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Oh, for lungs to scream a scream 
that would fully express my grief, 
that would shake the earth,
that would crumble the hillside in front of me. 

My first memory of daddy-Monster:
I am three years old.
I receive his fists as I lie in bed.
He yells, “It’s your fault!” repeatedly.

My only defense is to scream.
I scream at full volume.
Eventually he leaves.
No one hears my heart.

I am ten years old.
A pet gerbil escapes from his cage.
My reckless brother and I run 
to capture the escapee.

Daddy-Monster pushes us aside 
and grabs the gerbil too hard.
The gerbil bites him.
He curses and drops the gerbil.

Again, he grabs the gerbil too hard.
Again, the gerbil bites. 
This time, daddy-Monster curses 
and throws the gerbil against a wall.

The gerbil dies instantly.
We are horrified and protest loudly.
Mom shushes us and calls us back to lunch.
Grief and outrage are silenced.

Stuff the emotion.
Keep it silent.
Nothing to feel here.
Nothing to be upset about.

Calm down and finish your lunch.
Don’t upset the “tranquility”.
Don’t be excited.
Act as if nothing happened.

For two decades, 
violence and the threat of violence 
reign supreme in the home.
Feelings are not allowed.

His violence slammed us all.
He slammed our mother 
into drunkenness 
and life-long bitterness.

He slammed Reckless-Brother 
into criminal behavior 
and incarceration 
and early death in a car wreck.

Daddy-Monster slammed himself 
into cardiac failure, 
his own heart rebelling 
against his extreme violence.

He slammed me 
into another dysfunctional family, 
a gaslighting religious church/cult – 
filled with self-righteous bullies.

Daddy-Monster slammed Lost-Brother 
into despair and hopelessness.
Lost-Brother fought the fight, 
losing after decades.

He finally escaped his pain 
through extreme measure, 
in extreme hopelessness.
He chose to die by suicide.

Anguished beyond description, I scream.
I scream in the car.
I scream on the bike trails.
In unbearable grief, I scream.

I connect my brother’s final decision 
with our violent upbringing.
I call it indirect causation.
For a year and a half, I scream.

Nobody tells me to calm down.
Nobody stuffs my heart.
Nobody silences me.
I scream till I don’t need to scream.

Daddy-Monster slammed the gerbil.
He slammed us all.
He created the volatile environment.
And yes, we made our choices.

The unscreamable scream dwelt in all of us.
Daddy-Monster drank his unscreamable scream.
He exploded his unscreamable scream.
His unscreamable scream blossomed into family self-destruction.

Mom drank her unscreamable scream.
When sober, she stuffed her unscreamable scream.
Her unscreamable scream blossomed 
into life-long bitterness and countless grudges.

I choose to write my unscreamable scream.
I can never give it full expression.
I hope my unscreamable scream blossoms 
into wholeness and healing for myself and others.

– Healing Heart Warrior

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