After a "discussion" with someone and the air was cleared, I learned a little bit more about myself. At times, I think that my childhood was "no big deal." It is over with and I survived. But yet, it still affects me when I least expect it.
I can hear a neighbor moving things around in their apartment next to me and with every bang against the wall... I still fly back to eight years old and hearing mom hit that wall again and again and again.
The screams that followed still raise the hair on the back of my neck. The thoughts of black eyes, swollen cheeks and lips, topped off with cigar burns, are still fresher in my mind then my mom's beauty before alcohol.
I still have pictures of my dad's face filled with rage, carrying a knife wanting to kill her... or a belt to wipe me. Then the memories of the unspeakable and yet I still think "no big deal."
It was such a non-issue that I tried suicide when I was just ten years old. It was such a non-issue that I tried again when I was 18. It became even more of a non-issue when my parents were both dead that I tried one more time when I was 28. That's right, "no big deal."
What the world would see would be a strong silent man... who just by looking at him would make you scared. I was that man... absolutely no emotion... my only goal to hurt you before you hurt me. Always on guard... always ready to attack.
It was a heck of a way to live. I acted as tough as I could be... the man's man... but with each passing day I became more afraid of everything and anything.
Today, people call them "triggers" and I used them as excuses. To remain isolated and fearful... never learning how to stand on my two feet.
It took the "hair of the dog" to open my eyes as to how fearful I truly was. Yes, my parents were alcoholics, but I didn't understand them until I became an alcoholic myself. Then I learned I'm not afraid. The truth is I am a miracle... I could live my life in pity and as a victim... or stand on my two feet and say, "I'm not afraid."
There is a way out.... And it starts with being vulnerable and saying "I am not afraid."