Tag Archive: forgiveness


Scars of Who We Are: Intermission:

Life is not all sunshine and rainbows,
It’s in constant flux, a pendulum swinging,
wildly through the many shades of human emotion,
And it’s important to remember that sometimes,
That the greatest inspiration comes from moments of,
Deep despair and in the words of Martin Luther King Jr.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in
moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in
times of challenge and controversy.”
And sometimes, great darkness can give birth to an even greater light.                 

 

During the course of sharing my story with all of you, I sometimes get asked why I didn’t leave when I had the chance. Which I did have once I was finally old enough to make the decision myself, about who I wanted to live with. I still sometimes even wonder what my life would have been like if I would have made the decision to live with my father. But a few things stopped me, with the first being my older brother, even though I always felt like he resented me for being able to see my/our father every other weekend.  A part of my decision to stay came from the fear, what if my mother was right and I would only worsen my situation and another part of me knew I would miss my older brother. Granted, we didn’t hang out very much growing up, for the most part he often preferred hanging out with his friends and I was always the dorky little brother. We didn’t always get along, he often teased me about my speech, because back then I had a lot of speech problems and even though he drove me nuts, I still loved him. I still love him even to this day, despite the bad blood between us and the harsh words we’ve exchanged. Although after our last conversation, things seemed to become a little more civil between us. But he was always my family and despite our problems he was my brother and the times he included me in something he did, or played with me, were some of the best times of my life. He could always make me laugh, or feel better whenever he saw I was really down and out. Also, despite everything that’s happened, I always looked up to him, he was the coolest brother in the world and more than anything I wanted to be just like him in every way. He was funny, smart, creative and artistic. In fact it was him who got me interested in drawing and helped me evolve as an artist, giving me pointers here and there, telling me what was good and what I needed to work on. Eventually it got to where I would draw just for him, to show him whatever thing or creature I managed to come up with, just to hear his opinion.

My brother on me on vacation with my grandpa

My brother on me on vacation with my grandpa

 

I never had the chance to tell my brother that I owed most of who I am today, to him. My creativity and imagination was something he helped nurture, not just with drawing.  But he taught me how to really use my imagination to create whole new worlds. He did this by sheer virtue of introducing me to role-playing games. There’s something to be said about sitting around a table, with pen, paper and a variety of dice, using not just your own, but the imagination of the person or persons you’re playing with. It may sound weird, or juvenile, but hey we were kids and it was something I kept up with till my late teens and was something that always stuck with me. I took to it like a moth to the flame and my brother was always the game master, planning adventures for me to take a character that I created and walk him through this world my brother created. It was his story, but I could make the choices and and change and affect it as it was being told. Of course, I was always slave to the dice and my luck to delegate my successes or failures, often forcing me to improvise and at times accept my enviable defeat, waiting for an opening to turn the tables later on in the story.

A part of my decision to stay came from the fear, what if my mother was right and I would only worsen my situation and another part of me knew I would miss my older brother. Granted, we didn’t hang out very much growing up, for the most part he often preferred hanging out with his friends and I was always the dorky little brother. We didn’t always get along, he often teased me about my speech, because back then I had a lot of speech problems and even though he drove me nuts, I still loved him. I still love him even to this day, despite the bad blood between us and the harsh words we’ve exchanged. Although after our last conversation, things seemed to become a little more civil between us. But he was always my family and despite our problems he was my brother and the times he included me in something he did, or played with me, were some of the best times of my life. He could always make me laugh, or feel better whenever he saw I was really down and out. Also, despite everything that’s happened, I always looked up to him, he was the coolest brother in the world and more than anything I wanted to be just like him in every way. He was funny, smart, creative and artistic. In fact it was him who got me interested in drawing and helped me evolve as an artist, giving me pointers here and there, telling me what was good and what I needed to work on. Eventually it got to where I would draw just for him, to show him whatever thing or creature I managed to come up with, just to hear his opinion.

