Monday, April 28, 2014

Starting Point

This is one of my first photographs, taken during a time when I didn't know better than to use my husband's copyright.
I found it fitting for Today's blog because I feel, much like my broken childhood,  I  could pick up any one of the rice pieces and find a starting point for the telling of my life.
I will however go back to the beginning as I remember it, with the very man who I have always felt was at the root of my dark childhood, my father. In my first post I mentioned my dad, the man I call dad was in fact my step father, in this post I am talking about my birth father.
I have only a few clear memories of my father during my younger years, they are vivid memories as seen and lived though a child's eyes. They are my memories and my story as I remember it. There may be those in my life that would challenge my story, but then perceptions differ per person and this is how I remember my early years of life.
One of my most vivid memories of my father is set in an old ran down trailer home located on a corner lot in Madill OK. I have no idea why he was mad, I have no idea what the fight was about or how it started, what I do know is it was dark outside, my older brother and I were playing in the front yard because we couldn't go inside the house. I know that I didn't hear most of it even though the door was open and my mother was laying in the door way with her bloody head hanging out onto the concrete steps.  She was begging us to stop the cop as he drove by. I didn't see the rest, I didn't hear the rest because rather than listen I spun in circles and sang as loud as I could. Maybe to block out the drunken rage, the fighting, and screaming and the abuse that for some reason didn't seem out of the ordinary to me. I saw the cop drive by, I did hear my mother begging us to stop him and I heard my father telling us to stay out of it. I don't know what made him stop, I don't know how my mother survived it, I don't know what took place after that moment that the cop drove past my brother and I as I spun in circles singing and ignoring my mother's plea for help. I was not yet old enough to attend school and I was not nearly old enough to defend myself or anyone from an angry, mean drunk man who had no respect for his wife or his children. All I know is that I was in that yard, in the dark, barefoot, spinning and singing some children's tune for a really long time, my brother was there but I have no idea if he stopped the cop or not. I know that I would catch glimpses of my mother's head dangling from the door and blood spilling out onto the steps, those moments when I would see her the world would slow down and I would see her for a really long time. I also know without a doubt that this was not the first nor the last beating my mother received from my father. I also know that as bad as it was she chose to stay, she was not strong enough to leave, that strength would come later when my father crossed lines that my mother could not ignore or accept. But on the night of this vivid memory, she was not strong enough to do more than beg him to stop and beg us to ask a cop for help.
At one time my oldest sister didn't speak to me for a long time because in my Yahoo  360 Blog I said that I grew up white trash. I love my sister and I know if she ever reads this blog she is very unlikely to understand my need to publically tell my own story, then again maybe she will. Either way this is my story and I need to tell it as I believe it to be.
Later I will talk about my dad, and the life I hade after he came into it, but for now just know that for all of my adult life when roots are discussed I always say my roots are in Arkansas at the end of a dirt road lined with the members of my dad's  family, this is partly true as my dad and his family helped shape the adult I became, but the truth is my roots run deep in pure bred white trash. Any time a man is willing to beat his wife, beat her until all she can do is lay in the floor bleeding and begging her small children for help, any time a man is willing to do this with his children watching, there are many names I could call him, but the truth is he is nothing more than white trash. I am his daughter and that means I am a product of white trash. It is a label that I was once ashamed of, a label that I hid from and later in my late 20's I used as a tool to force myself to be strong enough and to push myself to work hard enough to ensure that my children would never wear this label.  It helped me become strong, it gave me a reason to push myself, it is in my roots, I accept that, but I will never like it or allow it to be a part of my current life, or the life that my children live.