Friday, August 04, 2006

Do And Die!? part 1

Well I guess I'll get off the soap box of the World and comeback down to the little kid that crawls into is blanket fort to hide!? Guess what folks?! It's howdy daddy time!? What else can you say but it was the right thing to do?! The very next day of his phone call, forcing me to tell him there was something wrong, I could feel and see changes in me. I was walking down the street and I had to stop because something was not like before. Something had changed. It took me 2 minutes to realize what it was. I was walking with my shoulders straight and my head held high. I guess a weight had been lifted. They say you can tell a lot from a person's handwriting. Well mine improved the following week. From a doctor wanna be to a pretty clear and readable penmanship. It started a long time ago, but I'm the kind of person that has problems telling people I love to go f**k themselves. I keep it in until it makes me sick. Then I have no choice, it's either them or me. Better them then me. I think he was an ok dad when I was young. We did father/son stuff. He tried to get me to ice skate at four years old, my ankles weren't strong enough. He gave up. I was taking swimming lessons on Saturdays, he hated it because we had to spend all morning there. From 9 to 1. Maybe that's why we stopped going to church on Sunday. So he could sleep in. This lasted only 2 years. He was fed up and it was too expansive. Thank god for those 2 years my mom came all the time to cheer me on and wait for me in the locker room. I was 4 and 5. After that, no more sports for me. I was traumatized to get my head wet. Something must have happened. My mom once told me my grandmother, his mom, scalded me while washing me in the sink. I don't remember. My mom would have to run after me to get me to wash my hair. He would get mad at me and force my head under the faucet in the tub. My mom got the idea to take me to the barber shop. lol Let me tell you, I remember it well. I was terrified. It took about 10 minutes to convince me, but it worked. Thanks mom. To this day I hate getting my head under the shower. I can't open my eyes under water. He was present in the house. He would take me working with him on Saturdays if there was light work to be done. At the end of the shift, his boss would give me an envelope with my pay in it. I was so happy. But then, everything changed. I guess he knew something I didn't. He stopped taking me to work. He would only pay any notice if I had problems in school, to give me hell. Now I know it's because he couldn't understand my school work, not even sure he went past 7th grade. Maybe he didn't want me to become like him. But I really doubt that. I couldn't understand his change in behavior. He was physically home but nothing more. He was always pissed because we had to do the groceries on Thursday night. I now know it's because my mom would take some of the money to buy booze. And what he was doing, keeping the money was a good thing. But he didn't have to take it out on us every Thursday. That's when he started going back to church. Alone. Not even bothering to ask or take me. I was 9. And when he came back, he'd make himself breakfast and we HAD to do something as a family. Really fun times. As soon as the season started, we'd be off to camp every Friday night to comeback on Sunday night. We HAD to! As soon as school was over me and my mom spent the summer there. He would drive back every Friday to leave the Monday morning. Then for some reason he wanted us to travel every week end. lol It didn't last long. The first camp site we did we stayed there for about 10 years. Here things were different. The women had jobs. They had an opinion. They partied as much as their husbands. I think if my mom had started drinking before, they encouraged it there. At this time I remember seeing her drunk. A lot. I was about 12 when I just had it and told them I didn't want to spend all summer in the trailer. I guess it suited my mom cause I know she was sick of it. We always had to have a good reason to comeback to town before school started. After that outburst, we only went on week ends and for his two weeks of vacation in July. I had pets growing up, but their live span depended on him. My first pet was a cat. She was my best friend. She hated the car and would always poop in her cage. Once we had just left the camp site. She pooped. He got pissed. Stopped the car, grabbed the cage and threw her in the trunk. 1 hour 1/2 drive before getting home. He got her put to sleep because she had a urinary infection. Now I know that a week of pills curses that. I didn't back then. I had her for 8 years. At the same time we got a collie. Of course I named her Lassie. He said he took her to a farm because the kids in the alley would make her bark all the time for no reason. She was 3. And there was no farm. Then I got a dog from one of our neighbors. It was a mixed breed, husky and something else big. lol He used to lock her up in the closed in porch in the back. Once we came back and she had eaten the flooring of the balcony. He beat her so much. She was crying so loud. Neighbors thought she had bitten me. When they found out why, they stopped talking to us. She would always wet herself when she saw him, he just got madder. He got rid of her because she was running after me(we were playing)and when I rounded the corner of the couch where he was, on the phone with his mom. She didn't round the corner. Instead she jumped over the corner, getting caught in the phone wire, falling on him and him dropping the phone. Adios Muffy. She was not even a year old. I just never had a pet that lived it's full life. That is why I swore my pets would have a good life and leave when it was their time. I kept Rusty, a diabetic cat for 18 years. And his sister Chanel 19 years. Looking back, if it had been accepted, he would have given me away just like them. I remember a lot of yelling and fighting. I remember once my mom took me out of bed and we left home. We went to a restaurant. I got a coke and my mom cried. We went back a few hours later. I was maybe 6. When I was 15 and she stopped drinking, he got really jealous. She lost half her weight, went back to school. He didn't like that. She had a self help course on Sunday nights. He would take her and pick her up. Every time he left there he would screech the tires. Every time the course was running late he'd get pissed. I don't know how many nights he woke me slamming the door and yelling once in the house. It was past 11 at night. Funny how when he took the course the following semester how it was all of a sudden ok. And he some times came home at 2am. She was going to AA meetings, he always looked ready to kill her when she would go to one. Then a week before my 18th birthday, I could hear mumbling coming from their room. I went in and he was talking to her and she was answering in her sleep. I told him to leave her alone. That she had already taken her pill. "ya ya in a minute. This is funny she thinks I'm someone at an AA meeting." I left to go watch TV. Just a few minutes later I heard a scream. I ran to the room and turned on the light. He was on her raping and strangling her. I jumped on him and pulled him off. He started fighting with me. He had me in a head lock but I pulled myself away. I got a black ear for a week after that. The phone rang. It stopped our fighting. It was the police saying they had gotten a disturbance call. He tried to tell them we had just been talking to loud but that everything was fine. They said they always send someone anyways to check. He slammed the phone to the wall, cracking it. The door bell rang. He looked at us and said if we told them what had been going on, we'd be sorry. They came in. All 6 of them. My mom was sitting behind the table looking terrified. I was leaning against a door frame. He was all smiles. They asked what had happen. He again claimed his talking to loud story. They took me out front. I saw 3 cars parked every which way blocking half the street. I lost it and told them everything. They also noticed the cracked phone. They told him to go cool off till morning. He was laughing and left. We double locked the doors. He called and tried to cry is way back. Saying he was sorry. It would never happen again. My mom said no. At 4:30 am the door bell rang incessantly. He started punching and kicking the front door. It stopped. Then he did the same thing around back. He even banged the living room windows. He finally got in, forcing open the garage door. He started yelling that they said he could come back in the morning. That she was a bitch if she though she could kick him out of the house. 2 days later at 6am he got served with divorce papers. Again he started yelling. That Saturday was my 18th birthday. My mom was working the evening shift. So he took me to dinner. He kept saying "you know what happened is not your fault" over and over again. I just wanted to scream I know it's not my fault, it's yours. The following Saturday I helped him move his stuff to an apartment. As soon as the last box was in, I left. Met my cousin and went out for her birthday. That's where I had my first drink. A Singapore sling. To be continued... J


