I hadn't wanted to step foot in that house ever again. The call to visit was too great though, as I still needed the validation that I never received. It was my parent's home, and had been mine until I left in the quiet of the moonlight a few weeks after I turned 18. The things that happened in that home were largely left unspoken; CPS and the judge being the only ones outside the family who knew the darkness that lurked there.
How did I ever muster up the strength to approach him? He controlled so much of my life. He still has too much control over me.
"I'm sorry. Just wanted to tell you that." There's no emotion crossing his face. Just the words hanging in the empty space, waiting for me to accept them. I remained silent for a few moments, letting the words marinate in my mind.
He is afraid. Afraid of a small ten year old only seeking to receive love from her uncles. Afraid of her warm embrace. Afraid of her willingly given heart. Afraid of himself, perhaps?
"Why did you do it? Why did you think it was okay? I am your daughter. Why?" My voice calm as I questioned, the lump in my throat forming in the uncertainty that I wanted an answer. I needed an answer more than I wanted one, but I knew in the deepness of my core that it would not be an answer I wanted to hear.
Our battle of wills is going to cost us both my mother. She was mine first. I will not be pushed out of her life. He tries, regularly, but I am learning to let it go. Learning that he can only control me if I let him.
"You are not my flesh and blood." The answer was so very simple, yet so very wrong. "Not my flesh and blood". No, this is not good enough. Unacceptable. The words echoed throughout my being, chilling me, breaking me, terrifying me.
Whoever said that words can't hurt you was wrong. Sometimes words can slice so thickly through you they leave you cut in half, moldering and festering in the gaping wounds. These words were like that. The wound is still festering, but it is finally healing. I don't look back with the same pain I used to.
Sorry wasn't good enough. "I will never forgive you," I told him that day, watching his eyes closely for any sign of emotion that it mattered to him. There was no flicker of regret in his eyes, not even a tiny glimmer that it hurt him at all. I was not validated.
When I visit now, the man I see is not a monster anymore. I see a man so desperately out of control of himself that his need to control someone is amplified. I see a man without strength. I see a man incapable of emotion. I limit our time around him now to hugs and kisses, unless my husband is with us, so he can have no more control over me.
Despite my resolve to never forgive him, I have peace. Somehow, as I grew up, the forgiveness came.
This week's prompt was forgiveness. Concrit is welcome. I tried something new, switching back and forth between past and present, and I would love to know if it worked, or didn't, and why. How's my tense? Could I have used more imagery? Feel free to tell me what your thoughts are.
--Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama