*Trigger Warning: Sexual abuse.
Imagine a girl
Trapped in a liquor bottle.
This is all she sees-
The inappropriate drinking
Of her alcoholic father
And not old enough
To know any different.
Sometimes she’s let out,
Breathes fresh air,
But it’s jarring
Because she’s now accustomed to
The smell of it.
The smell of sickness permeating the house,
Of sweat mixed with bile mixed with beer
And the perfectly constructed excuses
Falling out of her mother’s mouth
She desperately copies
As if this will somehow save her.
As if they’re not all drowning together.
And in the wash of alcohol,
Behind the effervescence her mother
Has so carefully created
To further block the view,
To keep you from looking too closely,
In it is her sister,
This darling girl
She only wants to protect,
Who she mothers and loves and bathes
While father is passed out drunk
Or really involved in a movie.
And she wants so desperately
To please her parents
And when her dad comes into her room at night
She doesn’t know any better.
But she doesn’t-
She lives inside a bottle.
A pretty glass bottle full of bubbles
And beautiful lies
And the smell of his sweat
As his hands go where they shouldn’t.
And then she thinks, foolishly,
That the truth will set her free,
That it will break the glass.
She tells her grandparents,
Then her mother,
And mom’s stride is broken,
But only momentarily.
An agreement is reached
That everyone seems quite happy with
And the father goes to rehab or something
Because he was so blacked-out drunk
He doesn’t remember
So it couldn’t have been
And the girl,
For all her honesty,
She hasn’t even cracked the glass.
No one can hear her banging against it
Over the sound of contrived laughter
And congratulations for beating alcoholism
And look at you, making your marriage work.
But we didn’t beat anything,
The girl is crying out,
Because she saw dad’s whiskey
Behind the couch cushion.
And that’s only the beginning.
Tonight, my dad sent me the following.
Note: In the last few messages, my father is referring to my mother’s inability to speak properly due to her illness [ALS/MND] and that my step-dad had to translate for her. One night I drunkenly snuck out with a few friends and afterward she called my father to let him know. This is him trying to dig the guilt-knife in a little deeper.
Happy Birthday to me.