Cold hard floor


Riyadh 2006

His words were clear and yet somehow as I dangled between two worlds they meant nothing. In the real and tangible world where grass grew, trees towered and animals walked free, it almost seemed like a game. I played the role of God fearing wife and mother, never stepping over the line. These putrid and abhorrent scenes of humiliation had never surfaced in front of mom and dad. I made sure that everything was “just so” and nothing was amiss on each and every visit. Any concerns over what my parents might say or do were instinctively met with distraction, jibber jabber and a narrow glance that acknowledged my awareness of any potential problem. A much needed household item, groceries that they  purchased and words that might be spoken all topped the list of possible offenses and would be scrutinized during hours of discussion in his room. It was a balance that teetered on the edge of sanity and one that was fiercely guarded.

His voice grew in volume with each question until fury reached its boiling point. I cupped the phone and slid from pad seating on the floor hoping his words were muffled and inaudible. I smiled and tugged at my pants pulling ragged seams together as I walked into the hall, leaving dad to read his paper and sip coffee. Each time he raised his voice I walked further down the hall, inching my way towards the stairs.  The coffee maker steamed and puffed as it processed another full pot. Dad laughed loudly and sighed as crumpled pages were finally stacked in a pile.

I looked to the porch where mom sat basking in the sun, a far cry from winter in Washington. I waved at her and quickly turned towards the stairs not wanting to draw attention.  His voice was persistent and anger built with every question that he posed. I reached the top of the staircase and swiftly made my way to the bathroom.  A new level of fear peaked as his words now seemed unreal. Cursing in our home was prohibited and even Geez, shoot and darn were seen as obscene. I sat near the toilet on the cold bare floor staring at bathtub tiles, listening to words that signaled yet another escalation,  “These are my children, I am the father, they are shit, nothing, nothing, do you understand?”


93 thoughts on “Cold hard floor

  1. Lynn, don’t know if you remember me, Linda Smith. I write The Village Smith and we “talked” a couple of times via comments. I said then you should write a book. I think that even more so now. You are one of the best writers I know (read). And believe me, I do not say that lightly. I would venture to say that your experiences coupled with your cooking expertise would be a best seller. I would pay money for such a book.

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  2. Such a control freak, it almost makes me feel sorry for him, almost!! The ahole I was married to hated my family, he refused to let my mother stay at our house alone. He was so two faced, in front of her he would hug her and treat her like his own mother, but in the quiet of out room, his BS would spill out in whispers and spittle he was so mad.. We had 2 cars and when my mother came he took both of them to his work claiming one was broke down, I begged him to leave me a car so I could take my mom around, but no, we had no reason to be away from the house!! I called BS on this and took the bus and my keys to his job and drove the car away, I really thought he was going to bust a blood vessel…I told my mom that he called and got the car running so I would go get it. We had a wonderful time driving around where she used to live and enjoying her time with us. He didn’t take the car again, but life was never the same after that…Took me 4 more years before I left. What a life living with a control freak who feels he is superior to all of the human race. I feel for you my friend, sooooo happy your free to do as you want now. ITs your life and only you can make the decisions…..your doing great sister….XXXkat

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  3. Lynz, this must be so hard to recall, write down but not close to what you endured… you write with control, clarity and I’m not sure how you retain such calm in your words. Well done for overcoming and being able to share. Hugs xxx

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  4. It is like spying through a crack in the door at a woman bound, gagged, covered from head to toe and being whipped. The creeping dread I feel whenever I see you have posted another installment and yet the compulsion to read your words make me even more convinced that your book, when it is out, will be a winner. A winner that gives hope to the victims of the most depraved abuse that you managed to escape and that they may too, a book that opens the eyes of the ignorant masses to the horrors that can be taking place in the name of culture, religion, belief on this planet of ours, maybe even in the same town as ours. Yours, Lynn is a frightful story and your writing it, I hope is catharsis for you and may prove the trigger to escape for others xxx

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    • Thanks so much Fiona. I hope for the same thing. If I had known one person when I was in this situation who could give me hope for the future or tell me that it could be different it would have helped me. I wish that I could do that for even one person. xoxoxoxo

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  5. Pingback: Senior Salon Roundup Post: March 19 – 23, 2018 | The Recipe Hunter

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