I never had the chance to tell my brother that I owed most of who I am today, to him. My creativity and imagination was something he helped nurture, not just with drawing.  But he taught me how to really use my imagination to create whole new worlds. He did this by sheer virtue of introducing me to role-playing games. There’s something to be said about sitting around a table, with pen, paper and a variety of dice, using not just your own, but the imagination of the person or persons you’re playing with. It may sound weird, or juvenile, but hey we were kids and it was something I kept up with till my late teens and was something that always stuck with me. I took to it like a moth to the flame and my brother was always the game master, planning adventures for me to take a character that I created and walk him through this world my brother created. It was his story, but I could make the choices and and change and affect it as it was being told. Of course, I was always slave to the dice and my luck to delegate my successes or failures, often forcing me to improvise and at times accept my enviable defeat, waiting for an opening to turn the tables later on in the story.

Mutants Down Under. The teenage mutant ninja Turtle RPG

Mutants Down Under. The teenage mutant ninja Turtle RPG

 My brother was often tough, but a fair as a gaming master, not afraid to make me squirm or fret over fear of losing the character who I created and grow to know, making him real to me. Because my brother always made it a requirement I make whatever character I created unlike myself, then he’d kindly have me write my characters back story and formulating his origin, along with motives, what he believed in and why. Which usually meant I had to do some required reading, which meant I would have to read about the world that the game took place in. My brother was always quick to give me a little homework, as well as ask me before every gaming session what my character had been up too, forcing me to always make it plausible. (So I couldn’t just give my character new abilities, talents, weapons, or resources) I had to choose more mundane tasks, such as where he lived and whatever he did in his downtime.

Playing these games with my brother are some of the fondness memories I have of him and I was addicted. My brother was an excellent story teller and I loved being a part of it. It was playing these games with him that helped nourish my imagination and challenge my creativity, because I learned I would often have to out think, out wit and in a sense out play him in order to survive his story, so that my character would then be able go on to live another adventure. The first Role-playing game he introduced me to, if you haven’t already guessed was “Mutants Down Under” And to this day I still remember the very first character I created, because even though I didn’t want to be him at first, because I wanted to be a mutant turtle, but as chance would have it, I rolled a mutant Kangaroo, who I named, “Jack.” A character who survived numerous adventures, acquiring weapons, equipment and eventually I even managed to procure an airship. All despite my brother’s eventual attempt to kill off this character I had grown to love, because he had grown bored writing stories for my character and of me being the same character all the time. I also think it was because it was growing harder to give me a suitable challenge with all the weapons and various other equipment and crew I managed to pull together. So he eventually forced me to retire Jack and I later created a few other characters who didn’t have Jack’s luck or his longevity.

The Marvel Super-heroes Role-Playing Game

The Marvel Super-heroes Role-Playing Game

 

  Later when my brother got me into comic books, he got me involved with another role-playing game, “Marvel Superheroes” where I was able to create my own hero. Again I wanted a character like Wolverine or one of my other two favorites Spider-man or Iron-Man, which he did let me play for awhile, before he forced me to create my own crime fighter. Who’s story was he got transformed into a super-powered being when a device he created to bring vegetation to the deserts exploded giving him powers to control and manipulate the earth around him. So I called me, “Earth Avenger” Who was almost as rich as Tony Stark but not quite and this was the game my brother had the most fun out of traumatizing and torturing my character. (Seriously unbeknownst to be, he turned my best in game friend into a monster and this monster attacked me, I kinda accidentally killed him and when I did that, he turned human again. Also my character at the time was engaged to his sister….twisted right?) But I still had fun and in time I managed to create a few other short lived heroes and from there I always in some hero kick, making up my own heroes and villains and imagining I was them .

