Sunday, September 14, 2014

Father’s Day: A tale of violence and anger (Part 2 of 3)

Father’s Day: A tale of violence and anger
Side Note: After writing up the first post, I recently saw a picture of my entire family.  All four of us were sitting in a professional studio taking a family picture.  There we were, sitting together all smiles.  I looked so young and skinny.  My brother was tiny.  Yet, we looked like one big happy family. 
Maybe we played it up for the camera, or maybe we truly believed everything was going to all right with our family of four. 
We were wrong…
The Incident
As I wrote before, my father progressively got more and more violent and angry.  So, much so, that I realized he changed.  He was no longer really my father, but someone I deeply feared.  Not to really be too writer(ry) but he become a monster of sorts. 
If I didn’t do something correctly, I’d get the belt. 
I believe this happened around my first year of middle school. I could be wrong. 
One school night, my mother I believe was out at the store.  It was late, and I believe my brother and I stayed up a little too late…way beyond our bedtime.  
I remember my father yelling at us to go to bed.  He was REALLY pissed at this point.
Why was he filled with so much rage tonight?  Why was it so important for us to go bed? 
My brother and I had different rooms.  In my doorway, there stood my father belt in hand.  We got into an argument as I lay in bed. 
“I said go to sleep!” father yelled out.  After stating this, he swung his belt downward, striking me in my bear legs. 
The pain was instant and greater than beating I’ve ever had before.  As the tears ran down my cheeks, I looked up at him.  He was out of control.  I was looking at someone that wasn’t my father anymore.  He hated me and he wanted to do me harm. 
“Stop it!” I yelled back, holding my legs. 
“I said, go to sleep!” he spat back to me.  He followed this up with a harder strike from his belt. 
The strike was one of the worst things I’ve ever felt. 
It was at this moment that a hundred thoughts went through my mind.  The hate was really strong in mind.  I actually remember all the times he called me a “dummy” or threats of physical violence.  I remember every time he didn’t want to be bothered with me.  I also remember the recent beatings.  This all came to me as the pain ran through my body. 
I had to make decision at this moment.  Was I going to let this monster continue to strike me and perhaps turn on my younger brother?  Or Was I going to stand up to him? 
The pain was even worst.  Damn, the pain. 
This had to end one way or another. 
“Stop it!  Stop it!” I yelled. 
He struck me again.  And that was the final straw.  I leaped from my bed and on to him like a cat.  I started to punch him with my 12-year-old fists.  I really can’t remember where I punched him, but there were numerous. 
Sadly, this was a powerful and fully-grown man.  I wasn’t even a teen yet. 
My fruitless punches stopped. Because I felt a hard force come down on me.  I felt pain and a blackout.  He hit me a few times.  The blows were so hard that the strength just pushed me down to the floor.  These punched were far more powerful than the belt strikes. 
I am not sure what was worst, the physical pain or the mental pain of being beaten down.  I lay there on the floor crying. 
“James, are you okay?  I’m sorry.  Get up,” my father said.  His voice had softened at this point.  There was concern in his voice.  He had finally realized the severity of what he did. 
He touched my arm. 
I quickly shrugged his gesture of “goodwill” off.  “Get away from me.  Just get away,” I managed to say through the pain and tears. 
He quickly left my room, and I managed to crawl back into the bed.  I encased myself with my covers as if they were force shields.  The tears still flowed. 
I heard his footsteps throughout the house.  They were hurried footsteps.  A few minutes later, I heard twin latches to a suitcase open for a few moments and close.  I heard his voice. 
“I’m going away for a while.”
With that statement, I heard him run down the stairs and through the front door.  He started up his car, and I heard the sound of his car driving off. 
Even with the sharp pain to my head, there was a sense of relief.  The monster was gone. 
In the distance, I heard something.   Sniffling in the other room.  My brother was crying because he heard everything.  EVERYTHING.  I wanted to get out to the covers and console him, but I was too afraid to leave my bed.  
So, we lay there crying. 
With all the horrible things that happened that night, this was a major turning point in all of our lives.  In some ways, our lives turn out for the better. 
  I’ll get into what happened next time, but this has been really intense for me to write this.


Patrick in VA said...

James, thanks for sharing this. I will soon be a father and have been thinking about whether I should use physical punishment. I was just thinking today about how anger is something that is very difficult to control once you let it out. I was never physically abused, but I too had a not-so-great father (crack cocaine addict) and can relate to that. I also grew up as a quiet loner who ended up doing band. Keep up the good writing, I've been reading this blog for around six years now.

Semaj said...


Thank you for the kind words. I’m happy to see that I actually do have steady readers and six years is a nice milestone. And, I know what you went through with your father. I currently have a uncle that is a horrible drunk and drug user and refuses treatment. He’s in his mid-sixties and running around the worst part of the city drunk. He’s been beaten up numerous times and his SSI money being stolen. We know we’re going to get that call where we’re told he’s dead.

Yes, I am a loner probably due to some of the abuse I took in my childhood, so I feel ya.

Anyway, thanks again.

I will be finishing up with Part 3 around the weekend barring any problems.

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