Wednesday, January 11, 2012


A little cut.  A little blood.  A little relief.  A screaming proof of the injured.

Burn the pads of fingertips with a graze of heat.  They lose the painful sensation of memory's touch. 

Touch reality and get burned.  Burn with a hot whisper and reality loses touch.

The swirls of unique prints become smooth.  Aptly numb to feel invisible with no identifying touch. 

A burnt sheen of skin just glossed enough as proof you are alive.

It doesn't last forever.  But long enough to freely move until the psychic pain resolves.  The subtle trick of the injured.

Thin lines of red promise a story beneath the scab.

Numb swirls go unnoticed because some stories should not be told.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


After Christmas we went to visit family.  My fathers two sisters and their families.

I agonized over going or not going.  I've lost so much of my family so I get a little weird about what I have left.  As the time got closer I really began to worry.  I didn't make the final decision until the morning we were due to leave.

I didn't spend a lot of time with them growing up.  The majority of holidays were spent with my mothers family.  I have fond memories of his sister just a few years younger than him.  She married a very nice man and they had two daughters.  I always watched in amazement at how they were with their dad.  They weren't scared of him and he was nice, but not too nice, to them.  And then their mom; she hugged them, spoke kindly to them, and it was obvious that she loved them.  I remember secretly wishing that they could be my parents.

His youngest sister; not so many good memories.  She, my father and I all look alike.  I have always despised looking like him and I'm pretty sure she hates it too.  She has always been a little on the crazy side.  But I also know and understand what is wrong with her. 


We stayed with the oldest sister and stayed up late talking each night.  A lot of the conversations were nice but there were others that left me with the wind knocked out of me.  Her husband went to high school with my father and said that he was the meanest person he has ever known.  Because of that, combined with my mother, he didn't think I had a chance in hell to turn out even halfway OK.  Given that, they weren't surprised about my sister.

My aunt began the first night with an apology because they knew that things were going on but didn't say much or do anything about it. 

I told her that it was fine.  It's really not but what good does it do to cause her more distress over something that cannot be changed?

My uncle talked about walking in on my father with me.  He wasn't sure exactly what he saw but my father quickly told him that he was putting me to bed.  My uncle wondered how that was since I had been put to bed three hours before.  He never said anything.

My aunt told us about one conversation with my father.  She was concerned with how rough he was with my sister and me.  She made the observation that it looked like he was trying to raise little soldiers.  Robots would have been more accurate.  He got mad and they didn't see us again for three or four years.

There were other things too... my bruises, scars, behavior, strange fears, and just odd behavior in general.  I was not a typical kid.

I was also told how my father was sent to live with their grandparents because he kept hurting his sisters and their family pets.  He was sick from very early on.

I had little interaction with his other sister and that is probably best.  She's nice enough but she is also drunk most of the time and hasn't been the best of mothers to her own children.  She is on her third marriage after marrying two abusive creeps.

On one of the nights, her daughter approached me because she needed to ask some questions.  She told me some horrible things that her mother said to her about not wanting her when she was pregnant.  It all sounded very familiar but all I could tell her was that I was very sorry. 

Then she asked about her biological father.  She wanted to know if I remembered him messing with me or my sister.  The short answer was yes.  The longer answer was that my father found out and almost killed him.  And not for the right reasons either. We didn't see them for awhile and I never saw that uncle again.  He eventually terminated his rights to my cousin and her older brother.

She told me that her biological father abused her and that she was in counseling.  She said that she was making progress but she needed to hear it from someone else that he really was a monster.  Her mother has never been supportive of her and always dismissed it as she was imagining things, making things up, or just crazy.  That also sounded very familiar.

I also understood her need to hear the confirmation from something other than her own memory.  I have always held on to that tiny bit of denial that I was just crazy or imagined it happening.  I received that same confirmation on this trip.

Does it make me feel better? 

Not really.

I've lost the security I had in my tiny piece of denial.  In the past when I have really felt bad, I would make myself feel better by using that denial.  Now I don't have that safety net and that is frightening.  I am also forced to accept what happened and who they really were.

And then there is the obvious reason that none of this made me feel better. 

If they knew that things were going on. 

Witnessed things with their own eyes and ears. 

Knew what he was capable of. 

Knew that my mother was crazy too. 

Why the fuck didn't they do anything?!?

I get that they were scared and maybe even intimidated but shit, they have two daughters of their own.  Wouldn't they want someone to speak up if something had been happening to their girls??

