My Raging Father

by Michelle Craig 3 years ago in parents

Growing Up With Abuse - Part 1 in a Series

My Raging Father

I grew up with an abusive father. You could tell time by his rage, coming home and yelling at us the moment the door opened. I was the baby, and the daughter, so was mostly left alone. He saved his anger, his fists and berating language for my mother and brother. You see, my father was raised by a mother who hated boys, and she had only one. So, he was abused and treated like nothing. He, in turn, did the same to his first wife and son, and then to my mother and brother. I can remember waking up to my father dragging my mom up the stairs by her hair, and then beating her in front of my bedroom door while I screamed at him to stop. The voice of a five year old screaming is mostly filled with gulps of fear and sobbing, so it was easy to ignore, I suppose. I ran out that night and grabbed him, pulling on his shirt with my small hands and yelling at him to stop, which he did - long enough to kick me with his size 12 cowboy boots on. The kick sent me flying back into my room, and he lost his grip on my mother long enough for her to run to me, to cradle me, and everything went quiet for a moment. All I cold hear from my father's breathing, and my mother's heartbeat. When he walked into my room, I ran to him to try and block him from attacking her again and he did stop, but not from my force. Who knows why. He turned an stormed out and I told my mother, "any time he is mad I am going to run and hug him and it will stop him from getting you." She hugged me and I flinched. We peeled back the elastic waistband of my pajama pants to find a perfect heel mark on my hip, now missing skin, from where he kicked me. That was the only time my father hit me, but I remember it like it was yesterday... when he kicked me I lifted into the air and flew backwards, like some slow motion scene from a movie. I felt the air leave my body, and the moment I hit the ground I was gasping for it, trying to will it back into my body like some fleeing soul. Before I could breathe again, my mother was there, gently coaxing it back in for me, with her arms and her tears and her love. She is the air I breathe. She is my savior and the hero of my, my brother, and her own life. My memories of my father, now dead 12 years, are filled with pain and hurt and lies. Of being left in cars while he went into pubs to drink with strange women, of me going into the bar and dragging him out, t drive me back home, stonking of beer and cigarettes and cheap perfume. Of hiding under my bed when he would rage at me for wanting the light on in the hallway so I would be safe from the other monsters, even though he was he scariest of them all. Of being his alibi, when he would take me out of school to "spend the day with me", only to lock me in the car so he could go up to some woman's apartment in the city to cheat on my mom. I remember all those moments with crystal clarity.. the rain falling on the roof of the car while I scrunched down on the floorboard to make myself small so no one would try to steal me. Fearing every footstep outside, and of anyone noticing me in there all alone. It was the 70's so it was okay to leave a small child in the car for hours, apparently. And that moment when he returned, barking at me to get in the seat and off the floor. My ex-husband, so like my father in every way, once asked me about a good memory of my Dad and I could not find one. Every okay moment was tainted with his rage, or lies, or abuse. The only good memories of childhood are swirled in the comfort and love of my mother. Her warmth, her lover, and the smell of Jovan Musk, the only perfume she has even worn. She is why I am able to love and have trust. My life with my father lasted nine years, before we escaped, and ran from him. Before we were safe and I suddenly knew what life was like in a house with no noise, no screaming, no tears, no abuse. But, nine years is a long time, when it's all you know. It makes a dent in your soul that you can never buff out. So, I am going to talk about it, write about it, and tell the tale of my mother and me, and how we both survived these men, and how I am still now fighting mine, seven years after leaving him. ...to be continued...

parents
Michelle Craig
Michelle Craig
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Michelle Craig

I am a Single Mum from the West Coast living in the South. My days are filled with laughter, tears, a great kid, & a rescue dog who might, or might not be, 87% goat. I write from the heart & take photos with my soul.

See all posts by Michelle Craig