Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Very Bad Night, Part I

[Reminder: Some of my posts, including this one, are memoirs of my abusive childhood. In this post I'm relating events that happened the night of my Mother's birthday in February, 1958. The links to the right can be used to follow backward through the memoirs, or to restrict viewing to other kinds of posts.]

During most of the six weeks my Father was at the Mountain my Mother subjected me to moderate but almost daily sexual abuse. It subsided as she began her preparations for the romantic evening to celebrate his return.

In spite of all the sexual abuse I knew next to nothing about sex, really. In fact I wouldn't have called anything my Mother did to me sexual at the time. Sex was something else. It was what Mommies and Daddies did in their bedrooms at night. I didn't know what that was, but I was sure my Mother missed it and that what she did to me was at least partly an inadequate substitute. It wasn't the real thing, it was a poor imitation.

My theory was that when people get to be really, really, grownup, like 13 or 14, they start to need this sex thing and have to have partners to help them with it (touching yourself makes you sick, Mommy said) and if the partners they get aren't around or they spend all their time being mad then they start hurting. And to fix the hurt they need to do things to their kids that are icky. But it's not their fault, it's nature's fault. Nature makes grownups sick.

[Below: The same person, before and after puberty. Note the "bedroom eyes" on the right.]

So I felt sorry for my Mother, and I was really hoping that when my Father came home and saw how pretty she was in that dress and saw what a great dinner she made for him and how nice she smelled, and how I said I loved him and then excused myself and didn't cause any trouble for the rest of the night, that he wouldn't shout or anything, and they'd end up in bed and have sex, whatever that is, and Mommy would be all better.

He was supposed to get home at 6 PM. He actually called at 6:30 or so to tell us he got delayed and wouldn't make it until 8 PM. So that was nice.

But after 8 he wasn't there, and he also wasn't there at 9, 10, and 11 PM. There were no more calls to apologize for being late.

I stayed up late with my Mother. It was a Friday so I didn't have to get up early the next morning. She cried off and on for hours. I said, maybe something bad happened to him. She said, "Sure." But she didn't bother making any emergency phone calls.

He came to the front gate at about Midnight. After my Mother unlocked the gate a couple of other officers walked him to the door of the house and put him in a chair. He was only able to stand with support.

He was supposed to come straight home after getting back to Taipei, but instead he spent 6 hours in bars with his buddies.

As he was brought in the door I said, "I love you Daddy," just like we rehearsed it. Then my Mother gave me a sign to get the hell up to my room. I listened from the top of the stairs.

The dinner had already been done away with. My Mother started out explaining that. Dad muttered something like, "That's nice." She then tried, "Do you want to go upstairs or do you want to have fun down here?"

He said, "Why don't you get me a beer?" About then, my Mother started screaming. I don't remember a lot of what she screamed. Then she broke out into sobbing, and she said, "You don't love me anymore." Then she screamed at him some more. Then there was more sobbing.

It went on for about an hour. There were sounds of dishes being smashed. By the time it was over I had retreated to my room for real and was trying to deny that anything important was happening.

No comments: