I sat there holding my breath, fighting back the tears as I watched my brother choke down his food. He was so quiet and obeient. I hated him for that. She never yelled at him for sitting there gagging but instead praised him for being a “good boy” and eating all his dinner…by any means possible I suppose.
The longer I sat there, the harder it got. I stared at the green beans strewn across my plain white dinnerplate. They were now cold. She barked loudly; reminding me how thankful I should be that I even get any food. Her tone was so harsh and angry. Tears fell freely down my face, a few heavy-hearted sobs escaped my mouth but were quickly muffled before she could hear them. Too much time had passed now. She had finished doing the dishes and was setting the kitchen timer for two minutes.
Panic set in. Her voice got louder, her mouth right beside my ear, and she screamed out the consequences that would come upon me if the timer buzzed and those green beans still sat, untouched on my dinnerplate. The worst of them involved me picking out which spatula from the cooking drawer she would spank me with. It was never an easy choice, they ALL hurt and I knew choosing between metal or wood didn’t make a difference. I had to do something.
She left the room for a mere second, but that was just enough time for me to swipe up those terrible little green beans and shove them, wadded up in a paper napkin, under the base of the dinner table. Just as I sat back up in my chair she returned to the room and the timer buzzed. She looked at my plate, then back at me. Her brows furrowed and she stared at me a moment. I held my breath. She said nothing as she quietly turned around and walked back into the other room.
I sat in silence sobbing for a long while. She came in the room only to turn the lights off on me and mumble something about my being dramatic and that no one cared to hear it. I closed my eyes and prayed for someone to love me, to hug me, to take me from this moment and never make me go back. A few more sobs escaped while I tried to gather the courage to head off to my bedroom, which also meant walking past her in the living room.
For whatever reason suddenly I did it. I stood up and quickly walked through the room. I passed by their chairs and into the back hallway. I stopped just out of their sight and exhaled slowly but heavily, tears streaming down my face again. I took a few slow deep breaths and just as I was about to walk off I hear her say, “I dont know why we have to put up with her. Shes nothing but trouble. Shes ungrateful and not worth our time.”
I stomped off heartbroken the rest of the way down the hall and cried at the top of my lungs. Sprawled out on my bed I heard her words repeating in my head like they always did; I was nothing, I was nobody, I wasnt good enough, I was ugly, I was a mistake, I was just a pain, I was trouble… in the middle of my cries I hadnt heard her come in the room. Before I had a chance to even look at her she had me spun around, pants down and a firery crack told me in an instant what was happening; she picked the wooden spoon.
I cried even harder. She yelled something else about being quiet because no one wanted to hear me. I watched as she stormed out of my room grabbing the door and slamming it behind her. *click* She locked it. I ran to the door frantickly turning the door knob even though I knew it wouldnt open. I sunk to the floor sobbing heavily and kicked the wall until my feet hurt.
Eventually I was too tired to cry anymore and I sat there listening… hoping to hear her come back and unlock my door….I got up walked to my bed, curled up with my blanket and listened…
Some days; no matter how old I am, no matter how many amazing things I accomplish, no matter what I have overcome… I am that little girl again; locked in her room, heartbroken and alone with nothing but hurtful lies in her head put there by someone who was supposed to love her.
And then there are other days… days where I find myself face to face with the monster who caused me so much pain… but instead of yelling at me, instead of hitting me or insulting me… she is leaning on me for support, looking at me with pleading eyes and panting breath..exhausted barely able to make it a few steps to the bathroom without my assistence. Her eyes are filled with fear, of her own past or of the future… I dont know. She is lost, she is helpless, she is broken too.