Poetry

Silhouetted

“How can I remember
the good memories,
when there’s always
something that
leads to the darkness?”

Some people learn to fly a kite on hot summer days, and imagine they’re the ones flying through the clouds. They remember playing in the sand. Laughing. Feeling the sunshine on their skin, building castles fit for kings and queens while the melody of waves hum in tune like a royal anthem.

But when I think back, I remember the sunburns on my fair skin that left behind disappearing handprints. The sand ending up in places he liked to explore in the dark. I see him. Standing in my doorway. Silhouetted in hell fire with a gleam in his eye. Like I was a treat for a sweet tooth befitting the wicked.

So, tell me, how do I tell my son about the good memories, when there’s always something that leads to the darkness?

Β© Sarah Doughty

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32 thoughts on “Silhouetted”

  1. We all have darkness falling like shrouds over us. As parents we smile and pretend. And that’s okay. It’s not lying but allowing them to grow without our burdens. For me, being a mother helped to heal the past. I gave my children what I didn’t have. I chose to be quiet when I was angry rather than strike out with curses and fists. And guess what? Both of my kids grew into beautiful kind young people. Give your son what you didn’t have and watch the darkness become light.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You make new memories with your son; happier memories filled with fun and laughter that you can both recount in years to come. I can’t even begin to imagine the things you endured and while those memories might not ever truly fade, creating better, more positive memories can help eclipse them. A soul-searing piece here. Thank you for sharing ❀

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I can only imagine 😦 You’re one of the strongest people I know, though, and the courage with which you face the past is admirable. I know it’s not much but I’m sending lots of positive vibes ❀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I suppose it’s a question of finding one’s own balance in all of it; one’s own power, and deciding what to do with that power, however briefly held. We tell our stories, however we choose to tell them, and it’s up to others to make of them whatever they like. Once the story is told, that’s it. There is no “edit” button.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a tough one, unless one chooses not to talk about it at this time. Maybe in ten years, old enough to understand? What do I know… I never told my kids about my childhood, I felt too embarrassed, that what I went through was my own fault; that I wasn’t good enough somehow to meet the expectations, though every time I thought I had, they put the bar one notch higher. I caught on to that game only much later. When you’re a kid, though you know something’s not right, you have nothing to measure it by, so you blame yourself for the abuse and try to figure out how to mitigate it. Anyway, whether from pride or a lingering sense that I was a childhood failure, I just never thought my own kids needed to hear about it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your writing. It’s so good. I love every perfectly chosen word. I am glad you are surviving and living and loving. You are such a gift.

    Liked by 3 people

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