Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Childhood Memory.

"Tell us about a childhood memory."

One Sunday night while I was in the 2nd grade my father had been working a side job or getting high and saying he had a side job, my mother had asked me what I wanted for dinner. This was a big deal as I was the world's pickiest eater. At least according to my folks. "Breaded pork chops, white rice" and a veggie I do not recall. Mommy was awesome and made it for me.

My father soon arrived home and walked in to hear me and my mom in the middle of a screaming match.

"Nicole, you asked for this and now you have to eat it!"

"But mom!! The rice is icky and the pork chop is mushy"

"Eat it."

"Wait until your father hears about this."

My Dad happened to be entering the kitchen at this exact moment, "What now?"

While my mom explained that she let me pick out dinner and I wouldn't eat it, I knew it was coming. I didn't know how bad it would be but I knew it was coming. I sat there shaking at the kitchen table, my brother playing with his hot wheels just a few feet away in the dining room. My father told me he was in a good mood. I had one more chance to eat my "special" dinner. He began washing the compound off his hands, arms, and face. While drying off with the mushroom dish towel he looked at me.

"That's it!" he screamed. He rushed at me. It was like slow motion, he only took 2 or 3 giant steps to get across the huge eat in kitchen we had then. He grabbed my hair, shoved my face until my plate calling me a selfish, ungrateful brat. Started ranting about all my mother does for "us kids." By now I was crying. My hair still wrapped around his fingers, he yelled and asked if I was going to eat. Crying, slowly shook my head no. Before I realized what had occurred, I was in the corner, where the empty wall hit the kitchen cupboards, beneath the sink, on the wet linoleum floor. My left shoulder blade hit the brass fixture on the cabinet hard and my leg had bent wrong beneath me. I was crying so hard I couldn't breath. I was gagging, near vomiting from the pain and fear. My dad, the man who is supposed to love and care for me no matter what had just thrown me clear across the room.

He screamed asking if I wanted more as he approached me. As I shook my head no, I lifted my hurt body and ran up the stairs to my bedroom and locked the door. Fortunately, he left me alone.

I remember it was a Sunday because I remember crying while watching The Simpson's. I remember being so grateful that the following day was Monday.

Monday morning as I walked myself to school I knew I was going to stick with my plan. I was going to tell the school's counselor. And that I did. By the time I got home that afternoon, DSS was at our house. Asking my mother questions, then asking my little brother questions, and asking me questions.

At some point after that incident, my aunt went for custody scaring my parents straight (at least for a little while) and the both sought help for the addiction's and anger.

Although this memory is still clear as day, I love my father. Sadly, this is how he was raised and was taught this was the right way to raise a child. Within the past few years my father has apologized. Numerous times. He begs me quite frequently to "break the cycle."

Because of my father, I will do everything in my power to break this vicious cycle.

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