I was one of those unfortunate children who had a father who hated his guts. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I finally learned part of the reason why. When my parents were trying to conceive my brother, it took them a long time. They we’re beginning to wonder if one of them was unable.

 

But, trying and trying and trying again, eventually led to my brother coming into existence. Whatever happened during that period must have kicked Mom’s hormones up or something. Because eleven months later I came to be. My father, being the ignorant wretch that he is, thought my mother must be cheating on him because they had so much trouble the first time and I couldn’t possibly be his. She told me that the first few years of my life he wouldn’t even pick me up. Mom wouldn’t lie about that stuff. She was bawling her eyes out just telling me about it. She kept apologizing, despite my efforts to tell her that it wasn’t her fault.

 

And then comes the first memory I have, that is probably another clue about why he hated me. Before I even knew who I was or would be, I think he started to figure it out. My father was an auto mechanic for most of my youth, and from what I’m told, long before that. One day Mom had my brother and me in the car when she went to pick him up from work. I think I must have been seven or so. Anyway, I made a comment about how I thought one of his co-workers was cute. It was an innocent thing really. I had no earthly idea what sex or sexuality was at the time. I just thought he was cute. So I said so.

 

That’s when things started to go very, very wrong. It was the beginning of this hole I live in. When we got home my father took me straight to my room. I didn’t know what was going on, but I could tell he was angry, and it was making me want to cry. When he was certain that we were alone, he took off his belt and folded it in half. I didn’t know what was going on. Before I knew what was happening, he turned me around and threw me face down on the bed. I learned a few tricks about thin pieces of leather that day. The welts lasted a few days longer.

 

The thing I grew to hate the most was his aim. He could never hit my ass. It was always my back, or the back of my legs. That day was only the beginning. He didn’t stop until I was screaming my head off. Then he warned me that if I ever spoke like that again that he would kill me. It took me nearly two weeks to figure what I had said that was so bad. During that time I hardly said a word to anyone. It became a life-long habit.

 

Several years later he put me in karate class, saying it would make a real man out of me. He didn’t get what he wanted, but he wouldn’t know that until much later. Instead of a ‘real man’, he got a monster. But I’m rushing ahead and we’ll cover that later.

Published July 1, 2012

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