Friday, March 27, 2009


Anger is not something I am comfortable with. I have seen horrible things done in anger; I have been the target of unspeakable rage. The kind of rage where the eyes turn black, the lines on the face deepen, and veins on the forehead and temples are a road map of what is right around the corner. For me, rage seems to be a manifestation of a deep rooted anger; an anger that never stops and has no beginning or end.

My father was always just few degrees away from boiling. It took the smallest thing or sometimes nothing at all to send him into a rage that seemed to have no limits. Holes in walls, shattered bottles, smashed chairs, harmed pets, and broken spirits were left in his wake. He had his moments of screaming and yelling but the worst of it was when he raged silently. At his worst, there were no words spoken. Only silence accompanied his swift and unpredictable movements. I have seen many displays of anger in my lifetime but I have never seen another human rage in utter silence. Words, even if they are screamed in anger at least give you an inkling of what is coming, who the target is or even the eventual winding down of the angry person. With him there was only guessing and the hope that it would end.

My mother was always a second away from snapping. With her there was no warning. One second she could be smiling and the next could be attacking. She was unpredictable and ultimately unstable. One minute sewing along happily, the next stabbing scissors through a Check Spellinghand for daring to get too close to her work. One minute bathing her daughter, the next holding the flailing child underwater. She was a screamer. Shrill and blood-curdling were her two volume levels. It was pretty easy to gauge when she was winding down because she literally ran out of energy to continue. With her it was only a matter of wearing her out a quickly as possible; fight back and her fury would be worse but the duration was lessened.

I have great difficulty expressing my anger. The words do not come and in that silence, I fear I am half a shade from becoming my father. If I have no words, will I rage like he did? I feel the anger rising, my heart races and I am boiling inside but no words follow. I am mute and I can almost see my fists beginning to fly. I am him so I run away. I am not angry. I am fine.
pen, you name it, it's probably been a target. My husband has stopped asking why there are broken dishes in the trash. I snap and God, it feels good. My mother was so miserable in her life, it's no wonder she snapped so often. It's a rush and it is satisfying if only for a moment before you realize how childishly you have just behaved.

I will snap at the inanimate but if you ask me to direct my anger at those who hurt me, you can forget it. The words cease, silence ensues, and I am just as terrified as I was as a child ducking and dodging my father's rage. I am afraid I will never stop; my father never did and I am his daughter. I was raised by a monster and I have his DNA; I have her DNA too. There are so many times that I feel that I am relegated to nothing more than still silence and broken dishes... and it sucks.


What do you do when you love someone toxic?

Every time I speak with him, he poisons a little more of my soul. One step forward, two reeling stumbles back. I shouldn't love him. I shouldn't give him a second of my time or even a second thought. I shouldn't even speak to him.

But he calls and I answer.

Maybe today is the day he will tell me how sorry he is; how wrong he has been.

He tells me how sorry he is, just not in the way I wish. Thirty seconds, that is all I gave him. In thirty seconds he has reduced me to his whore, his obsession, his hole.

My head and my heart scream to hang up. I do and I go about my day pretending that I'm fine. In reality, I reek of shame and self-loathing. I am toxic and I fear the fumes will reveal who he has wished me to be.

I hate him. I hate what he did. I hate what he does. Yet, despite my hatred I am addicted to hope. Just one last time, one last chance. I will answer one last time. But deep inside I know what I have always known: he is never going to change. He is sick and he is toxic.

He does not love me. He loves to control me. He doesn't even love the idea of me. I have never even been "me" with him, only an object. From his mouth he spews words and phrases that should never be uttered aloud. Or to your own daughter.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I walked a strange path yesterday evening. I met face to face with childhood memories and as strange as it may sound, I found myself in them. In the past, I have always viewed such pain as happening to someone else, not me. It was easier that way. But last night the lines blurred and I began to see my face on that small child.

She was dirty, battered, bloodied, bruised and broken. She had no eyes because she did not want to see. She did not want to see the horror bearing down on us. Neither did I. But I have eyes and I saw last night. Pushed to the forefront, I had no choice but to see her pain. And feel. I saw him too.

He climbed on top of her and I could smell his musky smell. I stepped aside and began to walk away. I heard her call out for our mother and that stopped me dead in my tracks. She sounded just like my daughter when she calls for me. I went back and he saw me. He stopped; and as scared as I was, I saw more fear on his face than I felt on my own.

