A disturbing dream last night.
I was living in a housing arrangement where I was a house slave. The overseer was my dad do he didn’t make me do much in the way of work because he spoiled me and doted on me. But he was strict with the other slaves and treated them as strictly as the master of the house would.
One day, he received a visit from another family — his other family. Young woman with whom he had a young boy. They had an argument. He was displeased that they were there unannounced and that it could cause a world of trouble for him with his here family. Us, I’m assuming. They fought and she was whisked into a room that no one was able to access, even my dad.
I found him a time later sitting alone obviously feeling very sad and conflicted. His eyes asked why was he in this situation and what he would do to be free from the burden. And brimming under it all he was angry. We exchanged no words. Just stayed in the room silently.
Until one of the other slaves ran in and reported that room being empty. The young woman and boy were gone. My father flew into a rage. It was the middle of the night and he started to wake all the other slaves and put them to work in the dead of night. One young male worker came out in “sneakers” knowing the dress code did not call for that. My father picked up one of those old fashioned sewing scissors: the ones made of heavy steel with the black handle, held it by the shears, and yanked the boy back. I whirled around to turn away from seeing the punishment I anticipated. He whacked the boy as hard as he could on the top of his head with the handle – the heaviest part of the instrument. The dull thud sound it made against the soft part of his skull painted the scene for me. I faced the wall, mouth agape with horror. Tears streaming with helplessness. Screaming without sound. And I woke up in tears.
Realizing this was the same horror with which I used to witness my dad discipline my brother and make me watch / listen because he refused to hit me because I was a girl.
I didn’t realize that horror still coursed through me. And I’m not sure what awakened it.