Do you know what it’s like to love those who hurt you. Do you know of the pain that follows when you realise this truth. Do you know how to stop loving your flesh and blood for the sake of your own life.
Let me tell you a story.
An unholy marriage occurred between two people that should have never met. He chose her. He never hid why he chose her actually. She was easy to manipulate. She had no idea what life was about. That’s what happens when you’re locked in a room with no socialization. Don’t make eye contact when you speak to men or anyone for that matter. That’s what a lady does. She remains quiet unless spoken to directly. She covers up and walks with her head lowered. She must know her place. No friends. Friends are for the wicked; for those who want “fun”. And we all know how awful fun is, right. She didn’t understand why or how she bled. She didn’t even know where babies came from. Marrying at 18 was normal. She knew nothing; he knew this and put a ring on it. Now he has a vulnerable, oblivious mind in his grasp. She has the parts to satisfy him and the inability to challenge his authority.
He’s insane. A monster walking amongst humanity. No one stops him or asks questions. It’s a man’s world after all. His aggression and authoritativeness is an admirable quality amongst men. He keeps his wife and children in line with his will. How? Why the fuck would that matter to the public. No one gives a shit. A man’s presence is all that matters. Reputation, status, the public image is a delicate balance for a man. Everyone must think he’s strong and powerful, by any means necessary. Sons. His ultimate goal in life. The more sons you have, the more powerful your status will be. She was merely the herb garden. He never loved her. He often screamed this; sometimes randomly. The first was a girl. Why. he didn’t ask for this. Well, okay; it’s the firstborn so he still has to work on this one. Firstborns are legacies. He’ll make her the son he could not get. The second was still a girl. Why. He’s becoming upset about this. Finally, a son. A king to elevate to the highest possible state. One that could do no wrong. Cameras flashed. Celebrations were had. A son. He should have stopped there but he couldn’t. A taste of having one sent his man status flying. A third girl. Something happened. The third girl will always wonder what. This time no pictures were taken. He was angry. He regretted his wife. Why was she only producing girls. New rules for this child. Ignored from birth. A reminder of his lack of male children. He became desperate. Eleven months after this birth she gave birth again. To another girl. No pictures. Anger. Again he waited; a year and four months just to be infuriated by another goddamn girl baby. He never wanted daughters; how could he have five. The horror. His herb garden almost died this time. Every child had been had through natural birth. He couldn’t afford to feed her or the children he already had. But he was a madman. Driven by status and his toxic masculinity.
The doctors were angry. She almost died and took the new baby with her. Her body was tiny, malnourished. It had already been six. He refused. The three girls in succession had made him angry. He refused to carry them; refused to be a father to them. No celebrations. Birthing girls were a crime. He refused to allow her tubes to be tied. If she did, she’d be of no use to him again. And so, just eleven months later she gave birth. A second son. Two more sons were soon birthed after; less than 2 years difference in between. The doctors didn’t need permission this time. Another pregnancy would kill her. They just tied it.
As for me; I was the third girl, the fourth child. The one that began his true hatred toward her. I saw it in her eyes every time she looked at me. I felt it in the way she beat me. Like I stole something from her. I was born an empath. I felt everything. I saw everything. I feel like I was the universe’s vengeance on the monster and she never knew it. No time for a fourth. Even in a normal family, the fourth becomes too much. At first, I thought this was the reason I was ignored. I was never carried. By her nor anyone else. She told herself it was from being too busy so she made that rule. Neither of them spoke to me much or acknowledged my existence. She never liked me. Even my siblings eventually could not ignore this fact. I became the scapegoat before I could even walk or talk. Blamed for anything and everything that went wrong. I was always tired. I tried to make her love me. There was something different about me. I knew they sensed it. I’d see them watching me. He often eyed me warily. My silence bothered them. I hardly spoke about anything or to anyone. This was not intentional at all. I didn’t have anything to say. I was taking it all in. I was born into something that didn’t make sense. Nothing was ever normal. Being locked up meant that you never found out what normal even meant. There were no relative comparisons.
