“Comfortable Chains” #abuse #selfawareness

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere“- Voltaire

Who among us doesn’t at least for a moment think the fool Voltaire speaks of, is someone other than ourselves?

We all have chains don’t we?

Chains come in many forms, pride, hatred, greed, spite, envy, These seem obvious as they exude evil.

But what are the “revered” chains Voltaire spoke of?

May I propose they are the shackles of codependency, and physical and/or emotional abuse? Why don’t victims break free of these bindings?

Unfortunately, victims can be so beaten down that sadly this abuse provides a warped sense of security. Knowing that they (the chains) are if nothing else, always there.

Be safe and take care of yourself first so, you can care for others.

Peace.

Frozen in Time by Raymond Roy

Why are you looking at me like that?

Did I do something wrong?

My senses suddenly become sharper,, ears feel hot, “tick…tock”..I hear a clock ticking nearby

Tick tock, tick tock

Survival mode, pupils dilate

Tick Tock…

Why is the door locked?

Tick tock…

I feel I should run but my feet weigh heavy like cinderblocks

Tick tock..

Under my loose fitting shirt, I feel a bead of nervous sweat run down my rib cage

Tick…..tock….tick ……..tock….everything is in slow motion,

I am terrified, Why can’t I scream?

Tick…..tock You manipulate me like clay..

Tick tock…Tick tock… tick tock… tick tock

If I say anything, I am a bleeding heart victim and an attention whore.

When you are a victim of abuse, you don’t always understand what is happening which IS one of the reasons many victims fall prey.Innocence. Especially children. You become frozen and confused.

Once you realize the brevity of what happened, guilt and shame set it….you feel alone. This is a lie.. You are NOT alone

Peace

-Royboy

Sins(life lessons)of the Father By Raymond Roy

I watched your slow paced tough guy strut ready to take on the world.

I watched you come and go to the same job for 30 years and not complain.

I watched you be so loving toward your children yet at times not so, toward your life partner.

I watched you fight in alleys outside a bar with men twice your size, while trying to make a living hustling pool.

I watched you be laid off and swallow your pride by working in the fields to demonstrate never to give up and it is not the job, but the effort put forth.

I watched you joke, laugh, and tease, during dire situations so we felt at ease.

I watched you self destructingly isolate yourself from your life partner, express your heartbreak and heal.

I watched you plead your case toward justice based on being abused by those that should have protected you.

I watched you put poison in your body to escape your personal emotional pain.

I watched your outer shell crack open allowing healing love to fill a pessimistic heart and know you are worthy of love.

Today I watch as my children and grandchildren watch me.

“You Must Like Butter” By Raymond Roy #writephoto #domesticabuse

You Must Like Butter” By Raymond Roy #writephoto

The bright yellow flowers were reminiscent of when as a child, we would hold a dandelion under each other’s chin. If your chin reflected yellow, it meant you liked butter.

The fringes on the brand new fat rubber tires created a whirring sound as the whipped against the bicycle frame. A campfire effect of the warm sun on my back with a cool headwind brought a clammy sweat to the hair on the back of my neck.

Turning off the road onto a cleared soil path carved in the canola field, the ground was like a grainy dampened beach. The soil almost pebble-like yet firm enough to keep me moving forward. The canola plants were in full bloom.

The musky sweet scent sang a sirens song to the nectar drunken, pollen-laden sleepy bees as they made their way to work.

I found it difficult to keep my mouth full closed as my upper lip continued to swell. The iron rich salty blood crusted on my lower lip, the crimson vital fluid I had swallowed, sat in my stomach like a dagger.

At the base of the ridge I coasted under the bridge to the coal shadowed stream. As I ducked under the bridge. A small cloud formed from my warm breath as it floated out from the shade into the sunlight.

Pulling my hoodie sleeves up, I plunged my swollen hands into the icy stream. Cupping water up to my puffy lip, it was difficult to drink as if I just came back from the dentist. I took off my hoodie. Washing my face and the back of my neck felt good, I felt alert.

A few river rocks rolled down toward me. I sat down, on the moss laden bank, knowing they had come for me. “Melissa Taylor!! “ a voice yelled from atop the bridge. “Melissa Taylor!!, We have a warrant for your arrest!”

