Cycle of Abuse: Family of Lies

 

Cycle of Abuse: the Matriarch/Part Two

harold 2

How odd, it seems to me, that the frigidly, Irish, sardonic, and catholic…persons, seem to die in the winter.  While their bodies can lay above the ground, in wonder…for what seems like years.

My unpleasant grandfather died in a month filled with snowstorms.  My grandmother paid homage to the Saints in similar weather.

Ground stiff, solid and uncaring.  Winds chaffing and abusive.  Oak trees from centuries pass…dotting the graveyard.  All that surrounds… had become gray.  No better word to describe it.  Gray!

I will say, discovering Irish names, among the filler in a Massachusetts’s catholic cemetery, is not an easy affair.

Along the holding lines of remorse and disarray: January and February, I felt a renewed need to find something.

My only certainty had been my Irish blood.  Thick and swollen as a, dark red liquid pulsing through a bottle of Jack.  Yukon Jack, that is.

Eventually, after my grandmother’s funeral,  family dispersed.  My brother and his wife took flight.  As they often do, when push comes to shove.  And, anger is no longer needed.

My sister?  Well, most likely she too moved on.  Moved on to her grandchildren, her daughter, her son.  Clinging, minus the Good Book, to all that a solemn mother should be.

My parents?  They walk about distilled in the dysfunction of daily tasks.  My daily tasks. .  Encouraging me to come inside and visit in between…shoveling, snow blowing, changing out light sockets, walking dogs, doing laundry, monitoring mother’s medications…etc.

I clung on to my lack of history until mid February.  Perhaps, such like other writers, or most likely, overwhelmed by the lack of daylight; I fail at finding anything gregarious to pen about…in the depths of a New Hampshire winter.  Still, I sat myself down, between almost daily visits to the parents.  Sat myself in front of needed research.

Needed research into the fine lines that held the prongs of my blood relations, upright.

Turning to ancestry.com.  It had been midnight, Marlboro Red blaring and soundless, I dug the depths of lies.

To my ‘not’ credit.  I have many degrees.  None of wish require much adding, subtraction, researching, digging and/or metallic depth.  I am not a scientist.  I am not a researcher.  I am blessed not wanting any further knowledge than 1 plus 1 equals…2.

Or, at least, the last I looked, that had been simple math.

However, when one delves into what is, what was, how long ago, names, dates, etc.; It is a handy trait.  Concentration, that is.

‘Round or about two in the morning.  I discovered a name!  My father’s mother was called, LuLu.  She was a full-fledged Cherokee Indian.

LuLu Bowley.  Lulu Rebel.  Lulu Rebel Hammond.  Lulu!

She passed in 1964.  I can only assume she died of the rumors spoken about behind clasped hands.  Gambling, drinking, infidelity, teaching school.

Bits and pieces of the Bowley past were just that.  Bits, segments, discarded notions handed down from angry relation to angry relation.  How much reigned true?  I never knew for certain.

I had been…set up in what is known in my home as the, game room (though there are no games.)  Set up I had been, with laptop in lap, burning cigarette in hand.  Set up!  Or, so I thought.  Living in the merry world of the unknown.

I gave up quickly on weeding through the death certificates, census data, phonebook information.  As I have already stated, concentration is not my strong suit.

Finding Lulu’s eulogy and obituary in the Portsmouth Herald seemed the easiest route.  Less digging, fewer files and photographs!  Right up my alley!

blood 2

I would like to think, my anger has lessened.  That over decades of reminders, I became a person with some depth…Hoping that the not so gentle up bringing of flippant, aggressive, discourse…would bleed out.  Well, not bleed out but seed, flower and eventually, become something more artistic.

My father beat us with leather belts, wire hair brushes, words, hands, punches, etc.  And, had he not been available.  Due to work constraints…my mother would abide.  Though, Janice had been a martyr.  She carried the torch when father was not available.

Growing up, not soundly, but with many horrific sounds, I had been referred to as…

You are just like your father!  Angry!