In an instant he was gone and I was left alone with that little girl. She was still dirty, battered, bloodied, bruised and broken. I looked at my own self and so was I. Shame overcame me as I found myself in such a vulnerable place. I have been humiliated so much in my life that I cling to what dignity I have so that I can present myself to the world as a perfect and put together person. But there I was, alone with her, and in the exact same state as her. I hurt where she hurt and I could feel what she was feeling. She felt shame like me. But in looking at her, I saw nothing about her that was shameful. She was innocent.

I picked her up and held her like I hold my own daughter after she has a bad dream. I took her and cleaned her up, gave her clothes to wear, and combed her matted hair. She smiled as she looked up at me and in her eyes that I could see now, was love. An overwhelming calm washed over me and for the first time in a long time, we rested. She was especially exhausted as she was the one laying in bed awake, night after night, waiting for him.

Today, I am still tired but it is a good kind of tired; the kind that you feel after exercising. After a hard workout you might be tired, drained and even a little sore. However, you know that your workout was healthy, will make you stronger, and even motivate you to press on. That is where I am today... tired and sore but motivated to press on and find another piece of myself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am making a concerted effort to look for the good in my life and embrace it rather than dreading when that good will come to an end. Pain has been such a staple in my life that sometimes I actually feel more comfortable in pain than I do in celebrating the good. I am much like the career prisoners who cannot thrive in society once they are released from prison so they quickly break the law so they can return to their home and their comfort zone which is behind bars. I seek the pain in my and live behind those bars because my comfort zone is surviving rather than thriving. If I can't find that pain then I self-destruct.

I remember when I was a new mother. I was terrified but bolstered by that fear so I set my mind to my and my daughter's survival. I did the same in my first marriage; I survived the abuse of my ex-husband and never looked further than just existing. I survived my childhood which was an accomplishment. I did thrive in some areas but that was simply how I coped and sought approval. I have never really looked past surviving and I am missing out on a lot.

I have good in my life and instead of being terrified of losing it, I am going to embrace it while I can. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter. Yes, loss will come but how much more painful will that loss be if I never enjoyed the time I had? And honestly, I am stealing from my family by simply surviving instead of giving all of myself to them.

Now, I know that I cannot ignore my past and the memories either but I am beginning to realize that facing those things will be a little easier if I have a buoy of good to hang on to when things get rough. There is more pain to come but there is even more good, I just have to look for it.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Sometimes you find love in unexpected places, people, and times. To say that I'm suffering from low self-esteem would be an understatement. I constantly find all the things that are wrong with me and use those liabilities to stack the walls even higher around me.

This afternoon, I was sitting at my desk at work making phone calls to new and prospective clients. This is a large part of my day; I make close to sixty of these phone calls a day. I mostly answer the common new account questions, explain how to transfer an account, or buy a stock. I knew I had gotten a hold of an interesting client when right off the bat he told me that he invested based upon how God told him to invest. That philosophy is far from the typical responses I get. When he said "God" I immediately felt my stomach lurch. I am a recovering Christian. I had God and religion used against me in the most twisted ways as a child and even an adult. On top of that, I have a serious beef with God and why He allows such suffering as child abuse, sickness, and all the other evil this world contains.

This 75 year old man proceeded to tell me, in the most compassionate and non-judgemental way, that God loves me so much... that He loves all of us so much and that all He wants is for us to love Him back and live our lives in such a way that reflects His love. He went on to tell me that my phone call to him was no accident and how glad he was that I called him so he could share with me what he felt I needed to hear. I tried hard to bristle and convince myself that the phone call was nothing more than me just doing my job. But the harder I tried, the bigger the lump in my throat grew. Now, I need to mention here that I do not cry and I will do anything and everything to avoid it.

So there I am, sitting in my office with tears in my eyes, thanking this man for taking the time to talk to me. It was a simple human gesture that he made, taking a chance that I might not care to hear what he had to say. What he shared with me is really what every person needs to hear at some point, and that is that they are loved. Now, I realize that not everyone is "religious" in this sense but I do know that we all have an innate desire to be loved. Today was my day to hear it from a complete stranger on behalf of a God who I frequently express my displeasure and disappointment in. I can't say that I fully feel "loved" by God... yet... but I can say that today I felt more loved than I have in awhile all because a complete stranger took the time and the risk to simply affirm me as a person despite my unknown flaws to him.