“What took ya so long?” , I yelled back. As I sat in the back of the squad car I remembered they left my new bike back there. They one he forbade me to buy(with my own money), hopefully a needy child will find it and make good use of it.

“Why did you kill him Melissa?”

“Just keeping a promise.”drool stringing down as I struggled to be articulate, “I promised he would die the next time he laid a hand on me.”

The full sun had come out, I could see my reflection looking from the backseat into the side mirror of the car. My whole face had a yellow glow from the golden fields.

I guess that means I like really like butter.

Peace

Goroyboy

Domestic Violence.

If you are a victim or know a victim of domestic violence, you are not alone. You are not what someone else says you are. You are who YOU say you are. Domestic Violence Help Line

Written for Sue Vincent’s # writephoto photo prompt. Thanks Sue for hosting.

Residential Farm by Raymond Roy #sundayphotofiction

“Residential” Farm By Raymond Roy

As the priest drove away, painted smiles on my new guardians, transformed into distorted scowls akin to grotesque masks in a Twilight zone episode.

The Mister, seethed,“Well Mrs., looks like we have that summer labor we’ve been prayin fer.” Mister was a scrawny crotchety person. Shoulders bare, void faded blue straps of baggy overalls.

The Mrs., although equal in height to Mister, was at least three times his girth.Belching loudly,she walked, protruding rib fat caused her arms to orbit around her body, similar to Randy from “A Christmas Story”never actually being able put them down.

The Mister, spewed an ebony stream of tobacco-laden spit, landing squarely on a saw legged grasshopper, What’s your name“Injun,? It wasn’t the word Injun, but how it was said. The tone inferred dominance. A wave of Familiar Rage sets in.

Grasshopper recovered, burst forth, ricocheting off a scrap sheet of tin roofing. The ping carried. Grinning internally, I too would have my escape, after dark.

“My given name, Binesi. It means…”

“Enough chatter Injun!”

(…”Thunderbird” I thought to myself)

“Get to work! Start by hauling that wheelbarrow to the compost pile. Earn your keep? You can sleep in the loft with the chickens.”

Word Count-200

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction a 200 word limit fictional story based on the provided photo prompt. Thanks Dawn Miller for this weeks photo.

Fictional yes but many beyond the boundaries of Canada are not aware of North America’s Residential school system which was a a cultural genocide of our continent’s indigenous people. Truth and reconciliation of Canada A great novel which I enjoyed was When the Legends Die addresses the destruction of a little Indian Boys heritage while bonding with an unlikely father figure.

Peace to you all.

-Goroyboy

Fear No Evil by Raymond Roy. #writephoto

Shackled to a 4×4 beam.  Shoulders ached. 12 hours earlier, The Pharisees had returned a verdict of guilty. Guilty of not following doctrine. For daring to question ritualistic antiquited practices. Immediately, they strapped the timber behind my neck and across my shoulders sent me off into the desert. Feet raw, and head throbbing, I approached what seemed a porthole, I could see a green valley on the other side. You could hear the bubbling sound of a stream. Just to the left of the entryway, a prominent hieroglyph was etched. “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter
There was no way the large timber would pass through the porthole. Digging deep, I proceeded to bang the beam against the granite walls. Skin rubbed raw, freshly burst blisters stinging from salty sweat and blood. One final thrust and I was free. Finding my balance, I reapproached the portal and dusted away the remaining portion of the hieroglyph.  “With burdens of the world, no man shall pass and enter into the valley of the shadow of death. “


Written for Sue Vincent’s  Photo prompt  #writephoto Special thanks to Sue for Hosting! 

“Day in Court”

I was 15 years old, visiting my Dad in Edmonton Alberta during my high school Spring break in Washington State. Strangely He and I went on a shopping spree. Blue plaid suit, deep blue shirt and a white tie. 


The next day we got up early. Dad standing in front of me shirtless freshly shaven, smelled of Aqua Velva, and his fine thin brown hair still wet. A lit Export “A” cigarette hung in his lips, the neglected ash fought the forces of gravity as he struggled to complete a full Windsor knot in my new tie. Looking me over, it was if he was searching for something he had lost long ago. 

