-When my siblings and I were younger, living in the same house with both mom and dad, we used to have a tape recorder. It was what was considered micro back then and it was silver.
The only reason we had this tape recorder was for evidence. We would record our parent’s fights. We didn’t ever end up needing to use those tapes. I honestly had forgotten all about them.
Recently, my younger sister was at my house and she mentioned them. Because of this journey I’ve been on with trying to understand my past, I was highly interested in hearing those tapes. Unfortunately, she had dire circumstances in which she had to record over some of the tapes.
She finally brought that old tape recorder over this week. We gave it a listen. It’s amazing how far technology has come since then because having to wait to rewind that tape took forever!
We finally found a small bit on the tape that hadn’t been recorded over. Funny thing, we heard everyone’s voices from the past except for our own; both brothers, older sister, and both parents.
Listening to that tape, everything rushed back to me. Based off of the things that were said on that tape we were able to get a rough timeframe of when it was recorded: ELEVEN YEARS AGO. It was just past midnight on a summer night.
It was a bit rough to listen to that little tidbit on that old tape recorder. I had the thought that if an argument like that happened every once in a blue moon, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, arguments like that happened damn near every single night in our household. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.
The argument on this tape was actually pretty mild compared to what I can recall; items being thrown, glass being broken, much more cuss words.
I was asked later after hearing the tape, what was the purpose of listening to it? I don’t know exactly. But after I listened to it I felt reassured that I am not making shit up when I say my childhood was awful. I am not being dramatic when I say that I had to grow up at 8 years old.
Being as old as I am now, with kids of my own, I am able to have a more mature perspective when listening to a piece of my past. My parents were already divorced at the point in the tape. My mother had moved back in with my father because she was struggling to get out on her own.
My father is obviously drunk in the tape and bounces from one subject to the next, seemingly without taking a breath. My mother is obviously tired on the tape. My siblings are obviously very aware of what is going on and very protective of my mother.
None of it should have happened. What is the point of listening to the tape? Maybe there wasn’t a point when I began listening… but I have a good reason now. Listening to that tape reassured me about my thoughts and feelings on my childhood. It also gave me a boost of motivation to not repeat the horrible cycle I was shown growing up.
Turning to the bottle is a copout, like hiding. Placing yourself into a situation in which you know is volatile, is like giving up. What about the innocent kids?
Throughout my counseling sessions, I have talked about my feelings towards my parents a lot. I have fully realized that holding onto the past and allowing it to control me is doing good for no one. I am able to look back and see my parents without feeling, without judgment. Could they have done better? SHOULD they have done better? Absolutely. But, they were doing what they could with what they had and what they knew. It’s in the past I won’t be repeating for my children.
While I am not close with either of my parents to this day, they most certainly taught me lessons, even if in a fucked up way.