As promised, my dear readers, the BIG reveal is finally here! My first post in the autobiographical anthology: Injustice: My Bell Jar Diaries. It is with great trepidation and immense hesitancy that I choose to share these bits and pieces of my memory.
These are true stories that may shock you — anger and haunt you. Posts under this category may contain disturbing content that could upset or trigger individuals.
My father was a former marine and though he was retired still acted as if he were in the military. He stood at a towering 6’5, 280 lbs., intimidating to a fault, worse, he knew and exploited this fact. My siblings and I were his little toy soldiers; playthings that existed to do his bidding and expected to follow orders. No Exceptions! Without Questions! We were not raised but rather egregiously smelted and molded into the people we are today. There were three standing edicts in our household: speak only when spoken to, respect your elders, but most of all OBEY.
It was a Saturday afternoon and I sat at my bedroom desk reading a book with my sheets of paper and a pencil off to the side to take notes. This is what I had to do back when I was 10 years old and not allowed to write in the margins…yet.
What are you doing now? He said, rolling his eyes, and walking into my room.
Just reading. I said quietly.
Excuse me?! He shouted abruptly, in one stride, he stood over me, eclipsing my tiny body like an ominous cloud.
What? He sneered. You too good for this family, huh?
No. No, sir. I shook my head repeatedly. My hands began to shake and I instinctively moved them, very slowly, off my desk into my lap, clasped. Head already bent down, submissively.
Can’t come spend quality time with us because you’re in here reading your damn books. You think you’re so smart, don’t you?
I remained silent. What a reckless mistake.
You answer me when I’m speaking to you, girl! He blustered and slammed his fist on the desk making me and my book flinch. Another mistake. He never liked flinching. Like crying, it too, was a weakness. He snatched each piece of paper, crumpling them into a ball, and tossing them to the floor. I remained as stoic as a statue. Then, the book flew across the room. Sounds of fluttering pages filled the silence.
Now, what have I told you about your room?
That it should always be in order, that everything has its place. Sir.
That’s right! So, why don’t you explain to me why the hell you have all this on the floor.
I…I was…I was just reading, sir. I didn’t mean… I didn’t get to finish that sentence and was grabbed by my hair, drug out of my chair, and thrown to the floor just as effortlessly as my paper. Crumpled into a ball. He leaned over, grabbing my shirt, pulling me up just inches from his face, gritting his teeth.
Oh, get up! Get up, right now! Clean this pigsty! His face so close, I could feel the heat of his breath and his spit on my face, I didn’t dare wipe it off. I stood up slowly and bent down to pick up a ball of paper but before my quivering little hands could grasp it, I was kicked in the hip, back to the floor. He had on his steel toes. That’s going to leave a mark.
I SAID — Clean! (Kick) This! (Kick) Up! (Kick) Now! (Kick) One to the stomach, one to the back of the head, another to the stomach, the last one to the shoulder. I used to count them. 1, 2, 3, 4…brace myself between each blow and hope to GOD there wouldn’t be anymore.
Just as I chose to share, you chose to read. I humbly and respectfully thank you all.
To be continued…