(started June 2, 2020)
“Nancy!” My stepfather bellowed, “You have to do something about YOUR child! I will not have him whining and acting up in my house!!”
“It was our house first,” I wanted to scream from the safety of my bedroom. “You moved in,” I mouthed, defeated and withdrawing once again. It was better to stifle my anger, my pain, my sadness. It was safer to keep my mouth shut. When I spoke, I only enraged him, and he took it out verbally on my mother. At seven years old, I was the cause of all their fights.
I heard the change in my mother’s voice, the resignation, her sadness. I knew what was coming next. The slam of the front door, the squealing of tires, followed by a deathly silence for a couple of hours until he returned. I knew there was nothing I could do to care for my mother. She had already shut down.
It was different now.
She no longer needed me.
I squeezed my stuffed triceratops, hid under my blanket, believing if I had never been born, then my mother would be happy. He wouldn’t have anything to get mad about. He only lost his temper when I screwed up and when my mother rose to protect me; Mama Bear suppressed to silence.
Alone, scared, and craving to be held and nurtured, I cried myself, once again, to sleep.