There is not a person in the world that could pick up a gun and not feel powerful. I was 11 years old when I held a rifle for the first time. My hands were shaking around the cold slender body and I smiled as I imagined my father standing in the cross-fire. This wasn’t the first time I’d thought about killing my father. It was a regular thought that I indulged many hours with.
This man in my cross-fire is not a good man and he is not the hard-working family man the community would have you believe he is.
I didn’t always fill with rage when I thought about him. There was a time when that little girl with dark brown eyes, olive skin, cheeky smile and bright red boots would scowl a crowd searching for ‘her’ daddy.
I began to hate him as he began to reject me. I had gone from the apple of his eye to the fly in his soup. I always wondered what I did wrong to provoke this. Did I smile too much? Did I want too much? Or was it merely that our family had just welcomed a new baby boy into the family – the boy they had been waiting for.
I can honestly say that I’ve never had a conversation with the man. It’s always been him barking orders and shaking his fist when his words couldn’t be deciphered through the slur of many drinks that night.
He is the king and the rest of the family are forced to obey. I was terrified of him and would berate myself when I did something wrong and received whatever punishment was quick to hand whether that be a string of unkind words or a fist made through gritted teeth being shaken in your direction.
I was scared of him.
I look at my kids father, my husband, and can’t help but feel jealous that they got a good dad and I didn’t.
My daughter will never be told she is stupid. She will never be told she is lazy and fat. She won’t be told she is bad or that she was a waste of space. She won’t hear the word useless and automatically link it to herself and she won’t ever be scared to drop a fork.
I’m a gun-hating vegetarian but If I could go back to that 11 year old shaking and holding that rifle I would probably shout at her to pull the trigger.