They say the moments that’s had the most impact in your life are the most vivid.
I remember the dining table was round. I ate eggs for breakfast that triggered my allergies. My elbows were swollen. The bathroom door was brown and open when I received the first hit from the belt’s buckle. I was 5.
I remember the Bengay ointment on the bruises on my leg, my back. It was a big tube. It didn’t soothe the black blue but instead stung the scratches the buckle left. I didn’t make the highest honor roll list that quarter. I was in 5th grade.
I remember being nudged to raise my hand and go up front every last Sunday of the month. We would sit on a wooden pew on the left side of the hall at 6:30 in the morning and I always had to wear a dress, she did not allow us to wear jeans. I didn’t go up front that Sunday and missed the month’s calling again. I was followed by a tirade of rants from when we got into the car up to when we arrived at home. She continued to lash at me during breakfast. I started to despise religion.
I remember the red altar lights above the piano when I came running up the stairs to my grandmother’s room wailing I did not want to go home. My friend dropped me off after feeling ashamed I was bawling at her house. She didn’t speak to me after Sophomore year.
I remember my Pop crying, telling my Aunt “What did I ever do to her” when he found out I was pregnant at just 18. That cry will forever haunt me. My grandmother was singing and hugging me as we listened from inside the room. She wore a green dress. I could still smell her.
I remember my grandmother, my aunts, my cousins crying as I walked down the aisle. The look of pity. They were all dressed in pink. My veil was suffocating. The red carpet seemed endless. My Pop looked 10 years older in my wedding pictures.
I remember moving to his house. It was small and quiet. I was mostly left alone. I kept the lights on that first night and tried to get some sleep despite the panic. He bought me a pitbull pup to keep me company. She was black and really tiny. She died.
I remember the spit in my eye. He pushed me to the bedroom floor. Tore my ragged cat. It was afternoon. The closet drawers were a faint blue with off white borders. I found out he was cheating on me, again. I was pregnant with his second child.
I remember the kitchen’s window grills were iron black as my head smashed into them, three window panes and an aluminum door with a torn screen, his hand on my throat. I did not eat the chicken nuggets he brought home.
I remember my new born son crying, wanting to feed. I’m alone in the hospital room and I can’t reach the small plastic crib where he was put, I had to endure the pain from all those procedures that was still fresh from the day before. I got up. I had to. I could still feel my back burning. We were both crying, we were alone. He got back the next day smelling of liquor and cigarettes.
I remember him packing up to leave and I’m begging him to stay. I just got out of the shower, my hair dripping wet and electricity was out. There was no stopping him, like as if he couldn’t wait to leave. He left 3 days after his third son was born that November, after one of the most tragic typhoons passed. I wasn’t able to sleep for almost 2 months.
I remember taking my kids to the center to visit and he was fussy and wanting to bail. The pots at the front were ceramic and blue and broken. He threw a fit that morning, so they said. I was begging him to stay and finish the program but he still left. Why am I always the one begging anyway.
I remember a liter of rum and pork barbecue and a Pomeranian puppy. And I don’t even drink rum. I was sitting on my best friend’s porch, looking out onto a rotunda, mind blank. Woke up to a splitting headache the day after, emotionless and numb. Never knew I could love a hangover that much.
I remember my kid’s face, holding back tears when he didn’t show up, yet again. My son was really excited that morning but when I got back home from work, he was still in the living room, waiting. He was 10.
There is just too much, too many, the chaos inside my head, that writing about it would be a novel. A sad one.
I’ve mustered blocking out ugly moments. Moments so vivid, so real, so fresh, they hurt.
Because although these moments have permanently scarred the back of my brain, purged the little left emotion from my damaged heart, leaving a level of pain that is almost indescribable, I am not all that.
That is not my life and I will live through this. I always do.
I am well set into this world to thrive. Just need to remaster this blocking thing and put my mask back on.