7/4/2016 "What's happening?" she whispered. "Don't worry about it," Sabri replied with a brush of the shoulder. "I'm scared," she squeaked, tears flowing steadily. "Don't be," Sabri whispered, "I will keep you safe." Sabri put her arms around Ruth and rocked her back and forth cooing, hush.
My Mom is Not a Monster
"Sabri," came the hushed voice of a little girl. Her breath was heavy and uneven. "Sabri," the voice came again, sounding increasingly panicked. Her eyes were soft hazel... sparks of green and brown; glossed over with fresh tears. "Shh," she whispered back. Sabri gently reached out and stroked the top of her head. Her hands brushed the tears softly from her cheeks, "It will be OK, Ruth," she reassured her.
They were huddled closely together in Sabri's room. The girls were both shaken up. Sabri, 15 years old, Ruth, 8 years old. Both were trying hard to hold back tears. Sabri successfully, Ruth unsuccessfully. Sabri was quiet and focused. She was listening intently, waiting for the slightest sound. Every move was carefully calculated. She knew how this story would unfold. The pattern was always similar, but the order was always chaotic; like knowing how a story would end, but not knowing the minor details along the way.
Sabri crouched down and crawled out of the closet and into her bedroom. The lights were off, concealing her. She crept slowly toward the door of the room. It was cracked slightly. She gingerly touched the knob and pulled it back some for a better look. As she placed her eye to the crack in the door she saw shadows and heard violent screaming.
It was another "bad day" in the Quincy home. Sharon was having another episode of insanity. Robert tried his best to calm and sooth her at first, but after an hour of progressively aggressive behavior and vile speech, he became discouraged, and then angry. Now, the situation was full blown fury from both ends.
As Sharon screeched and shouted out profanity, Robert returned to her with vile insults and name calling. She taunted him relentlessly, shouting out anything she could use to hurt him the greatest. She laughed viciously and continued on this way. Sabri saw her mother flinging large objects in the room toward her father, and just barely missing her aim. He yelled back at her unutterable things not to mention. Sabri shut her eyes tight.
She knew that when her mother was done with her father, she would come for the smallest one, only she would not have her. She would not lay one finger on her, because Sabri would not allow it. The same went for the father. As she knew, they liked to pick on those smaller than themselves. When her rage was unleashed, there was no telling what the consequences would be. Sabri clenched her fist thinking of past occasions.
She slowly backed away from the door and crept silently back toward Ruth. Ruth's eyes were wide and fearful as she re-entered the closet. "What's happening?" she whispered. "Don't worry about it," Sabri replied with a brush of the shoulder. "I'm scared," she squeaked, tears flowing steadily. "Don't be," Sabri whispered, "I will keep you safe." Sabri put her arms around Ruth and rocked her back and forth cooing, hush.
Sabri shut her eyes and sighed deeply. Why does this have to happen? How did they get here? Would they ever be free? Sabri's mind drifted far away back to the good old days. She remembered being very young, seeing her mom in sundresses and laughing. Back before things were like this. Her mother, painting with her, doing arts and crafts. She remembered happily singing songs and making birdhouses. She remembered playing in the water and collecting rocks. She remembered making paper machete. She remembered picking apples together and thinking that her mother was the most beautiful angel to ever walk the earth. It wasn't just Sabri that felt this way. Her mothers gentle kindness to others was evident to all who knew her. Her soft-spoken voice was hypnotizing. Her gentle laugh and soft eyes... So lovely, so quaint, so desirable, so loved and liked.
Even at a young age, she remembered seeing her mother get sad. She tried to hide the sadness, but Sabri saw the truth. She tried her best to cheer her up. She would make her little gifts and draw her pictures. Her mother would smile softly and take them. "Thank you, Honey," she would say. Sabri adored her mother, always wanting to keep her happy. She tried her very best to do so. It was no easy feat. As the years went by, Sabri grew, and so did her mother's rage and depression. They grew, and grew, until they were no longer manageable.
