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.
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?
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