I liked Doc, or maybe it was that I just liked his lack of intensity. The dad with the empty eyes carried a sense of foreboding, and I felt as if I were walking in a perpetual minefield every time I was in his presence. Doc’s demeanor was calm and laid-back, and he patiently explained things like how to put up a tent or how his rock tools were used to cut and shape.
Archives for May 2013
MY MOTHER BEGAN dating Doc right after she separated from Howard, the dad with the choking hands. Doc had once been a practicing medical doctor in the San Diego area, but he hadn’t worked since he surrendered to his daily drinking. Now living a subsistence life at the bottom of the economic scale, his home was an old, small trailer in a broken-down mobile home park.
Doc was an avid rock hound who loved going out in the desert areas in eastern Southern California. Next to smoking and drinking, he enjoyed collecting unusual rocks, mineral specimens, and, when lucky, gemstones.
Oops! This week I posted an excerpt from my book, Ragdoll Redeemed out of sequence. When I realized my mistake, I immediately posted the two previous scheduled excerpts as a corrective measure. Hence, three posts this week.
As the following information relates to the title of my blog site, The Faces We Live (The PARTS of us or aspects of ourselves that often run our lives without our explicit permission) toxic parenting helps us to understand how we have become who we are today. Nevertheless, as I have stated elsewhere;
Now five, almost six years old, with long, blond, matted hair, feet without shoes, sporting tar and dirt like a widely dispersed birthmark, I recessed further into being a shy, anxious child. My anxiety was elevated by the loudness that reverberated so often within the walls of my dingy home.
Veronica and Howard’s hate-filled relationship tormented all of us for two more years. I tried to close my ears to the words that would never be uttered in churches or in other children’s homes.
One gloomy northern California day, after six heavenly months of peace, my foster parents packed me in their car and headed back to the house with no paint. Nothing my kind new dad or my wonderful new mom said to me could cheer me during the long drive south. Our mutual sadness enveloped the inside of the car like a black fog, becoming denser with each passing mile. Soon no one was even attempting to speak cheery, meaningless words of comfort.
Even my sweet eight-year-old brother couldn’t talk me out of the corner where I scrunched up against the wall, hiding, my eyes tightly shut. Holding out his hand to me, Ronnie said, “Come on, Dawnie, these are nice people and they are going to take you for a ride in their big car.”
I shook my head from side to side, too scared to talk, and my brother begged me, “Please Dawnie, just come say hi to them. They have a baby doll for you in the car and some candy. I saw it. Everything will be okay. Just come out, pleeeease.”
HOWARD, MY ADOPTIVE father, frequently locked me in my brothers’ small bedroom with its colorful floors. One small window became my salvation: I would imagine myself flying out of it to perch upon the fluttering leaves I could see from my assigned square on the floor. It was hard for my four-year-old arms and legs to remain still for so many hours. When he was angry, Howard would frequently grab me by one arm and yank me high up in the air. On one occasion he dislocated my arm from my shoulder before slamming me down on the orange and blue linoleum. For years I had recurring nightmares in which I was frantically running from pieces of orange and blue squares.