My Mother was sentenced to ninety days in Monroe County Jail. I went to visit her once during her incarceration. Her and my Father pretended nothing was wrong and told everyone she was away at a healing retreat. They all knew the truth, but never questioned my parents. When I got home, I wrote her a very long letter about how much she’d hurt me. I asked her to take responsibility. I was desperate for her to apologize—convinced it would change my whole life. Convinced it would fix me. She didn’t write back.
After her release, my sister told me she hadn’t read the letter. Instead, she mailed it to my Father along with a note about how thoughtless I was for sending her such trash. She said I must have known the guards would read it and ridicule her. I couldn’t understand how she could make herself the victim of my vulnerability. Furious, I asked my sister to set it aside for me and stomped to my car. It’s usually an hour drive to their house—I made it in thirty minutes. I pulled onto the lawn, slammed my door shut and burst through the front door into the living room. My parents were watching TV. They barely looked up, “Hannah? What are you doing here?” I glared at them on my way up the stairs. They didn’t come after me.
I tore through my sister’s room and snatched a box from under her bed, where I found my letter folded up in my mothers’. I read it and each word pounded through my head, turning me blind. I ran down the stairs, tripped and caught myself at the bottom. They didn’t look up from the TV. “What do you want?” I could tell she was shocked by my expression. “I want you to listen to me. I heard you didn’t read my letter, instead you sent it to your little protector here to, quote, deal with. Well, I’m here to read it, so now you have to listen.”
Annoyed, she looked back at the TV. I pounded the off button and started reading. She told me to shut up and turned the TV back on. I read louder, standing in front of it. She tried looking around me, so I kicked the off button and ripped the cord out of the socket. She threw the remote at me. “Shut up, Hannah! I don’t want to hear this shit!” I folded up the letter and crammed it in my pocket. “Just tell me why you hit me! I was so little, what the fuck did I ever do? I cooked, cleaned—anything you ever wanted. I even raised the kids! I tried so hard, but I was never good enough.” She cocked her head and sneered, “I beat you because you were bad. You deserved it. Now get out of my house, you little brat.” I felt like she hacked me up with a machete. She gave me an evil smile—happy she broke me.
I couldn’t breathe. I stumbled out the front door, sobbing. This time my Father came after me, “Hannah, wait!” I turned around and threw my hands up, “Why? You have nothing!” ripped out of my throat. I fell into my car screaming and pulling at my hair, and beat my legs with my fists. I was blind, again. I thought about getting the aluminum baseball bat out of the garage and caving in that smug look on her face. I don’t know how I made it home.