Family Values

The family values three squares at the table
A nightly ritual force fed to the masses
To bring us together in peace and harmony
Share the day around our daily bread
Bred from chaos
A show more riveting than any on tv
Girl watches from a different place at the table
As plates fly
Shattered shards pierce her eye
She doesn’t cry
Just shrinks down in the chair
Lowering her head
There’s work to be done on the gravy river
A mountain of potatoes set for excavation

In wild cacophony Man explodes
Or is that the chair hitting the floor
Or the cries of Boy as Man gets bigger
And more dinnerware flies
Paper and plastic would be a safer choice
Girl wonders why
Invisible Woman didn’t think of that
There must not be any coupons in this weeks flyer
While Invisible Woman struggles to decide
Whether to clean up the repast Man hates
Or attempt to defend Boy that Man hates
Dog solves Invisible Woman’s predicament
It’s his lucky day as he laps meatloaf
In oblivious joy
So she chooses Boy
Girl remembers
This show from last week
History and tv repeats itself and
Refereeing is a lesson in vanity
Like Girl trying to build
A potato wall that holds gravy

Invisible Woman
So fragile and frail
Doesn’t make a good match in the ring
Obscurity appends her ineptitude
As the punches
Go right through her
So she sends Boy to his room
Imploring Man his food is getting cold
And dangles another beer in his face
He pushes it and her away
So Boy can get what’s coming
Girl frowns a little and puts down her fork
As the gravy river breaks through the potato bank

Boy is a stealthy foe
He lures Man with nefarious words and conduct
That promises to get under his skin
The collateral damage is much easier to take
When he can control when and where
To take the blow or make plates and fists fly
Boy with the bruises on the outside
Stays inside his room performing the episode
Destroying his toys
And screaming at his stuffed bear
You useless piece of shit
While stomping it flat
Girl finally gives up
The potato wall is completely breached
By gravy overflow

Invisible Woman closes the door
And gives Man another beer
Is dinner over
It must be because
Dog is satiated
Snoring in the corner
Boy is locked away in his room
Curled up in a ball
Man is outside drinking
Vociferating the lawnmower
Throwing tools at the wall
Invisible Woman is shaking and cleaning
Incognizant to the glass stuck in her feet
Girl with the bruises inside
Stays at the table defeated
And can’t get the fucking potatoes to hold
Because gravy and tears
Don’t form the right consistency

29 thoughts on “Family Values

  1. Yes. Swords and belts and fists, yells and curses. Chairs crashing, body thuds on walls and floors, tears flowing…stop, please stop.
    But, you know, it was the daily battering with words of shame and ridicule that have lingered in my soul.
    I’m sorry you lived it too.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, My brother handles things very differently than I do. He is there for me during the times that I need him but he doesn’t express any feelings around our childhood. My mom has and always will live in denial. I feel like I was the most traumatized… My brother just keeps at a distance and is happy with his own, but separated, life. Interesting how it impacts us so differently.

        Like

  2. Thank you! And yes, I agree! If it is a nice, relaxing time to connect it’s great. But when it’s like this, what’s the point? For adult me and my children, it was a time for laughter and loving, the way it’s supposed to be ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how obvious things become much later on but still as an adult I had an unconscious aversion to “dinner time.” As a child there is no escaping the fiasco (apart from being bloody hungry) so it felt like a trap.
      I have an honest question for you Wise Woman. Does writing about this help you? I ask this because I feel very ambivalent in doing so myself. Obviously I will be determining this for myself, however I am interested in your view if you care to share it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I feel the same, especially about eating out or going on trips. I still feel so much anxiety, regardless of who I’m with. And yes, it does help me. It makes me feel lighter getting it out of my mind (it’s kind of like going to therapy for me). I am also amazed at the amount of support and encouragement I receive. It’s tragic that so many people have had similar experiences but it helps to know I’m not alone, in experience and feelings. It also makes me feel like I have a bit of a purpose… if someone can relate to what I write and know that they too are not alone, it helps to fill a void that is left from no longer being able to work (where I helped people in many different ways). I also am sometimes able to find areas of my life that I need to pay more attention to… meaning that if I am in tears writing about something and am able to say, “ok, that one really got to me/triggered some heavy feelings so I need to pay attention to that” and maybe address it in therapy. Thanks for asking, hope it helps 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks you so much!
        My father passed 3 months ago and the whole funeral thing, in terms of the behaviours of some family members, filled me with such disgust. It opened such a can of worms so here I am.
        Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope I am not hijacking your post here!
        Yes it was hard – just when you think you’ve dealt with it and then realise you’ve just attempted to bury it. But the takeaway from the “funeral episode” was I decided I would write a book. Then I started a blog here to start writing and now realise I have just gone off on my spiritual tangent again. So I now have decided I will create another blog and go for it there. I believe the schism in me will come together somehow by expressing all of me.
        You have helped enormously which has made me see that writing this abuse stuff is a healing journey.
        Thanks to you and all the brave souls here!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is true to engage and share is the point. That’s what I want too!
        Yes I have my blog here on wordpress https://magicalphoenix.com/ and today I am going to create another blog from that one. So I will let you know the link to that when it’s set up. Thanks for your support!
        Yes I know about BloodintoInk (great name) and I submitted a poem, but then got cold feet. But now I will write the other side of me stuff there. Going by my feelings and it feels very right. Sort of bursting at the seams now, lol.
        So great to have ‘met’ you Wise-Women and I look forward to more sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I found it and followed but will be watching for your new one. The Blood Into Ink group is very kind and supportive… but definitely do what feels right for you now. Glad to have met you too ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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