Fragments of Me (Words)

840578ea-e82b-4a9c-acea-05b865509920

Fragments Of Me  (Words)

My father emphasized the importance of being a man of your word.

My mother recited sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you.

I remember the night I learned about the power of words.

We visited a friend of my father. Mingling adults with drinks in hand and hyperactive children filled every room of the dinner party.

Not interested in watching my father drink, I sought refuge.

To my surprise I discovered an oasis as I entered a room of wall to wall books. Nearing a shelf, a closing door startled me.

“Did I scare you?” Robert the home owner asked.

Silent, my gaze returned to the books.

Robert sat behind a large wood desk, “Do you like to read?”

Looking at the man with the graying temples and thick framed glasses, I smiled, “Yeah.”

“Did your father tell you I am a writer? I haven’t published anything, but I love to write stories. Writers create worlds.”

He opened a book. “Read it.”

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times…”

“Isn’t that amazing?” Robert interrupted, “What a wonderful quote; a great description of the French Revolution and a fitting description of our lives.”

Robert got up to leave. “Feel free to enjoy the books. You will find beauty on every page.”

Running fingers along the books, I read the name out loud; Wilde, Orwell, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Dickinson.

Minutes later, the door opened. “What the hell are you doing here?”

The anger in my father’s voice sent chills up my spine.

His hand slapped the back of my head. “Plenty of girls out there and you’re in here. My son is not going to be a faggot.”

Exiting the room, a heavy foot kicked me, lifting me off my feet, slamming me into a wall.

My eyes swelled with tears, but I refused to cry.

Hours later that little boy stood at his bedroom window while his parents slept in the other room.

That night he learned some words create amazing beauty.

While the pain of other words linger long after the bruises have healed.

 

Fragments Of Me

Fragments of Me (Heroes & Butterflies)

Fragments Of Me (Time)

303 thoughts on “Fragments of Me (Words)

  1. Yes, words lift you up and slam you down. They bring you joy and reduce you to tears. They create rainbows and drag you into total darkness. Sometimes all that, at the same time.
    Such a touching story you have shared with us here, Andrew. What doesn’t kill you make you stronger especially because you held on to your passion through the darkest times. Thank you for sharing this, my dear friend. I’m sure you’ve come a long way and I wish you all the best and success in your writing and life journey.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. What a beautiful and inspiring comment. Yes, words do all of those things (and sometimes) at the same time. Iam one of the lucky ones because I never turned to alcohol or drugs., so it did make me stronger. Thank you for all of your kind words and for reading.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Your last two lines screamed at me. They left my heart rejoicing and my cheeks stained with tears. PLEASE keep writing. PLEASE keep sharing your amazing gift with the world. PLEASE never forget you are a truly remarkable man of strength, courage and love. Please know you are very special to me. XOXOXO.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. With your comments you have filled my eyes with tears (and you didn’t have to kick me). So, happy you appreciate these posts. Not easy revealing the nightmares of our past. Thank you for all of the amazing compliments. And thanks for considering me special. I appreciate that. You are so supportive and caring, and special to me. Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you again for sharing your story. It gives such an intimate and beautiful view into your heart and soul. You ARE very special. And…I promise I will NEVER kick you, unless of course it’s a involuntary reaction to some sort of stimulation. 😉 xo

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My dad kicked me with his air force boots on the butt and made a field goal one afternoon.
          It broke my tailbone and it was hard to stand up or sit down for several weeks.
          Other than that he was not a real abuser. My mother was.
          I also liked to read and draw. But I had to hide to do that.
          The rest of my life wasn’t much better. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Sorry to hear that. I ws lucky in the sense that my father never broke any bones. But the verbal abuse lingered for several adult years until his death. Thanks you for shring your experience with me. I know that was not easy. I hope you find yourself in a better place now.

            Like

  3. I’m not sure if this is autobiographical or not, In either case, I can’t say I think much of the father’s chest-thumping macho attitude. (Sorry if it is your dad!) He should be delighted that his son is interested in reading. We all have brains. There’s nothing wrong with learning to use them.

