I want my money back


I hate to be the one who ruins the party because truly for a good number of people thinking back to their childhood is a good thing. 

So I apologize. Especially if you are American. Don’t mind me. Have a good thanksgiving instead. 

But for me, there’s really no break. It’d be so nice to be able to close my eyes and think of when I was 12 and smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If you have that, treasure it. 
But I had a good reason for hardly being able to wait to be older. Rather, a number of good reasons: Screams, nasty insults, tears, blood are but a few that come to mind.

A terrible thing not to have a time in your life you can look back at and feel safe and at peace.

Yeah, good times 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

This is hard to write.

Very hard.

I am trying so hard to cope.

Most of the time I even can trick myself into thinking things will be ok.

Then I hear their voices.

And my heart sinks.

I am back to any given  day of my life between age 6 and 15 and I would hear my father’s voice.

I – we, only had peace when he wasn’t home.

Most importantly, my mother was only safe when he wasn’t home.

The minute I’d hear his voice, I knew I had to brace myself for the worst because the worst often did happen.

Loud voices.



Awful insults.

Noises of things breaking.

My father traveled often so we had days in a row, sometimes even weeks where we could pretend life was normal, when we could sleep.

But I could never sleep when he was home. How could I?

I knew I had to be on the ready because at any time of day or night it could happen. Yet another trip to the hospital.

I didn’t happen every day, of course. But we never knew when we were going to get Dr. Jekyll and when we were going to get Mr. Hyde.

It was not a matter of if. It was a matter of when.

Upon hearing my father’s voice, all bets were off.

And it’s happening all over again.

I can’t sleep yet again.

I know that at any time of day or night I’ll hear their voices, my heart will sink and I will go back in time.

Like just now….

Musings on Grief & Mourning

Recently, I’ve been privy to two close bloggers’ grief. One lost her father, the other her grandfather. The pain they are experiencing is beyond what words could ever express and my heart goes to them.

Thoughts of death always make me go into introspection. I can’t help but examine my own feelings regarding the deaths of my parents. Which are pretty non-existent when I am in survival mode, which is to say, my every day mode.

When my mother died, I didn’t cry. I even wondered at some point why I didn’t feel like crying when everyone else was but I just couldn’t. The answer -at the time, was very simple*. I was glad for my mother. I was glad that she was not going to suffer anymore. There was even the possibility that she had gone to a better place where she could be happy. But even if one takes the approach that there is nothing after death, that was still good news. If there is nothing, there is no suffering, so I was relieved and happy for her.

Needless to say everybody thought it weird I was so composed. I am pretty sure more than a few thought I was a bad daughter for not showing the appropriate mourning signs. A year later, I was really sad because I lost a trinket that I treasured and that brought tears to my eyes. One of my uncles saw me and said to me: “You didn’t cry when your mother died and you cry because of that stupid thing?” How can one explain the nature of one’s trauma when one is merely 15 and doesn’t really have a grasp on one’s own psyche?

When 8 years later my father too died, I didn’t cry either. I only had the feelings of relief for him. He was a tortured man and that is no way to live.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year

I am thinking that maybe this year is a good year to become a normal person and hate the holidays just like every other person in the planet.

I love (used to love) the holidays.

But I had an epiphany today.

When I was married, I spent all the holidays with my husband’s family. For 15 years, I never spent a christmas or a New Year’s Eve with my own family.

At that time, I never thought it odd. But now, I see how out of character that was for me. And then, it suddenly hit me.

I put thousands of miles between my family and I. Every year, they tell me how much they would like to have me there for the holidays.

And every year I tell them that yes, I would love to be there but unfortunately money is tight and flights are expensive so I can’t go. Which is not a lie but it isn’t the real reason either.

How do I tell them that I simply can’t go because they still live in the house where my mother was murdered?

How do I tell them that the minute I step on the doorway, I see my mother’s blood all over the couch and on the floor?

How do I tell them that every time I go visit I come back to Canada being a mess?

How do they do it? I have no idea. Perhaps they are stronger than me.

I don’t know.

Every year, as soon as December rolls in, I put up the christmas tree and play christmas songs hoping that I will be able to have a happy christmas.

But the truth is that I haven’t had a truly happy christmas since I was 5.

Then remember my daughter and how much she likes christmas – something she got from me, because when I was innocent of the brutality of this world christmas always used to be awesome.

I have been in denial for so long.