Where Do You Come From?


Barbed wire

A post borrowed from my new friend and blog bud mapelba.  I thought it was an awesome blog post, so I figured I’d respond by doing my version of the topic.  This isn’t HER post — it’s my answer to hers.  Pay her a visit if you haven’t yet; you won’t be sorry.

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I come from suburbs full of hypocrisy and old mafia ties degraded to an embarrassing point.  From a mother who lived her life in the bottom of a bottle and father who managed to sire children despite lacking testicles or a spine.  I come from a place of lake visits, Spanish moss and gravel and cool nights lulled by lapping waves and calling nocturnal birds.  From a place where children are seen and not heard, and where being heard is dealt with by fist and flying leather.  From a place where I’m told I’m stupid daily, will never amount to anything, will never be anything but a failure.  I come from a place where neighbors whisper behind their hands and you’re the weird kid, threatened by adults too cowardly to threaten your father and where your father hears of the threats and does nothing.  I come from a place where it was still all right to spank the kids in school, where teachers could raise their hand to their students to keep them in line, and it wasn’t illegal or abusive or considered in poor taste.  I come from hot delta winds howling day in, day out, whipping dried ragweed and grasses yellowed by dry, long summers.  I come from where winter means rain and green hills, where cows lowed in the hillside, where the rolling seismic mountains tumbled down to the Standard Oil refinery tanks laid out in rows at the end of a gravel drive.  I come from where barbed wire fences strung between leaning posts lace around the dying farms and ranches, fast fading as the world moves on and leaves the sleepy bedroom community behind.

I come from a family of weirdos allergic to alcohol who won’t stop drinking, from a family of people I met once, maybe twice before they died, whose names I can’t remember anymore.  I come from a place where guilt is used as a guidance mechanism and control mechanism.  I come from where hard times and stress means parents physically accosting one another.  I come from where your mother asks you to hit your father over the head with something heavy so he’ll stop holding her down, then she’ll get a knife and finish the job.  I come from a place where she pulls you around the corner of the house, away from your play in the backyard to tell you she’s going to commit suicide and to remember she loves you.  I come from a place where nothing is safe, no mood is happy because even when it is it could sour at a moment’s notice.  I come from a place of learning to recede into the background, trying to blend into the furniture, the walls, the crowd, the corner.  I come from a place where no one seems to understand why you’re not a social butterfly, why you’re not more outgoing, why you’re so shy.

I come from a place where books are the only escape, or drawing pictures.  I come from a place where loud music means drunken fighting again, where slurred speech is the norm, where lazy eyes and malicious glares are the expressions you’re most familiar with.  I come from a place where it’s not allowed for me to have friends visit, because that requires sobriety and by the time school was out it was anyone’s guess whether sober was true or not.  I come from a place where my imagination is the only haven, where lying is a way of life, a means of protection and a thing learned by example.  I come from a place where waking up to blood-spattered walls, floors and doors meant something happened while I slept and I didn’t necessarily want to know what it is, but my parents are gone and I’m in charge again, responsible until they get back, and I’m eight years old, with a three year old sibling.

I come from a place where a game of catch turns into a trip to the hospital and accusations and blame and an angry father.  I come from a place where everything is held against me, every grievance, every mistake, every misstep.  I come from a place where comparing you to others always leaves you coming up short, where everyone’s shown to be better than I am, where I never quite meet the expectations set for me.  I come from a place where all gifts came with strings attached, as a lien, a purchase of loyalty, obedience, or silence.  I come from a place where friends are only friends when it’s convenient for them, when I can provide them with what they need.  I come from a place where I had one friend most of my life and can’t today be sure he isn’t more loyal to them than to me.

I come from a place where I cannot win the approval of my parents no matter what I do, and where giving up becomes the only option, the only viable choice, the only way left to you.  I come from a place where God is the last resort, and never quite seems to come through when you need Him to.

That’s where I come from.  Being that I now write horror, it may have quite a bit more to do with my writing than I ever imagined it would.

Where do YOU come from?

-JDT-

All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.

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11 thoughts on “Where Do You Come From?

