I was on my computer. Just wasting time, really. My family was out, and the middle brother was babysitting the youngest brother. Usually it’s my job to babysit, but my mother wanted to give me an easy night after I had a long day at work. Anyway, it was eleven o’clock at night. My family just got home. Even though I was tired, I hadn’t tried going to sleep yet. They always wake me up when they come up. Usually indirectly, when they come into my room to check on me or go through my stuff. Or purposefully, when they feel like complaining about what a mess the house in general, or my room specifically, is in. And them going through my stuff makes me uncomfortable. So I stay awake. My mom usually says goodnight, then goes straight upstairs and to sleep. Usually my stepdad follows her. But tonight, like a few other unfortunate nights, he has decided he’d rather talk to me.
Now, my mom and stepdad have been pressuring me to talk to him for the past week or two. It’s a bad idea, we all know it, but they think it’ll eventually make us a closer family. I knew it wouldn’t work, but like the gullible, weak-willed person I am, I gave in and decided to give it a shot. So just like the previous times this week, and many other times throughout my life, I responded with more than yes, no, I don’t know, or plain silence.
He wanted to lecture me on how I have no right to be alive. He said my current status of living is due to the mere accident of my being born to a mother in the most civilized of all countries, America. And since then, she and he have been working solely to feed me. He asked me what right I had to be alive, and why I was alive. I told him I had “every right to be alive,” and that I was alive because my mother wanted children. He got offended, as he seemed to think I was only alive because he got a job solely to feed and shelter me.
He proceeded to insult me in the usual ways. I am fat, I am useless, I am not a man, I am a pussy, I am a bitch, I am a fool, I am deluded, I have a “victim mentatlity” (which is a favorite phrase of his). I have never suffered in my life. I have never experienced hardship. I have never been challenged. I never earned my good grades, apparently my mother forced me to. I don’t think she’s ever been to my college campus, and she doesn’t understand anything I’m learning. And, most importantly, she’s stopped helicoptering and has been giving me freedom to do what I want and come home when I want, and my grades have never been higher. I do not have a job, according to him, because I currently work two or three days a week in the same building my mother does, and that’s not a job because she helped me get it.
So, I told him what I though. That he is stupid. That my job-that-is-not-a-job really is a job. That my grades-that-my-mother-earned were really earned by me. That the so-called man of the house is an idiot, a retard, a moron, and a dumbass.
He said I was not a man because I was not supporting myself, my mother, and him.
I said I’m getting an education to get a better job than he has. (Welding.)
That apparently hurt his feelings, as he got visibly more upset.
My memory grows fuzzy at this point. At any rate, he got in my face, pushed me with his chest, and swore a lot. He threatened to kill me, and graphically described the ways he could and nearly has killed me. According to him, it wasn’t threatening, because even though he could kill me, and will kill, he didn’t want to kill me, so it wasn’t a threat. He continued threatening to kill me. He told me about the many times he tried to kill me before, but my mother stopped him at the last minute. He told me I was trying to take his son (my youngest brother) away from him. He told me no matter what I did or said, no one would ever listen to me. And even if he did kill me, my mother would still not take his son away from him. When he allowed me to respond in this part of the conversation, I swore at him.
The conversation went on, mostly now about him complaining about his childhood, and me being too tired to continue disagreeing with his stupidity. Each minute was excruciating. It never seemed to end.
He said he expected me to use this conversation against him, and that I wasn’t man enough not to. Never mind that I use to be the mindless sheep he thinks I am now, and would listen to every word he said. I know all too well that doesn’t work. And I know what he’s doing. He’s being manipulative. While he says he’s not, I know that’s what he does. He doesn’t want me to tell my mother because, obviously, that would benefit him. I’ve withheld conversation from my mom. So many similar nights, stretching back to when I was twelve years old, and he told me I was a worthless puke. We had been pulled over on the road for so long, with him telling me how worthless I was, my grandparents thought we were lost. He threatened me, and demanded I not tell anyone. I didn’t. What kind of “man” has to keep secrets from his wife and her family like that? No kind of man that I know of. But I digress.
I have kept these secrets of his, to no benefit of me. I’ve tried telling my mom before, she either brushes my complaints of with phrases like “Your biological father was worse” or “My dad was meaner to me when I was growing up” and so on. As if that makes it okay. That “logic”, so-called, has always made me furious. AS IF THAT MAKES IT OKAY.
Last time I spoke to my mother of such conversations, he got drunk and almost tried to kill me for taking his son away from him, as if it were my fault he were such a violent idiot and a bad parent. He threatened to urinate on me several times, and even tried to once or twice, but I did not let him. In the end, I just bullshitted and said all the answers I knew he wanted to hear. After another hour or so, he let me go inside, at which point I grabbed my things and snuck out the back and drove my car to my then-girlfriend’s, though now ex’s, house, where I slept for four hours before getting my grandmother to pick me up. I stayed at her house for a week. Eventually, my mother came to visit me. She asked me if I thought she was choosing my stepfather over my self. I tried not to let her know how stupid that question was, and I think I did a pretty good job. Though I did say yes, that was what I thought. She hugged me and seemed sad and said it wasn’t true, and that if anything like that ever happened again she’d kick him out and get a divorce. Well, if you ever read this, Mother, I think you’re lying. We’ll see soon enough though.
I didn’t believe her. I didn’t ever want to come back. But she begged me and guilted me. I’m a sucker for guilt trips. I went back home and have regretted it ever since. What kind of “home” does one feel unwelcome in? What kind of “home” does one fear for his life in? Not a very good home at all, to be sure.
So that brings us back to know. It is currently 1:47 in the morning. He has come back to check on me once since the talk. I have not heard him go up the stairs yet, but I am too shaken to sleep. I needed to get this out, which led me to writing what you have just read.
I know my life could have been worse. But it should have been better.