Daily fist fights with drunken and sober turns of fate, I  hope to have amassed what I believe to be the opposite.  I currently hide from outbursts, pointing of the finger and lastly, degradation of others for my betterment.  This has taken time.  Yet, I know that there is no great prize in having abused others.

I could linger for pages on the black sheep, spoiled brat, angry little girl, scenario.  I am not my father.  I know that in my heart of hearts.  However, that was not an easy road of self-reflection to travel.

As previously stated, my siblings are quite different from I.  Living in a world of conservatism, do as I say, not as I do, judge ye’ first, attitude.  It appears to work for them.  We are completely indifferent to each other.

I often wonder what life could have been like?  Had a much older half-brother and sister listened to themselves, other than elders lacking pride.

But that is another story…Perhaps, for another time.

Oddly enough.  Or, better said, not odd at all, reading of my clan at work on the pages of police logs.  I eventually found, at 3 in the morning…Lulu’s newspaper clipping.

No real information on her ‘true’ demise.  No delegation on her physical illness.  However…a few lines on Harold Bowley needing to be released from care to oblige the funeral processions in Kingston.

Aghast!  What more can one say?imageedit_62_9747238982

Again, in slow, sometimes, untrue, verbal releases from my mother.  I had been very uncertain of Harold’s whereabouts…before my birth.

Had he been in the Korean war?  Probably not

Had he been born along the northern coast of Massachusetts?  Close but not really!

Had he really been married before?

To a young child, terrified of this man with a worn, brown belt.  A daughter reminded daily of her father’s genes infiltrated hers!  Genes, crumpled and filled with hate.  To my toddler self, I could not fathom, this horrific, infrequently caring, man, married to anyone other than…Other than, my mother, a woman who seemed to fill his dented persona with her own depressions.

What I thought I knew?

Perhaps, he had been married before.  Perhaps, his first wife had been a harlot?  Perhaps, he had bred another child!  Perhaps, all had passed away in an automobile accident…along with the first wife’s lover!

Nothing could have prepared me for the anger unleashed in deluded ink.

Yet, there it sat.

Harold Bowley, local man stabs estranged wife…35 times!  That is a killing of love with hate.  That is the taking of someone’s life in such a way that there is meaning.  It was not a drive by shooting.  It had not been a robbery.  It had been an act of vulgar, closeness.

Actions so false.  Romance tied with a lack of emotion, a culvert for the fallen to hide.

This had been the man who raised me.  

cycle of abuse 1

However, only the beginning has come to life.

So much hung in the balance.  In a trance like state, finding it difficult to breath; I wept for the first time in many years.  Wept for my life.  How it had been so easily discarded with lies!

 

 

 

 

Cycle of Abuse: Chapter 1

I have thought long and hard…On how to begin this.

Should I talk about the Juncos that grace my deck?

The snowstorm that so much reminds me of my later teenage years?

How instinctively I understand those with mental health disabilities?

Photography?harold bowley

Poems?

Writing?

Or…

Should I stay on track grammatically?  For if you listened to my wife.  You would be led to believe I have no education…when it comes to the English language.  I am sure she spouts this dent in my armor… with joking gesture.

For that matter, I began a book on family history.  I had not be certain on how to title it or scan for punctuation error.  So, I asked, the best editor, I know (my wife) to find all the punctuation faults.

I began to write…Over a hundred pages long.  But I kept my blog…

randomwordbyruth.com,

active, while writing.

Staying up late.  Sleeping fitfully.  Something hindered my progress.

It had not been the threat of a lawsuit.  Or, the civil suit my sister would impose if I were to use her name.  Physical and mental and legal proceedings, I am almost certain, my brother would assert.  That is if I spoke a word…about family secrets.

I do not have much.  Thus, my sister can have what is considered ‘owned.’  If my brother wishes to begin his own form of threat…so be it.

Simply put, other memories came and went.  Bad thoughts.  Personal decisions…that could have and should have, been made differently?

No, none of the above servitude explanations, rang true.

I love having a love for nature.  The beauty it encompasses.  The life it breeds.  Four legged creatures who pay for their own…with their life or threat of harm.  Intrinsic beauty that is somehow remiss today.