  1. I come from people who arrived in the new world with nothing but the clothes on their back and at most, five dollars in their pockets. I come from people who made something of themselves, regardless of education or handouts. They did it on their own when there was nobody else. They did it through hard work and perseverance.

    Fine stock to be from, m’boy. Proud heritage!

  2. I already gave the short answer over on Marta’s blog, so I’ll just copy it here:

    I come from abject poverty, depression, neglect. From a small town where I never felt I belonged, but looking back, I did. From beautiful Nature who took me to her bosom in my worst times. From a mother who felt anything was possible, but couldn’t seem to manifest those possibilities. She also set me on the writer’s road.

    Thanks for coming by; when I saw your answer on mabelba’s blog, I figured you wouldn’t bother here. But I like the concision of your answer. 🙂

  3. My family is in so many pieces, it’s hard to know where I come from, but here’s a try… I come from a street with tall trees that sigh in the wind, blue skies, and pretty flowerbeds. I come from a house that I dreaded going home to. I come from strong and powerful grandparents. Where I come from a grown man will pick a fight with his ten-year-old daughter because he’s bored. I come from a mother who has blacked out large chunks of her memory from pure trauma. Where I come from schools have cozy libraries where you can hide. But that was all a long time ago now…

    We sound not so very different from your description. Similar paths walked. I’m glad you turned out as you did, and see it your own accord.

  4. i love your blog its fresh, creative and the topics are funny. There are lots of things you can do..when posting..Say you have nothing to say or repost and old one or just babble for a few seconds then sign off..so why in all that is right and just would u post someone else’s old post…I dont get it..its like when the joker beats up robin and does it cause batman was not available…anyway i thought the post was weird and it was not a knyt original ZMAN sends

    You misunderstood — this wasn’t a repost of someone else’s stuff. This is me posting about the same topic. Check out her blog and you’ll see what I mean. 🙂

  5. Thanks for this response. While there is nothing about the events, this is a wonderful piece of writing–in that it is honest and clear. Thank you.

    I should be thanking YOU. I didn’t have anything to say today until I read your thought-provoking post. 🙂 But … did I miss the point? “Nothing about the event” … which events? Should I delve deeper? You’ve got me thinking I blew it now! Awk!

    • No! Oh me and my bad typing. Bad typist. Bad typist. No. What I was trying to say was that the post was wonderful, but I didn’t want to suggest I thought the events were wonderful. The things that happened are terrible. You writing about them is good.

      Whew.

      Ah, I see. No worries, it wouldn’t have been the first time I completely muffed my understanding of something. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to clarify; I appreciate the kindness you show me in so doing. 🙂

  6. I think if you look at a wide sampling of those of us that grew up during the time of Donna Reed and Leave It to Beaver, you will find that few of us had any where close to that ideal portrayed as “normal” family life.

    I come from a father who was a cop and felt entitlement from his position in a small midwestern city to make his family submit to his will. I come from a mother lost in self loathing and mental disease unable or unwilling to protect her children.

    I come from a place of abuse, pain and fear, a place bereft of loving smiles, touches or hugs. I come from growing up to young and being happy when left alone.

    I come from a place of wanting to fit in but not making it, standing out as the strange one not worthy of friends or champions. I come from a place of loneliness and sadness.

    I now come from a place of love, kindness and family togetherness. I still fall into the little girl lost realm occasionally. The realm of lost, broken promises and pain, fear. But I am lucky that these trips are few and far between as I remember that this has made me who I am and that I am a stronger person because of it.

    Good for you! Well said! I love that sentiment.

  7. You come from a place of perfection, where possibilities are endless and suffering doesn’t exist. Yes, you may have come from a hellish place as a child, but that was just Act One of the play. You built character. Wonderful, creative, strong and resilient character. Reality is beyond the stage…

    This is an amazing and courageous post and I am once again going to tell you that you have an incredible gift. You are a remarkable writer. Now go write some more. We’re waiting. 🙂

    Bless you, sweet person of tender heart. I’ll do just that methinks. This weekend, mayhap. Maybe. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and being so encouraging and uplifting. Souls like you make my life’s journey so much more enjoyable. I’m glad we’ve been so well met.

  8. Pingback: Our House… « whatigotsofar version 2.0

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