I have tried to remove triggers from my life as much as I can. But today….I saw a post by secretangel.
A picture of a little girl with a black eye was posted. I was seeing myself…so many years ago.
I was six years old the first time my mama gave me a black eye. I remember running away from her and hiding under the stairs. The sheer terror I felt when I saw her walking by is as vivid today as it was back then.
I had just started school and when the teacher saw my face, she asked me what happened. I protected mama by telling her that my older sister had hit me in the eye with a baseball.
My mamas’ hand print was clearly visible on the side of my face. Every one of her long fingers left a bruise. The teacher just looked at me and walked away. She didn’t do a fucking thing.
When I was older, mama threw a cup of scalding hot chocolate on my leg. The skin on my thigh was burned off. When I went to school, my science teacher noticed me fiddling with my skirt. My slip was sticking to the burn. She took me to the office and put some salve on it. She never asked me what happened. She just bandaged me up and she never did a fucking thing.
In high school, my teachers and the other children could see the bruises and bloody cuts on my legs, left by the buckle of a belt. They could see the blood on my back, coming through my blouse from the cuts left by that same belt buckle. The other children made fun of me. They stayed away from me. None of them ever did a fucking thing.
The neighbors could hear my screams. They could see me running out of the house and mama catching my by the hair and beating me…right in front of them. They never did a fucking thing.
This will always be a trigger for me. On the rare occasions when I actually leave the house, I notice little children who are about six years old. I look at their little faces and picture black eyes.
I used to wonder how mama could hit me so hard and so many times. I used to wonder how she could look at me and not feel like a monster. How could she not feel sorry? How could she not feel ashamed?
I used to wonder what I could have possibly done to mama to make her that mad. Of course, I know now what I did but I didn’t know then.
I was talking to my oldest sister about it one time. She remembered it. I asked her if she could imagine anything her son could do that would make her hit him so hard that she blacked his eye.
She said “you didn’t get anything you didn’t deserve.” Then, she said “and then you went to school and told the teacher that I did it.” When I asked her if that was really the point, she said “like I said. You got what you deserved.” The whole concept was lost on her.
I remember when every one of my children turned six years old. I looked at their precious little faces and tried to imagine how I could possibly stand it if they were looking up at me through eyes that I had blackened.
I know things are different now. You can’t even scold your child without a visit from the police or child protective services. Children are still abused but at least there is a concerted and public effort to end that abuse.
It just came too late for me.
I can’t help but wonder how different my life would be if I had been loved and cherished by my mama and daddy and sisters or if somebody had removed me and put me with somebody who would have loved me.
Who knows what I could have been? Who knows what I could have done? Maybe I could have been the first neurosurgeon in my hometown, like I always dreamed of being.
Maybe I could have not only heard…but actually been able to say those three words that I came to despise. Maybe I wouldn’t carry the sting of mama asking “what in this round world have you ever done to make anybody love you?”
Maybe I wouldn’t have ended up with a man who made me feel the same way my mama made me feel…like I was less than nothing.