No matter if the door was shut, the radio on, the sounds from downstairs could be heard; they started at a low rumble and then escalated into a storm of yelling, pounding and screaming. I would turn to my brother, both of us knowing, but still hoping our parents weren’t fighting. These were the memories, since I could first remember until the age of 13. I would wake up to sounds of pain and anger, pleads to stop and the continuous beatings.
I believe it’s possible to love those who hurt you most, as my mother still loved her husband, my father. She stayed with him even if he beat her almost daily. I wondered when love just wouldn’t be enough for my mom. Was it logical or even practical to stay in a relationship without communication or trust?
The few days when there was no arguing seemed like bliss, as if we were like any other happy family. Although on those bad days I could remember feeling weak. I watched him beat her as she pleaded for me to help, torn between saving my mother to receive the abuse myself or stand there and do nothing, as I had done in the past.
Once my mother mustered enough strength to call the police. After he was released, my mom forgave him, maybe hoping the love he once felt for her would return. Her hopes faded as he came back and the beatings continued. Her eyes told a story of sadness and probably disappointment that she couldn’t offer a better environment for her children. I began to hate my father and the role he played in my life but couldn’t understand why Mom didn’t feel the same.
I felt guilty to think that my situation was different than anyone else’s as I saw on T.V., the stories of domestic violence. I was ashamed when I would create excuses to family friends why Mom hadn’t been out, knowing she was too depressed to be surrounded by others.
These experiences helped influence my belief that communication should be viewed as a tool not an obstacle, something my father was never willing to use. His lack of trust exemplified how essential it was in every relationship. Finally, my mother’s love proved that hopefully one day we might all be forgiven for our sins.