My dad used to beat me. I was caught dumbfounded, every single time… with that initial blow.
It was the shock, the disbelief that someone who loved me, could do something like this to me.
Second blow. Reality check. It’s happening. Stomach sinks. I sat that there and took it and kept silence, still in disbelief.
Acceptance of the hate.
It wasn’t the blows itself, it wasn’t the throbbing, pounding pain — that wasn’t what hurt — that was easy.
It was the emotional trauma, as it happened, and continued to happen (and wasn’t stopping) in real time.
Each blow to my face, head, and body… it was nothing:
The blows didn’t do any damage at all. The blows were on the surface. But inside my head was a hollow, reverberating thunder, that echoed back at me with each blow.
Time slowed down, it was as if I was in slow motion, while the echoes multiplied each blow by a hundred. It was surreal.
It was the intent behind the blows, the tone in the voice, the look in the eyes — that made each blow thunder and echo back to me inside my head.
No amount of explanation, nor a hundred years of tears, nor crying, nor sobbing, nor breaking down to my knees could ever describe the kind of hurt.
Each blow would destroy my spirit. Break me inside. Sink my gut. Weaken me. Drain my life force. Kill my will to keep breathing.
I needed another and another to dull the hurt each previous blow caused.
The echoes never stopped.
To this day I hear and feel them in flashbacks. In hate filled words. In hating eyes. In hate directed at me in any form. Not from my enemies, but from those who were supposed to love me.
And I realize my spirit was never meant to overcome any of it, was never meant to fight back, was merely a thread blowing in the wind, helpless, destitute, weak. Was meant to give in, yield to it, and take it. Because there really is no way to stop it.
No amount of washing or bathing, no amount of strength training or bodybuilding, no amount of martial arts training, no amount of prayer, no amount of crying, no amount of loving, no amount of being loved, ever takes the flashbacks away, or stops the hate-filled thunder that echoes inside my head.
And I realized recently that the problem was not my dad. For he merely embodied the same lack of understanding, lack of patience, lack of compassion, arrogance that many people today do. The problem is you, when you merely point your finger.
Your judgement embodies the same ignorance and hate that thunders lifetimes to eternity in the souls of everyone you’ve ever pointed your finger at.
I found strength not in power, but in weakness.
The result was not my destruction, but freedom.
For after realizing this, I changed myself.
The only way to ever heal yourself, is to understand that you have to clear the hate FROM yourself.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”