"I shall despair. There is no creature loves me; And if I die no soul will pity me: And wherefore should they, since that I myself Find in myself no pity to myself." ~ William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), Richard III, V.iii
The summer I was ten, things were unravelling quickly in my life. I had become fearful of leaving my house because I thought I might be able to intervene if my father became violent. Sometimes I seemed to be able to stop things, but I'm no longer certain whether that was just a delusion. I know that I came to a great realization that year which forever altered my relationship with my father.
Ever since I could remember, my father would, from time to time, start talking to me about "my poor old daddy" who was going to die alone. It always broke my heart; I could never tolerate other people's suffering. He made me cry for him every time. The summer I was then, I finally realized that he actually liked making me cry. I think, in addition to being a sadist, seeing me cry for him made him feel loved. Once i understood the dynamic, I never cried for him again. I started to harden my heart.
I spent a lot of time outside in the summer, trying to escape from the threat of violence against me or my mom. There was a girl, India, who rode her bicycle around the block where we lived. She was a couple of years older than I. My father started to hound me about getting to know this girl. I didn't see much point in it. She was too old to be of interest to me and I didn't really like the idea of my dad choosing my friends. Finally, I gave in to his badgering. I don't recall how much time I spent with her until she became my father's friend. He started out by telling me I should feel sorry for this girl because she had a bad homelife. (Even now that strikes me as hysterically funny.)
Slowly but surely, he groomed her until at some point they had intercourse. My mother saw it all happening and didn't like it, but she was powerless to do much about it. Complaints were bound to result in terror. I remember I started to hate this girl really quickly. That didn't matter, though, because she had long since ceased to hang out with me. It's interesting how angry this still makes me. I can barely tolerate writing about it.
As summer ground to a close, she was practically living at my house. I felt abandoned and angry. not being really clear about the sexual aspect of the relationship, all if felt was that my dad was choosing someone else over me. Not all that unusual, really; he frequently made unfavorable comparisons between me and other kids I should "feel sorry" for.
I got ready to start the fifth grade, sinking into despair. One of my favorite songs was "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying." Even today when I hear it, it makes me want to cry for the little girl who was so abandoned. I had a diary at the time and I wrote a lot about my sadness. I don't know who read the diary, but my father was the person who confronted me about it. He was angry. He called me in to the bathroom where he was taking a dump and asked me if I was crazy. What can one say to that when one is 10? I said no. He told me he thought he might have to have me locked up because it sounded to him like I was crazy.
Like so many of the stories in my life, I no longer remember exactly how the evening ended. I never kept a diary or journal again until now.