. I missed out on so many experiences with those who shared my blood because of your selfish nature. You took away a life I can never replace. You stole memories I’ll never know but will always dream of having. You rubbed in every adventure your kids took with the people I belonged to. You made sure I knew that even blood wasn’t strong enough to make my family love me.
I blame you for assisting in ruining my childhood. From the painful “lectures” that tore me apart to your constant need to inform me of all the wrong things. I remember sitting in that dark room, with the scent of stale smoke and the dust that danced in the tiny rays of sunlight as they managed to brake through the blinds as the breeze of the fan passed by. I nervously sat as I waited for you to speak: I wonder what I’ve done now. I sit head with folded hands and my head down as your words begin, I know eye contact is just asking for an attack and I prepare for another twisted lecture but instead you’ll go on to say that my father is an alcoholic and drug addict – who hates his life and family: you went on to describe how he had tried to kill himself several times recently and I shake as I try to grasp subjects that no small child could possibly comprehend.
“Last week he sat in the truck with a gun to his head: he wanted to blow his brains out, he even put the gun in his mouth and when he couldn’t pull the trigger, he took another swig of the bottle and he tried to pull out in front of a semi-truck. I’m telling you because I thought you should know.” Your fake face would fool almost anyone, but even now I can remember the sick look of twisted satisfaction you got from saying the words and watching as the pain rolled down my face: my breathing grew rapid as the confusion infused with the emotions and my heart raced as I soaked in everything that was happening. You thought me to be stupid but I took note of everything, including the cruel curve of your lips as they fought back a smile for successfully ripping yet another piece of me away. Every piece you took was just another piece of my childhood stolen and that’s something I can never get back.
I blame you for the second and third degree burns I received, from something you could have prevented…if only you had actually treated me like one of your own. Every other child on that beach received attention but me, some family reunion that turned out to be, the other kids got sunscreen but you left me to burn and ignored any request I made – not that it was my responsibility: I was just a child who needing taking care of.
I never asked for much; I wanted love, a little attention and to feel like I belonged. I never came out and asked for those things, but I admit I did require the basics: food, shelter, and my safety to be taken care of. Is that really so much to ask for? Five minutes, a little sunscreen? For fucks sake you had to see the burns forming and you worked as a damn nurse – of all people, you should have known better – of course you didn’t forget your children but I didn’t matter, I was left to fend for myself and in the end, I’d suffer greatly but I imagine that was your plan.
I remember the light of the setting sun as it flashed over the water, while I faded in-and-out in the back seat of an old tan Honda. You insisted we needed to stop for dinner and complained as I dragged myself into the booth – yet another time I was just “showing my ass”. You sat watching as I came in-and-out while sitting at that table and I’d come back to you hissing “I stopped to feed you, you’re not even eating” you’re annoyed, it’s nothing new. You pat me on the shoulder and back in a rather firm manner: each pat sends a wave of shock through my body, I gasp each time and it brings me back to life, if only for the moment. I see as you smile off in the distance while I wince in pain, with little streams running down my face. You smile and nod to the waitress as she passes by “too much fun in the sun, they’re just so tired.” She looks concerned but keeps on moving as I hide the pain of every tap you make. I wish I could show her, I want her to see and to save me but I keep my face turned to the window and watch as her reflection disappears into the distance.
The tears feel about a thousand degrees on my face and wiping only leads to more tears as everything feels like sandpaper by now. My body aches, my head feels so funny, I feel sick to my stomach and my clothes feel as if they’re ripping the skin right off my body as they slide across the raw flesh. I don’t remember how we got back to the house; I don’t remember how the night went; I don’t remember leaving to meet my mom the next day – but I do remember the moment! I woke to see her face as she waited for me in the parking lot of a local high school. I remember feeling the heaviness in my chest lift and managing enough energy to get into her car.
She stood talking to my father as I prayed for him to just leave: I needed my mother, I needed someone to care, to just listen. It had been at least two days now that I had been coming in and out, even as a child I knew something couldn’t be right. He finally left and she climbed into the passenger seat as my step-dad (I use that term loosely) starts up the car. She pops over the seat, as she often did when picking me up from dad, ready to hear all about my weekend and the concerned look on her soft face lets me breathe a sigh of relief as tears streamed down my face, once more.
“I don’t feel good mommy, I think I’m going to be sick.” Just then I being vomiting and I wonder what could possibly be in there to throw up, but it still manages to come out and more tears fall as I miserably repeat “I’m so sorry” and for once – during this event – my pleas are met with the kindness every child deserves “it’s ok, it’s ok, you’re fine. Well get some Popsicles and you’ll feel better.” I could see the worry in my mother’s face as she felt my head and then she faded away as I started to pass out again. I don’t remember much after that but I do remember the urgency in her voice as she rushed my step-dad to the hospital and I remember feeling the car as it quickly glided through the curves that took you away from the school and then everything just fades away.
I also blame you for the sun-poisoning that left me passing out and vomiting into the back seat of my mother’s car. That left my body covered in blisters and me in terrible pain for weeks. Why? Because everything was my fault and even in sickness, you gave me the finger. They tried to remove me from my mother – the only person I had – for child neglect, because of you! Yet when they found out the truth you got to go unpunished and it’s just another way the system – that should have served justice – just failed me. To this day I can’t feel the heat on my back when in the shower and the cold feels like a thousand sharp daggers: I’ve actually passed out from not being able to tell how hot the water is – but that’s nothing compared to the ache I feel when people touch my skin, it’s that sandpaper-shock of a feeling, all over again. Back-rub, hug, it doesn’t matter, the discomfort is all fairly the same.
