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.