It might seem morbid that I am writing all these things down, or maybe that I am looking for pity, or attention. But honestly I need to get these thoughts out of my head. The memories have been coming fast and furiously the past couple of days, things I haven’t thought about in years. Things I wished I never had to think about again….
As a young child I was given a lot of responsibility, more than I should have at the ripe old age of 8. I would come home from school and my mom would head off to work. I was expected to care for my 5 year old sister, do my homework, and start dinner, as well as make sure the house was spotless. My house was always clean as a museum, dad wanted “to be able to be eat off the floor”. So when we heard my dad’s truck downshift as he came down the street we would run around the house making sure everything was perfect. If not, there was hell to pay. But usually it was. However, one day I had forgotten to let the dog in, it was the middle of winter. Because my house was literally close to 100 degrees all the time thanks to a huge wood stove I was wearing a tee shirt and shorts. The dog had been out for maybe 30 minutes, maybe a little more maybe a little less, I was 8 or 9, time has dulled some of the memories. So Dad was in a rage over the “poor dog”. Now let me take a moment and describe to you the type of treatment this “poor dog” got from Dad. If the dog peed or pooped on the floor he was grabbed HARD, he was scruffed his nose rubbed in it and then he was punted across the floor (he was a small terrier dog). So, it seems sort of hypocritical that he would complain that I legitimately forgot the dog while I was cooking, doing homework, tidying house and taking care of my sister. So my punishment was that he dragged me, outside by the ear, barefoot, in my shorts and teeshirt, tied me to the dog run and practically kicked me down our porch stairs. I don’t remember how long I was out there, it seemed like forever to a child, but I am sure the reason I got to come in when I did was my sister begging for my mercy. We only had each other. We used to protect the other as much as we could.
Another memory that came to me today was when we were riding in the car somewhere. I don’t remember what I did to make him angry, but I remember him reaching over and slapping my thigh so hard it stung and there was a handprint. He then screetched the car over to the side of the road and made me get out. He told me to walk home and he drove away. I remember feeling alone and abandoned. Scared and unsure how to get home. But I didn’t have to walk far before he came back for me. Apparently my sister- the golden child at that time in our lives had begged and cried and persisted that he come back for me. Thank God I had her growing up. Without her I don’t know if I would be here today.
Now, I certainly don’t want anyone thinking that I think my dad is the cause of all the problems in my life, that it’s all his fault I have depression and anxiety. He certainly contributed, but I had many things against me growing up, and even as an adult. Certainly much of my PTSD comes from him and the things he did to me, and I know that I say I forgive him for all these things, but I honestly don’t know if in my heart I do.
There are more memories that have been plaguing me lately, but that’s enough for today, I want to get them out, but I don’t want to think about them all day long….