While almost all of my childhood was happy and carefree, there were a couple of incidents I shared with an online friend earlier today that I would like to record here. My parents are now deceased and I miss them both dearly.
Mostly you don’t see what goes on behind closed doors.
I only remember one scene of violence between my parents and I don’t know how it started but my mother was always “passionate,” meaning I think she had overwhelming moods which I cannot categorize. I remember seeing her pull out a heavy wooden drawer from a dresser and scurry across the master bedroom as she charged my father with it like a battering ram. I did not see if she succeeded but I did hear my father shout out and soon after my mother was crying in the bathroom with a little blood dripping from her mouth and she was moving a newly loosened tooth. Mom was crying about how dad punched her in the mouth and then I was sent to the neighbor’s house to get help and I was to say that mom slipped and fell down some stairs. They didn’t know I had seen through a partially open door some of what happened. I lied to the neighbor who ran over and things settled down. That is the only violent scene I can remember between my parents.
More personal was a period of a couple weeks where my mother threatened to kill me. I mean she would be in a rage, red faced, vein dancing on the side of her neck, butcher knife held above her head, claiming that she was going to kill me in my sleep. I was nine years old. I feel calm about it now and I felt calm about it then. I remember looking at her in her rage and standing there with an attitude of being unimpressed. These threats would happen during the day. I had the entire upstairs and before going to bed I would casually set up traps made up of a web of rope attached to a bunch of toys so that if mom snuck up the stairs with her big knife she would walk into the web and a bunch of noisy toys would come cascading down on her. I figured the noise would wake me and also alert dad. Setting the trap was a fun project for me, like being all creative and like a spy. Somehow I knew she was not going to hurt or kill me, I just did.
So shit happens. To some degree I didn’t know I should have been scarred by that, I didn’t know I was supposed to be scared, I didn’t know I was supposed to tell anyone and ask for help. Instead I constructed an elaborate noisy trap.
That all sounds so cold. I have been hurt by things. I have been scared plenty of times. Maybe mom was pissed because she couldn’t get to me.