THIS IS NOT FINISHED
|It's been a long time since I've talked about my childhood with anyone. I suppose there are a lot of people with painful memories from there childhood who become very uncomfortable when asked about there upbringing. I can't imagine anyone who's ever been physically or sexually abused as a child would have an easy time opening up about those experiences. But for me the most difficult aspect of my childhood wasn't simply the abuse I endured from my family but also there love. While it may be difficult for some people to understand I always knew I was loved by my parents. It was clearly a very dark, twisted and perverse form of love but I can't say there ever was a moment where I didn't feel there love for me. I'm getting to far head of myself so I'll try and explain from the beginning how it all started.
My father was never a happy person, and I'm sure it had something to do with his own unhappy childhood. When my father was six years old he watched three men systematically rape and brutalize his mother in a home invasion. She would later commit suicide as a result of that experience and as he grew into adulthood he was never able to move past or cope with that experience in any meaningful way.
The effect it had on him was that he always harbored a deep hatred for himself for being to weak and helpless to stop the event from happening. It affected him to such a degree that he made up for that sense of weakness and vulnerability by never allowing himself to get close to anyone that came into his life. He projected a cold and distant demeanor to almost all he came into contact with.
My mother was raised in a very strict Mormon household where from a young age she was almost continuously sexually abused by her father. By the time my mother turned thirteen she had already experimented with various different forms of self mutilation. She regularly burned words into her skin with a lighter as well as cutting, scratching, and biting large parts of her body. She compulsively pulled her hair out and had attempted suicide five times by the time she turned sixteen.
The strange consequence of these experiences was that my parents weren't simply emotionally damaged but that they had internalized the pain they had experienced for so long that it became unbearable for either one of them to cope with in any normal way. Neither of them were able to overcome the traumatic experiences they had endured in there childhood.
My mother well into her adult life was prone to prolonged periods of severe depression as well as repeated bouts of self starvation. My father was prone to sudden unexpected violent outbursts and nearly beat a man to death when he witnessed him beating his girlfriend.
However both my parents created a mechanism which allowed them to avoid being completely swallowed up by there own demons. They realized that there was simply no way in which they could lead normal lives and that even a somewhat normal existence was an unrealistic fantasy.
The events I'm about to describe will undoubtedly make many people very uncomfortable but I would like to tell you that neither of my parents were inherently evil people. They were clearly very disturbed individuals but were also human beings, that being said I will in no way be attempting to explain away there perversity. I will simply be giving an account of my childhood that is as accurate as possible.
One of the earliest memory's from my childhood is a little fragmented but I can still recall it with some clarity. My mother had slit both her wrists with a large kitchen knife and was bleeding profusely all over the slightly faded beige carpet in are living room. I can still see the small pool of blood that formed at her feet, soaking into the carpet. My father walked up to her and began to carefully inspect the wounds she had inflicted upon herself. After what seemed to be only a few seconds he began to laugh almost uncontrollably in a way that frightened me so much I started to cry.
At that very moment he looked directly at me
"How would you like to take a bath?" my father asked with a large smile.
He picked me up and undressed me before setting me down in are large bathtub. My mother walked in and sat down with me in the tub. She was still bleeding pretty heavily and the tub began to fill slowly with a small amount of blood.
I can't seem to recall anything else after that but for how young I was I think it's pretty impressive that I remember what I do. Another early memory I have is one that took place when I was in the third grade. I can remember what grade I was in at the time because I had just gotten straight As for the first time and was trying to convince my parents to buy me a dog.
After a considerably long period of time, I arrived home from school one day to find a large Great Dane waiting for me in my room. It immediately jumped up and began to lick my face and after a few weeks a very close bond began to form between the two of us.
Words can't express how much I came to love that dog, I was responsible for feeding and cleaning him and he slept with me in my bed every night. Both my parents seemed indifferent to the dog and made every effort to avoid making any sort of emotional connection with it. He was a very well behaved dog and almost never urinated in the house and at first I was slightly surprised with how little they interacted with him but over time I grew accustomed to there behavior.
One day when I came home from school I found my mother in my bedroom waiting for me. As I walked in the door she was sitting on my bed, her face looked very pale and she immediately stood up as I entered the room.
"There's something you have to see" she said nervously
"Come over here" my mother said grabbing me by my arm and leading me downstairs to our basement.
The first thing I saw as my mother pulled me into the room was my father standing over star, holding what seemed to be a large container of gasoline. I looked up at my fathers face and he simply looked back at me with a blank stare as if this was something I should have expected.
"Do you love me?" My father asked
"Yes, you know that I love you." I said not knowing what else to say
"I want you to explain to me how much you love me."
I struggled for a moment, not sure how to respond to the question.
"I love you with all my heart, I would do anything for you dad"
"Come here and hold this then" My father motioned for me to come forward and as I did he handed me the container of gasoline.
"Pour it on him."
"What, why, what do you mean I can't you know he's my dog" I began to cry as I tried to communicate how I felt and understand what was going on but my father remained determined.
"But you just said you loved me didn't you? I'm the reason why you are alive, I gave you life and I want you to prove you're love for me."
"But why like this, can't I prove it any other way?" I said sobbing, tears running down my face.
"There isn't any other way. If you don't do this then it will mean you no longer love me and a son can never be forgiven of that."
"But I do love you, please don't make me do this, I can't do this!"
"You have to chose between us, who do you love? Him or me."
"But I love both of you" I cried and fell to the floor.
My father quickly turned to look at my mother and she instantly approached me and said
"You must do this Mark, it really is the only way, I know it's very hard but we'll get you a new dog one day. Now stand up and do what your father asks."
There are moments in everyone's life that can never be forgotten, no matter how hard a person tries force them out of there memory. I've come to the realization that what happened that day will forever be seared into my mind until the day I die. I was emotionally devastated in the days after my father forced me to murder my dog. What's the normal reaction when your forced to take to the life of something you love? For months I struggled with the guilt that I felt for doing what he asked of me. In the days that followed I can recall my father seemed very proud of me.