 

 

Werewolf The Apocalypse Role-Playing Game by the "World Of Darkness"

Werewolf The Apocalypse Role-Playing Game by the “World Of Darkness”

 

But one of my favorite games, Dominic introduced me to, was “Werewolf the Apocalypse” An amazing game. Which he eventually handed down to me, which was a godsend. Because in school I never had very many friends, until the day I heard my now best-friend Matt, talking about the companion book to this, called “Vampire the Masquerade” So I jumped in and telling him how I had the other book, which won me some of the best friends anyone can ask for. That night I was invited over to their house to play and try our hand at role-playing and it was the first time anyone had ever asked me to come over to their house, (I was in the seventh grade) So it was a huge deal for me. Then because of my brother’s tutelage, I soon became the premiere game-master and we ended up playing “Werewolf” instead of their vampire and it was because of my brother that I was able to run my own game and how I became so good at it they couldn’t get enough. It wasn’t long either that our group swelled from just the four of us gathered around the table, throwing the dice, that soon it we grew to a group of 8 all sitting around playing in a world that we created together. Eventually I even developed and we would play Role-playing games that I created myself and we play long into the night, laughing, fighting, joking and it was in that we grew incredibly close, becoming in every sense of the word a family and all because of my brother. 

         Our potential was limitless and our imaginations were our playgrounds, we never let our creativity burn away, we weren’t rotting our minds with mindless television (And I love TV and movies as much as anyone, but I’m not ashamed to admit that it makes our minds lazy and robs us of imagination and creativity, making our minds dull and blunt, when we need books to keep our minds sharp and quick) But because of these games, we were able to sharpen our minds and explore whole worlds together, for many of us and myself in particular it was my escape. It was also some of the most fun I ever had and can’t think of any other time where I, or any of would laugh so hard and so consecutively have such a good time together. Our late night gaming sessions contributed to my finally over coming my shyness and I can’t tell you how many times our gaming lead to us having deep and meaningfully conversations, where we would talk about anything, everything, our lives, our hopes, dreams and our aspirations. We shared everything together and in so doing, they’ve became my brothers. 
If you never played a role-playing game before, I can’t recommend it enough, it’s story-telling at its finest, only everyone gets to contribute, making it a live action and interactive story, with everyone having their own specific rolls to play, with one person acting as the game-master, leading them ever further down the rabbit hole.

But I have fallen far from my point. Another reason why I chose to stay, was yes, because of my brother and my friends, but also because I loved my mother and more than anything I wanted her love. A few times I thought I was incredibly close to winning her affection, longing for her to look at me and to speak to me, to fight for me and defend just half as much as she had my brother. I wanted her love more than anything and I can never explain why I loved her, even when she usually went out of her way to make me miserable, which made me hate her. But still for reasons I can’t describe and if for no other reason except she was my mother and I loved her, for maybe that reason and that reason alone. Although, I am sentimental and desperately clung  to those memories of when I was younger, when she used to read to my brother and myself.

Growing up, was so weird, I never knew one could grow to hate, fear and love someone so much and at the same time. Despite all the beatings, the put-downs and all the horrible things my mother said to me, she wasn’t always so bad. She had moments when she could be incredibly sweet and kind, even on rare occasions was able to goof off with me and I think actually enjoy my company. I lived for the moments, believing I could win her love, praying every day that God would open her eyes and she’d see for the first time what she was doing to me, what she’s done and apologize.
But there was one time, one time in all my years that she made me feel just as loved as she did when she used to read to my brother and me. I was fourteen and I awoke in the dead of night, shivering, realizing that at some point during the night I had managed to kick my covers off.  So I started fumbling around in the dark for them, when I heard someone at my door and instinctively laid my head back on pillow and laid perfectly still. Then my door slowly eased open and I closed my eyes feigning sleep, out of fear that it was either my mother or step-dad.  
Laying there with my heart hammering painfully against my ribs, realizing that the person at my door 
wasn’t going away and after counting to ten, I slowly peeked out through the slits of my eyes and saw the silhouette of my mother standing there in the doorway, watching me sleep., (or in this case pretending to be asleep) I immediately began praying that she’d just close my door and leave, believing she was about to haul me out of bed and start accusing me, or hitting me. Then as I watched her slip silently into my room, I could feel my body tense and I closed my eyes out of fear she’d noticed I was watching her, then I just laid there, pretending to be asleep, almost too afraid to breathe, when the unexpected happened.

