I walk away. I don’t have an argument. She’s right. There isn’t anything I can say. I’m a mess, they’re a mess. Everything is a mess and I’m sliding down a slope with no clue how to stop or how to get off before I crash at the bottom.
Joanne answers the door. It is Froggy and I’m relieved.
“What are you going to do?” Maz asks. “Colin needs feeding, if anything.”
I shrug. I don’t have any answers.
“It’s just until tomorrow night,” I say. When Phil and I get the television. I don’t tell Maz that part, but I can anticipate her reaction and lecture.
“You can’t all last until tomorrow with nothing to eat.”
“You can ask your dad,” Joanne says. “He’ll lend you twenty quid if you ask him.”
I know he will. If I ask, he’ll do it. It’s about the only thing he does do for me. Course, I’ll pay for it one way or another and not just in handing him the cash back over. I dread the thought of it. The look in his eyes as I confirm I am nothing, like he has told me all my life.
“He’ll probably say no,” I say in a vain hope that they will believe there isn’t a point.
“He won’t,” says Maz. “Tell him it’s for the electric or some crap like that.”
I have a million answers why I don’t want to ask. Each one of them formed over years, yet I know none of my friends will understand. Each ‘yes, but’ will be rebuked with one of their own. I keep my thoughts to myself as I nod and agree to ask him.
Maz takes Colin with her and Mikey, Joanne goes too. Froggy and I walk along the promenade and I don’t really think about going to my father as we talk about nothing and everything. Froggy wanders off in his own direction a few blocks before I reach my father’s work place. It doesn’t take long to get there, but I feel the heaviness inside as I get to the entrance of the alley way where he works.
I hear his music as I get to the door. I walk through the first small garage to the part my father works in. The scent car filler, like antiseptic hits my nose. My father is working. Blue and white sparks fly and crackle around him like electricity, as he welds.
I wait. I know better than to interrupt him or talk until he has finished and I have permission.
He turns and nods at me, but doesn’t say anything. My illogical fear begins to eat away inside as I stand there.
“How much?” He asks.
“How do you know I want to borrow money?”
“That’s all you ever want,” he says to me. “Same as when you were a child.”
“I never asked for money.”
“No, but you always wanted something.”
I sigh. “It doesn’t matter,” I tell him and turn to leave, but he tells me to stop. He reaches into the top pocket of his overalls and pulls out a wad of notes. “Twenty enough?”
“I’ll add that to the bill.”
“Raising a child doesn’t come cheap you know. Ten grand I shelled out to raise you. Someone’s got to pay me back. “
I don’t have words. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised. He has never thought I was worth something in his life; just an object to use and throw away time and again. I wonder if he classed his abuse as a complimentary service.
I take the note from his hand and thank him.
“No one you could f**k to get this?” he asks. “Probably could have made more than twenty. Isn’t that how you always do everything? Course, when you were younger you were a nice little boy,” he says, and winks at me.
I feel my face flush with shame; it burns hot under my skin and through my cheeks. It clouds my vision to the point that the real world feels hazy. I don’t even know what to say. I want to hide. I want it to go away. I’m sorry for those things I did. I know they were my fault. I would take them back if I could.
I don’t say anything to my father. I just nod and leave. He doesn’t say anything to me either. On my way out, I grab a piece of discarded metal off his sheet cutter and take it with me. I don’t plan to do it. I can’t help it; what I feel inside has nowhere to go. No tears. No shouting. No target.
I put the metal against my skin. I stomp my feet hard on the pavement as I walk. Both forces equalling each other. I dig in with the jagged edge. Dig in deep and make it all go away with the welcome burn as my flesh splits open.
There was a time if I had heard a story like this I probably would have been a bit judgemental about someone self-harming. Thought something along the lines of them wanting attention or being a freak…This is why it is so wonderful that you have the courage to share your story with people. There are underlying reasons and issues that bring someone to the point of self-harming. It’s eye opening, as your story unfolds, the life long effects of the abuse you had endured. You are educating people and helping them to understand and see beyond physical into the emotional side of the behavior behind the action.
As always, thank you for sharing your story with us. I wish you peace and happiness everyday.
Its very true, self harm has such a stigma to it, granted there are people that self harm for the attention, I am not sure why. I hide that I do it. I harm in secret places where people dont see, even by accident. It puzzles me why people do it and then almost brag about it, for me, it feels shameful that I have this thing I do that feels insane, but in moments like in this story and other times in my life when it is all too much, its like pulling open a zipper and letting our a breath.
I can feel your anger….
Your father is such a disgusting person (judge much Joy?). lol! Ugh. I know why you cut. It’s because you have no other release for your anger, your upset, your anything . . . . That’s what happens when all your choices are taken away as a child and you are taught not to express emotions, to do what you are told no matter how abusive, and then also punished if you react or lash out at the pain or humiliation. xoxoxo
It’s funny how our parents have the ability to always make us feel like children. No matter our age.
And how much more worse that can be, when there are mistakes in our past that will haunt us forever. Ones that they will never let us forget. Ones that we can’t forget no matter how we try.
We all have them; and acceptable or not, we all have our own ways of dealing with them. For some of us, it necessary, in order to simply survive.
I am glad you survived. Glad that you have been able to push through all of the emotions that have held you prisoner for so long. That you had the courage to trust; to take that first step, that first keystroke to begin to tell your story…. and that you continue to do so. No matter what.
Lastly, I am so very glad that you are healing. Because above all else, THAT is what is important.
You are what is important.
~ Hugs ~
yes I to can feel your anger,but even more important I think I now understand the self harm factor,may be if you were made differently you would be harming others with your pent up anger.i really feel if I had lived in your shoes I to would self harm.you have brought your self up pretty well concidering all.take care and stay safe JD. ((HUGS)) xxxx
What I feel the most when I read this is the extreme sense of the sacrifice it took for you to go to your father; the one person who hurts you the most. I feel it in my heart how you put those boys ahead of your own feelings. And this at the cost of your mental and physical well being. There is honor in that and the desire you have to take care of Will and Colin, is admirable above everything else. I love these parts about you. 🙂