I’ve been evaluating the lagging of my mind and my fathers.
How I keep doing the same thing again and again.
Fuck it though it’s been a couple of days. I can’t type out the exacts because they’ve faded.
You see, I had the title to this post saved in my drafts, and haven’t completed it until now, but it’s still important and needs to be published for bloggings sake.
He repeated sentences, especially ones of the past.
His voice would change, angrier and of a complete different tone than the tone of the father I’ve known all my life.
I’ve heard it only a select few moments of life before.
Once was at Jekyll island, when he was talking in his sleep.
It was the same night I go in to the room the family is laughing in after going to get the absinthe and ice cubes.
He goes on about my future.
On with the words of fear, and how I’ve messed up before. “Well, she wants to go to Sedona with this man she doesn’t even know.”
I can hear his subconscious saying, “just trying to get raped again”.
I understand it, they just found out about the rape happening. At first they didn’t have a response, must have been denial.
Then they would almost joke about it, but hold it back. Mom regressed to anger, occasionally, she didn’t let it out on me, but she let it out on dad.
One morning she followed him down the stairs in anger as he ran to the couch and just got yelled at. Then he was resentful, said he didn’t deserve it, that was the part that was different. The same was the yelling. I was watching ghosts come back to haunt them.
Dad said that mom and him had been happy, that not to blame me, but that the rape was getting to her, that she felt like she had failed.
In my head were the words, “I don’t think that’s it. I think that’s how you feel” those words stayed in. I needed to not push him. It needed time.
Then one night there’s talking and in that talking they say “We think we’re just going to stay in denial about it.” Okay, I say.
We continue in life and laugh some, enjoy each other, watch movies and they see that I’m sane. That I’m happy, and not a walking victim.
I even tell them I don’t want it to define me, that I’ve gotten through it, and that they’re relying on the ideas they’ve seen or heard on TV. Mine was different, and I’ll even tell you about it.
“No no. Dad will go kill him.” “Well I already got revenge. I had a friend who found out and broke his legs. Does that help?”
“Yeah” says the words of mom into dad’s silence. “I still want his name.” “Look I got revenge, he’ll never be able to do it again.” “I have people.” “Well…if you really want” I’m shocked over myself letting out those words. I didn’t consciously release them, but another part of me relieved itself like it had been holding a full bladder. “No, Fred. You don’t need that on you.” She is the voice of reason and we calm down from imagining my rapist getting his body parts ripped off.
Days later they talk about Celia, how her rape destroyed her and got in her head. She never faced it. I start to see the layers that have been working under the fear, creating it. I take off a red velvet layer and serve it.
I even laugh a bit and say I won’t turn out like her, that she let it become her while I confronted it. They exchange a look of ‘maybe it’s okay but I also think the moment we turn back to look at her she’ll have sprouted Celia wings and we’ll have to get her a chocolate drip’.
They turn back and I’m still me.
I want to say “Hi. I’m Ainsley”, but hold out and wait for time.
Oh but back to young alzheimers, or, I suppose we’ll get to that. You see. It all relates. How people hold onto the past, as though the brain doesn’t finish. As though we get stuck.
There’s the natural side of it, the things that happen simply because they happen (until we can elaborate on that to be primal…I’m working on it). There’s the natural mechanisms of the brain, the denial, the anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
There’s emotions of rage, happiness, anger, fear, sadness. There’s the exaggeration of them.
We have people that get stuck in them. As though the brain has mechanisms of adaptation and yet we aren’t adapting. The brain forms paths and knows when they aren’t completed.
Rebounds of fear, repetition over and over as the brain realizes it didn’t complete.
The brain forms paths of what it wants.
The brain decides ten seconds before our awareness.
What if the path doesn’t complete itself?
What if the body is reacting to stimuli and it lags from alcohol? If it bursts out from caffeine? Paths being completed too quickly or too slowly.
On alcohol my father’s mind let itself be known.
