I’ve always been uneasy talking about my upbringing.
I knew that it wasn’t “normal,” but it didn’t really fit the pre-defined concept of abusive. My dad never once punched me. And I only broke something once, when I hit back. My finger.
I don’t like to talk about that.
He spanked me, with implements. He pushed me. He dragged me. He screamed obscenities and names
and so did I, right back at him, an inner voice whispers in my ear.
He controlled. Oh, he controlled. I don’t like to talk about that, either.
I was 17 before I had my first non-church-event date. And that’s because I lied through my teeth to go meet with the guy.
Movies were strictly monitored, and hardly ever allowed.
Home schooled. 4H was protested. All those bad influences.
So was going to friends’ houses.
And I didn’t have friends over. The yelling. You know.
Except….most don’t. Because that’s not normal. The yelling. I don’t like to talk about that.
But I hesitate to say any of it. He’s gotten help since then. He’s been a much better father to my younger sisters. And I know he cares about me. Worries about my family. he cares, he cared then…he just didn’t know how to show you.
I hesitate to write any of this down on the page. Because my inner voice keeps telling me, he wasn’t that bad. It’s not like it was real abuse.
Most of the time, I don’t think about it. But I sometimes find myself yelling. And I sometimes find myself wanting to throw things. Or break something.
When I sit down and look at my weakest parenting issues yelling. Oh the yelling. and my most shameful moments as a parent. When I talk about being socially inept. When I start to choke up at just the thought of new people, and having to interact…..I see a thread.
I think, “real” abuse, or not…it definitely has left a mark.
But I don’t like to talk about it.