I wish that was the end of my medical complaints, but I must say that I also blame you for the nose bleeds and migraines that would plague me for the majority of my life thus far. How’s that your fault? Should I start with the constant chain smoking of cigarettes and weed? No, plenty of people do that without causing harm and I imagine that’s the card you’d play. Let’s just go with the drugs you two spent time cooking up. Yeah, I think that will probably do. You didn’t realize I even knew, but dad confirmed that on his own and though I’m no doctor, I’m still going to place the blame on you because every test and scan came back clean. This left the doctors scratching their heads and eventually they figured I was just looking for pain killers. They suggested physical therapy and an experimental pill that had more side effects than pros, so for years I suffered through the blinding pain of migraines that hit for days and left me alone, curled up in the fetal position, in a pitch black room – when I wasn’t vomiting from the pain that is. So many times I left your home with nose bleeds and eyes that burned worse than gazing into the sun. Funny enough, that basically stopped after I spent some time away from your place, go figure.
I blame you for my lack of self-confidence from all the years of being told what a “piece of shit – no one” – I am. I wish I could say that has changed, I wish I could say that I had come out clean or unaffected, but the truth is that I hate myself every day and more times than not, I have this over whelming feeling that I don’t really matter. I hate the way I look from the constant judgment of my size from a women who did so much coke she actually had to wear child sized clothes; I hate the anxiety that holds me back from being the social butterfly I’ve always wished to be – instead I’ve spent my life shy to be me and gone along with what others say because I’ve feared the judgements they would make of me; because I fear that if I stand for myself or offer a different opinion, I’ll be attacked and berated just the way you did anytime I opened my mouth to speak.
Yes, I literally fear speaking to people – it makes my palms sweat and my heart race to the point of feeling short of breathe – as my mind goes over every outcome I could possibly encounter when interaction with that person. Then I hate myself because I can’t just function like everyone else: I can’t just be the person who makes a friend everywhere they go and it’s painful when you’ve spent so much time feeling hopelessly alone – crowded rooms or deserted space be damned – it all feels the same in my head.
I blame you for so much of the hate that still eats away at me to this day. You helped turn me into the kind of person who would wish death onto another and though in my heart I know that’s not who I am – I still couldn’t help but wish for your death as well. Not so shamefully, I admit that I wished for yours more than his because I could not help but think that without you he might actually have a chance of getting better, but back then it was just the dreams of a little girls who desperately wanted the kind of father all her friends were constantly going on about. I didn’t know any better.
I blame you for the depression that led to plenty of bad decisions, solely because I didn’t have the care to go on. For all the pills rinsed down with boozes that refused to kill me and simply left me sleeping; for all the drugs I approached with a craving for answers of what made them better than me; for every strangers car I climbed in without care of where I might end up. For every dangerous street I walked down, at the latest hours, without a care of who might take me.
I blame you for the drugs that would continue to ruin my life through high school. Admittedly, it’s hard to pass on drugs when you received your first snort of coke at such a young age. I didn’t know then but years later I’d figure it out as I learned what drugs were. I remember complaining of a sick stomach and the other kids had a cold of some sort. They all received medicine from a bottle, with a spoon and were promptly sent from the room. You walked off to your dresser and returned with a little paper packet – this would be the first time I watch someone form a line – it all seemed so strange but you were the nurse and the one who was supposed to take care of me when dad was away, so the sick young child had no other choice but to trust you.
I watch as you go first then hand me a little straw and I follow suite.
“Like this?” Snort. Ow. Cry.
“Go away child, you’re always a problem!”
I remember that odd feeling of the substance sliding down my throat, the choking, and the shooting pain that danced on my brain. I remember the way you quickly left as I lay alone on the couch, fading in and out of reality before the puking began and it’s all blank space after that – just another time erased by elements out of my control. Eventually I came around and was returned home to my mother, who I never told because at the time I didn’t realize what had been done to me and once again, you get away.
I blame you for the traits I’ve gained – unwilling to me – which I fight to change every day. The anger, the anxiety, the self-loathing, the depression and the huge lack of trust for the human race. For every pill I chased with vodka and for the little voice that screams “grab the blade, something sharp – anything!” As I fight the urge to slash the flesh in two and watch as all that pain flows away in a warm crimson river, while my body is overtaken by a wave of comfort – after years of unanswered prayers it wasn’t your death I asked for anymore.
I walked out the door and begged for lighting. I got in a car and imagined every wreck that could end it. Others sat talking about their days and I did everything in my power not to snatch the wheel: I wanted to roll the vehicle so bad, my arms would ache sometimes. I wanted to be the one who pulled out in front of a truck. I wanted to be the one who put the gun to my head. I wanted it all to end and on the hardest of days, I still do. It’s a battle I’ll fight for the rest of my life because some junkie didn’t think I was worth anything but the key word is fight and that’s just what I’ll continue to do.
You may have left me with cracks and holes that I have to repair every now and then, but it’s just routine maintenance. I will keeping fighting, I will keeping repairing and I will win. I give myself permission to forgive you for being a complete nightmare: not for you, but for myself. Believe that I’ll never forget, but know that I will no longer dwell on the things I could not control. Everyday that passes in my life, is another day I grow stronger. You have NO power over ME!
A little less broken.
(Continue with When Death Became Him)