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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bruce's Flashback

Skip if you wish...

She continues to a now antsy but unable to leave crowd. Might some hear what they have buried deep? Force themselves to seal as if sealed it never happened, does not exist?

"My parents' initial months of marital bliss and lustful passion resulted in the birth of my sister. I arrived fourteen months later, and my younger sister--after a slight reprieve for my mother--arrived five years after that. The demands of early motherhood were overwhelming, so my father's newly found source of adulation and sexual fulfillment would soon be denied him. Once again my father felt betrayed by a woman on whom he depended for self-esteem that he could not supply for himself.

"The betrayal and anger my father felt were based in the unconscious, unresolved wounds that had simmered for decades... and which he had learned from his own mother. When my father's wounds rubbed, his rage descended on me and my sisters... without mercy, justice, or decency, and certainly without self-knowledge. He could not feel his shame.

"My father's crimes were, in part, the result of him withdrawing from his shameful acts behind a wall of survivor-mentality fortitude, which wove throughout our entire family system. That fortitude told him that his rage was necessary for survival, and that introspection would reduce him to the needy child he nevertheless remained all his life. Rage and silence--these were his survival tools, and he bequeathed to my sisters and me an energy that seeped deep into our lifeblood, teaching us to fend for ourselves but leaving us in terror of intimacy.

" My father's anger at what his childhood branded into his soul was acted out every night. The smell of alcohol and the blank look in his eyes taught me to hide with my sisters and pray for a reprieve. But each night he came, leaving the bed he shared with my mother to take one of us has his prisoner.  The squeaks of the door, the thin sliver of light, and the rustling of covers were all part of the ritual. I lay rigid, covers held tight, shallow breaths, closed eyes, like a scared animal burrowing, hoping to evade the advancing predator. I pretended not to see, not to hear.

"When it was my sister he raped, I would creep along the hallway to keep vigil over her suffering, know rescue was beyond my grasp.  Watching the second hand sweep over the miniscule dots on the oversized face of the wall clock, I pretended that each brush of the hand erased the filth that unfolded below. I sat, clenched jaw, tight stomach, sweaty palms, counting the specks in the linoleum, making up figures in the wallpaper, hating him and fearing him and the acts that were beyond the comprehension of my seven-year-old mind.

"When it was me he summoned, I learned how to leave my mind and body behind in the warmth of my bed. I delivered him only a shell, a lifeless puppet, one he would use and the discard like garbage. I heard only the rush in my head, felt only the sweat on my skin, saw only the stars dancing in front of my eyes, and smelled the stench of of his release."

(To be continued.)

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