Angry Mother, Scared Children
Missy and Lily did apologize which seemed to make their mother relax. Though she seemed to be her happy and loving self again as they ate their dinner, the girls felt a little different. They felt wary of her.
They did not know if that would happen again or how to avoid it. But as all little kids do, they brushed it off and continued to be themselves. At least they did until the next time, a few weeks later. This time it started with a messy bedroom that the girls were supposed to clean. They, instead had decided to play with their Barbie dolls until their mother came in.
The look on her face was different from the girls had ever seen. She began to scream and holler at them but for the first time, she added in some insults. How could these girls be so ungrateful and disrespectful? Were they stupid? She pondered this out loud as she yelled. The girls began to cry and finally, their mother left the room in a huff. The girls slowly cleaned their room but the tears kept streaming down their little cheeks. They had not heard such mean things from their mother before and they did not know why she was so angry.
They both decided to make sure their room was always clean and that they would be careful not to waste food. And they did. They became very mindful of those things and each time their mother flew off the handle like that they would add to their list. Just a few weeks later, the girls were disappointed that their mother had not noticed their clean room but were happy that she had not gotten angry at them again. But they were happy too soon.
One night, the two were in their beds after their bed time. They were supposed to have gone to sleep but they were too energetic. Missy and Lily giggled about their day and the funny things that happened at school. Their friend Dalia was a very silly girl and had told them lots of jokes in class. Missy and Lily whispered about it to each other from their beds and could not help but giggle more and more. After Missy reminded Lily of one of the funny things that Dalia had said, she let out a big laugh. A laugh loud enough to hear from the other room.
They both stopped immediately and held their breath, praying that their mom had not heard. They were supposed to be sound asleep and she did not like it when they stayed up late. But, soon enough, they heard the stomping of their mother’s angry feet as she walked down the hall to their door. She swung it open and turned on the light.
The girls stared at her in fear and uncertainty. The room filled with an overwhelming sense of anger. Adele walked in between their tiny beds and said in a low booming voice,
“What have I told you about staying up past your bed time?”
But she did not wait for them to answer. She bent over and slapped Missy hard across the face then instantly turned to Lily and did the same. The sting of the slap caused tears to flow from their eyes but they dared not make a sound. There were red marks on their little faces from the hand that had just hit their face.
“Now go to sleep!” Adele boomed as she stomped back out of the room and slammed the door.
The little girls laid in silence for a few moments as they cried silently. Then Lily crawled out of her bed and walked over to Missy’s. She climbed in and together they slept, feeling a little safer with the other one near.
Scarred For Life
That was not the last time Adele chose violence or verbal abuse to discipline her children. Over the next ten years, the insults and physical abuse got worse and much more frequent. Missy and Lily did not know who to talk to and did not think any one would believe them. Their mother assured them that no one would love them enough to take care of them like she did, so they remained silent, partially believing that they deserved what she did to them. Over the years, Lily had a broken wrist, several fractures to her ribs and suffered from depression. Missy had become more callous and showed emotion only for her sister. She too had a few broken bones and some scars on her arms and legs.
They made it through only because they had each other. They knew that. That was also why they knew that they had to leave together. They eagerly awaited college to be free from their home and the second they were at school five states away, they cut ties with their mother.
The worst part was, Adele did not understand why.
It is tempting to say that Adele did not love her girls and that was why she acted as she did but that was not true. She did love them and she was heartbroken when they left. Unfortunately, these kinds of situations are very rarely black and white. Our hearts break in the various shades of grey.
Alexis Ali lives in New York and is a freelance writer of short stories. She also sings and has a love for photography. If you had not read Part I of this series, catch up here. Alexis also wrote our first short story series – “The Unfortunate Life of An Interesting Woman,” Be sure to also read her most recent article on “The 2 Dreaded Questions Single Women Still Face,” and Subscribe to follow Adele’s Story.
Michael H. Ballard will be our featured Contributor tomorrow and will take us back to a time in his childhood. Catch up on his most recent post on his specialty – Resiliency – here and do leave a comment on that post or any other. Subscribe and receive updates and my monthly affirmation poster, as well, as a member of this community you will receive my monthly newsletter, KB Life with Claudette that includes tips, resources, guides, discount codes to my Webinars and other surprises not shared on the blog.