Whenever her therapy session ended, Sheila felt like something had been taken out of her soul and turned into a thinck, invisible coat of slime and smeared all over her body.
That feeling just stuck with her and basically ruined her day and was the kiss of death for all of her family too.
It started from the right moment when she stepped in the threapist room and had to bear that cold, clinical yet condescneding stare she gave her. That knowing look that told her that anything could be solved as long as she filled the hour with chatter, paid her fee and took enough meds to numb her own anger and fear enough to give the illusion of not being ill anymore. And then it stuck inside her, like a sore spot. She knew she was being judged. It seemed like judhement was all over her life these days. Especially since she had to admit that her own ways to solve problems werent enough anymore.
She used to deal with the bite pretty well by drinking it into a pool of piss. And, with that she seemed to tone down the edges strongly enough, that suddenly that blind, white pain that filled her head like a piercing tooth ache and made her want to wrap her hands around her daughter's tiny, soft neck, became a vague feeling of diappointment.
Her husband seemed to not get it. The bitter drunkenness, the insults, the rants were a small price they all had to bear, compared to what could have happened if she didnt deal with what she had inside. That nagging grumble was almost delightful, in some sort of black humoured way. But if she let it turn into a loud yell, and she knew it would, cause she had it in her blood and it reared its ugly head before, the conseuences wouldve been worse.
She lived with abuse for years. Actually she only knew abuse. And knew how real, day to day abusers know very well how to avoid being caught or stopped. Its not about havbing moments caused by substances for them. Its something that they have in them, placed geneticllay. Something that is taught from generation to generation. It doesnt have to be extreme or over the top. it can be a bunch of small scars inflicted on the people who surround you, wrapped with enough decency and tricks that those people dont have the strength to run away. And love is a powerful weapon too. You trick them with love and they will be enslaved to you. Bear the slow burn of your cruelty. Let you corrode their self esteem, until they think what you do to them is how its meant to be. How probably there's people who have it worse, like cigarette burns, or broken limbs.
In society's head, when her father die3d, it was an accident. He crashed his car while a muddy, smelly rain covered the streets. Police siad he was drunk. He was always veruy drunk, on those days. So they tought it could be an accident. Or some sort of tragic disembodied su8icide. the type that men run to when they loose their job and dignity and are trapped into something that is becomning too unbearable. When they realize that the years they have ahead arent even remotely enough to fix the mistakes of their lives but are way more than they can bear to live with. It's the quiet that really kills them. T&hey dont have friends anymore, or a way to get that stuff out. they werent brought up like that. A man doesnt complain, he takes his own demons and deals with them or takes himself out. No one really knew.
And when people started to talk,m some of them even thought he fel guilty about hurting her. She had bruisesand people saw those. And like people tend to do, they did not act but they talked and chatted about it. And as society dictates they pointed the finger at him. Even more affter he died. But no one really knew.
Those bruises were self inflicted. Most of them. And the monster was in he rhouse but knew how to hide.
Her mother was a worker but at the same time, shje knew how to be invisible. She was meek quiet and subservient. Small, fragile and gentle. She knitted and cooked. She used to work regularly at a store, wher ecustomers always remembered her face but at the same time seemed to loose grasp of her name. Then she decided to be a housewife and a great one. When she became a widow her attention to her daughter became all of her life.
Sheila knew she owed her mother everything. Education, being brought up well, with money and a roof over her head., She was in her debt no matter what.
No matter the pinching that was done well enough to not leave any bruises. The punches, always in places that left no signs. The touching and choking, never violated her enough to be noticed but enough to wake her up iin the4 middle of the night to this very day. The insults, the belittling, the nager. The way she bropke her stuff or simply ignored her for days and refused to acknowledge her. The obsessiveness and the way she always made her feel watched, wven when she was naked alone, in the bathtub after all those years.
And that woman had survived inside her. When she had become old and ill, Shgeila took her revenge, letting her stew in her own excrements, scaring her, hurting her. She was old, fragile, weak and she could take anything. No nurses, just her and he4r mother. She enjoyed every second of it and yet, after her death, nothing was fixed. She felt like all those small scars had simply made her crumble.
Her mother wasd verywhere. In her bed, when she was having sex. In her dreams. In her.
When she got pregnant her first thing was to abort the baby. But maybe things would be different. And they were. She always struggled with the desire of hurting her daughter. Daily. But took it down piece by piece. Channeled it into words and shouts that really werent hurtful.
But in the end, that was enough. And they wanted her to get therapy. To quit drinking. To medicate. And that made her more miserable.
And no one knew, not even her. what was going on in her daughter's head. how every word would be a slap when she had kids of her own. Slow Burn. Never stops.