Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Father - The Street Angel and Home Devil

I remember lying upstairs with my siblings at night, too afraid to go to sleep.   I had to wait for my father to come home from the pub.   If he came home and it was quiet then I could go to sleep, but if he came home and they started fighting, then I would have to stay awake until it was quiet because if I fell asleep, then he would kill my mother and I would not be able to save her.   This happened night after night for years, being afraid to go to sleep until everyone else was asleep.  I was so afraid that my father would kill my mother on one of his coming home late from the pub nights.   One night, the fighting was profoundly different and more severe than other nights.  When I heard my mother scream and his booming voice calling her a bitch and hearing her screaming that if he touched her again, she would kill him, I ran down the steps to save my mother. I never thought of what I was going to do.  I only knew I was to get to her to keep her safe.   My father turned on me.
“So you want to lie awake and listen to us fight?” he shouted. “Go upstairs and fetch your sisters so you can all watch”.
I timidly went up the stairs to my bedroom, where I had put my two younger sisters into my bed and told them to be quiet.  I got them up and into their gowns and we went back down stairs.  
He lined us up in a row and then told us to watch.  He hit my mother so hard that she fell into a chair and the chair tipped over backwards.   I was screaming “Stop”, and my little sisters were crying – confused and afraid of what they were witnessing, their mother being beaten like a dog by their father.  He pulled her up from the floor and slapped her hard across the side of her head, perforating her ear drum.
Suddenly, my father, the street angel and home devil, got a new idea into his head.  He went off to fetch his camera, lined us up and started taking photos of us, laughing at our distress.

The photo attached is one of those he took that night.
Post a Comment