    Also, fathers shouldn’t be throwing their sons at girls. No matter who his son is attracted to, it’s something that’s going to happen naturally. A more useful conversation would be one about responsibility and the existence of contraception.

    I guess that means it was a very nice piece of writing. It certainly provoked a reaction! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words of support and yes a father needs to chose his words and subject matter carefully. These posts are autobiographical. My Dad was a chest-thumping drinker. Thank you for reading and contributing your thoughtful words to this post. I agree 100% with everything you said about Fatherhood. Thank you.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I hope writing these stories is therapeutic for you. It sounds like you went through a challenging childhood. I’ll also bet fellow readers will find comfort in knowing that they were not the only abused children growing up. I’d like to think your abusive childhood helped you become a better, more complete person in spite of this. We have a choice in life; we can grow up following a similar path as our parents, or learn from their positive and negative attributes and develop into a “better person” as a result. I commend you on the path you chose.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Smiling. Childhood was challenging and as you say I refused to follow in my Dad’s footsteps. I wanted to be better. Thankfully, I never turned to alcohol, drugs, abuse, or cigarettes. Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I had similar treatment at the hands of my father. Not because of books, as he liked those too but because he liked to drink…too much and couldn’t keep his temper in. I never learned to close my mouth on the other hand and liked to use the word ‘But’ when showing why things were unfair.
    I’m sorry you went through such things and am glad it didn’t take you away from a love of the written word.
    A son is a son whether he be a ‘faggot’ or not and can’t understand any father who feels less for a son who is gay,or different in some other way. I don’t really understand conditional love.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hear you lived through similar experiences. My father’s drinking kept me away from alcohol. I didn’t want to be like him. And you are 100% correct. A child’s sexual preference has nothing to do with the love we give our children. A parent’s love should never be conditional. Thank you for reading and for sharing your experiences. I appreciate that. Be well.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There is a saying, ” Love endures all things.”
      And it really does. Even though bad things may happen, we can still love , overcome and break that cycle.
      We learn (or should ) to break that cycle and not repeat it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Words are powerful, no doubt about it. I can just see that boy standing there in awe at the books. Luckily he wasn’t deterred at following his passion. A very heartfelt and visual post.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t like hearing how your dad hurt you as a child but I also, see a boy who always looked for the alternative. You observed the evil and the good and from what I know of you, chose the good. That’s commendable. I also, know some of that stuff never stops hurting.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh wow, this was intense to read. 😦 You certainly haven’t lost your love for literary words, despite that awful event. I guess you good say it was ‘a wonderful event, but also a very horrible one.’ I love how you write 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I love your comment. Sorry it was intense, but that described that particular night. I learned about the power of words – good and bad. THank you for saying you love how I write. I appreciate that. And thanks for stopping by to read.

      Like

  9. How beautifully you’ve used the line from Dickens’ novel, “The Tale of Two cities”…just like that opening line, you experienced your best and worst time simultaneously that day.
    You are right, words can heal, but words can make unseen scars that remain for long…

    Wonderful post… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful commentary. Our lives are the best and worse of times. And I expereicned both that night. Happy you observed that. Thank you for taking the time to read and contribute your thoughtful cmments. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. In alcohol’s defense, your father was probably an asshole when sober too.