Securing each button on his dress shirt, his “Born to Love” jailhouse tattoo on his chest slowly disappeared from sight…….
Sitting in a narrow hallway of a provincial court, for what seemed hours, little did I know, I was to be Exhibit A in his “day in court”. Dull humming of the flickering fluorescent lights was interrupted by a “Click, Clack” as the court door opened. “Raymond, come in here”. Wincing I entered the brightly lit court room. Unaccustomed to the tie, my throat tightened as I saw a room full of serious faces. I sensed that a dialogue had been taking place and I was about to become part of it. My ears were ringing, I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lens. My Dad glancing at me with out making full eye contact. (He was somewhere else mentally) “Raymond,tell everyone how old you are”. 

I blurted out, “15 years old sir”. 

All eyes were on me, still oblivious to what was going on. Through the fog, my Dad was pointing at me, I heard “Your Honor, this how I looked!” “This is how old I was when I was arrested for joyriding in a jeep and sent into general population”! Still a bit puzzled, Dad gave me a quick glance of reassurance, and escorted me back in the hall. 

The story continues with me coming to understand the high level of abuse and mistreatment my Father experienced as a teen while in “custody”. During one particular incident he was forced to clean up the room directly under the gallows. 

I hadn’t heard these details until I was sixteen and with his death shortly after that, I put these stories away. It was too much to carry as a teenager. 
If this was my Dad’s “day in court”. Why had I felt judged? Why did I feel the weight of the chains that seemed to still bind him? 
Was the click of the courtroom door the securing of an emotional lock for which I had not the key? 

What had I done? Answer? Not a damn thing! 
As a teen, part of the burden was simply knowing that injustices such as these even existed. Wanting to rectify the injustice against your loved one is only natural and I had to accept the fact that this was HIS “Day in Court”. Those were HIS choices, and not mine. I would and still have many of my own mistakes to pay for.

There is importance in speaking out against injustice. Getting a “Day In Court” may seem ideal but a sobering fact is that justice as you perceive it may not prevail. 

Secondly, understand who “The Court” is before asking for them to pass judgment. Otherwise, be not surprised when “the judgemental” judge you. 

Finally, as a Dad of 5, the only one wearing a blue plaid suit to MY “Day in Court” will be me.


RIP GJR 

Peace. 

The Obituary 


I learned that you are dead. 
Although words say you have passed, your cruel deeds committed by you to me as a child still lingered for decades.
You might have softened and treated your own children better than you treated your foster children. 
I had a condition you judged as a plea for attention. Rather than love and understanding you provided physical and verbal abuse. 
Perhaps you learned cruelty from those that mistreated you. I have pity for you or anyone in that circumstance if that was the case. 
Perhaps you thought you taught discipline and tough love. You were mistaken. 

I learned from you how it was to feel neglected and mistreated. 
Because others that showed me what unconditional Love was, I was given the gift of learning that not all in the world were evil and cruel. 

With this gift I have strived to the best of my ability to choose Love. 

Love has the power to break all chains, yes, even the chains that until this point attempted to bind me, even from the grave. 
Dedicated to all child victims and survivors of abuse, neglect, and those many many upstanding Foster Parents that instill Love and understanding to those in need. God Bless You. 

Veins

14 years old

Your arm was around me

You were my hero

I noticed the strength in your arm

I felt safe and loved

The veins in your arm were pronounced, bulging, appearing to be at capacity of their designed function. I commented that your strength was that of a body builder. 

You responded that they were like that from a treatment to keep them from collapsing from your days of drug abuse.

My thoughts shifted from admiration of your physical strength to your honesty, humility and intent to have your son not repeat the mistakes that held you captive so many years ago. 


