Sunday, September 21, 2014

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

First off, thank you to all the people reading my Father’s Day posts.  It seems they are garnering a lot of attention.  I just hope my story will help others that had similar incidents their troubled lives.  I will have an epilogue to this story in a few days summing up my thoughts and stances on these things. 
Anyway, let’s move on.
I really can’t remember when my mother arrived at home.  And, I don’t remember the travel to the ER.  However, I do remember sitting in the room in the hospital with my mother teary-eyed by my side as I sat on the bed.  Looking in her eyes, I knew that she blamed herself for being with this monster for so long.  But, she didn’t need to take blame for it.  We really didn’t have the information on abuse and the toll it takes on people. 
I felt my forehead and noted there was a giant bruise right in the middle.  I figured my father’s powerful fists caused that. 
The nurses and the doctor took care of me as the police showed up.  And, that was when I felt violated because they had to take pictures of my bruises and cuts.  Under normal conditions, I was never a guy that liked taking pictures, but it was even worst when I had a cop taking the pictures.
Then I had to relive the horrible experience again by recounting everything that happened just a mere hour ago.  I really understand why people are uneasy about pressing charges and making a statement.  We as violence survivors have to relive that awful thing again…where you second-guess your choices and feeling bad about yourself.
Retelling the story, I realized I was beaten and could have very well been killed by my father.  The police tried to give me comfort.
Nothing feels as worst than being a victim of something that intense.  Especially, when someone that was supposed to protect you and care for you does such a horrible act.   You tend to lose trust in anyone or anything.  You feel defeated and overwhelmed with sadness.  Getting your ass kicked by a family member completely changes everything in your life. 
I started to realize that our family unit was going to change…It HAD to change after that incident. 
I didn’t go back to school for at least a couple of days.  However, at home, my father was no longer there.  He didn’t live there anymore, and that was a relief, but also there was a large amount of confusion too.  Up to this point, we always had our father there.  Good or bad, he was there, now he wasn’t…because of me.  Because of what I did, he wasn’t there anymore. 
Because of the incident, rightfully my mother was going to divorce him.  This gave her the courage to leave this man that was truly no longer her husband or our father. 
Our full family, while not normal, was a traditional family structure.  That was gone.  And, I actually started to feel apprehensive about the future.  Dare I say I felt guilty about it?  Was the blame all on me?
Survivors should never ever feel this way.  You’re not the one that savagely beat someone down.  You survived and you made the choice to put an end to the domestic abuse. 
Going back to school, everything really didn’t matter anymore because my entire home structure had changed within a couple of days.  I really didn’t have any friends to talk to me to give me support, so everything was internal.  I was pretty much all-alone in this.  And, I was never going to get a girlfriend in middle school.  As I stated before, I was always depressed and this incident just made it worst, but I did have an outlet with the concert band stuff. 
The divorce was completed and my father was no longer a part of the household.  As time went by, we were all the better for it.  And, I am certain I would have committed suicide if he continued to live there.  I’m not saying everything was great, but things actually got better for all of us…with the exception of my father. 
I found out my father found a place to live somewhere in the West End of Louisville.  It was pretty far from our house.  He also paid child support and had visitation rights.  My father would come to visit from time to time.  The anger I felt grew every time I saw him, yet I was civil.  And, truth be told, I grew as person without him around.  The flaws I saw in him made me not want to repeat them. 
I was as nice as I could be to him.  For the most part, he was more low-key than before.  I guess losing his family and his house humbled him some.  Yet, the anger for him still grew.  I hated him every time he showed up.
After a while, the visits started to become less and less frequent.  He stopped paying child support, but my mother didn’t really take him to court over it.  She was aware things had gotten pretty bad for him.  He could barely take care of himself financially before the divorce.  Now, things were worst for him. 
We also heard rumors that he shacked up with some white woman that had a couple of kids.  Rumors where people saw them together.  I never asked, because I wanted nothing to do with him.  I had no idea if he worked at the prison or if he was still a parole officer.  I didn’t care anymore. 
Later, we discovered that he promptly left Louisville and went back to his home city of Memphis.  He moved back in with his elderly mother.  We only heard there was some kind of mental or financial breakdown and he couldn’t take it anymore.  Now, we just got a few random long distance phone calls.  
He had a major stroke and a few heart problems over the next 20 years that turned him into a shell of the opposing figure that loomed over my bed with that belt.  He was no longer the guy I feared when I didn’t do something he approved of.  He was just a regretful old man. 
I saw him a few years ago and it wasn’t pretty.  He lives in a shitty apartment by himself.   He can barely walk and is frail as can be.  Giving into my anger for him, I could kicked the living shit out of him and put him in the hospital.  But, I won’t because I am a better person than him.   

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