Childhood Soundtrack

I suppose it’s just easier to blame your mother: My teachers wouldn’t allow me to make zoom noises when I Superman-ed to the playground, Scooby-Doo wasn’t ready to begin right as I flopped onto the couch after returning home, the like…. My mom had led me to believe that she held dominion over everything. Obviously she should have been able to control things such as these, the things that really mattered.

 I don’t suppose my outlook changed much as I grew older. Twelve years old: Thanks a lot for the zits, mom! Thirteen: Why do you have to get a divorce and ruin my life? Yesterday: Why is my car out of gas?! These things made sense to me in their own time.

I suppose it also made sense to me that my father took what he wanted from her then left her crying afterward. I didn't see the violation of her dominion; I accepted that this was how life was. Truthfully, I can’t be sure I actually thought there was anything blameworthy occurring at the time because I have reflected so often on those events that my memory is like an overshined penny with all its details rubbed smooth. What I know is this: My father raped my mother many, many times. I don’t know if she willingly had sex with him intermittently or if every time was forced, but I know that their noises crowded my childhood home—echoes of a woman acting like she was enjoying everything so that the man she loved would finally believe he had done enough that time and leave her to sob and sleep until he sought her again.

 I thought that was what sex was supposed to sound like. Since then I have come to understand what happened in my home. My mother and I have each moved past blame in our own ways, and I have cultivated my own relationships with people. But whenever I have sex, I secretly fixate on how it sounds.

-Anonymous, Male, Age 26