“If winter calls should I answer?” mother had asked.
Her words such as peeled back bark.
Earthy and sublime, a slow pouring wine.
The volume of her sentences were never said…in moderation.
It is four in the morning and I am awoken to hanging on.
What ground had just been broken?
How many more sleepless black and white moments, sullen and justified, would this go on?
Ashen, Irish, ashes all that was left in the morning.
When memories woke up.
Anne had not known abuse, as of late.
That sort of uninsured… moodiness began thirty years ago.
The feel of the tired shag carpeting, as it lay beneath her side. The texture of the fake wood that held up her dresser. Had she known it was just a holding tank for pet fur; she would have vacuumed under it more often. As it was, she would need to make note of the chaotic, shedding that occurred under her bedroom furniture. She most definitely needs to take care of that issue, before, Gerald, witness the uncleanliness.
Remembering, now, at the ripe old age of, old age, Anne, knew fetal equaled, ‘misdeed’. Position equaled, leaving oneself open to suggestion. A suggestion that was not always wanted.
In the sun-room of the Needles Nursing Home, Anne often pondered,
‘What could it have been like for the children to see me like that? Curled in, closed off, sobbing but not allowing myself to cry. Hysterical but not willing to make it such a…nervous breakdown!
The abuse begin to turn a different sort of turn, approximately, three decades ago. When she promised herself, ‘I will know longer think of myself as, taken advantage of!’
That is when the cowering and the coward came into play. Though, still at the hand of her narcissistic husband, Anne began to behave differently.
No longer would she sit and judge, Gerald. No longer would she stand in the way of his ‘disciplining’ the children. Anne, slowly became an extension of Gerald’s long armed law. Neither a promoter or instigator. Nor, an encouragement or finger pointer.
The sun-room at this time of day, created beautiful crosses on the lavender walls. And, though the chapel, were down the hall. It was in this particular room of the aged home, Anne, felt less guilty.
It wasn’t easy being the midwife to hate. Being the eyes and ears of the Head of the House. Yet, when her role started to fall into place. Possibly in her later forties. It had been then that Anne accepted Gerald for all his faults. The kids seemed frightened but older and able to head out on their own, soon. And, worrying less about the abuse, made her full-time job, off sight, more enjoyable.
‘How did her son feel when Gerald threatened to kill him? Chasing him into the backyard with fist curled, and leather belt readied and willing.
What did her youngest daughter think when Gerald pushed Anne so hard into the stonewall surrounding the driveway? An impact so forceful she had a slight black and blue under her eye and swollen shoulder for about a week.
Why the giving up to give in?
The children had their issues. But, what further damage would she; Anne, have created, had she antagonized, Gerald, further with tears and reprimanding?
As the roll call for four o’clock supper echoed the nearly vacant halls, Anne began to rise. Aching from new old pains. Slightly miffed that her younger daughter had not called to inquire of Anne’s health status. In need of, morphine for the many debilitating illnesses that had nudged Anne’s doctor into placing her at the Home.
Anne gave up all current thought of the past. As she always did. Assuming that the past was just the past. Rehashing old wounds did no good. It was…
far easier on everyone to just forgive and forget.
B.W.S from the adult-child’s perspective:
- Many battered women stay in abusive relationships.
- Many making excuses or minimizing your partner’s behavior
- Many have low self-esteem
- Many are traditionalist, believing in family unity and feminine sex-role stereotypes
- Many accept responsibility for the batterer’s actions
- Many feel that rocking the boat will make the abuse worse
will not live long enough to enjoy Anne’s sun-room!
Death patted the worn leather couch.
Placed in frigid temperatures…the seat seemed to come from 1970…or there about.
He did not offer a love song.
Though in his icy stare…
it had been apparent to see the End wished for me to stay.
His movement so flawed, so free, like a cold sweat on a summer’s day.
If I could only pass Death by…
There would be no need to ask why.
Positioned knee to knee…
‘should I stay or should I go.’
With a chance glance to smoke from a January sky…
I turned back and Death had gone.
Leaving me with only lyrics to a love song.