She tells me I was a quiet toddler with a shy smile — rarely, if ever, did I say a word.
My mothers oldest daughter, my sister that is, the one he split in two when she was ten.
No one spoke up against the fists and force of him.
Except when I was four.
I earned my first unbridled beating to an unconscious state.
I woke up naked and small in an ice cold bath.
So much for speaking up.
My teeth still chatter and my knees still shake to this day when I speak.
I feel frozen to the very bone.
Make no bloody wonder speaking up feels like being led to slaughter….
Silence was beat into me.
The next time I dared dialogue was when I was fourteen.
He took away the wheelchair of an invalid and made him crawl to his dinner.
I watched with helpless rage.
Prepared to perish — I pleaded.
His lips pursed together and his eyes danced at my despair…
But he gave him back the chair.
Now I am nearing forty four.
Speaking up in the face of force and fists has never come easy to me.
Being bludgeoned half to death has that effect.
You may exalt the speaking — but I cannot forget the slaughter.
You may applaud the pleading — but I cannot forget the laughter.