I was five years old. I experienced something that no child should ever see or hear. And here I am 38 years later and I must admit that I’m still messed up. Why…everything that I’ve been through, lived, experienced since that moment has shaped me into who or what I am today.
I have vague thoughts about her. I remember she used to smoke Moore cigarettes, those skinny brown ones. I also remember that she was afraid of snakes, worms or anything that resembled them. The night it happened I remember she had mopped the kitchen floor, and one of those strings from the mop came off and was under the table. Boy, did she freak out.
We came home that night from a friend’s apartment. I don’t remember who they were but they lived a few apartments down. When we got home HE was lying on the couch watching TV. I vaguely remember my mother turning on some music and from what I can remember that was the beginning of the end of my life. They started arguing and the fight began. HE started beating my mother so bad. I remember running in the bedroom and hiding in the closet. It was one of those closets that have the slats in the door to where you can see out. I remember seeing my mom run into the bedroom, trying to get to the phone. HE grabbed the phone and continued to hit her with it. Either she got the call through or someone called 911 because they came. They took me to the hospital with her and the next day she was gone.
For years I struggled with the notion…why didn’t I do something??? Why didn’t I stop him? Yeah, looking back as a man, through the eyes of a child I just couldn’t shake it…why…why….why!!!!
I guess you can say that was the end of my life. All of the normal things that a child is supposed to know and experience seemed foreign to me, they didn’t happen. No memories of a proud mother on graduation from 1st grade. No memories of bring home those ugly pictures to post on the refrigerator. No memories of being loved…no memories of being loved….no memories of being loved. I do remember my father not wanting me to stay with him and his NEW family. Yeah, I remember him and his new wife or lady or whoever she was arguing about me staying there. REALLY…a five year old kid had just witness one of most horrible things one can imagine and now his own dad doesn’t want him because his new lady didn’t want me around.
I do have some other memories before my mom died. I remember one morning she wouldn’t wake up. After calling her name so many times and shaking her I remember pouring some water on her. Yeah, she beat me. I remember getting out of the house one day because mom wasn’t there. I went outside and down the street to a friends house. Needless to say, Child Protective Services were called and I ended up in a foster home for a while until mom could get me back. I don’t remember how long it was. What I do remember about that is that I hate beets. The people I was with made me eat beets…you know the red kind. To this day I can’t stand beets. I also remember being attacked by a doberman pincher. I remember getting to close to one of those floor heaters after I got out of the bathtub and burning my little pecker. And finally, I remember lovin to watch Popey the Sailor and Hogan’s Heroes. Now that’s funny huh..a child and Hogan’s Heroes. Oh wait, I also remember going down to the school for free lunch…and doing deadman drops on the monkey bars. A deadman drop is when you hang upside down by your legs on the pull up bars and swing and then release and jump off. That’s it……that’s all the memories I have of my mom and my life living in Oakland California until that night.
And then the crappy life is poured on….