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  • Annamaria Nemeth

My own rage started taking over.

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

I feel my childhood was a constant state of being in fight or flight mode. My sense of being highly attuned to others and needing to be hyper-vigilant at all times kept getting stronger.

My mom was able to make the best of our situation and I truly don't understand how she did it. She had worked a full time job at a factory, Somesul, since she was thirteen years old. She would sometimes work double shifts. Employment was mandatory and especially so for her because she had dropped out of school. She did so to take care of her ill grandmother, who had raised her after she left home when she was 13 years old.

My father had to become the man of the house after his father committed suicide and his mother told him he was the man of the house now. This happened when he was young. I’m not exactly sure how old he was. I only know that his education did not go beyond the sixth grade. At that time he had to start taking care of his mother and two younger siblings.

He chose a different route and learned the ways of the streets. Because of this, I never really knew what my father did for work and his “work” was very random. One day he had this job, the next day that job. He always worked with heavy equipment, or drove trucks. My father also used to like to gamble and to go fishing.

I recall an incident where he went away fishing for a few days and my mom was at work. My sister threw a party and invited her friends over, as did I. My friends and I were playing in my room. A loud knock on the door interrupted the laughter and good times. I looked up and you could hear a pin drop. Everyone froze in fear. It was my father returning earlier than he said he would from his fishing trip.

The music in the house had been loud and then suddenly there was silence. All the kids—my friends and my sister’s friends—ran out the door. I could tell my father was angry; beyond angry, he was in a rage. He looked at me and ordered me to go get my mom from work. I knew what that meant; she too would get a beating. I knew what all this meant. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t want to leave my sister... I so feared for her, for all of us.

I left the house and the first thing I did was go directly to the police station and ask for help yet again. I begged them to go to the house and help my sister. I ran back to the house and I heard screams. I couldn’t get anyone to help. I went to get my mom. I begged her that we needed to get help; he would kill us! So we tried the police again but got the same answers: it’s a family matter; we cannot interfere.

I hated it all. I was not going to go home. My mom tried to convince me to go home, but I couldn’t make myself do it. We went over to my grandmother’s instead, but she wasn’t much help. And she didn’t allow us to stay. We finally went home.

When we walked in, my sister was sitting there in silence. My father was passed out, sleeping. Her hair….her hair was all cut off, in random chops. No... no...I should have been here. I should have tried harder....He had to be stopped. This was not acceptable anymore. My fear grew into anger and a rage of my own.

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