Sunday, July 11, 2004

PART 5 - Shine On You Crazy Diamond

I never realized how large my digital library had become until I began combing it for songs to feature here on Diary-A. This evening, I am chilling to Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond"

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sometimes when two things happen at the same time, we call it fate, or coincidence, or divine intervention. Fate played a BIG hand in the years that followed the last post. I guess they play a role in everyone's life, but maybe it was just more noticeable in mine because I so badly needed fate to lend a hand.

I can't pinpoint the exact day, but I can say with some certainty that my sister's brave stand occurred just about the time that my mother caught LP and I in a compromising situation. All hell was breaking loose at home, and I was sure that the roof was going to blow sky-high before it all settled out. It didn't, but things were never the same.

My sister's declaration of independence was a powerful catalyst. After she stood her ground with my dad, she told my mother everything so that she would be prepared, if indeed, my sister had to go forward with the threat of charges and running away with me. My mother seemed to wake up from the paralyzing stupor that she had been in for the better part of the previous 4 years or so, and things began to change.

My mother was never strong enough to be able to fight for herself, but she found the strength to fight for us. She assured my father that if any of my sister's plans transpired, that he could kiss us all goodbye forever. My mom got another job that paid a little better and was a little closer, and that got her home a little earlier. About an hour earlier. That was just enough time for her to arrive home one day soon after starting her new schedule to a quiet house, walk up the bedroom hallway, open the door to LP's room and find me there with him, unclothed, and obviously being held against my will. I remember feeling many, many things at once: fright about being discovered, fear of what LP would do to me since he had threatened me so many times, relief that she had come in and discovered this nightmare, and shame. Shame was the overriding feeling. Young children are like that; they tend to think that their small world falls apart because of their own wrongdoing, and they are too innocent to suspect the ill will of others.

I remember her taking me into my room . . . alone. My sister and GB were not aware of what transpired, and wouldn't know of it until 20 years later. My mother began to ask me questions that I wasn't sure how to answer. What had he done to me? Was I hurt? Why had I not told her? I cried and cried, and threw up, and spent the rest of the evening in her lap. She cried with me.

She told my father what happened, and believe it or not, LP escaped a beating because of my sister's edict, but the look on his face when he exited his room with my parents after several hours was one that I had never seen before or since. In front of me, my father put his finger into LP's chest, poking to emphasize every word, "If I Ever Hear That You Have Touched Her Again, I Will Kill You. Make No Mistake. Not Hurt You, Kill You. Do You Understand?" LP's reign of terror was over. After he was outed, he never touched me again, but he never really spoke to me again, either. Our icy, hate-filled relationship began that day, and it quickly grew to epic proportions.

One other big change transpired around this time. In the face of mounting debt and possible charges if he was unable to keep his temper in check, my father decided to "go on the road" and be a contract engineer. Work in aerospace was plentiful in other states, and it was the closest that my parents came to divorce, being Catholic. He left our home when I was 8, and spent no appreciable time there again until I was 13.

In my world, darkness gave way to sunlight. I no longer feared being at home. My dad was gone, and my evil brother had been neutralized, just like that. For awhile, I would talk to my dad on the phone, and along with asking about my schoolwork, he would ask me if LP was "treating me alright". He always ended our conversations with "If anybody bothers you, all you have to do is call me. I don't give a shit what time it is, little girl, do you understand?" I was young, but I understood completely what that meant. The monster had turned into my protector, and I was so thankful for that, I almost forgot just how monstrous he was. Almost.

My mother was struggling to keep a stiff upper lip, but as little as I was, I saw the hurt and worry that plagued her. One night, not long after my dad left, I went into her room and asked if I could sleep with her. As I laid with her, she smoothed my hair with her hand, and thinking I was asleep, she cried quietly. I woke up still laying against her, holding her hand. I slept with her from then on . . . I finally had my mother to myself. She was still gone for most of the day, I was still on my own, but for those few hours, I was wrapped in the soothing presence of my mama.

With my dad gone and with LP no longer a direct threat, I began to come into my own. The anger and hurt and fear that had been pushed down and compressed for so long began to form icy, hard diamonds of pure hatred. At 12, I was a smart kid and I developed a very sharp tongue, and my own little violent streak began to emerge. I began to come and go as I pleased, and it rarely occurred to me to ask permission to do or go where I wanted.

The few times my mother tried to reign me in, I cut her to ribbons. "You never took care of me, I took care of myself. Leave me alone." I knew it hurt her, and even when I walked away crying, I never apologized for it. I was still too mad, and too strongwilled to listen to anyone. That would be my undoing in years to come.

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