With good fortune, I had been born in New Hampshire.  And, currently, I live in Central New Hampshire.  Thus, it is important for me to display not only the abuse.  But the innocence to which I found myself.  And, find myself.

I could only give this need for betterment and recourse.  As well as, art, creativity, clever manners in which to find entertainment…

I could only offer this upbringing to my parents.

Therefore,  I will be writing a journal.  Daily reflections.  Daily misdirection.  Profound bad judgments made in my adult life.  Along with flashbacks of: How abuse happens?  Where it starts?  Family ties?  Dysfunctional behavior!  Mental illness!  Most importantly, how to tuck blood secrets…aside!  Under the polyester fabric of a 1970’s pink blanket.  Underneath the leather belt, well-worn and loose fitting…by my father.

And…

the curled inward chronic frown of a mother!

This is a preface.  Or, I suppose a journal’s beginning.  You may find journal entries far from each other.  Weeks and weeks apart.  Often, I can find my talent for exposing the raw and red abrasion of hurt…lacking.

My father killed his first wife.  And, though I wish to not quote someone else, it was done, in…

Cold Blood.

My mother?  A major depressive with grand suicidal tendencies.  She held such low self-esteem to her marriage to my father…that it would be the second of two abusive (in every sense of the word) unions.

My father is still living.

My mother is dead.

Much against my need to right a wrong.  My brother’s name will be, Bud.  My sister’s name will be, Sylvia!

My sister has accused me of stealing from my parents.  Taking not only pride…but money, from my parents.  If they had or were financially, well off, I suppose that could hold some water.

In honesty, I had been a paid servant the last five plus years, of my mother’s life.  In retrospect…I have made many mistakes.  Infidelity, addiction, driving my adopted children while drunk and much, much more.

I made those mistakes.  And, in the simplest of gestures, I have moved on.  No saint will be found in the pages of my journal entries.  However, with the love of another…I sincere, honest, love, not known by many, I cannot convince myself of the wrongs…I’ve been accused.

There is no need for reward on my part; financially, romantically, physically.  After long drawn out thought.  I just believe it necessary to uncover the myth of family secrets, physical and domestic abuse.  Along with the need to bring mental health, mental illness out of the closet.

In ending, to grab the reader, or perhaps, more to let the pain loose.  I wish to unleash ache, as though, it were the one-eyed demon…it is.

I come with a fistful of facts.  Bad incidents.  And, a desecration of the real ‘family values‘ society should be concerned with.

 

Ancestry.com

I got to the wound.

Before, it came to me.

Bred to never heal, fully.

With a father of murderous rage.

A mother saddened by her own shadow.

And, participants willing to unleash blood upon a family page.

How long to decline insight into this doctrine of open fists?

How can I abstain from the insight into this…

such as those behind would wish?

With the trees shaken to their roots with…

murder, treachery, infidelity…

My sister’s tarnished halo.

My brother’s fictitious heroic shield.

a mocking playwright would ask,

‘How much more piety could one a bloodline conceal?’

And, myself, with a prosaic title of lapsed catholic.

Dressed in the black of a sheep.

Play the antagonist…I have been slated to be.

I offer forth… this mad secret that…is not mine to keep.

PortsmouthHeraldPortsmouthNewHampshire_1962_10_9_301625192

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born on an Overcast Day

Freedom…Just another word for nothing left to lose.

-J.Joplin

born on a cloudy day 5.jpg

 

As the season’s merge…

I cannot help but think of how it is with us.

The inherited panic and fear.

The constant need to disappear.

Just when a trail has been laid…

Just as time has been weighed…

Our over shadowed life becomes displayed.

And, with that knowledge,

we continue to bear the fruit.

An oath to a world of soiled roots.

It is an overcast day.

Guess, sometimes it has to be that way.

Civilized words for a shut book.

Theology has yet to devise a means in which to get you…

off the hook.

No matter how much I scour my mind…

with the salts of the earth…

The winds of change have not stopped.

They take comfort in the calm before the storm.

Yet, they are never completely gone.

And, so the story goes,

some hostages are held by fear and dread.

Others by a custom-made bed. 

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