Once a story with a beginning and end, I remember only the impressions it left behind. Maybe I'm still subconsciously anxious about adopting Pepper, worrying that I won't be good enough--which brings in dad. That I failed, or am horrible. Or maybe it's just because I have a cold--I always get weird dreams when I'm sick. Or maybe it's something else entirely. Or nothing at all.
Never good enough. The grocery store is not an escape--he, my dad, will still find you. You're in trouble because you all didn't do what he wanted you to do. And by all of us it's me...and my siblings? Multiples of me at different ages? I try to comfort them, but he is mad at me for doing that. I feel guilty, because I undermined his authority.
An empty, decrepit room, poorly lit by the bright daylight filtering in through the bare window. It had wooden floors that were rotting away in chunks, revealing...nothing. Just blackness below. We had to paint the room. I think it was purple. We were being punished, but I tried to make it fun. More of the floors rotted away, and I cautioned the others to be careful where they stepped, to stay close to the walls because that was sturdier, after one of my sisters was standing on a section that was about to give away. Sometimes there were beams crisscrossing the floor to let us step on them, and sometimes they disappeared.
After moving onto another task, I quietly returned to that room, and started painting the decrepit part of the floors a primary red, to make it easier to see which parts were falling away. He was furious when he found out because according to him the floors weren't decrepit at all,
and I woke up before he started raging.
It was midnight, and I hunted around for a furry creature to cuddle with so I could get back to sleep. I felt Pepper down by my feet--and that was good enough. I felt his warmth and breathing through my feet and legs, and fell back asleep to more restful dreams.
Filed under: Abuse