I felt my covers being pulled up around me and I went from frightened to speechless, making me too afraid to move out of fear it would break whatever magic, or grace of God that came into my room that night. Then as she hugged me and softly whispered,
“I’m sorry, for everything, I love you,” Then she kissed the top of my head and more than anything I wanted to open my eyes and throw my arms around her, I wanted to tell her I loved her too, that she’ll always be my mother. But I didn’t, I was afraid I would ruin the moment and I opened my eyes just enough to watch her quietly slip back out of my room, closing my door lightly behind her as she went. I don’t think I ever slept better than I did that night and never felt better as I slept off into dreamland.

        That moment stayed with me for a very long time and for several nights there after I would purposely kick off my blankets in the middle of the night and sometimes would even leave my door cracked out of hope it’d happened again. Even though it never did, I sometimes wondered if this was the first time she slipped into my my room, or if she had done it on numerous nights. Even today I catch myself wondering almost absentmindedly about what prompted her to this, even if it was just the one time, often telling myself it was something God meant for me to experience and to hear. Sometimes, I wonder if it was my mother at all, or the Lord who came into my room that night and sometimes I will swear it had to be her. Believing maybe never wanted to treat me the way that she had, that maybe she hated herself for mistreating me and that maybe, there was a reason for it. Like, maybe it’s all been a part of the Lord’s plan and she was playing her role, so that I could later help others and know their pain and loneliness for having known their darkness. Or maybe it was to help prepare me for something bigger, something yet to come.

Al I really know, is that in that moment, even if it was just for a moment, I had all doubt erased from my mind and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, my mother loved me, even if it was just for a moment, because sometimes, a moment is all you really ever need.

Maybe I’ll never get it,
Because the lights are out,
And I’m just typing in the dark
Knowing you’ll never know what happened to me,
 And I’m just sitting here by myself, It’s just one of those things,
I never spoke about,
When the words just started pouring out,
And here we are,
Just playing our parts.

 

                       Until recently I hadn’t spoken to my brother for a few years. The little contact we had usually resulted in accusations and bitter words, because he blames me for some things, which I don’t blame in the least, because he never seen what really went on and I never told him, not for years and all he ever got to see was the best of our mother. However this time when we conversed I refused to get worked up, angry or frustrated. Instead I met him with understanding and listened to him, which I think got him to listen a little to me. Part of our differences stems from his recent claims to me that my father abused him. Something I can’t say what he says is true or not. I can only talk about my own accounts and what I’ve been told my step brother and step sister, who even after that divorce still love and adore my father, with both telling me how good of a man he was. That said, I don’t know about my brother’s past with him and I told him as much, stating that I never told him what was going on, or what happened to me, for the same reasons he never said anything to me. It could have happened and I still love my brother and if my dad did beat him, I’m deeply sorry, it shouldn’t have happened. 

 

 

 

            ~ It’s not that any one person doesn’t have the capacity to accept the truth, sometimes they just don’t want to, or they cannot, for what the truth would mean. So they hide behind their own logic and intelligence while the truth marches by, instead of stepping out and joining it.

Boy Playing in Public Square.

 

 

Scars of Who We Are Chapter IX

Scars of Who We Are Part IX
Young boy sitting on an old porch swing,
Waiting for his father to come and rescue him,
His tears dried and stained on his cheeks,
Wishing his life was more like his dreams,
Where nothing was ever as bad as it seems.

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Me on Easter Sunday

After the divorce it wasn’t long until my relationship with my mother began to change for the worse… But for a brief moment, I was somewhat okay with it, even though I longed and hoped my dad would one day return home, I did somewhat look forward to having two birthdays and Christmas’s every year, which for me was something and my dad always went above and beyond to give me a great Christmas, along with birthday celebrations I won’t soon forget.

