I am six years old.
It’s night time.
I am in my room. Hiding in my closet.
In the kitchen. My parents are screaming at each other. Every time the other starts talking the tone of the conversation gets higher and louder and higher ad louder.
I am huddled on the floor of my closet. Dreading when the fight ends. Knowing full well what is going to happen when it does. The only thing I don’t know is who it is going to come from this time.
The argument reaches fever pitch. I am trembling now. My little teeth chattering. Even though I feel feverish. Ever second that passes the closet seems to get smaller and darker.
My mind is awash with screaming and overlapping voices and fireworks. Chaos.
This crazy sounding circus music starts playing in my head. On repeat. Over and over. Every iteration speeding up just a little. Till the thing is an anxiety riddled fever dream.
My father growls something. The smash of something fragile against the wall. Like a glass or a plate or something.
Just his loud footsteps walking away.
A brief moment of relief washed over me as I hear the garage open and his car disappear into the night.
But then. Terror. Ice cold water in my veins. The shaking starts up again.
Because if he is gone, that means it’s just me and her. And I know what is coming.
I hear her footsteps approaching.
I can hear my heartbeat loud in my head.
I hold my breath. As if I could hide. As if she didn’t already know where I was.
The closet door swings open abruptly. She stands there. Heaving with every breath. Silent. Just staring at me. Staring daggers into me. Illuminated by nothing but the light from the hallway outside the dark room. She looks like something out of a horror. This intense look of rage in her wide eyes. Her lips pursed to tightly together they almost disappear. just a thin line remains.
I don’t even see her move as she grabs a handful of my hair and whips me out of the closet.
Dragging me to the kitchen. I kick and squeal. i try to fight to get out of her painful grasp but the more I struggle the more it hurts.
We’re in the laundry now. The little room behind the kitchen. She pulls reaches for one of her wooden clogs.
i am on the floor now. Begging her not to. My eyes so covered in tears I can barely see. My nose spewing snot.
I can see the disgust in her eyes. It seems to stoke her anger.
WHAM she strikes me fast across the face. Picks me up from the hair. Puts me across her knee. And goes to town on my now exposed bottom.
I don’t know how many times she struck me. I know that it was more than a week before i could sit in that hard wooden chair in school without feeling excruciating pain.
My teachers noticed. They never asked me or breathed a word of it to anyone.
i remember feeling alienated. People could see this thing was happening to me. And they did nothing. Said nothing. But the second I did something wrong I was reprimanded. Hard. Physical punishment at school. Severe physical punishment at home. My parents’ friends would stare at me with this look. As if I was some oddity. Some freak that they had never had the misfortune of gazing upon in their lives before.
Every adult in my life that is supposed to be nurturing me and protecting me, hurting me. Of course. At this point, I am not aware of the wrongness of this. To me this is what happens to bad little boys. What exactly made me a bad boy, I do not know. Teachers would often write in my report cards “Good student but talks too much in class.” Which is hilarious to me, because I am pretty quiet in social situations. Extremely reserved. Content to sit through it without ever uttering a single word. I wonder when that started.
I talk more the less people are around me. When I am alone I never stop talking in my head. One on one is where I thrive through proper balance I reckon. More than 4 and I keep it buttoned.
It has been 4 years since my mother died. About 8 or 9 years since we last spoke. And more than 20 years since she left. I will never understand the what’s and why’s because she chose to never tell me. Or anyone from as far as I can tell.
I think that is something that pushes me to be so open here. To externalise the worst of my thoughts. My experiences. Not because I am some self important arsehole that cannot stop talking about himself for a minute. But because, should someone want to or have the need to. They can find out all about it here. I have a voice and am choosing to use it. For this. I am tired of making myself feel so alone. Of keeping shit locked up inside only to have it eat away at me. Festering like some puss-filled, maggot infested, gaping wound.