It's always nice to reconnect with family over the holidays.  Especially the part when they tell you they knew that their brother, your father, was fucking you all along.

Fuck them.

Monday, January 9, 2012


My mothers sister killed herself in November.  I spent part of my Thanksgiving week traveling to view and claim her body.  Of all the horror I have witnessed; this was one of my more disturbing moments.  I went in alone and I still wish that I had not.

She is number three.  My sister.  My mother.  And now her.  They are a group of three while I am on the outside looking in.

I wish people would leave my life without forcing themselves, by their own hands, through that narrow tunnel of death.  Forced is never easy.  For the person dying or the one left behind.

I try not to imagine what their final moments might have been like.  I walk that fine edge of looking but then ripping my eyes away.  I want to know but at the final moment I turn away because I am not a part of their sacred group. 

I wander into another kind of group that is supposed to support people like myself.  Those left behind to answer all the questions that never have an answer.

There are six of us.  A group of six with little in common except a forcible death in our lives.

Completed suicide.  That's the phrase they use when introducing their loved one. 

When I think of the word completed, I think in terms of... completed 1st grade... completed a project... completed a task. 

Completing death?  Creepy.  And a nice way of dressing up the fact that there are some people who off themselves because things suck really bad for them.

The circle stops at my chair I say my name and rattle off my group of three.  The leader repeats back my group of three and it suddenly sounds so much worse.

The circle begins again as each describes how their loved one completed suicide.  There's that word again.

In graphic detail... three gunshots, a hanging and an overdose.  Blood... eyeballs bulging... vomit... brains and walls.  If completed didn't sound strange before it has certainly become the fucking understatement of the evening now.

The circle stops at me again and I stare.  I finally just say no thank you and the circle keeps on rolling down  the steep descent.

Now it's time for the grief and feelings.  The other five members have all lost their children.  I'm the only one who has lost a parent, sibling, and an aunt.  I tell myself that doesn't matter.  Grief is grief.  Feelings are feelings.

But as I listen to the parents grieve their children I am stunned as I hear their words.

... anything to take their place...

... I would have taken their pain...

... miss them so much...

I hear their words but hear my mother's louder as she wished aloud that it was me instead of my sister lying in that hospital bed.  And once again speaking her wishes once my sister passed away.  Quite the contrast.

I break out in a cold sweat.  I shiver as my stomach lurches.  My head is screaming as the voices gain momentum.  I try to gather a few feelings to speak but they are drowned out by the frantic pitch my mind is at.

It's once again my turn to share.  My heart is pounding and the room is spinning.  I know what comes next.  I grab my keys and excuse myself.  I get sick in the parking lot and then I drive away.  My head hasn't stopped screaming yet.

I completed my first attempt at a support group and that was the only time that evening that word was used correctly.


I see him coming and there is no place for me to go.  The one way out is the way that he will walk in. 

I can smell him twenty feet away. 

Through glass. 

Through a door.

The room begins to spin and collapse around me.  I tell myself that it's not him; that would be impossible.  My mind.  My nose.  My body.  They all betray me.

He walks through my door.  I offer a simple handshake.  I hope that a brief touch will flood my shattered mind with the calm of reality. 

That's not him.  He means no harm.  And then my reassurance turns into frenzied questions.

A handshake turns into a hug.  Too much contact as his cologne seeps into my every sense.  Glass shatters as my mind spins in sync with the room.

A painful haze fills the room.  My vision narrows into a tiny point.  A push.  And then a shove.  Obscenities spewed propel me backwards as a corner of the room folds me in as protection.

My back slides down the wall as I crouch to hide my face.  The two walls meet and wrap their arms around me.   I rock as I listen for the silence.  The calm.

But instead as the haze lifts I hear the racking sobs of a wounded someone. 

Tears like razors spill into my protective hands.  They cut my hands as each one drops.  I shake and pound my head into the walls. 

Those sobs are mine and I can hardly breathe.  I squeeze my eyes so tight to stop the tears.  They subside but I do not open them afraid that the monster is still there.

A voice calls my name. 

Another warns not to touch me.

One eye opens.  And then the other.  I shiver as I see the worried faces.

No shards of glass.  No wounded hands.  His smell still lingers but he is gone.  The shrinking room has expanded to an endless space of shame. 

Another hand offers me a way out of my corner.  I brush away my tears but my face burns hot with shame. 

It has finally happened.  My past has found a way to intersect with my public life.