It never did occur to me that my mother may have been better to me in those days just to keep me quiet about Chris who moved in with us just months after the divorce and to be honest I did like him for awhile there in the beginning, I think for the most part he did try to be a good fatherly figure to both me and my brother, so I didn’t have any real issue, plus he was a cop which back then was very cool, because who didn’t play cops and robbers when they were a kid?

His family was pretty cool too, and his dad Lewis was the best, always with a story to tell and with him being an actor, he always managed to keep me captivated with his emoting and his many voices. Not to mention the guy was awesome, always giving me pennies which back then could always win my favor, (Because I was always collecting and saving up change) Even to this day I will say no one can ask for a cooler step grandparent.

My favorite crime fighting Heroes.

My favorite crime fighting Heroes.

But I digress, because the day when everything changed for me was maybe a couple of months after Chris had started living with us and I was playing with my toys at the top of the steps, (which back then were mostly Teenage mutant Ninja turtles, which were my favorite. I can’t tell you why, but to me, you couldn’t get much better than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I loved everything about them, the toys, the cartoons, the movies, games, you name it I loved it.
tank
So there I was, playing on the top of the stairs, with my Turtles tank, and sub-marine, along with my various other Turtle related figures and (playing on the top of the stairs, was something both my brother and I were notorious for; partially because we’d be in our own little world and still be somewhat near the rest of the family and not closed off. Not to mention it made the best battlefield, the stairs in my mind would become treacherous mountain region, or become the the deep and unfathomable depths the ocean, with its perilous  underwater trenches. So, yeah I had a pretty spectacular imagination and still do.

 

It wasn’t too out of the ordinary for my mother to yell for one of us, which usually meant we made a mess somewhere, or didn’t put something away, or other typical kid stuff, that we do when we’re kids. So when I heard my mom yelling for me to get my butt into the kitchen, I honestly didn’t think anything of it, besides being a curious/nosy child I was pretty good and usually behaved myself, so I went knowing I hadn’t done anything wrong, so didn’t expect what happened to actually happen…

I stepped into the kitchen, expecting to be asked what I wanted for lunch, or to hear I had to get cleaned up to go out, but instead I was asked about a carton of grape juice that someone had left out on the kitchen table. Immediately I knew it wasn’t me, because back then I was the pickiest child in the world and I refused to drink anything other than orange, or apple juice, or well soda of course.

The Turtle Sub, man I loved this thing.

The Turtle Sub, man I loved this thing.

 

But I was extremely pick with both food and with what beverages I would drink, which may have been my downfall, because I smiled, knowing it hadn’t been me and believed my older brother would finally get into trouble instead of me. Because to be honest I had grown a little tired of him always getting me in trouble and this time I figured I was being the first questioned and with my being innocent, that all blame would fall on him.

 

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Because when she asked if I did it and I honestly told her no, she grabbed my arm, wrenching it painfully up over my head with her nails biting painfully into my arm, which startled me enough as it were, then she began screaming into my face, accusing me of lying.

 

Shaking me and swearing to me that she already knew it was me and she was sick of my lying, even as tears began racing down my cheeks, with me frantically telling her how it wasn’t me, trying to blurt out the words that I didn’t even like that kind of juice and that I hadn’t drank anything that day other than water. But she wouldn’t have it and smacked me hard across the face, leaving what felt like a burning imprint of her hand across my cheek, as she struck me again and again, ordering me now to stop crying.

 

I tried once more to to profess my innocence, but that only earned me several hard smacks to my rear, each one hard enough to lift me up off my feet, causing her nails to cut even deeper into my arm and as blood began to well up where her nails had bit into my arm, it was only then she released my arm and stopped hitting me enough to tell me how it was my fault for trying to throw myself to the floor when she held me by the arm. Then she proceeded to question me again and in a tearful display I tried once again to plead my innocence, but she grabbed me hard by the face, painfully squeezing my cheeks as she told me she already asked Dominic (My brother) and told me he had said he hadn’t done it, then I tried suggesting it was Chris (My soon to be step dad) When she told me he wouldn’t forget to return the juice and when I tried telling her it wasn’t me, she smacked me again, hauling me up off the floor and began beating me again, telling me every few swats that she would stop once I confessed and stop lying, insisting I was only making it worse for myself.