It took a lot of liquid. He couldn’t seem to stop, as though he needed to reach it, or as though he just couldn’t stop. Maybe it felt good to no longer be in control, to no longer hold the thought back, ‘my daughter has been raped. She’s even going to go away into the world again. I can’t trust the world. I can’t trust her. I can’t trust men. Fuck it. This tastes divine.’
He repeats stories. He repeats ideas.
“Well. Have you thought about it being the most expensive place to live?”
“You don’t even know this man. You only knew him two weeks before deciding to move there. Who does that?”
My aunt steps in.
“Okay. I get that you guys are afraid, but have you thought that maybe she is good at sales? You said she’s been at your company two weeks and sales have already gone up. She’s also great at words. That. That is rare to find. Maybe he sees that and knows what he wants.”
They both glower a bit, and she goes on.
“She does also need to learn to be more cautious, and evaluate decisions more. But, I’ve got to tell you. I had people I went to for advice and it wasn’t my parents.”
In some word use they and I decide Stefanie could work for that. We like Stefanie, she’s going to be a lawyer. She was raped too. Father actually found her on FB and invited her to stay out at our place to escape, this was a week before I arrived, before they knew.
Dad told me about her before I told them about me.
He said he actually felt drawn to her and that it seemed like it was for something else, that it seemed like a part of it was for me. He’s a spiritual man. I love that about him. He believes, in many ways the same as me, just with different labels.
We leave and mom says, “yeah, everyone is just on their side. No one is ever on ours.” I can tell it’s from more than just this situation. We’re bringing up all of the past.
Mom gets angry and dad says “you’re just like your mother”, dad is drunk and mom says “you’re just like your father.”
I have never, ever, in my entire life heard them say that to one another.
The ghosts are alive.
Father says he was dreading me coming home. I say I’m leaving then. Mom says she can’t trust anyone and is cancelling the trip to Germany.
I run after her and say “Mom. I’m sorry. I’m not leaving. I just reacted to what dad was saying.”
We all get to the same room.
I sit on the bed.
Dad goes to change.
Mom stands a moment, then puts on shoes and heads out the door.
“Do you want me to come with you?” I say.
I stand there, lost and worried for their future, feeling I fucked it up.
Dad doesn’t do anything. It feels like childhood.
Then he puts on his shoes.
My heart leaps and I let it leave me a moment before it comes back down, feeling how good it feels to be heartless.
“Will she be okay?”
“Yeah” he says, soothingly, “don’t worry.”
I remain sitting there, wondering how far she went and if he’d ever find her.
Many minutes later he comes back.
“We’re going to go for a drive.” “Is she okay?” …maybe that’s when I asked it and not before…
“Yeah. Don’t worry. She’ll be fine.” Any of those words could be wrong.
He leaves and a part of me turns to the puzzle piece that feels everything is going to be fine, but the whole picture isn’t complete and many of the edges are warped. Mom’s nose looks like Aretha Franklin’s. I don’t know if she has a weird nose, that’s just the name that came to mind when searching for a joke.
She isn’t even a joke.
I was looking for a juxtapose.
Maybe I just like that name.
Or am lost in stagnant repetition as my mind gives up searching.
That night my father talks in his sleep. He sounds like his father. He seems like he’s saying phrases he’s heard before. They remind me of Grandpa, they sound like him telling dad off. “Get that steer over to the pasture!” That’s not what he said, I can’t fully recall it, just hear the sounds without the words in my memory. I almost hear the English but it slides off my mind as I don’t hold it, and hear other English try to fill it in. English across an entire life.
I hear it several times in the night.
Grandpa and father.
The next day we talk, we’re friends again.
“Hey so, not to bring up last night too much, but, you are okay with me living with you guys?” I say to dad. “Yes. Of course, I think we all just said a lot of things last night.”
“Yeah”. They’d rifled up their painful childhoods and blueprinted me and the rape, but they were cleansing it. We were finding it. Our deepest layers. Our deepest fears.
I’ve been evaluating the lagging of my mind and my fathers.