Sometimes it takes years to recognize the truth of one's life. The young woman who swore she would never take the abuse she saw her father dish out to her mother. The violent screaming and cursing, with knives held to her mother's throat. The words that she recorded, to prove what was going on at home on an erratic, regular basis. "If I was a man, I'd throw you out of that window". "I'll kill you and put the kids in separate orphanages. " There was the day her mother played the piano while her father spit in her face. The glass jar thrown down by the sliding glass window, near the varicose veins of a pregnant mom. Certainly all ten children remembered various events differently, according to their age and development and ability to comprehend or absorb the theatre.
Much earlier, when her father was a traveling salesman, and her mother had reason to believe he was unfaithful, in a rage, she threw out her husband's things. All his childhood pictures, his Bar Mitzvah items, in boxes kept, hoarded and moved around to each new residence, like an icon of his absent security. It was something he never had from his own rageaholic unfaithful father and his grief-stricken, emotionally absent mother.
It was in some San Antonio home, in some fuzzy cement basement, that an ax made an imprint on her little mind. It seems that was the day her breathing became shallow. There were the stairs, the yelling, the waves of human pain swelling and then receding, leaving everyone paralyzed.
Later, as an adult, when Silence of the Lambs came out to theaters, her younger sister Alison called one day, saying, "Pam, did you see that movie?" That, that one called ...we said the name of the film together. "Silence of the Lambs?" I had indeed seen it, and found a comfortable familiarity, of the intense intelligence and quiet loathing for human kind. "That guy, he's, he's", and again, we spoke together, "Just like dad"?
He was the very vulnerable elderly man in his late seventies, wanting a home to die in where the people spoke English, preferably with one of his children. There was the call from California, and then to me, from my Mormon Bishop brother Chris, calling to say he would never change, and to let him stay where he was. I was the last to be asked. Not one of the ten children wanted to revisit the generator of their Post Traumatic Stress.
But I, I always wanted the father I never had, and I believed our elderly parents deserve to be respected and protected. I was not his choice. Perhaps I was too honest, too poor, too confrontive. But, for the next twelve years, I did my best to look after his care. He became the father I always wanted, my best advocate, an imperfect man who railed against boundaries and hated words of 'unacceptable behavior', and finally settled down to trust the only person in the world he knew loved him unconditionally. The price of his vascular dementia, the Chinese torture of repeated vocabulary and story, his jealousy of my time, and rarely a respite all took their toll.
To be continued...
Tags and Key Words: Domestic Violence. Results of Domestic Violence. Seeing Relationships for what they are. Women who love too much. Entitlement within a relationship. Why women stay. Why women leave. Lethality in a marriage or relationship. Signs to look for with Domestic Violence. Rebuilding life after Domestic Violence. Modeling of Abuse and how children respond. Loving self more. Protecting self. Protecting our children. Starting over. Unacceptable behavior. What is domestic violence? Forgiveness and Boundaries. Women as property. Religious entitlement. Patriarchal religions/churches. choking, hitting, slamming, yelling, cursing, destroying trust. destroying peace. building walls of anger and resentment. nature vs. nurture. conflict resolution. narcissism of wounded children. trauma. challenge or threat. rebuilding faith.
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