She spent her whole life in doubt, anxious and confused. Scared of what the next day would bring. She was only twelve but had many house chores. She was washing the dishes with her mother when the front door slammed shut. He had another bad day at work it seems. Her Mother stiffened as her Father stomped into the room. This was too normal for little Darleen. At this point, she was a pro at not showing her reactions. Her heart pounded away in her chest but she showed no sign of her fear. It would only cause him to yell.
They did everything during the day to make sure he could come home and relax. The house had to be clean, their rooms tidy of their toys, dinner had to be either done or cooking and his tv remote had to be on the table. Darleen’s Mother would always forget to mention to her Father if she stayed home sick. Darleen was always getting sick. It made him angry when she missed classes. Everything seemed to make him angry.
Her Father would swear up and down, “The world is out to get me!”
This would make little bubbles of rage build up inside Darleen. For years now, she had been building up this anger. She held both love and hatred for the man who called himself her Father. It seemed only on the days she decided she hated him, he would come home in a good mood and make her laugh and smile like any Father would. He constantly would change her mind from hate to love, confusing and tormenting her.
“What happened at work today, Dear?” Darleen’s Mother tried asking.
“Just my boss being a dickhead! People are all assholes! I work my ass off and all I want is to come home to a clean house and a hot meal! Is that too much to ask!”
Neither of them knew how to reply when he asked questions like this. It was either rhetorical and if they spoke he would lash out. But if he wanted an answer and no one spoke he would lash out anyway. There was no winning this war.
Darleen moved on from washing dishes to folding laundry. He got angry if all the chores weren’t done and they sat down to rest. Her Father moved into the kitchen with her Mother. She tuned out her Father’s ranting, focussing on the speed train that was her heart rate. Until she looked over at them, only to see her Father bash his hand down on the counter and kick the bottom cupboard.
The words came out before she could stop them, “Was that necessary!”
The instant feeling of regret and despair filled her lungs as the world seemed to tighten around her. The look of rage filled her Father’s eyes as he looked over at the little girl on the ground.
“I get to say whether or not things are necessary! You don’t get to speak up to me!”
Fear and hate were all she felt towards her Father at that moment. Then guilt and hatred for herself. Then she blamed herself more as her Mother looked down at her in anger. She should have kept her mouth shut. Like always. She should have been quiet. Obedient. Silent.
As he stormed out of the house and took off in his vehicle. She never felt more alone and abandoned than in that moment.
Thank you for reading,