By: Marc McMahon
I was a recipe for goodness and disaster, light and dark, good and bad. From a very early age, the ingredients to my struggles had been carefully picked and skillfully placed into the flat black, flame seared pot that gently simmered the ingredients to my future.
The perfect amount of pain splashed with just enough love to keep things seeming normal, blended with the horror of a distant Christmas Eve that I cannot remember. The terror of a memory from old, a hurt felt so severe it had to be repressed. Wrapped in a chain, padlocked, put into an old cedar chest, and dropped to the bottom of my minds ocean.
Trauma forcefully forgotten, creating the perfect womb, to grow my Monster!
I spoke with my favorite Aunty last night and the topic turned left down a bumpy dirt road, then a hard right onto the barely navigable road of Mental Illness. I went on to explain to her how my Chemical Dependency Counselor I started seeing again after my last relapse became very concerned about my Bi-Polar disorder after I had told her a story from my childhood.
My Counselor said she thinks this time we should incorporate a Mental Health Therapist into my recovery program along with seeing her because the story I just told her was severely traumatic. If that was traumatic I thought to myself, then so was my entire first 12 years on this planet.
My Aunty said to me “that is probably a good idea I think, you do know Marc that your dad had some severe Mental Health issues don’t you?” I replied with a yes and then said my dad tried to kill my mom and I when I was young didn’t he Aunty? There was a moment of silence on her end then in her super sweet and oh so loving of a voice she said softly, “well yes he did sweetie when you were very young.”
It was on a Christmas eve the exact date I am not sure but I believe I was about four at the time. Mom and I in her arms had apparently sought refuge in our apartment bathroom from my Father who just 22 at the time had apparently had another one of his mental breaks and was roaming the apartment with a loaded handgun looking for something or someone to kill.
The only place my young mother (also just 22 at the time) could think to hide was behind what was thought to be the safety of a locked bathroom door. From the information, I have put together from relatives that safety was short lived as my dad kicked the locked door open and put a gun to my head saying he was going to kill us both. How my mom managed to talk our way out of the bathroom that Christmas Eve it seems no-one really knows.
Since the topic seems to be a bit taboo with my mother she has never told me either and I’m not sure she has really ever told anyone, at least not anyone who will share that information with the rest of us. I guess all that really matters is that she did and because of her ability to do so we are still both alive.
That in itself shows you the depth of a Mothers Love!!
I have been trying for years to piece the events of that evening back together in my mind. As if that by doing so I will magically be handed the key that unlocks the rest of my potential and allows me to once and for all abstain from putting mind or mood altering substances into my body. It is not a thought I walk around with pondering all the time in my conscious mind, but it is a thought that subconsciously gnaws at my insides more often than I care to admit I think.
Like a poison or a virus, or maybe it is the root of my disease for which there is no known cure. I don’t know but sometimes I can’t help but feel desperate to find out. I have resolved a few issues over the years just between me, myself, and I. The biggest is probably letting go of the bitter hatred I had towards my real Father because of the events of that evening, and yes, that was the last time I ever saw my daddy!
Through my own struggles in life, through all the pain I caused others in my addiction even though hurting them was not my goal I learned how to forgive my dad. I learned that if I could hurt people I loved even though I really didn’t want to that maybe he did not really ever want to hurt us that night either. That maybe his Monster was so strong that evening he could not stop what it wanted to do even though he wanted too.
I’m not making fucking excuses for him either so if that thought just crossed your mind loose it, please! All I am saying is that I know the feeling, I know how strong the beast can be, and I know that it has the power when at it’s strongest to make even a behemoth of a man crumble and become the puppet to its horrible desires. Trust me I know.
I just cannot help but think that I remember the days just prior to this event, and I remember moving into my Grandparents house which was apparently right after all this happened but I don’t remember this day at all. It’s a memory my soul blocked from ever reaching my conscious young mind in order to save me any more grief than necessary. Even though I understand that this memory may be too much even for my grown mind, I cannot for the life of me stop trying to unravel the mystery that lies within it.
Dad, I want you to know that even though you may have hated me, I still love you!
About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!