 

So… seeing no end in sight, I did what any frighted and scared boy my age would do, I confessed. I would have confessed to anything at that point and my reward was a whipping with the paddle, eight swats, (As if the beating I had been receiving hadn’t been punishment enough) Then I was grounded on top of it and ordered not to make a noise or she would give me something more to cry about.

old-child-swing-1358169948Fsn

 I was seven years old, the first time I felt any kind hate, seven and I was already beginning to learn real fear and began my back and forth battle with myself, trying to figure out if my mother truly hated me or not. I was seven years old, when I made the biggest mistake of my life, because I was never allowed to forget this day. I was reminded every time I ever gotten into trouble, innocent or not my mother would bring this instance up, would remind me of my confession and that confession would forever mark me a liar. So I was never found innocent, even though 9 out of 10 times when I did do wrong, I would readily admit it once question and when I wasn’t guilty, I would get beaten and reminded of how big of a liar I was and how I had brought every punishment onto myself. Because if I lied once, in my mom’s world, I was a liar forever and always, allowing no room for innocence, ever. This would follow me up through my mid-twenties, when I was believe it or not, still being judged and weighed by things she had accused me of since I was seven. Making me wonder sometimes if I would have been better off if I would have just let her beaten me to death…..

 

Eventually, over the years I began to withdraw, keeping more and more to myself. Something I still struggle with today, because back in those days, I slowly learned the less of a presence I made of myself, the less I would be notice and the less i would be beaten.

 

I still remember, sitting in my room that day, wanting to destroy or break something in order to let out at least some of what I felt inside. So after beating my pillow flat, and punching my mattress into oblivion, I sat fuming in my room until my brother finally came home. It took him all of two seconds to realize something was wrong and I was upset and when he asked me what was wrong, I exploded, with my first words being “Mom hates me,” And he was quick to assure me that she didn’t. So I explained what happened and he was just like,

“Oh….” Then he smiled sheepishly and when I asked him about his smile, he said,

“I think I did leave the juice out.” And he was so cavalier about it I wanted to kill him, probably would have too if I didn’t also idolize him. Instead I told him I got punished for it and that he should tell our mom, which he claimed he would, but I doubt he ever did, but never before did I feel so alone.

 

It wasn’t until I was 15 that I learned it was all a game to her. I know this, because she all but told me it was. I was in my room and someone had broken a vase and when she came to my room and asked if it was me, I sighed, already knowing I hadn’t even touched the vase, or even knew one was broken in the first place. But, as she went on about how someone tried hiding it in the trash, underneath a bunch of stuff, which she was already claiming to be my usual M.O, I figured, “What the heck, what I can I really lose a this point?”

So with a sigh, I made my final false confession and I swear I could have knocked her over with a feather. She simply just stared at me, dumbstruck, before finally throwing her arms up in the air and saying and I quote,

“It’s not even fun anymore, if you’re not even trying to defend yourself!” And then just like that, she turned and stormed off, never punishing me, or bringing up the case of the broken vase ever again.

 

That said, she never did stop bringing up the first instance in my life with the juice, anytime my character was brought into question, she would bring my childhood back up and throw it back into my face. But adding how devious and sneaky I “always” was, because apprently kids arn’t suppose to ever explore, like I used to whenever I went somewhere new, like my aunt’s mansion. I would explore, look in all the drawers, explore every closet, etc. I was a kid, kid’s explore. I tried telling her this once, but she wouldn’t have it, sticking to her opnion that I was a sneaky little devil and would always be thus. This she kept up until just four years ago, when I had tried mending fences and when I thought everythign was going well and began, or thought I was forging a brand new relationship with her, until things fell apart and I was accused of something I would never do and that’s when I finally had enough.

