Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hell Fire

I am eight years old.  My stepfather is blowing cigarette smoke into my face from his seat across from me.  He is furious with me for meekly telling him that his smoking in the car makes me sick.  I asked if maybe he could roll the windows down.  But he makes the rules, he knows what is best for me and my brother, and he will not be spoken to as though he is filth. 

If I blink, he will smoke another.  He has already smoked most of his pack.  My eyes burn and tear up and then become dry.  I will myself not to, but I blink every time- especially when he leans closer to my face and blows hard. 

He thinks I am weak.  Now he has smoked most of his cigarettes and it is my fault that they are dwindling.  I will have to do extra chores to pay him back.  I feel sick to my stomach.  I am going to throw up.  I lurch toward the bathroom only to meet his iron hand with my chest.  I fly back into my chair as vomit fills my mouth and throat as I try to swallow and begins to dribble from the corners of my frown.  Another wave takes me and I explode.  Now, more than the overwhelming discomfort of choking and sputtering, I am terrified.  Messes are simply not tolerated. 

For a long time, the room is a smoggy illusion.  Time has slowed.  I dare not move.  He is inspecting me.  He is quiet in the way that I know is unpredictable.  He might be bored, he might leave.  He might be thinking of a way to make me work off the mess I have made.

He is at the end of his cigarette- the foul culprit for which I  have had to answer.  He reaches for the ashtray.  I am unprepared as his reach goes beyond the heap of butts and plants the scorching stick into my foot.  At first it doesn't register as a sensation that I recognize and then it is the sting of some preposterous hell-spider.  The smell of flesh reaches my nose and overpowers the stench in the room.  I am loud in my lament, but we both know that no one can hear.   He has given the cigarette one last twist to extinguish it completely.  He pockets the last of his pack, takes his ashtray and begins to leave, but not before telling me to clean every spot of my own sickness, unless I want my other foot to match.

Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, PTSD, Anxiety, Self-harm, Cutting, Depression, Survivor, Survivor of childhood abuse, Postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, OCD, Recovered memories, Repressed memories, Spousification, Stockholm Syndrome, Suicide, Teen Suicide, bullying, drug abuse, incest, memoir, Attachment Disorder, reactive Attachment Disorder, Physical Abuse

1 comment:

  1. Oh my ever living God! This entry is an extraordinarily compelling piece of writing. (They all are, but this one especially so)