Blogger john said...

Thanks for having the confidence in us to share that story.

8/04/2006 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gray said...

Aw shit, Joel! I'm sorry for you and anyone who has had to put up with that in their young lives!!

I've had similar things happen, but - no way! - not to that extent!!

Damn! I was feeling good... until I read this. Now, I feel (probably) almost as drained as I imagine you are from writing it.

All I can say is: I'm sorry it had to happen.

8/04/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Lemuel said...

I hope as you share the story you will find healing and a greater sense of wholeness. Your father bruised more than your ear and your mother. Although I was a "disappointment" to my father in many ways, I did not experience the trauma that you have. Perhaps your sharing it, will prompt others who are presently in such abusive situations, to act for their own (and others') well being. I cheered when you told the police. It was a difficult, but brave and right thing to do. My stomach sickened even more when I read of the animal abuse. Because I love animals, especially dogs, your father had better hope we never meet in a dark alley.

HUGS, Joel. You are right to stand tall.

8/04/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Snooze said...

This account was heartbreaking to read, but at the same time, very inspirational to see the power that you and your mum had to get out of the situation finally. I'm so happy that you turned out to be such a gentle person, and don't follow your dad's behaviour.

8/04/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger tornwordo said...

Your mother was a very strong woman. And alcoholism is a very strong disease.

8/04/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Thanks for writing this. I want to give you a very long hug(if you like hugs).
Sounds like your father hated his feelings, and took it out on every living thing around him.

8/04/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Spider said...

All I can say is I'm so sorry... there is a special place in hell for people who abuse animals...

You deserve a lifetime of happiness and hugs after reading this - and what I think is coming...

8/04/2006 02:44:00 PM  

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