Her father, Robert, constantly demanded that Sabri try harder, and continue caring for her. She remembered being a mere 9 years old, "Do not leave her side at all. Stay with her every second." She remembered the awful things she would scream at her, and crying. Her father, Robert, insisted that she apologize to her mother. He said, "Make peace, be the bigger person." With tears in her eyes, she would remind him of the horrible things she would say and the nasty names she would call her. He would excuse her saying, "She doesn't mean it, you know that. You should know better. She's just depressed. Go back in and talk to her." Sabri would plead, telling him that her mother did not want her company. He would force her to go back, and her mother would again throw her out telling her that she hated her children. The painful words rang in her ears and nestled in her heart.
Sabri knew in her mind that her mother was not in control of her words. She knew that her mother did not mean the words... but something about the spite rang a hint of truthfulness. Her words were cutting, malicious, looking to cut you and injure you mentally and emotionally. The crushing anxiety and forced responsibility affected her so deeply that she began having extreme panic attacks at the age of 12. They became increasingly worse over the years. Now, 15 years of age, Sabri felt she was one anxiety attack away from deaths door. She opened her eyes once again to the reality around her. She pressed her ear to the wall. It was quiet, too quiet. She heard a slam and loud footsteps. They were headed this way.
"Ruth!" shouted the voice. "Ruth, get over here NOW!" Then, the anger flung open the door to her bedroom. She searched for her, "If you don't stop hiding, I'll give you a reason to hide. I will break everything in this room until you show your disgusting little face. You have until the count of three to come out. 1, 2, 3," Furious at no response she retreated angrier than before to the next bedroom. BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG- Followed by a slew of profanity and screams to open the door immediately came from the other side of Sabri's room. Sabri squeezed Ruth's hand. "I'm going to open the door, stay here OK?" Ruth's eyes were frightened, but trusting. "OK,"she whispered softly.
Ruth got up and made her way to the door. She slowly turned the knob and as she began to open the door, her mother stormed through, pushing it against her. "Where is your sister?!" she shrieked. "Why do you need her right now?" Her mother's rage was continuing to boil. "Listen, either you tell me or I'm going to start breaking things in your room." Sabri's stomach was beginning to form large knots. Her mother's eyes were filled with fire and contempt. She began taking things off the shelves, photos of family, friends, notebooks, gifts from relatives. She began to shred, shatter, and crush everything. Sabri's head began to spin and she felt as if she would vomit. However, she stood her ground.
Her mother continued to terrorize her belongings until she got what she wanted; the satisfaction of knowing she caused you great pain. As the first tear rolled slowly from her right eye, she knew the taunting was coming. Her mother laughed at her in disgust, "You're pathetic. Sit here and feel sorry for yourself. boohoo, your life is SO HARD. HA! HA! HA! Your life is a cake walk. You are SO lucky. My father, beat me. A crippled child! I was in a wheel chair. And he BEAT ME. And my mother. And my brother. All of us. So be grateful for the life you have." With that, she made her way as quickly and violently as she had appeared.
Sabri shut the door. She sat on the floor and cried. As she cried, she heard the closet door creak open. "Sabri?" she asked softly,"Are you OK?" Sabri turned to see a worried Ruth. Her face was scrunched unpleasantly, clearly alarmed by the situation. It was not often that Sabri would cry like this in front of her. Sabri brushed away the tears and hugged her sister. "It's not over... go back to the closet. They will come back again." Ruth was torn. At 8 years old, she was very overwhelmed and did not know what to do. She wanted to somehow comfort Sabri. Against her wishes, she listened to her sisters words and retreated back to the closet to wait out the next wave of rage.
Life was not always this way. Sharon had been dealt bad cards in her opinion. A family of people who used her. She spoiled them all from day 1. Special treats, special thoughts, little things. Take, take, take. That's all they ever seemed to do. She had grown tired of it over the years. Ever since she was a child she had been taking care of others. She was the oldest of 3 children. She had one brother and one sister.