I

                “Enough,” I shouted, exhausted and just tired of the whole ugly situation, (which I will talk about later in more detail)

“Just enough already,” I begged her, “you can’t keep judging me by how I was when I was seven. I was seven years old and I was a kid, but you use that to hold me accountable for things I never did and the worse part of it is, unlike my older brother, I never got into any trouble at school, or with the law, I was a good kid, I never gave you any problems, I never rebelled, I never broke curfew, I never been in any kind of trouble whatsoever, but you still hold me accountable for everything I did since I was seven, as if I’m incapable of ever changing or growing as a person. I’m so tired of you being so quick to call me liar and all these horrible things all because you believe I always lied as a kid. But truth is…truth is, I remember everything and the reasons you have for thinking I’m such a horrible person and liar, is because you wouldn’t ever let anything go, you would beat me until i confessed and not once did you ever question it. You never once realized that I always admitted to the things I did do wrong and if I ever said no to anything you would beaten me until I said yes. Whatever you have against me, let it go, please just let it go, I’m not a bad person I never was, all I wanted was a relationship with you and not because I had some grand ulterior motive, that makes you think I was just trying to get back at you for past wrongs. Which begs the question why, why would you think I would want to get back at you, unless in your heart of hearts you know you’ve done me wrong and this is your guilt, you want to believe I’m just like you, when I’m not.”

She responded by hanging up on me and we hadn’t spoken since and the crazy thing is, if she would find me and ask me for forgiveness, making just an attempt to amend past wrongs, I would forgive her, I would talk to her and never bring up the past ever again. I would start a fresh new relationship with her,  But that’s just who I am and the weight I carry and unfortunately as time goes by I know that will never happen. Even though every time the phone rings, or I check the mail, I pray to find something from her, at least telling he she’s out there thinking about me somewhere, at the very least an apology….And maybe an explanation other than the one I tell myself, which is that she’s sick and needs help, or medication, or something to help unburden this weight I carry.

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Part VI

Intermission: Our scars aren’t who we are, nor do they tell us who we were, our scars represent our perseverance, for all scars fade with time. 

 

That's me with my dad's family, ruining this family photo :P

That’s me with my dad’s family, ruining this family photo 😛

As hard as things were for me growing up, I still remained a pretty happy and go-lucky kid. Granted, I did eventually get pretty beaten down and my depression, anxiety all came much, much later, affecting me in my early teens.

But I digress, for my mother wasn’t always so horrible, she had some, if not few and far between moments where she was remarkably human and like most kids in my situation I clung to those moments, cherished them and clung stubbornly on to. Because it was those moments that made me think there was hope, a flickering possibility that my mother may have actually loved me. Which is one of the reasons I put up with what I did and why I until recently I chose to suffer in silence. No one knew the battles I fought, or why despite my worse days, I still had love for my mother, love that wouldn’t go away, no matter how many times I tried convincing myself that I hated her.
I portray this same sort of Stockholm syndrome involving abusive parents in my upcoming book, “Losers” Where Kyle Reese clings to the moments where his parents had been decent towards him and despite everything his parents do to him and no matter how badly they mistreat him, he still loves and cares for them, even when he can’t possibly fathom the why of it all, even when they make his life dreadfully miserable and causing him to spend most of this days just trying to avoid his parents.

Cover design for my upcoming book. "Losers."

Cover design for my upcoming book. “Losers.”

My mom, despite whatever sickness or disorder she had, or has, did have her motherly moments which were few and far between. But all the same, they would make me feel such warmth, I would then cling so desperately to those memories, with a part of me doubting the fact she hated me, with the other part of me believing I could win her affection, thus letting her see me as her son. So for every kindness she ever shown me, I tried like hell to make those moments repeat themselves and more often than not, I was met with complete and utter failure.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I still cherish those times when I felt like my mother and I were finally connecting and even though they never lasted, I carry them still.  They were the moments when it felt that there was some sort of clarity in the air and she realized I was her son and was accepting me as such.

