Write about the event in the third person, as though it happened to someone else. Change the location and, if possible, the gender of this someone else. After you’ve described the event and its effects on the person, read your story aloud. How does reading and hearing about the event as though it happened to someone else change your perspective?
My mother often talked about how my grandfather was abusive to her and my grandmother and uncle. This admission came with a lot of vitriol and disgust from my grandfather especially. I remember my mother and grandfather arguing when I was young and living in my grandparents first house (i’ll call it the blue house from now on). I only heard them argue a few times but I knew that it was serious. My grandfather loves a good below the belt comment. He will say anything to insult you. I mean almost anything: liar, “women should know their place”, “Its women like you that are the reason men hate women.” That last comment is the most nerve wracking because I really respected him. His favorite line is “ he has to respect me as a man”. Which at this point doesn’t even resonate. If you want to be respected as a man and admit your faults.
As my mother tells me, my grandmother was a Jehovah’s witness and she would spend hours alone in their family basement.
I am going to avoid changing the gender and the person because I would rather look through my mothers eyes for this letter in third person.
I am alone in this basement. I have nothing to do. Often I stare at the walls and wait for someone to pay attention to me. My father at this point was very loving to me and spent time with me. As I have gotten older, this has changed. At this point my younger brother was born. Often, when my father would come home drunk, he would attack my mother. I often try to protect my mother. My strength keeps me and give me the will to be strong. I miss the father I used to have. I miss being younger and being adored. I miss it.
One day I am going to move out. I am going to show them that I can do anything. I will continue to fight my father until I no longer have the strength,
This letter was hard to write. It was so scary to feel the same way my mother may have felt at that time. It eerily made me feel much like how I remember my adolescence. The loneliness. The desperation in this letter, makes it hard for me to write. The anger for my grandfather is so deep. My hatred of my mother was always at the forefront of my mind. Tortured by memories of her, this makes her seem so small. It makes her seem powerless and powerful at the same time.
Recently going through my email, I found this letter to my grandfather. I feel it sums up my feelings for him.
Letter to my grand father
I just wanted to write you a letter to tell you how I feel.
I am so hurt and disappointed about your thoughts about women. It hurts because not only do you speak to granny like you don’t respect her, you have spoken about my mother and women in general like we are lesser than you because you are a man.
How can I respect you if you don’t respect my grandmother, my mother, and my younger cousin. How can you love me if you don’t respect women. I have dealt with feelings of depression and that I don’t deserve nice things in my life. I have no doubt that your thoughts about women have had an impact and is part of the reason I feel this way.
I really hope that in the future you can be more thoughtful with your words, especially around your youngest granddaughter. Please don’t teach her that men have the right to talk to her like she is worthless.
Don’t teach your granddaughter that women are not capable. Don’t talk to your wife like she has not been there for you. Don’t talk to my mother like she hasn’t worked hard inspire of mistakes she has made. Don’t disrespect your mother, your sisters, your wife, your daughter, your son, or me. Please learn to appreciate all the amazing things women have given you , including your mother for giving you life on this planet. In the future please think about what you say and how that affects the people you love., especially since your close family is all women.
Good night, Good luck.