I am going to give some background to Jack A. that I’m not sure that I have ever given before.

~Here is my introduction to a man I will be referring to as ‘E’!
E was Jack A.’s father. From what I understand, E was a very sick and twisted individual. From the stories that I have heard of him raising his own children, E would make the things that Jack A. has done to me, pale into a simple slap on the wrist. I only remember going over to where he lived a few times. The first visit, I was maybe three or four years old and then the second, I believe I was ten. It was before Suzie was born. I actually believe that Kim was pregnant with my sister at the time.
Aside from E, Jack A. had four siblings. Heather was first, then his only brother David, Wilma, then Jack A., and finally the youngest sibling Liza. I will probably broach those stories another day.
It was an older home that was built sometime during the 1940s. It was small and looked like a box. The roof was slightly slopped inward. You could tell that it needed a new roof and many more repairs. When the house was new, I can image that it was white but when I saw it as we pulled into the driveway, most of the paint had flaked off and it was a spotted and cracked primer gray. It had a small, raised, concrete porch with only enough room for a single chair. It had a very short slopping ramp leading up to the porch instead of stairs. Even that was in disrepair from so many uses. It leaned to one side and boards were either loose or missing. I felt weird when we walked in. It almost immediately made me want to turn tail and run away like so many of the things in my life have. I asked to go wait in the car but was immediately told no of course. The inside of the house was small and the walls were the same primer gray that the outside had faded to. It also had old, original, wood flooring (that people pay thousands of dollars for in current society). It badly needed to be shined and restored. In my memory, it also had the same gray color that the rest of the house had but I know that is probably just a child’s memory and not necessarily how it really was.
E had a lot of medical problems and they had caused several complications throughout his life. He had two separate blood clots that caused two surgeries where they had to amputate both legs. He had lung cancer due to smoking for most of his life. So, he was always connected to an oxygen tank. He also lived with his mother because he needed so much help and constant care.
Of his mother, I remember a short and haunched woman with gray and black hair. She wore skirts and old knit sweaters. She smelled of a mix of dust, mold, and moth balls. Her skin was the same color as the house. Thin and faded like the years had literally worn her down much like sand will on stone in a river. She was also very old fashioned in that she believed that you wait on your men and a woman’s place was in the kitchen. She had an old paddle that hung on the wall, and on it there was an engraved quote that read,

Children are to be seen and not heard.

I don’t doubt that she used that paddle on her children however, I remember her being very kind and tolerant of me. She made me a plate of chocolate chip cookies and let me help her with a jigsaw puzzle. She didn’t have a television and when I asked why, she said:

‘Cause it’s all a bunch a nonsense and it’s useless information. If I need to know somethin’, I get me my paper every mornin’!

I think, had I have been born into a well adjusted family with regular get-togethers and holiday traditions, I would have loved to sit and talk with her about how it used to be. I remember a very sweet lady.
At some point in the visit, Jack A. took me back to the room where E stayed. He couldn’t get out of bed and lived out his days in a rented hospital bed. He had this thing that looked like a swing with a harness that allowed him to be lifted and moved from his bed to his wheel chair without having to have someone physically lift him.
E was a large, round man with pasty, translucent skin and a military style hair cut. I think at one point, his hair was a pale blonde but by that time, it had also washed out to gray. I wonder if all things turn to gray over time… if that’s the natural color that all things end their existence in.
If I remember correctly, he was almost blind too but I’m not certain about that. When I walked into his room, I was immediately hit with the smell of something similar to a hospital and at the same time it had a dirty smell. Like someone who hasn’t ever taken a bath in their life. Upon entering that room, I was compelled to shrink to Jack A’s side in hopes of being protected from the fear I felt.

I would like to state before I move forward that I had no idea what E was capable of. I was never made aware of the bad things he’d done in his life until I was grown and he had been buried for more than fifteen years.

I don’t remember the conversation during the visit or even the reason for the visit. I do, however, remember being asked to sit at the end of the bed to tell my ‘Papa’ what it was I was learning in school. Being told to make sure I was a ‘good girl’. The connotations of what he said and how he said it made my skin crawl. To this day, I can still remember it. It’s that creepy feeling you get when you walk into an old abandoned house with lots of cobwebs and spiders as big as rats.

This is my memory of E and the brief encounter with him. A few years later, he died. In my quest to find relatives from my past, I had the chance happening of coming across Jack A.’s older sister, Wilma, on Facebook. In speaking with her and discussing things, I found out the things that E had done to his children. I don’t have specific stories but more so glimpses into the types of things that he did to his children.
Wilma spoke of being sexually abused by her father and as her brothers got older, E would force them to watch what he did to them. She said that E had told her brothers that it was in order to teach them about sex. Wilma said that as her brothers matured and if E saw that they were getting aroused by the activities, then he started making them participate.
Jack A. didn’t have to continue his father’s … what’s the proper phrase? I’m not sure there are words to encompass what E did and then Jack A. perpetuated. But, I think this is how, or one of the ways, that people like them are created. This puts a whole new meaning on learning from example.

