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Thompson 11

Jeffrey Thompson

Larry Neuburger

Eng Comp 101-132

8 February 2011

Narrative Essay

A Destructive Path

Before the day the life I knew had been ripped away, life could not be simple. My body

had constantly been beaten, and my mind tortured. My father grew to be a brutish man despite

his appearance, and he was particularly clever. I relish none of the memories locked away in a

cell in the back of my mind, only to have them escape and mock my already scarred soul. My

mother could not prove to be strong against him either, as she had turned to alcohol to calm the

empty shell she had become. To this day, I still question why a kid had been left to stand against

an abomination with a power that I could not fathom. Despite these things, my sister, like a

gleam of sunshine, gave me hope. It had become my duty to protect her, and keep a monster like

my father from diminishing her strength and her purity. Always being the comforter to my sister

as well as my mother, I had no room for weakness. Even to this day, I question whether or not I

will become the heartless and empty shell that my father so closely resembles. While it may

seem as if I am perhaps exaggerating, I can assure you that I am not. I cannot say that I was

honestly shocked by my father’s actions.

It came to be an expectation of the cruelty my father shown so well. By the night that all

that had become normal to me, there were already three attempts where my father had tried to

claim the life of my mother. He already claimed her soul, stealing the very gleam that resonated

within me and gave me comfort and hope of a better day.To this day, my mother remains that
same empty shell. This serves as a reminder of how the cold reality of this world can take away

the humanity of even the strongest willed person, consuming the soul of any who dare to make

this world a better place.

As a young child I always treasured the moments I had away from home, even if it been

for a short period of time. Afterwards, I came home to a world I despised with a hatred that can

only be bred for a life such as mine. Through my words, you would assume that for a person in

such a disposition as mine all would be hopeless. To be honest, for years I had always believed

that very same train of thought. I was approximately around the age of 5, when I had witnessed

an instance that had showed me the true nature of my father. For years until that day, I had

always believed that my mother's addiction to alcohol was always her choice, and I played my

role in it as well. Upon witnessing the actions of my unforgiving father, I learned otherwise. My

father always believed there is no room for error, and even the slightest error should be

“rewarded” with a horrendously unforgiving punishment. I always felt a deep hatred towards my

father and mother. In time I began to learn that it was not my mother, nor I that had been the

cause of my mother's alcoholism. In fact, the anger and hatred my father had shown towards my

mother made the option of alcohol rather enticing to her.

Throughout my life, my grandparents had shown me love, but they couldn't understand

why I could not reciprocate love. I cannot explain to you why I do not show love. Somewhere

along the lines I lost myself, and did not even know where to start looking. Sure I could tell you

my name, my age, even my social security number for that matter. But to ask me what I stood

for, and what I hoped to accomplish was impossible for me to answer truthfully.

As for my sister, I always had a reason to be proud and envious. She has dreams and
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goals, and is still determined to pursue them. No matter the consequences, my sister will meet

each of her goals. One day my mother had asked my sister where she had gotten such

determination. My mother hoped that my sister would look up to her, only to have been

disappointed when she heard the words, “Bubba taught me that”! In that moment, having been

10 at the time, I fell to my knees and wept. To be honest, it was a moment in which any older

brother would cry. I felt a renewed strength stir within me at that moment. Upon hearing those

words I had a renewed determination to be the best big brother that I was capable of being and

eventually being a better all around person.

At first glance, the monster in my tale did not seem like he was even mentally capable of

such atrocities. To the public, he was the ever so faithful church attendee, a caring father, and

perhaps the ideal son. To be honest, I believe there are some people who still have trouble

believing the gentleman they met could commit such unspeakable horrors. If I were to tell you

the entire story, I am quite certain that you perhaps would not believe it either. After all, I found

out there was more to the story than even I could have anticipated.

I was too frightened to tell my tale, for the page on which my story is written does not lie

within this paper constructed from leaves and other miscellaneous items, but from the very skin

that covers my flesh. The words were written in blood, sweat, and tears, forever staining the

canvas that is me, leaving it scarred and torn asunder.

When I earlier stated that my father was a clever man, I do not believe I clarified the

extent to which he was clever. My body was beaten and bruised, yet no broken bones and a story

for each bruise if anyone asked. He battered, raped, and tormented my mother on a daily basis.

He instilled a fear unlike any witnessed by only a select few, who inflict the same pain upon their

loved ones. If he did not use fear to deceive us, he belittled us into believing that we deserved a
“punishment” for the trouble we somehow caused. I do not believe that he was trying to

convince us, but to justify himself for his unreasonable actions.

For as long as I can recall I not only hated him, but those who did not believe me, nor the

woman who suffered the same fate I did. My mother was considered Schizophrenic. She was

believed to be delusional by a professional who witnessed the demented monster she claimed to

have married. At that time, he actually seemed as a gentle and caring person. Believing there was

no possibility of him having been the one who had inflicted the wounds, but believed that she

had been the one who had inflicted the wounds to herself. By this time, I witnessed two of the

attempts on my mother’s life, but no one would listen to the 10 year-old boy. The boy could

retain a high possibility of being as insane as the mother who bore him.

The crucial turning point in my life had finally arrived, not during the marriage, but

during the divorce. When my mom had finally braved her fears, and decided to take custody of

my sister and me. After my father had left us both to fend for ourselves, while he had partaken in

various illegal activities. It was a particularly clear night I took a leisure walk, during perhaps

one of the most restless nights I experienced. The night before, my father and some less

reputable associates of his had taken a blunt object to the already worn 1987' Cadillac Deville.

Although police officials never solved the case, the answer was plainly obvious. After the police

were notified, my mother made a wise decision to withhold my sister and me from school. She

would later learn that this decision may have perhaps been wise as well as serve its own


During the later hours of the same day as the previous incident, the rage of my father

(perhaps due to the influence of various drugs) welled up inside him that he decided to concoct a
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nefarious plan to lure my mother and decided to eliminate his immediate family. He had planned

on both me and my sibling to be at school, but he would never get the chance to learn whether or

not we were. Unbeknownst to me or my sister, my father had knocked on the door. It was my

mother who answered to hear him say that our clothes were in the trunk of his vehicle. My

mother foolishly followed him, not to find our clothes, but to witness what he hoped to be her


I awoke with a curiosity, and peered furtively through the blinds in time to witness him

withdraw a weapon and fire the first shot at her. My mother's friend who sympathetically taken

my mother, my sister and I into her household, woke to rush me and my sister to safety. By that

time, I already witnessed what took place. After the first two shots were fired into her lower

abdomen, he added insult to injury. As she pleaded with her executioner for her life, he felt no

remorse for his actions as he shot one final round into her stomach from less than a ruler's length

away. He fled almost as quickly as he arrived. I witnessed her lying in a pool of her own

substantial life-force, flowing forth from her torn viscera. Tears began falling from my sister's

eyes, but I remained still, not sure how I felt. I still question if I had become the hardened,

heartless man I despised so much, all because of one tear not shed at the most traumatizing event

in any child’s life. I can not tell you all of the details, and I am certain you would not want to

hear them. As surely as these events happened, I have become a person dedicated to proving

myself nothing like my father.

I have created an identity separate from my father and will be a husband soon. As for my

mother and sister, though they may have their quarrels from time to time, I can assure you that

they are quite happy. My father still waits in his prison cell for his leave, and from that point I

can only hope that I will not hear from him again. From these events, I can part a gift of wisdom
to you, with the hopes that you will take my words to heart. It is not the events that make us who

we are, It is what we can derive from those events that do. Though my tale may have been

seemingly endless. I would like to thank you for listening to it.