Have you ever walked on eggshells? Ever woke up one day to find that everybody in the household was in a mood that spelled ‘trouble’ for you? For me, it wasn’t an overnight transition. No, I started seeing things when I was as young as four years old. It was right around the time that my father left, as a matter of fact.
It didn’t help that Harry was already 13 years old and could see everything happening before him on a level that I couldn’t yet understand. For instance, when Dad left, for me it was more, “When will he be coming home?” until, slowly, his existence hindered off and I stopped asking. For Harry, it was more like, “Dad’s gone because he doesn’t want us anymore and this life was too hard for him. Yeah, well nobody needs Dad. Fuck Dad.”
And to be honest with you, it showed. It showed in ways that my mother never understood. Harry didn’t like people walking out of his life anymore and he would do anything in his best interest to keep you around. He made sure that I knew I would never be walking out of his life. He left scars on me when he babysat me after school before Mom got home from work.
You learn not to say certain things when you grow up in an abusive household. When I was five, Mom came home from work one day, slammed her purse onto the counter, and curled up into a ball on the kitchen floor. When I materialized in the archway to the kitchen, she spotted me instantly and burst out in tears.
Heavy, sobbing tears that I typically didn’t see of my mother. At five, I wasn’t sure how to handle these emotions and what questions to ask. My mother was a quiet type who wanted us to always be on our best behavior as well. She was prone to migraines and liked the peace.
“No,” I said in my questioning five-year-old voice, waiting for her to tell me more.