My Loving Father circa 1979

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie                         

Funny how a taste or smell of certain food can open a floodgate of memories. Recently, after a long enjoyable afternoon of fellowship at church, I sat down, with a piece of cherry pie. As I took my first bite, I was transported back to October 1972. I was still living in Ontario Canada with my two older siblings and our Dad. There is truth to the saying that still waters run deep. In our case the more things seem to have stabilized the more the foundation was actually crumbling. At times it was like living in a rain cloud. You couldn’t see far ahead and knew it was just a matter of time that the next storm would arrive. At this point Dad was either cold turkey heroin sick or slipping in and out of heroin induced coma. He might wake up just long enough to promise a fishing trip that never happened or to take us running down the street in a paranoid state terrified of one of his many demons. It was never a dull moment, as my siblings Danny 12, Lorraine 10 myself 9, taking our Dads word for it that we could go fishing after he was shaved…… With Dad passing out again on the couch and daylight burning, (I smile inside remembering) Lorraine and I lathering him up and with Danny being the eldest, he was in charge of the razor. Lorraine and I pulled Dads head back to tighten the skin just as we had watched him do countless times over the bathroom sink. Eventually daylight, exhausted, Dad woke up, puzzled why his face was dotted with blood clotted toilet paper where we had nicked him with the razor. Needless to say, no fish were caught that day.

It wasn’t unusual for us to be pulled out of or having to change schools. By the 4th grade I had already attended 6 different schools. But this time it was different, we weren’t on the run, or going to a foster home, but rather we had all our belongings and seem to be making the rounds to Dad’s family in Ontario for a visit as if to say goodbye. For all we knew we were moving back to BC (British Columbia). Hearing my father speak primarily in French to my grandmother as he often did when things were serious, gave me sense that something was going on. At that particular moment, we were all together, that’s all that really mattered. 

We boarded the bus in Sudbury, Ontario at night. The heated bus air was a mixture of diesel exhaust, damp air and cigarette smoke. Unfortunately I was one of those kids that got car sick. The next four days in the bus were somewhat of a nauseous blur. “Hey Porky”(my nickname) wake up, we are at the next stop”, my Dad would say. And there it was, in every bus stop from Manitoba to Vancouver, day or night, like a beacon in the night, behind the glass case…”Porky, what do you want to eat”? “Just some cherry pie please”… On the fifth day on the road, we arrived in BC. It was around 6 in the morning and only then did we find out we were coming to “visit” my Mum. It had been 3 years since we had last seen her. Regardless of society’s view of our Dad, he was our world and all was right with the world, as long as us four were together. The bus stopped in Abbottsford, BC (being a felon, Dad couldn’t easily cross the border)> We did not want to get off. We stood at the base of the steps. I looked to Danny and Lorraine as I always did for reassurance or direction. Danny stood there as he always (and still does) quiet, strong as not to upset us. In the cold morning air Lorraine’s tears glistened in the light from the bus stop waiting room. Like so many times before, I held on to my Dads leg, pleading for him not to leave. 

“Come on, let’s go meet your Mum”.The bus stop waiting room was illuminated with concession machines. In front of the lights were silhouettes of two woman. . As I walked closer ,they each looked similar and familiar. One was my mum but I wasn’t sure which one she was. The second woman was Mums sister, Sharon. Up until this point I had only visited Mum, twice in my 9 years. I wrapped my arms around the quilt stitched dark blue coat. As I hugged my mum around the waist, I could feel the cold fabric against my cheek as an unfamiliar hand stroked my besheffeled hair. We piled into the white leather backseat of a blue thunderbird. Patsy Cline’s “walking after midnight” played on the 8-track and through the vapor of our warm breath we could see lights of the greyhound bus station fade in the distance. I looked at Danny and Lorraine, as many times before, when the only known was the unknown.

Tbird

Later in life I heard reasoning of why we were finally brought to Mum. One line of discussion was that we were in danger as some of Dad’s unruly dealings had left him as a marked man. Whether this was a part of his paranoia or truth, makes no different to me. Another reason was that my sister was coming of age and needed a Mum. That went without saying. Regardless of the reason, one truth I have no doubt about is the fact that my father saw the value of a stable family environment which no matter how hard he had tried, he could not provide. Today I am a father of five. And yes, I love taking my kids fishing and at times I may over promise and under deliver which reminds me of my Dad’s good intentions, but as God is my witness I strive to harvest the seed my Dad planted by putting his kids first.  A seed planted at a bus station early one October day back in 1972. For this I am truly thankful. RIP GJR.

 

2nd Eldest Zachary 2nd Eldest Zachary
Eldest Son Ty with a blue cat Eldest Son Ty with a blue cat