It took me far longer than I’m proud of, to realise that the confinement was part of the brainwashing. No friends. It was one of the biggest rules in the house. Only for the three girls. Writing our story is far too painful for me right now. Even 26 years later. I can only tell you this much. My brain is really good at analysing information. It was my gift. I wasn’t a normal kid. My parents knew nothing of my life or studies. They did the mandatory. They weren’t going to actually. The first girl was never meant to be educated. Her job as a female firstborn was to assist with childcare. Some kind soul reported a growing girl not attending school. The police mandated them to do it. School saved my life. I started to learn things for the first time in my life. There was no such thing as pre-school. The only learning that happened was what the government was forcing them to allow us. Primary school was the first time I met people who weren’t in the cult. It was okay because by this point I’d been thoroughly brainwashed into thinking that all non-believers were evil and destined for eternal torture. No one saw me off or hugged me goodbye. The firstborn was delegated to see me to the class I’d been assigned to. Lost and speechless in a world I’d never seen before I just clutched my Checkers plastic packet holding my pencil and a ruler. All I remember is a lady’s voice saying “okay, class, now we will draw a margin.” There’s no other memory of grade 1 that I can find except a few flashes of being bullied that year. She scraped the skin of my knee with her shoes. I didn’t know why neither did I ask. I was accustomed to pain (what, did you really think my dearest father would ever paused the beatings). A year later I moved to a new school. We were always moving. He couldn’t pay rent or feed his children. We often slept on floors, squashed into bunk beds. Hunger was a familiar feeling. We were skin on bones for a long time. They borrowed money, fed us scraps, begged for clothes. The first time I was left to care for my younger siblings was when I was five years old. I remember because I was so keen to help. I saw my mother washing dishes so often. The biological connection was so strong. My heart bled for her; sometimes I can still cry for her. Making the tears go away is a simple task though; all I have to do is remember what she did to the three girls. She was stupid to hate me this way. She saw strength in me and she hated me for it. “It’s not you that I don’t like, it’s your personality”. I am my personality, mother. That means it’s actually me you don’t like. She turned away. As I got older I often screamed questions at her. “Why do you hate me like this. What happened at my birth. Just tell me.” She always turned away. Never ever got a response. She had no observable reason to treat me the way she did. It made no sense. I was above average intelligence. It took me ages to figure that out. I soaked information like a sponge. I felt desperate to read. It was a hunger I can’t explain. Without any input from anyone else, I brought home report cards that just became the norm. They never attended teacher-parent anything for me. I didn’t need it. They never taught me or even read anything I wrote. They never knew why or how the report cards bloomed so. Neither did they question it. I didn’t know either. I had no clue that I was smart. I used logic and reasoning in everything I did. Whenever I won awards, it was a massive shock to me. It was actually never my intention or goal. I was just doing what was put in front of me. All I cared about was disappearing into books. Being somewhere else. I lived in my mind for most of my life. My only escape. Little did I know, this brain would save me and two other girls.
Mother dear, you were really stupid for choosing them. I could have saved you. Your three girls are gone. You know what you did. Stop deluding yourself into calling yourself “mom”. It took years, pain until I passed out, alcoholism and piecing my memories together to figure you out and truly burn your existence from my ability to care for you. Even the monster himself asked you to calm down on me multiple times. I stayed quiet like you forced me to; like you ordered me to. There is no retribution nor forgiveness possible. I was quiet but I was not blind. I know you saw this coming. You saw it in my eyes. You made the world about girls versus boys. You turned your children on one another. Fuck you for that. Fuck you for the two years I never spoke to my almost twin, and honestly, with all my soul, fuck you for what you did to your youngest daughter. I got to be a mother far before I was capable or able. It messed me up so bad. Fuck your family. I was never included anyway. Your pride and abyss of lies and delusions have ended. I’m slowly exposing the cult, the disgusting closet you keep locked away. I know I’m fucked up. I wake up angry. Don’t think the memories don’t torture my adult brain. You stole from me. Things I can never regain. I still wake up screaming if I forget to care for my delicate, intricate mental balance. I hear my young ones scream too. Sometimes we talk about it. Sometimes we run from each other. You had choices, mother. Don’t pretend you didn’t. Don’t you dare fucking cry for us.