Thursday, November 12, 2015

Battling Demons WW

Mama Kat hosts this Writer's Workshop. Every week she hands down a list of five topics to choose from. I find it useful, because it's like someone else saying, 'Write about this thing', that I never would have considered.

This week I choose: Something you were punished for.

My biological mother was not a nice woman. It's been said that mental illness skips a generation. I've come to realize she had her own demons and it's probably where DQ gets hers.

My brother and I were her punching bags. She used to do cruel things to us for seemingly minor infractions. She withheld food for not doing chores. I won't even look at a bottle of Joy dishwashing liquid, because it was poured down my throat so many times. She once chained me to a pole outside in the middle of summer for an entire day for forgetting to give the dog water. I think you see my point. 

 When I was a small child, I used to love ravioli out of a can. I'm going to tell you a story to shed some light on why I won't touch the stuff now.

She was probably 6 years old. Her little brother was young enough to still be in a high chair. On this night, in the ghetto of God knows where, Kim, a single mother with two small children served ravioli for dinner. She was not obliged to eat this meal herself, so while her children ate, she left the kitchen.

The boy, still a toddler, was happy to play in the slop. For whatever reason he didn't feel like actually eating much of it. He did slide it around his tray and paint his face with the red sauce. 

The girl however, loved ravioli. She devoured the pasta and then used the fork to scrape the sauce to the sides of the plate and into her mouth. 

When Kim returned, she saw the girls plate and the boys tray and began to yell. She became enraged because she thought the little girl had given her brother more ravioli. 

The little girl tried to explain that she'd eaten all of hers. Kim shook her and called her a liar. She sighted the scrape marks on the girls plate as evidence that she'd pawned the ravioli onto her brother.

Again the little girl tried to explain that she'd scraped the sauce into her mouth but the mother didn't believe her. She sentenced the girl to a night in jail.

Down in the basement, she plead with Kim not to make her stay. She'd been told there were bats down there. The child was terrified, but there would be no commuting the punishment.

That little girl lay awake, on the the cold, hard, cement floor. Her eyes wide, scanning the dark for any sign of movement. She wondered why her mother hadn't believed her. She went over the events in her head, again and again. Until morning when she was released from her prison. 

You'll notice I used third-person narative to tell the story. I don't see myself as that little girl anymore. She was a victim of circumstance. Very early on in my adult life I realized that if I acted like the victim, the predators were still winning. It was a bull headed choice not to bow down to the past. Instead I choose to be stronger than what life dictated for me.

How does that set the tone for your morning coffee and blog reading? Not very happy. In fact, it's God damn depressing. Not to worry, there is a happy ending. I'm a well adjusted adult. I'm carefree and loving. I've seen some of the worse life has to offer and I came out the other side, in one piece. And when that little girl said to herself, 'I'll never treat my kids like this.' she meant every word of it. 

You can get in on the Writer's Workshop goodness too. Just visit Mama's Losin' It.


  1. You're a strong woman - I wish there were more people like you out there. You have every right to be a total mess after what you went through as a child, but you chose to put it behind you and LEAVE IT THERE! Your post inspired me, and I'm going to let go of the trivial stressors that were dragging me down yesterday and have a GREAT day today! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I often use those situations to lift myself up. If I could deal with that, I can deal with anything.

  2. It's not bull headed to choose to survive in spite of what life deals you. It's courageous.

    1. Thank you. It would be easy to embody the victim, and I wish more people realized it is a choice.

  3. I think this is both painful and beautiful -- you are such a strong woman and I am proud of you for writing this. I'm proud of you for choosing not to be a victim. I'm even more proud of you for choosing to break this cycle -- I'm sending so much love to you. Keep fighting and keep talking about this. People need to hear this. Childhood abuse needs to be brought to the light.

    1. I think it has been brought to light, though not eradicated yet. I feel like mine was the last generation where beating on your kids was normal. Thank God for that.

  4. I want to hug that little girl. That's no childhood to spend your days in fear of being punished or misunderstood and the punishments were so NOT okay. Were you ever able to forgive her? Did she ever ask for forgiveness?

  5. I don't know how those experiences would ever stop haunting your nightmares, but I hope that they have and that you find a peace that frees you from the past. Love that you no longer see yourself as the victim.


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