There are a sundry of reasons we ourselves from neglect. Pretend to face the violence but turn a deaf ear….Reasons and excuses, self proclaimed…about abuse and, therefore, life wasn’t that bad. That during the most prolific and cognitive years. Verbal, emotional and physical abuse appeared…but ‘things could have been worse.’
As a victim of child abuse, I often wanted to believe that my mother was loving. My father responsive and caring. That in the 70’s and 80’s when I played softball or sang in folk group…my friend’s parents were akin to my own.
That the love and comfort, other parents, provided in the split ranch homes up on the hill…rang true and similar to our little white house on South Main street.
As previously written my father’s incarceration at New Hampshire Hospital…held little recourse for him. That he (in many ways) lived, interacted and became one, with life, society…outside the fences of a psychiatric facility for the criminally insane. His psychologist, Mr. Hawkins, with little regard for the future, allowed my father to farm the land, sow the row, and make acquaintances…during weekend passes in Warner. Even though my father had just savagely killed his first wife.
Mr. Hawkins had been my father’s new best friend, and roommate. As well as, Mr. Hawkin’s family and his farmhouse being his only form of punishment. That a certain, Mrs. Elizabeth Tynan Bowley’s death; In some ways, seemed unimportant. Harold, in all his abusive, compulsive, violent ways, had been allowed to walk free.
Had this been the only untruth I had to discover on my own…age, 45? Had this been a good enough explanation for the beatings with a belt, the smack down with wire brushes and the constant threat of ‘there’s more where that came from…’ Perhaps, I could learn to let go. To forgive. To live in the bubble that my sister lives in.
However, Sybil is my half-sister, and her story is not mine. My story is not simple. Being the product of two severely challenged state hospital patients. Being conceived behind the walls of lobotomies, deep down in the tunnels of regret, down in the depths of the water treatment passages. Passages that many psych patients found and, used for one nightstands.
Being in the constant state of…not being. Harold and Janice, rendevousing with white coated workers politely looking the other way. Had this been the only deception…I could relent.
So, I had been born out-of-wedlock! Indeed, who really cares?
So, my parents needed a weekend pass from the hospital to wed. So, Harold and Janice, stole away one Saturday to Vermont…under the watchful eye of Mr. Hawkins, to make my up coming birth seem more or less…innocent. Innocent and free of sin.
But exemption on my part as an adult…had begun to turn to bitterness.
I could understand my mother’s wanting to pay homage to the catholic church. After all, not more than four years before, she had been studying to be a nun. And, though, their wedding was more shotgun and less bible…Janice could at least say, she was married at the moment of my conception. Which of course…is a complete fabrication!
Understand, forgive, forget….Come on.
Sitting in the dark, current day 2012, fuming over ancestry.com. Knowing the next day, I would return to the log cabin house in Canterbury. Return and care for aging parents. Return to the child I was decades before. Return and watch the abuse and the despondency. Knowing more…understanding less…
The long and sordid tale just kept rolling on.
My mother once told me of how frightened my father had been when I had been born.
You see…I had been deathly ill at birth. Born with many extra parts that were dysfunctional, I had emergency exploratory surgery, one month after being hatched. One month of ICU. One month of knocking on, in an infantile manner, heaven’s door. Many of my intestines were rebuked. Had been rescinded. Should have been returned to…sender. Bile clogged my veins and my blood.
Doctors in and out of desperation, and, quite ahead of their time, could make only one provocative decision. I received a nephrectomy! Born with 3 kidneys, 1 3/4 were silently…killing me. The little bile buggers were removed!
The scars, physically, remain with me to this day. From the sternum to the pubic area. But the story of an emotional Harold. Lingering over me. Not wanting me to die in his arms? All lies! He, in matter of fact, had not been released from New Hampshire Hospital. He, indeed, had been weaving in and out of psychosis. While I lay not three blocks away…dying!
Why lie? Why tell me that my strong parents accompanied my every procedure?
When, in truth…in 1967, my mother was out of the hospital trying to get her other two children out of a orphange. While my father was fulfilling his narcissism!
Born out-of-wedlock. Conceived on state hospital grounds. No parents around during near death experience!
What next? Nevermind the murderous rampage my father conducted on his first wife. Excusing the idea that I have a half-sister out there. Someone unfortunate enough to have my father’s blood. Excluding my mother’s numerous attempts at suicide. And, her willingness to offer her children into the hands of a violent man.
What next? Would my parents try to pull off the greatest trick of all? Would they rush my father through catholic class? Have his Baptist upbringing baptized in catholic waters? Would they really think that by having Harold converted to Catholicism and therefore, baptized, he could change! Rinsed of sin. Cleansed of murder! That being going through the motions in the eyes of ‘their God’…All lies, killings, abuse, would be absolved!
But of course! For that matter, I am my father’s godmother. My brother, Bud, is his godfather. And, all in the eyes of Jesus Christ Superstar…is forgiven!