I realized years ago that my parents were not capable of apologizing for their behaviour. I have managed to keep a relationship with them but at my age, its more of a friendship than anything else. I see them as being capable everything and that keeps me on my toes. We were all brought up catholics but I felt like we should not even go to church. I did not see the need because it was no use, seeing the way were brought up. I just could not understand why I felt the way I did as a child and through my teenage years. Why so many relationships failed. Why so cold hearted towards other people. Why I could not keep friends or people near me. I would often lash out at anyone who tried to get close to my feelings and often it did not end well. I began to see a pattern of behaviour. This pattern had to change and it was up to me to do it. I had to face my parents and let them know what they did. They may not understand but it had to be done……
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I shared a room with my brother. We would pretend we were asleep when father would come into our room. We learned this because other times we were awake, he would either beat us for anything or talk bad about mom. We would hear the floor creaking and we would close our eyes. I would tell myself to just stay quiet and it will soon pass. He would come into the room and we would hear his feet shuffling. He would whisper our names and make noise to wake us up. We would lie still and eventually, he would leave. We knew we would have another gray night because he would go and bug my sisters too. They would be sympathetic to his behaviour. I was so scared of that drunken man that would creep into my room. I hoped that morning would come fast. The morning brought another clean slate, only to have a gray night again.
My dad was an alcoholic and wifebeater. A “machista” with very little room for love in his heart. He had his moments of clarity but were few and far between. My brother and I were not allowed show any kind of emotion towards each other or towards him. This was considered not “manly”. My dad would beat us if he observed us hugging or saying, “I love you” to each other, especially when he was drunk. I, as a young boy, still looked up to him because after all he was my dad. I did not know better, I was a child after all. The pain from the belt, the fear form seeing a violent drunk. This was all signs of aurthority. I look at this picture with me and my youngest son. I see a child that feels secure in the arms of his super heroe. Through my tears as I write this blog, I am glad I let my 2 boys express affection, compassion and speak to me about anything. I show them that a parents “love” doesn’t have to hurt.