Thursday, September 11, 2014

Father’s Day: A tale of violence and anger (Part 1 of 3)

Father’s Day: A tale of violence and anger (Part 1 of 3)
Because I am reading some troubling things in the news about Ray Rice and people actually siding with him and covering up the fact he nearly killed his now wife is troubling.  When someone almost tries to kill you, you DON'T go around marry him or her. Keep in mind he beat her down and her head hit the metal railing. If she hit it a little bit harder, she'd be dead or worst.
You don’t reward this behavior by having them in your lives.  We aren’t talking about the fact the victim married this monster and people are okay with it.  We are talking about this in the black community and it is troubling. 
Before we get into that.  I felt I needed to share a very personal story that happened to me. 
From the start…
Let’s go back to the beginning.  I was a troubled child growing up.  I had difficulty learning and speaking.  I was a stutter and I had to take speech sessions while in school.  I also had learning disabilities growing up.  However, I was also a black kid that grew up in the suburbs of East Louisville, which meant my parent made enough money for me to live in the suburbs.  These sorts of things made me an outsider.  So, I spent many days watching TV and playing games. 
I got over many of my learning difficulties, but was still an outsider that couldn’t relate to people.  So, I turned inward.  My parents worried about me and tried to force outside school activities on me such as Karate (a few sessions until they gave up) Softball (Never hit the ball and HATED playing) and Football (never got to play and HATED it.  I probably have a lower opinion of this game and the players than anything else).  It quickly became apparent that I was not a sports guy, so they moved to into music and the middle school band.  That actually worked.
The one person that was a part of this notion forcing me to be a “tough” guy was my father.  My father, when I was growing up, was never a happy man.   Like my mother, he came from college parents and siblings that had college degrees.  All his brothers and sisters had very good jobs.  On the other hand, my father graduated from college, but only ended up being a security guard at various places.  I remember he worked at a store and a prison in Oldham County.  When he would come home from his prison job, he wouldn’t really talk to us.  He’s sit in front of TV and drink an 40 oz. 
I just remembered he was always angry. 
When I would ask him for help or try to help him fix something, I’d get a “Just go away” or “Get out.  You’re not helping.” 
Fuck you.
And, now I realize it wasn’t just anger, but disappointment.  Our mother was the breadwinner when it came to making money.  She was a teacher.  He was merely a security guard that did nothing with his degree.  Keep in mind, he was a baby boomer and still held on notions that the father should make the most money.  Deep down, I believe he didn’t want to be a father either, and clearly the marriage really wasn’t a loving one when I reached middle school. 
This anger manifested itself in bad ways. 
I was a victim of child abuse (IE violence)…serve child abuse.
My father used to beat us for the most minor of infractions. If you stayed out too late, you got beat with a belt or a stick.  We didn’t make our beds, beating.  We got a call from the teacher, beating. 
The fear my brother or I would have when we heard that belt buckle was beyond describing. But, you see, this was and is an acceptable way of disciplining your children in the black community, in their eyes. If a kid acts up, you beat the living shit out of them.  It is plain and simple as that.  It is passed down from each generation. 
Keep in mind he was an imposing and powerful guy.  He had so much anger and hatred for being a father too. He was not a good person.  Sometimes, I felt he enjoyed striking us down with his belt.  Even the mere threat of beating us down seemed to give him joy.  Maybe this was the only way he felt power. 
How can someone be so mean and cruel still call himself a father? 
Let's just say this went on for a while. However, my father started getting progressively and progressively more violent. He would lose his temper quickly and even almost raise his hand to my mother. At one point, I remember my mother having to push him back in the house, while we waited in the car, because he wanted to grab us and beat the living shit out of us for something we did. That was the moment when I knew something bad was going to happen soon.
That’s the thing with violence.  It doesn’t die down, it gets worst until someone gets hurt or dies. 
A major act of violence pretty much changed our lives forever.  And, I will go into great detail in the next post. 
End of Part 1 

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