Unfortunately, I have some brutal memories of my father. It would be impossible to include them all in a single blog post.
I know there are kids who’ve had it worse than me. At the same
time, when you’re living in an environment like I was, it’s your own little version
My dad was pretty free-wheeling with his slaps to the head.
He also had a fondness for throwing fake punches at your face. They would come
so close, that you could feel the breeze on your nose. I’m amazed that I don’t
have a permanent eye twitch. The fake punches were usually a prelude to a
beating, or at the very least, he was going to rough you up a bit. He would
steadily get madder, as he ranted and raved. I probably drove him to the brink
with some of the things I did, but he didn’t just lose his marbles when it made
sense. Most of the time, it was over diddle-squat.
There are many things I plan on taking responsibility for
throughout the lifetime of my blog, but in defense of myself, I’d like to say
that I had no guidance whatsoever. You weren’t allowed to ask why or question
anything. You couldn’t have an opinion. I’m just saying, it would have been nice to
have someone who you could turn to in a crisis, who would have been the voice
of reason and wisdom. In my opinion, a lot of the troubles I had were for that
reason. If I had a problem, I would try and work things out by myself and,
well, sometimes it didn’t work out so good. On the flip side, I was pretty
defiant. I just could not understand why I couldn’t have a life. I was going to
do what I was going to do, and although I was pretty scared of him, I got “seasoned”
to the abuse, and became somewhat tough.
My father had a little weapon that was attached to his body.
It was a stumpy index finger that was the result of an old work related
accident. He would poke you in the chest with that thing when he was trying to
get his point across, and it hurt.
Our house was a very tense place to be. Whenever my dad was lying
on the couch watching TV, having a nap or composing a letter to someone he was
pissed off at, God help you if you bumped into it. It’s kind of comical to look
back and remember that particular scene, as it was a regular occurrence and
just BEYOND ridiculous. The problem was, that the end of the couch jutted out
and infringed on the direct path leading to the bathroom and laundry room. Bumping
into that couch was a hard thing NOT to do.
The house was a split level, and there was a short set of
stairs leading down into the family room. As soon as you were down the stairs –
boom - there was the couch. You had to
veer left about a foot to miss it, and then immediately veer right so that you
didn’t run into the bookcase. That particular end was also the same one that my
dad’s head would be situated. You had to make a conscious effort not to clip the couch on your way by. He didn’t get physically abusive for such a
violation, but it was still pretty nerve wracking. If you bumped into it, his arm would reach out
to stop you in your tracks. The more times you bumped it, the more pissed off
If he was working on a letter, as opposed to napping, the
disruption would rob him of his concentration, and it was all your fault. You
needed to be super quiet, because even if you whispered, he could hear it. He
would lie on that couch for HOURS working on letters to people. Every word had
to be just perfect, so that the person on the receiving end knew EXACTLY who
they were talking to.
King Shit of Turd Island.
Yeah, he was a real peach.
I remember one time when my oldest daughter, Sunny, was
about a year old, my dad stopped by my place. He wanted me and the baby to go out for dinner
with him. Wasn’t that nice of him?
We arrived at the restaurant, got seated, and the waitress came
to our table to fill water glasses and take drink orders. When she was done, I
said, “Thank you.”
The waitress left the table. My dad looked at me with a grim
expression and stated, “You just embarrassed me.” In a hushed tone, and out of the corner of his mouth, he added, “I’m paying for dinner and I’m the one who should do the thanking."
I was a little thrown aback at such a weird statement, but
when you live like we did, weird is normal.
Okey dokey then. It’s
easier not to argue with the king.
The waitress came back with our drinks, and the word flew
out of my mouth again before I could stop it.
I did it again. I’m in trouble now.
My dad made eye contact
with the waitress, and nodded his pompous head at her to acknowledge the drinks.
He gave me an ominous look, and when she walked away, he told me, “Don’t do it
I won’t bore you with every detail from that night, but
let’s just suffice it to say that it was a stressful couple of hours. I could
NOT stop saying thank you to the waitress. I tried, I really did, but it just
kept popping out. It’s hard not to laugh at the absolute ridiculousness of it,
What an idiot.
There’s bad… and then there's worse
One time, when my dad wasn’t home, my mom decided to use his
work truck. I was probably about fifteen or sixteen years old. My boyfriend at
the time, Jerry, was over visiting, and he asked my mom for a ride home. He lived
in a neighboring town, about a fifteen minute drive away. My mom had her own
vehicle, but it wasn’t at home at the time. I don’t remember why it wasn’t
there. My dad’s work truck was in the driveway. It wasn’t brand new or anything.
It was just an older, grey Chevy pickup.
We left to take Jerry home, and on the way back, my mom had
a minor fender bender. There was barely any damage, but the accident was her
fault. I was terrified. I instantly knew that my dad was going to flip out. I
also knew that I was going to get blamed for it. I could tell that my mom was
worried too, but only about herself. It wouldn’t have mattered whose fault it
was anyways. My dad reacted the same way to everything - with anger and
When my dad got home, he walked right by the truck and into
the house, without noticing the damage. My mom fessed up right away, and he
immediately started losing his shit. He grabbed his magnifying glass (that’s
not true, I’m only being factious), stormed out to the truck and located a
couple of little scratches.
I ran to the dining room window to watch the scene unfold.
He was getting more and more worked up, with his arms waving all over the
place. He marched back and forth, around the perimeter of the truck, looking
for more damage.
You would have thought that old truck was etched in gold or
I took off from my spot at the dining room window and headed
for the family room, wishing I could make myself invisible. I sat on the couch
and picked up my address book. I was pretending to read, so that I could try
and stay off his radar. I heard them come into the house. Their voices got
louder as they came in the direction of the family room, where I was sitting.
He was ranting and raving, berating my mom about her audacity, in even thinking,
that she should use his truck in the first place.
The dreaded moment arrived. The one I knew was coming.
He turned on me and declared, “If she didn’t have to drive
your boyfriend home, then it wouldn’t
There it is.
Was I surprised?
You know the answer to
I made the mistake of letting out a noise that probably sounded
like a sigh, and I tossed my address book on the coffee table. The ugly look in
his eyes told me what was coming next. I was up off the couch in a heartbeat,
running for the bathroom. I could feel him closing in on me, and I barely had
time to slam the door and lock it. I’m surprised that I even made it.
Instantly, he was pounding on the door, demanding that I open
it. I wouldn’t.
Two punches - that’s all it took.
Two punches and his fist came through the door, into the
bathroom where I was standing, scared shitless. His big sausage fingers
unlocked the door.
Just thinking about the sight of that hand, unlocking that
door, makes me shudder. It was pretty shocking.
He dragged me out of the bathroom, and I was struggling to
get away. He had me in an almost crab
like position, with his arm underneath my back, and my head and legs were
hanging downward. As I continued to fight against him, he dropped me onto my
The next thing I knew, I was waking up and my parents were standing
over top of me with looks of concern on their faces. They were probably worried
that he’d killed me or given me brain damage. They were probably worried about
how that would affect their lives.
I always wondered what they would have done if he had ever accidentally
killed me. I bet they would have tried to cover it up, and I’ll bet
double that they would have succeeded.
Oh, and you really DO see stars when you wake up. That isn’t just
something you see in cartoons.
A Little Side Note –
I brought this incident up to my mother once…
“No, no, no,” she said, shaking her head emphatically, “When
you got knocked out, you and your dad were play fighting!”
*Big eye roll*
I beg to differ.