Obedience at a price
And what a horror it is. But not always. I spoke to a girl one day and I said, “oh, I do laugh at times, it’s so ridiculous, that the tragedy doesn’t seem real. I just laugh.One day it will all be over.
I sat alone in my hotel room one night reflecting on my life. I shielded my siblings from the blows meant for them. They never knew, nor remembered. I was with my mother, and brother’s at the most traumatic times, and wondered why. Come on Lord, is this some kind of sick joke?
I wept hard and dug into my arms. I was furious. I was thinking about it ALL! What is the point of all of this?
Why do I have to be the good girl? The one that is mocked for doing what is right?
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I done the bad things too. I don’t pretend to be superior. But I just wonder, why I had to be the one to defend people who seem defenseless. Why do I have to care so much? Why can’t I just be a sociopath? Or at least just a recreational drug user?
Watching my brother in the throes of his epileptic fits, and my other brother, dying in his crib.
My other brother, as he lay dying in the hospital, from Aid’s.
Meeting my mother at the door only minutes after her attacker had left our home, and sleeping with a knife under my pillow only praying that he would return, after sending her away. I stayed alone in the house.
I watched my father come home in a drunken rage, and he would beat me with a belt when I lost my shoes outside in the dark. I had terrifying nightmares of hiding in the closet from him.
My brother and I were taking a nap and he decided to trade the top bunk for the bottom. He had only minutes earlier, been playing with the light fixture. “Hey, do you want to be up here?” I was more than excited for this coveted position.
Minutes after climbing up, the light fixture came crashing down, and I heard my father running down the hall. He screamed at both of us to get out of the room. As he yanked me to himself and asked me to tell him why I was playing with the light, I told him, I wasn’t. But this was a mistake. He slapped me, and screamed, “Liar!” My lip was bleeding and I was not sure from the light or from him. I could smell the alcohol on his breath and as I cried without air to breath and to exasperated to speak, I looked at my brother, standing beside the chair. I continued to cry, and yet, I couldn’t tell him that my brother did it, but it hurt me none the less, that he wouldn’t say that I did not. As he watched me being beaten. I learned then, don’t open up my mouth. Be obedient and take it. Believe me, I wasn’t a martyr. I just couldn’t watch someone else being hurt. That’s all it is.
This was a theme in my life. My brother knew this and became a bully.
Years later, as I brought this up to my brother, he laughed and said, “you didn’t think I would say anything after watching that did you?
Later, I had been molested by a drunken man. A teenage babysitter, told me because I did not eat the corn his mother made us, that he was taking me over to the house with his mother’s drunken boyfriend.
After the trauma of molesting me, the man shoved me back and told me this was my punishment and for being bad and I needed to get back home. I smelled the same sickening alcohol on his breath and as I cried, he told me to go home in the dark, all alone.
As I ran home, I quietly entered the house.
The teenage boy stood waiting for me with my brother and sister. He compounded my torment, by telling me he knew what I had done, and I had been a very bad girl. He took my brother and sister to his house and forced them to watch in the window.
I was so sick and my brother and sister did not speak of this to me, nor did I to them. This boy tormented me with this for years, and once again, I was bullied into silence. I didn’t tell my mother of this until I was 18 years old. I felt I had done something to deserve this and as a child, of course, the only way to process these events, are that you aren’t worthy of love and it is somehow only a form of punishment.
There are fingerprints of this event all through my life and one only just recently to leave its sting to remind me that love is not for the flawed. It’s a good thing that the Lord has found me beautiful in His sight.
I’m sure my siblings watched me shield them over and over again and it is the reason the believe I’m invincible to some degree.
Years later a boy was about to rape me at the railroad tracks when I was with my brother and his friend and he told my brother and friend to leave.
My brother and his friend were about to run off and leave me there, because the guy who caught me in his grasp was a ruthless, evil boy. We called him ‘Scarface,’ and I don’t doubt to this day, that he was the guy that eventually broke into my home and attacked my mother.
All at once I heard a scream from one of the factories nearby and a man came running down the tracks.
This guy let go of me and took off. I looked at him like an angel. He asked me if I was alright and I thanked him and left. I never spoke of this again. I just ran away.
But in this I had seen that my own brother was going to just leave me unprotected.
I learned to be obedient to my dad out of fear. I was afraid of his anger when he was drinking.
I was afraid of him hurting my brothers and sister, so I protected them.
I was afraid of what would happen to my mom so I protected her.
Time and time again, I had laid my life down for them.
Then when I married I protected my husband. When he began to hurt me, I hid him as well. As he continued to bully me, I allowed it, and I had never spoken out of fear.
When he was dishonest, I continued to protect him.
My father backed away from me one night long ago, when he said goodbye and that was when I realized, I couldn’t be obedient enough to hold onto him.
I thought it was me all along. I was un-lovable. I was always willing to take the blame and so convinced I had been that I was flawed.It had taken me many years to understand that my father felt this about himself.
I was a good employee. I tried to do the best that I could with everything that I had. When people were being cruel, I still tried to do the best that I could.
I realized, my best wasn’t good enough. Then I was bullied into a street of violence. Believing that my life was not worth anything to anyone and in the end when I tried to speak of it, I was bullied into silence.
I couldn’t be obedient enough.
When I tried to speak to a man about this he backed away. He gave me the feeling that I was that little girl, so many years ago, standing in that room.
It isn’t that I haven’t forgiven my father and those who have done these things, it is that now I sometimes wonder, what would be different, had I not been the obedient daughter, mother, wife, employee. Just for once. For one fleeting moment…to let it all go.
One day, as I was crying about the dilemma I have been placed in, once again. My friend asked me, “How many times are you going to protect people? I understand your compassion, but I think the Lord would want you to do what is right too.”
I couldn’t believe that. How many times had I spoken this to my own friends. To move out of the way and let God be God. And now here I am…in the way.