    But yeah, the words they say have power over us. Like every time my mother says “You never do anything right,” to me, or when she made me kneel before her and tell her I was shit (all because I brought home a bad grade & she didn’t pay for parochial school so I could bring home bad grades). In between the words, she would slap, punch, kick me…beat me with weaponized household objects and shoes. And after each beating I had to tell her I loved her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laughing so hard. Yeah, my father tended to be an asshole even when sober. Just not as bad. I am so sorry to hear you had to experience many of the same things in your childhood. I understand children don’t come with instructions, but the brutality of some parents leave deep scars that never go away. Thankfully, I never turned to drugs or alcohol to cope. I hope you have found peace in your life & with your mom. Forgiveness is the greatest tool for closure and healing. Thanks for reading and contributing your story. I appreciate your word. Be well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I drank, but mom can’t take all the credit for that…bad grandpa & what he did the summer I was ten have something to do with why I drank. But I have 3 1/2 years sober and I’m trying to forgive. Was easy to forgive grandpa, he’s dead; but mom is still here and still her old self and I won’t lie…it’s not easy to forgive her.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I understand. Forgiving is not easy. I never forgave my father until I saw him on his death bed. Then, I took the time out to analyze the horrors of his childhood and it became a little easier. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you all the best. May peace and light always guide you in life. Thanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. When I told my mother how my grandfather (her father) raped me (it happened when I was ten, I finally said something when I was 35 & ready to get sober and start therapy, he was long dead by then) she told me how he had also sexually abused her when she was a child, but how she kept quiet about it because keeping quiet about it was “the right thing” to do. She was angry I stopped keeping quiet about it. I’d like to forgive her before one of us is on a death bed, I really would, but it’s not easy.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I understand. You wounds are much deeper than mine. Rape is something that I can’t even begin to imagine or compare with my personal history. I’m sorry that it happened to you and it is devastating that someone you should have trusted would do that to you. I am so sorry to hear this. And I understand your reluctance to forgive so easily. Be well. Remember, you have a friend here.

              Liked by 2 people

    2. Wow, your mom was worse than mine. I guess my mom would have to beat me harder..
      I’m sorry your mother was that way.
      And I hope you break that cycle.
      Some people have problems. And there may be a answer to it that we do not know. But still…. there isn’t a real excuse for a parent being that way.
      Mine…I chose to ignore and move away as soon as I could.
      I still think about her as a parent..but I was always puzzled as to why she did that.
      And a person has to let go of the anger. It’s hard. But anger is not a good thing to have.
      I hope you have peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. “Some words create amazing beauty” is indeed something to learn. I tried every medium I could get my hands on (including water on a sidewalk) to create pictures. Ah….but I guess I was too good…I painted a picture for my mama and she threw it down after saying “this is perfect. Nothing is perfect.”
    Although I’m not good at it….I think I’ll stick with words, too.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I give it my best high school try. I’m feeling a little annoyed…or pissed off…or something. My high school friend is SO “excited” about meeting up when I get back home.
        I don’t think I want to. Why in this round world would I ever even think about letting another man into my life? Even if it’s friendship….friends will fuck you over as quick as anybody. I don’t want to have to pretend to be interested in what he has to say. I don’t want to have to listen to the details of his divorce….and I sure as hell don’t want to talk about mine. I don’t want to have to pretend that it’s so good to see him after all these years…..
        I guess I’m in a mood.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. We all get in those moods sometimes where we don’t want to rehash things or pretend. So, I understand. Also, understand your desire not to start another relationship. You need time and space. And the last thing you need to hear is details about his divorce. So, I understand your feelings. Hopefully, he could too.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. These small pieces that you share of your childhood are difficult to read. As a parent it breaks my heart that any child should know and experience what you have my friend. But the brilliant and brave way you juxtapose the painful lessons with the positive things you came away with is truly striking. It says so much about you as a writer that you can elicit such varied responses and emotions from your readers in such a short span of words. Well done..well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. That’s a powerful experience to show you the wonder of words. Words can definitely hurt, and painful words can stick with you for years. Words can also soothe, and they can take you away to other worlds. Amazing stuff, those words.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I clicked ‘like’ but not because I like what you went through. But I do appreciate the power of words to usher in wonder or to wound us. This is a sensitively wrought word, a skillfully rendered story laced with pain and potential. Good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It was amazing how in one night I learned so much about the power of words – good and bad. People need to be cognizant of this power words possess. Thank you for readng & for your comments. Be well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my. Thank you for your kind words. It was a night of contrasts that taught me about the mazing power of words. Thank you for stopping by to read and thank you for your wonderful comments. You made me glow with your words. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for sharing this. Took me back to a bad time but you know what? That time in my life is also when I discovered books. Thank you for being so open. I wish I could say more because these words aren’t close to describing how I feel.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Understood. You don’t have to say anything more. These difficult times stay with us a lot longer than most people realize. And discovering a love for books served us well. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. I hope you are past the challenging moments of your life.

