I feel:: dirty
What song is on a loop in my head right now:: Blue October~Conversation Via Radio

1985. I was 15. My dad had just discovered my new smoking habit. He found my cigarette pack in my room and flushed them all down the toilet. Angry was not the word for what I was at that moment. I was incensed that he would go into my room and pilfer through my things. It was an invasion of privacy and I hated it. What was funny about the fights that my dad and I had was that there were never many words spoken. He would tell me what to do or what not to do and I would comply, but with a growing rage inside of me. I realize that most all teenagers experience this, but my rage was a bit different. I didn't know why at the time. I just knew that I got so angry sometimes. I had no outlet because in my dad's house the showing of any emotion was verboten. So, I cut myself; I burned myself; I held Satanic rituals in my bathroom; I did drugs; I drank; I smoked; I was promiscuous; I even dated a drug dealer; I stopped eating; I threw up what food I did eat; I constantly pulled skin off my face and other parts of my body. So, on that day when my dad flushed my cigarettes down the toilet, I quietly turned and started to walk towards the door. I had in my mind that I was going to walk down to the corner gas station ( At that time it was a Citgo, I think.) and buy another pack of cigarettes. If he flushed those, then I would just go back and buy more and more until he realized that I was going to do what I wanted to do no matter what he said or did. On my way out, he yelled at me from the hallway,"Where do you think you're going?" I said calmly,"I'm going to buy more cigarettes." He replied,"Like hell you are!" Challenged, I raised my eyebrow and threatened,"Oh yeah? Watch me." I turned, went through the door, slamming it behind me and walked down the street in a silent rage. I always think when I'm faced with confrontations that I could have handled them better. I think things like,"I should have said..." or "I should have done..." I always seem to just shrink into my shell during stressful confrontations. My walk to and from the Citgo was filled with these thoughts and what I would say to dad when he saw that I had indeed bought another pack of smokes. I walked in the house. He was sitting in his recliner in the living room. I had a pack of Marlboro reds in my hand. He saw them and demanded,"Give those to me now!" I said,"No." Getting angrier, he said again with more force,"Give those goddamn cigarettes to me now!" Finally, I raised my voice and yelled,"Why don't you take them from me?!" He rushed at me, his hands out to grab my throat. I managed to get by him somehow and I ran for my room. I was going to lock the door, but he was too quick for me. I tried to push against him to get the door closed to no avail. He pushed his way in and went for my throat again. This time, he got a grip and threw me into my dresser. My back hit the dresser first, then my head snapped back and hit the mirror. The mirror shattered into a million little pieces. I fell to the floor beside my bed. I didn't know what was happening for a few minutes. Suddenly, I realized that my dad was sitting on top of me. He had his hands around my neck and he was leaning on me, choking me. I couldn't move. I tried to kick him off of me, but I couldn't. I couldn't breathe. I started to get really dizzy and everything was going black. I guess my dad realized that I was about to pass out because all of the sudden, I could breathe again. He was moving to get off me and I pulled my leg up through his legs and kicked him hard in the exact place where he had stitches from a recent hiernia operation. He doubled over in pain, grimacing and cursing. I saw my chance and pulled myself off the floor while he was holding his stomach and ran out of the house. I took off through the bushes in the back yard and made my way to the street behind our house. I was intending to go to my friend, Tara's. Her mother was a school counselor and I figured I could talk to her. I hadn't made it even halfway there when a car pulled up behind me going really slow. I turned to see that it was my dad. He followed me for a little while, but then, abruptly turned off on a side street and disappeared. I made it to Tara's house and all of the emotion I had been holding in burst out of me. I was angry, sad, and furious all at the same time. I could barely talk, not only because I was so emotional, but also because of the pressure my dad had put on my throat. My voice came out all raspy sounding. I managed to get the story out in between coughs and through tears and hiccups. Tara's mother immediately called the local child protection agency office. A woman came to pick me up about thirty minutes later and took me to a dingy office. There, she called my dad, who showed up looking like he had no idea why he was called there. The child protection agency lady asked my dad if he knew anything about what I had told her. He denied everything. When asked about the burgeoning bruises on my neck, he said he knew nothing about that. He said my boyfriend had probably done it to me. I listened to all of his drivel with mounting anger. At the end of the conversation with my dad, the lady turned to me and asked me if I would like to be put into foster care. That prospect scared me more than going home with dad. My head fell and I talked to the floor as I told her that I didn't want to go into foster care. She said,"That's what I thought." My dad took hold of my arm and guided me outside to the car. I got in. He got in. We drove home. On the drive there was complete silence. When we got to the house, there was complete silence. I went to my room and turned on some music so I could drown myself in it. I sat in my room all night. My anger and rage seeped into my heart and I held onto it as if it was some sort of precious jewel. I don't know what I was thinking actually, but sometime in the middle of the night after dad had been asleep for a few hours, I walked down the dark hallway towards his room. When I got to the door of his bedroom, I dropped to my knees and crawled to his bedside. Every breath I took sounded like it echoed off the walls. My heart sounded like a drum in my chest and I was sure he would hear it and wake up. My skin was prickly with goose bumps and slimy with sweat. I stood up and looked down on him sleeping. I knew that he kept a gun underneath the pillow that he didn't sleep on. It was a .357 Magnum. I had played with it as a child. He had showed me how to take it apart, clean it and put it back together. I used to take the bullets out and practice pulling the trigger while looking at myself in the mirror. I remember being a little girl and trying to pull the trigger with one finger. I couldn't, so I would use both index fingers to pull the trigger until it clicked. As I stood over my sleeping father that night, an arm that was not my arm reached for the gun under his pillow. A hand that was not my hand picked it up. I held it there in the darkness, my hands shaking. My whole body was shaking. I hated my dad in that moment. I hated him so much, that I wanted him dead, but I couldn't pull the trigger. I just stood there sweating and shaking. Thoughts of juvi and prison raced through my mind. Thoughts of what my dad's head would look like if I pulled the trigger made my already churning stomach threaten to give up its contents right then and there. It seems like I stood there forever. Eventually, I put the gun back underneath the pillow and crawled out of his room back to the hallway. I walked to my room numbly. I fell into my bed and just lay there for the rest of the night staring at the ceiling, thinking nothing. I think my brain just switched off. I didn't feel like I was in my body. Morning came and I had to go to school. I had to act like everything was alright. My dad and I have never spoken about that choking incident. He has tried to choke me a few other times.

This is the first time I've remembered this incident. It's been buried for a long time. As I sit and think about this now, this memory seems very unreal. I feel my mind turning off again. I'm losing my focus. Is this a defense mechanism? I feel pretty shaky and nauseous. I feel so ashamed.


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