‘At least I have one good parent…’
I’ve been telling myself this from the time I realized I never had a father.
Funny thing is,
my parents were [and still are] married.
We lived in the same house.
We did these superficial little things together.
But, …if we’re being honest,
were we genuinely a family?
My father was always absent—
drifting off into the recesses of his own mind,
ruminating on his self-serving need for the gratitude of others,
fixated on this mindless drive to be a caring, devout nurse, loved by every patient and coworker alike,
focused on his sole purpose in life of spreading love to the entirety of world,
…excluding his family.
So, what were we to him?
A wife: secondary income-earner and sexual object.
A daughter: the only thing he created to pass on his genes and continue his “legacy”.
A step-daughter: the seven-year-old came with the wife from the previous marriage.
not a whole lot.
it felt like nothing.
as of February 2016,
a changed man;
a recovering drug addict.
He has a disease,
and just like that…,
it’s as if the last 25 years,
of which 22 I existed,
no longer mattered.
You forgave him quickly.
I am so.
But in you?
More than you can ever imagine.
You were our rock growing up.
You were forced to raise a child, a teenager…
and a husband.
You worked the overtime.
You paid the bills.
You found the money to pay for Christmas,
when there was no money to be found.
You took the brunt of the physical abuse,
for both Sisi and I.
Even if you were so angry because you couldn’t save us from the emotional,
the verbal abuse,
you did everything you could.
You even grew a pair with age;
you’re no longer that meek, doe-eyed woman I called “Mommy” as a kid.
But you can see drug abuse,
unlike an unbalanced brain chemistry,
and because he’s a “changed man”,
your marriage is “better than ever.”
10/02/1993 to Present
“He’s just like you—he has a disease.”
You beg me to open my eyes,
to magically forgive a lifetime of abuse—
my own, your own, Sisi’s…,
all of which I had witnessed first-hand.
“But you can see his,
because you can see drug abuse.”
The acid splatters across your skin;
my words—impulsive, resentful—are corrosive.
Don’t you dare compare me to him.
“You can’t see excess dopamine.”
The flesh on your arms begins to melt away.
The words erode further inward,
exposing more and more of you as I go on.
“You can’t see disordered patterns of thought… maladaptive schemas!”
I read the question in your expression,
can see it in your eyes.
The rage condenses in my chest,
forms a black hole.
It consumes everything,
beginning with me.
“You know what?!”
I’d explained it god-knows-how-many-times.
you hadn’t listened to a goddamn thing.
“Fucking forget it!”
Shaking my head,
I walk away.
What happened to you?
What else did he do to you?
You were ready to finally leave;
for once, ready to think of,
You were ready to do what’s best for yourself
Who are you?
Please tell me.
At least then,
I’ll know who I’m talking to,
because I’m sure as hell not talking to Audre Annette.