That empty-headed smell lingers in the house chanting his name as it swims through the chilling breeze.
His name spits out of mouths and into my ears.
That name I see scattered, thrown and hissed upon the walls, paired sweetly with
“STOP IT.” “Please...” “Get out!”
This is normal. Normal used to categorise things in a way that makes it okay. Normal. Normal was this behaviour, normal was the yelling; the shoving; the cursing; and the hurting.
It’s until tears drip down an outsider’s face making me reevaluate what's happening “It’s abuse...?”
“But it’s not too physical.”
“This is normal…?”
The smells of tears, sweat, blood and bruises stain the air. An atmosphere of splitting hatred consuming all oxygen, without a saviour to free us from the suffocation.
This pain, this confusion.
“Father won’t pick up.”
“He’s not answering.”
“Of course he doesn’t F***ING answer when we need him!”
“His Stupid F***ING mind games!”
My Father. Divorced. Kicked out. Manipulative. Abusive, aggressive, influential, two-faced. Lifetime mid-life crisis. Cheater. My unreliable father
My Eldest brother. Victim. Broken, unprotected, pain. Confused. Drug and alcohol induced outlets. Abusive, aggressive, influential, two-faced. My damaged eldest brother.
My Mother. Divorced. Victim. Trapped, broken, unprotected. Strong for her kids; but too weak to protect herself. Peacemaker. Pain. Cries herself to a restless sleep. My guardian mother.
My Family. My unreliable father, my damaged eldest brother. My guardian mother, my reserved middle-born brother. And I, the mask bearing daughter. Torn apart by the seems of love, torture, opinions and hope. My deteriorated family.
Protection. Where’s our protection? No where.
No police could help. No protection order kept him away. No court. No legal binding documents.
He will always come back and you can see it in our eyes. Keeping a smile when that name is said, keeping strong faced through school, fearing to end up like father and one son. Keeping all right grades, one less thing for mother to worry about.
Tears to be forced back at any time when answering “How are you?”.
“I’m okay. I’m .. okay… I-I’m O-ok-okay…”
I have to keep smiling to the Lord knowing it’s all for something, knowing it’s all part of His plan for us. Knowing He saved us, He’s our father to the fatherless, the only one I need spiritually, emotionally and whole-heartedly. But sometimes that’s not enough Lord.
I’m sorry I don’t appreciate Your fruitful love God.
I’m sorry I didn’t fix it fast enough.
I’m sorry I couldn’t protect her, God.
I’m sorry I let it get this bad for mother and my middle brother, Lord.
I’m sorry my grades weren’t ever good enough.
I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to carry it on my shoulders, Lord
I’m sorry. I’m.. S-sorry.
Spewing up all these memories, these tears tainting fears.
I am asked again and again. Day in and day out.
“How are they?, Your father and oldest brother?”
Answering with a secretive truth, swallowing the lump in my throat, as that distinctive smell leaves my sight, that distinctive name finishes burning my ears.
“I don’t know where they are…?” Lies.
“They moved out.” Lies.
“They don’t keep in contact” Lies.
“We are doing well… THANKS for asking”
If only you knew the secrets behind the eyes; the lies.