Could you imagine what it would feel like if you woke up and were in a box? I feel this way when I open my eyes each morning. I wake up, wishing that I hadn’t, wishing myself back to sleep, only to be disappointed once again of my sad reality. I am 17 years old. I have 4 younger siblings, each under the age of 9, an overworked mother, and an abusive alcoholic of a father. My mornings consist of getting my brothers and sisters up and ready for school, making breakfast, tending to my mother’s beaten, bruised body, and handing my father the source of my family’s pain… yet another beer. If I don’t, he abuses me, and in more ways than one. I’ve tried to protect my mother, but that makes him even angrier. The only thing I can attempt to do is protect my siblings’ eyes, ears, and hearts from the awful nightmare that has become our life. Finally, I’ll get to school, usually late. While my body is there, my mind is not. In truth, I am wondering if my father is going to go to work today, and where my family’s next meal will come from. It’s not that I don’t want to learn, in fact, when I first started high school, I had a 4.4 GPA. I still have the same dream of going to school to study psychology to become a children’s counselor for kids in situations similar to mine. But right now, my life is on hold. My mother and siblings must come first. As for my father, honestly, I could care less if he starves to death. He is depriving us of what keeps people going, of love, of hope, and of courage, without giving us a second thought. So why should I care if we starve him of what keeps him alive everyday? I am alive, but not truly living.
~ September 27th, 2013 ~
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to know that the walls are caving in, and if you give in to weakness, even just a little bit, those walls will come crashing down on you and who you care about the most? That is how I feel now. I just discovered that I am pregnant with my father’s child. I feel broken. It seems impossible for a human being to be living, growing, and thriving inside of me, while I feel completely dead and useless. I can’t protect my siblings. I can’t protect my mother. I can’t even protect myself, apparently. How can I expect myself to shield this new life from the hurt and the pain in what will soon become his/her home? No, this prison cannot be considered a home. It is like a cancerous body, one that is still alive, but in which there is no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t see light, and I don’t even see darkness. I see nothing.
~ September 30th, 2013 ~
Do you know that feeling, where you think there is absolutely nothing that could make your life worse, and then BOOM. And your life is the only thing worse than over, which is being required to continue living, when all you want is the opposite. But I know I can’t do that. Now that my mother is gone, I must care for her children, my beloved brothers and sisters, my father’s slaves. They do not know the meaning of “Daddy”, and neither will my daughter. I have decided to never teach her what a true “Daddy” is, that way, she won’t be disappointed in her father… our father. I feel trapped. I feel alone. I feel guilty that I can’t provide my baby girl with the chance at a good life that she deserves. I feel guilty that my siblings were never able to experience childhood. My childhood innocence seems so far away, when in fact, it was stolen from me only three and a half years ago. My childhood is one of the very few good memories I keep from back before my big brother was killed in a car accident, a car accident caused by our father’s drunk driving. That was the straw that broke the camel’s already breaking back. That was what pushed him over the edge. When he fell over the edge, he dragged us down with him. There was nothing I could do to stop it. It was like gravity. We just kept falling, falling, falling, and when my mother died, we finally hit rock bottom. Each night that I go to bed, I hope that when I wake up, I’ll find it was all just a terrible nightmare. But every morning never fails to bring the disappointment that I am still stuck inside this box.
~ Thanksgiving Day, 2013