      Like

  16. It’s sad your dad didn’t give you words of love and support. I’m glad it didn’t deter you from finding comfort and books writing. Childhood trauma stays with us. I’m glad you’ve learn to cope with pain in a therapeutic and healthy way. You’re a good man, Charlie Brown.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. I have been having my sister and her bf stalking my site here and there since May and they picked up to see if I said the slightest thing about them. BC I did and spoke of me having trouble I am was forced to sign illegal eviction papers. Than she decided she’s leaving and I am stuck without resources but I think I am finding my way out. I had money stolen, had to sell my car, reimburse clients as my sister was always hours late and I was hurt badly and she blamed me for everything shy of being the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. She is a repeating your skipping and says the same shit even though you say no you’re wrong. Unfortunately she has had me by the short and curls.

            Like

  17. Andrew, your words are powerful and you are taking your power back. Bravo to you for being so brave in sharing your story. Looks like you’ve always had a light within you, especially in the darkness and look how big that light is now. Very adorable picture of you too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I want to wrap the little boy that you were into my arms and hold him tight. No child should ever have to experience what you did. As a parent, I would have been proud of you for wanting to read and learn. What you experienced as a child, has molded you into the man that you are today. I am proud of you for becoming something more. A sad, but lovely write my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. This breaks my heart in two. How pathetic that a father would devalue a love of books with such a slur. I would not have survived my home life had it not been for books–they were my safe world…

    Liked by 2 people

  20. words are powerful. I agree. They can build a kid up or knock him down. They can also condemn a life to drudgery because “writing isn’t a real job and you have to get a real job out in the real world”. (Not my words, but my dad’s).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, my dad’s words are what has me working over a 100 hours a week without a break. I think his words are what drove me to write in secret for twenty years. I’m trying to get out of that mental box his words created. You can make money writing. I work for a company that makes money off it. If they can do it, I can do it. I’ve been helping them make money off it for 6 years now. Six years of seeing his words proven utterly wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad laughed at me. And busted down my dreams. I still think…Thanks dad. I still hear his voice.
      I had no words of encouragement. Still don’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  21. Andrew! I just want to travel through time and go back to the party and give you a gigantic long hug! 😊 You were a brave young man. I am glad Robert was there to show you good words. Books are great! You should be very proud of yourself and the choice you made that night. You are smart and talented, never second guess your choice to explore literature over talking to girls. Something tells me if you chose to talk to them, they wouldn’t have understood your depth of conversation anyway. I’ll share a little something with you – my father once said to me that only blondes are beautiful and should be the only women to win beauty contests. So, other people are in the boat with you, and can relate to this post in more than one way. Scars can heal, and some even fade, but it takes a long time. Hope Allie can give you a big hug tonight! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Smiling. What a lovely comment. Thank you so much. Some parents need a filter for their mouths. The hurt of words can last so much longer than the spankings. I still think of it as a great night since it pointed me in the direction of reading/writing. Thanks for reading and for your kind words. Anyone can win a beauty contest. And I know plenty of smart blondes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome! I’m going to miss reading about Jack and his time travel adventures tomorrow! 😀 Smart blondes- no kidding, you got one!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. The pieces you share are such sad and jagged ones like plate shattering but then you throw the glass into the ocean and it softens edges with wabes and sand pounding it until it is a beautiful glass like orb in the shape of a tear drop. Thank you for trusting us with your story, Andrew. Hugs from your friend and “auntie” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.