Childhood

The Soaked Pillow

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Everything I say and do
you soak in the filth of your suspicion.
You mock me with cold heavy glances.
Worms slither from my fingers.
My eyes turn hideous, like those of a witch.
My hands are snakes
that uncoil to choke you;
but my feet stand shamed
glued to the floor,
trying in vain to escape
your cold mocking glances.

Celia Dropkin -Translation of Grace Schulman


I don’t know the lady who wrote the poem, but I have walked in her shoes from an early age on. I am not sure what brought it on and while I had to feel that way.

I screamed silently and cried tearless for many years. As a child, I pretended to sleep when SHE came to my room. She didn’t turn on the light, but left my door open so the light from the hallway would show her the way.

She then would shout in anger and would assure me over and over, that EVERYTHING was my fault. My plain existence was the core of her pain, so it seemed.

If I would just lay there with my eyes closed, then she would go away and perhaps tonight, she would not pour a glass of wine in my sleeping face, and I wouldn’t be forced to sleep through the night on a wet pillow, soaked in alcohol.

I feared her so much and I loved her just the same. SHE, my mother, was an alcoholic, I learned this later on when I got older. As a small child, she was simply just scary and unpredictable. I had made her that angry -again.

If HE, my fatherwould just come home, then she would leave my room and shout at him and call him names. He worked late, too often it was 10 pm before I could hear him open the garage. Oh, how I loved to hear that noise.

My parents, the unhappy people who had given life to me, made my life so miserable at times. One knowingly, the other one not knowing -or not wanting to know.

The handsome man and the attractive woman, what a beautiful couple they were and how well they played the happily married couple outside our home. Behind closed doors, we all lived a nightmare and there was no escape.

Writing about my childhood seems to lift a weight off my shoulders. The unspoken has been spoken! Pandora’s box has been opened and there is no going back.

When you are screamed at and told how worthless you are, food is the only comfort. I have numbed myself with food all my life. Just like SHE was addicted to alcohol, I am addicted to food. I am going to change that!

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