I think all of this came up today because I went to visit with a ‘cousin’ of mine. She’s David’s (Jack A.’s brother) daughter. I haven’t seen her since I was seven or eight years old. In discussing some of the things that we both experienced, she did tell me that fear does die. Hers died when her father died of a heart attack a year ago as kids. She was actually the one that paid for his funeral.
I honestly can’t see why she would want to. She said it was for closure for herself. I guess I’m just not the type of person that can forgive the things that were done to me.


13 thoughts on “‘E’

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  1. Hi Phoenix,
    What a powerful entry, it has sent shivers down my spine…
    In no way am I justifying the terrible things that Jack A did to you,but reading this goes a long way to understanding the why of his awful deeds.

    Yes, you are right, Jack didn’t have to perpetuate this .. I don’t kow how to describe it either.. life of abuse maybe… but if that’s what he thinks is normal, there would be no reason for him not to behave that way, though if it wasa partner of mine, then that person would never get access to any part of my family again..ever.
    Can evil be learnt?
    There seem to be some peeple that are just evil personified, you’ve described 2 of them now, Jack A and E.. where did this start, when did this start.. who was ” parent no 1 that first decided that this type of behavior was acceptable?

    In your position I would never be able to forgive, or forget, and would dance on his grave when he finaly went, but I can understand your cousin paying for her dad’s funeral, probably as a celebration of him finally not being able to hurt her mentally or physically any more.
    It would seem from your words that Jack A was not the only one in his immediate family to go on to a life of serial abuse ..someone has got a lot to answer for.

    It is incredible the way that you have managed to turn your life around, not perpetuating the cycle, and putting events from that terrible life behind you.
    I’ve said before that I think you are one of the bravest people I’ve ever met and I stand by that still.
    You have a inner strength that is incredible, you have endured things that no one should have, and would have broken many others, and I honestly admire your courage and determination Phoenix.
    I hope writing this didn’t bring back too many bad memories,and also that you and your family are all ok and that life is treating you well,
    love and many hugs

    1. I wanted to respond a little more in depth to your comment. When I started this process of writing and the more and more that I wrote about Kim, I started understanding her and her faults… the why’s behind her letting things happen.
      In writing this entry about Jack A., when I went back and re-read that entry before posting, it helped me start to understand what’s mentally wrong with him.
      I won’t ever forgive the two of them (Kim or Jack A.) for what they have done to me; it’s not in the range of my abilities. But, you’re right! It does go a long way into understanding him and his mental issues.
      For many years after moving out from under their roof, I cried because I wondered what was so wrong with me that they couldn’t love or protect me the way they were supposed to as parents. Several years ago, I consciously forced myself to understand that it wasn’t me. It became a daily struggle and now, I have stopped having to fight myself. I no longer have those debilitating thoughts that I was at fault.
      It’s been almost a year since I’ve started writing my stories and followers like you and a few others that have been with me from the beginning have also given me the support that I seriously lacked in getting over a lot of my emotional trauma.

      1. Hi Phoenix,
        Thanks for your reply.
        I can’t even begin to appreciate how difficult and hard your life must have been in those younger years and in the aftermath of moving away. It is a ploy of abusers that they shift the blame from themselves on to their victims.

        I’m so so glad that you know now that it wasn’t your fault, it that it was never your fault, despite anything your might have been told or made to feel.
        You are the victim in all this, not the perpetrator.

        Not everybody is like them.
        You are not like them, your family is not like them, and you have been and still are amazing.

        I’m glad too that my comments and words of support have helped in some way and I hope they are still helping you.

        Take care Phoenix, look after yourself,
        love n hugs

  2. Hey Phoenix, glad to see you writing again. It’s sad that it happened but I’m glad you’re sharing with us and just never forget you have a support system with the people here even if we don’t get to meet face to face. Take care.

    1. Gabriel,
      Thanks for the comment. Yes… I’ve needed to start writing again for a while and in visiting with my cousin yesterday, I guess that was the spark I needed.

      1. Phoenix,
        I’m glad something good came out of it all then. I needed a spark of my own so to speak and I am recently returning to regularly blog again. I wish you nothing but the best.

        I wish stories like ours were so uncommon we would never have to know that someone else went through something bad for so long. For me at least I always tend to feel guilt for someone else who suffered or just sad that the world could churn out that type of experience over and over.

        In any case it’s been a pretty emotional weekend for me (not bad though just in case you wanted to know), so I sincerely hope that you find a good place to just be you and shine as bright as you want, without all the weight of the experience from the past.

        I look forward to reading more,

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

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