You can’t know light without the dark
I was really hesitant to share this essay I wrote several years ago. My goal for this blog is to share my stories as a way to demonstrate lessons I’ve learned that have contributed to a more mindful way of being and hopefully give readers something to consider. This isn’t a place to share dark stories without purpose.
I’m posting this for several reasons. Intuitively, I think it’s going to help someone. Even if just one person benefits it’s worth it. I also want to share the dark parts of my life, because it is fundamental to the person I’ve become. You can’t really know the light without the dark. It’s the yin and the yang and it’s part of my truth. Also, it lays a ground work for other lessons I want to share about coming to terms with my relationships with my parents.
There is a lot of graphic and abusive language including the “f”, “c”, “n” and lots of others words, so if you’re offended by that sort of thing, please don’t continue. This was written as part of self-therapy to acknowledge this part of my past, forgive myself and others involved and to eventually to stop identifying myself as a victim.
Without further ado…
“You are such a fucking skank! You better lock your doors at night or I’ll slit your throat in your sleep you little cunt.” I stood staring at my older stepsister as her venom spewed in my direction. Vial words came pouring out of her heavily lined lips, but it was if I was watching a muted television.
Her hair partially covered her enraged, blue eyes as the insults kept slapping me in the face in what felt like slow motion. She looked hideous with her hair bleached white to strip any trace of drug use from her follicles. Her skeletal frame showed the wear and tear of someone twice her 15 years.
I tried to summon pity, but there was none to be found. Instead I raised my arm until my hand was inches away from her face. I extended my middle finger between her eyes and calmly said, “Fuck you, Amy.” She shut up immediately, stomped into the bathroom and slammed the door.
Overwhelmed by the powerful extension of one, nail polish chipped finger I started walking downstairs feeling victorious. Halfway down the stairwell I was shocked back to Earth when a watermelon sized object pounded into the small of my back. I fell forward and slid down the steps headfirst until my face planted on the filthy carpet of the landing. Seconds later an industrial-size bottle of shampoo rolled next to me.
The feeling of humiliation laying face-down at the bottom of the steps brought back a flood of memories.
Amy often taunted me by calling me Nigger Lips. For sport she would chase me around the house with a carving knife screaming the insult. One time she caught me before I could escape to my bedroom. She tackled me to the ground and straddled me with the knife in hand. “I’m gonna cut those nigger lips right off of your ugly face.” I shrieked in terror with tears streaming down my cheeks until my stepbrother pulled her off of me. It was rare he would call her off. We were the same age and as long as I was the target he was off the hook.
I picked myself off of the ground and caught a glimpse of my attacker at the top of the steps feeling pleased with herself. A surge of rage coursed through me. I charged up the steps two at a time and lunged towards her trying to grip her throat. For the first time I wasn’t scared.
She was tiny but forceful and easily warded me off as I fought with ferocity. We wrestled down the hallway and ended up in the narrow bathroom. In a flash she yanked me forward, reversed behind me and jumped on my back like a crazed monkey wrapping her limbs around me. Her jagged nails ripped and stabbed my flesh. I struggled to shake her off to no avail. She then latched her teeth onto my back so hard they broke skin. I yelped in pain and leaned forward propping myself up on the sink counter with Amy still attached.
I inhaled deeply and lurched backward with everything I had and smashed her with all my strength against the door. Her head slammed against the door frame and she released me as she crashed to the floor. I scurried into my bedroom to escape and assessed my wounded back in disgust seeing the broken skin and bruises.
Just like any antagonist Amy wouldn’t be defeated. From the bathroom she taunted, “You better go to the doctor, bitch. I am HIV positive. I hope I gave you AIDS.” I hoped she was just trying to scare me, but with her lifestyle there was a part of me that thought it could be true.
A few minutes later the front door slammed and her car started. I looked out the window and saw her speed away.
I walked downstairs to the laundry room to get a towel passing the industrial bottle of shampoo. I entered the site of the altercation in an attempt to wash her off of me. I relived the fight over in my mind under the scorching water. I reached for the generic shampoo bottle we pump the industrial shampoo into, poured a little into my hand and started lathering my hair.
My mind became calm and clear. She attacked me with shampoo and I will retaliate with the same weapon. I unscrewed the lid of the shampoo and placed the bottle into a stream of urine and filled it to the top. I returned the lid, shook the bottle and put it back into place.
Pleased with my work I turn off the shower, dried off and left the bathroom knowing that every day for month Amy will be washing her hair with my piss.
To this very day how I responded to this altercation is the most shameful action I’ve ever taken. How could my 13 year-old brain even think to do something like that? It’s really, really gross.
Now I read this story and it isn’t nearly as pungent. Was my home life fucked up a lot of the time? Yes, it was. So what? It’s just part of my life experience. I’m not a slave to my story. I’m not defined by it. Honestly, at this point it doesn’t even feel like this even happened to me.
Everyone has their own shit. What part of your story are you still attached to? How do you use past traumas to frame you current situation? Maybe it’s time to let go.