Reliving the Childhood Trauma that Space Allowed Me to Escape
I carry a lot of shame around with me. Not because I have done something shameful but rather because my life story is seemingly tainted by my somewhat tragic life experiences. I am currently on a journey to redefine myself outside the harrowing abuse I experienced as a child.
Growing up, my dad was perfect. And, no that is not an overstatement. As a little girl, my dad was my hero, the love of my life, and the man that could do no wrong. He woke up extra early to make my sister and me gourmet sandwiches for school, Saturdays were reserved for daddy-daughter dates around the city and on Sunday evenings he would wash and detangle our hair, braid it and top it off with silk ribbons ready for a grand entrance at school on Monday.
I hold on to the fond memories of my dad because without these he would be dead to me, as he is to my sister. You see, my dad was an amazing father but one day it all changed and as a little girl, I don’t think I saw the progression. One day he was perfect and the next day he turned into what could only be described as a monster.
I remember the day so vividly, my sister and I were sleeping in our room when we were woken by my mother’s deafening cries. We could also hear the thunderous claps that would precede the cries — the banging and the sound of items falling from my mother's body crashing into them. And more troubling was the fact that I could hear my father, hurling insults at my mother which confirmed that he was the one beating her.
I remember being so scared in my bed but unable to move. I remember wanting to help my mother but being overwhelmed by the emotion of realizing that my father was no longer the hero and protector I had always known him to be. Tears ran down my face and I quietly sobbed in my bed. I know my sister was awake too but at that moment we said nothing to each other. Perhaps at that moment, we both hoped that we were dreaming and the next day we would realize that it had been all a dream, but it wasn’t.
Unfortunately, the horrific night became the blueprint for the rest of the nights in our household. My once…