One of these moments came when I was very young and we were living in our house on Tando way, in Taylor Mill Kentucky. It was long after the ordeal when my mother had abandoned me and later stole me back and it was a few years before my parents got their inevitable divorce, back when my older brother and I still shared a bedroom with bunk beds. I remember it was here, that on most nights, our mother would come to tuck us in at night and she would pick a story or let us choose one that’ll she’ll read to us. Sometimes, she’d read a few pages, and some nights she would read whole chapters, or until we fell asleep. Usually she would read the Hardy boys, or from a book of fables such as Puss and Boots, the emperor and his new clothes, Jack and the Beanstalk, all of which would grow to become my favorites. But every now and then she would read something different, forcing us to familiarize ourselves with stories we hadn’t grown accustom too. I think it also helped introduce change, so we could grow to like more, or other stories, that wasn’t Hardy Boy related.

But even still I remember laying there in my bottom bunk as she pulled the book E.T the extraterrestrial from our little cabinet and I remember the book cover was a generic yellow, with a crudely drawn picture of E.T on the cover. I also remember how she would carefully read aloud every word, exercising perfect pronunciation, as if each word held a particular significance.

 

These were the moments I cherished the most, moments I’ll always carry with me, my mother may not have been that great, or good towards me, but she had moments, when she would look at me and I swear I could feel that maybe she didn’t hate, or despise me, that just maybe she actually liked me, at least a little. Granted it was rare and far between, often leaving me to wonder what I could do to make her love me at least half as much as she seemed to care for my older brother, believing if I were to accomplish some amazing feat, if I would somehow win her affection and I would finally feel what it was like to have a real and true mother, like the ones I’ve read about in books, seen on TV or act something more akin to mothers of my friends. It’s so strange to me now, I haven’t spoken with her, or seen her in years, but I can see her still sitting beside our bed as she read to us. I can see it so clearly, it’s as if I can look through this window in time and see the past.

 

Gerbil number 2, my older brother and me.

Gerbil number 2, my older brother and me.

My mother would read to us, not in a hurry, or a rush to finish. She would perfectly pronounce and shape each word, reading aloud to us with enthusiasm, and grace. She did all the voices, and would pause periodically to ask my brother and me what we thought, or felt about a certain situation in the story. She would want to know and ask what we thought would happen next and would actually have a conversation with us about the book and the events unfolding within the story itself. Which now looking back, I believe it was this and these moments with her that planted the very seeds of story-telling into my very heart and instilled in me my unparalleled loved for books. Because now whenever I finish a book, I look around and realize that everyone around me is just carrying on with their lives, as though I didn’t just experience the emotional trauma at the hands of paper, or hardback book. Because those moments with my mother, hearing her tell us stories left me forever changed and sparked within me an incomparable imagination, a sense of wonder and a deeply rooted love for the magic in the written word and the stories locked away in one’s imagination.

Man looking out office window at night

I didn’t start this series, to simply talk about how bad my childhood was, or to paint my mother as this horrible person which she was. I started it to help others, to let people know that abuse isn’t ever okay and sometimes for explainable reasons a parent or parents will pick one child to be the target of all their abuse. I can never explain it, but as a child, I did see the parallels between how we were treated and unfortunately my older brother never witnessed any of what I had to endure and I never told him either, not until it was too late….And it wasn’t always so bad, so periodically from this point on, I will inject a little intermission here to describe a positive memory involving my mother and maybe somewhere along the way, we’ll discover why I kept quiet for so long and endured the quiet torment of a young boy, sitting on an old porch swing, wishing his life was more like  his dreams, where nothing was ever as bad as they seemed and why I had so much love for a woman who showed me so very little in return. Because I do miss her in some, strange and unexplainable way and I long and pray for a day that she finds me, apologizes for all past wrongs and at least attempts to make amends for past wrongs, because I would need that assurance to know that her words weren’t hollow as they had been in the past.