Show Me Where It Hurts
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
I am afraid to tell you the truth about what that house suffered----all the scars, the broken doors, the cratered walls, the way they covered up the wounds with posters and calendars. No one I know lives in that house anymore, and I'm OK with that. I'm glad, after 50 years, that my mom sold our home. I don't blame the house. I don't. A lot of love happened there---my entire world lived there. But a portion of that world was violent and volatile and dark. I was prey for my brother. This is where he broke through doors to get to me, to fight me. This is where he lobbed something heavy past my head (a stapler?), an object that barely missed my computer monitor and my head. I want to ask that house, that big, blue house, I want to whisper, Where does it hurt? I imagine the reply. The brick, the mortar, the wood, they respond, Here. Here. Here.
I guess what I'm saying is, how can we tell the truth without it gutting us? I guess the truth is here anyway, right? Still, in allowing it to speak, in allowing the truth a seat at the table, in allowing the truth to come out of my body, through my own two hands onto the keyboard, for public consumption, holy shit, I'm scared as fuck.
I'm weary. If I neglect to tell the truth, whom am I choosing? I told my mom once: It's either you or me, and I choose me. I've been choosing my mother my entire life, because she is good and kind and well-intentioned. Her heart is deep and wide, a capacious thing. But she figured because I was smart and able to get along in the world, I was OK and didn't need anyone's sustained protection. She figured B. needed her more, because he had a learning disability and was bullied. I was raised to understand. I was raised to make allowances.
And yet, I hate how all of this sounds: whiny. Or maybe that's wrong: There's a difference between the facts sucking and the telling of the facts sucking. I see the distinction.