the beginning of a story that needs to be told…..


Although I have started this story perhaps thousands of times I have never actually finished it, it is a story about me, about how I became the person that I am today. It is about fear, anger, loss, regrets, choices made and choices not made. I don’t expect you to fully understand any of this at all but perhaps it will give you more of an understanding of how I actually ended up sitting here today trying to justify my own life.

I am going to do my best to explain my childhood to you in terms that will not frighten you or make you think I have lost my mind entirely, understand that parts of it will sound much like a real story, and other parts will be much like a horror story. I really have to explain that I actually don’t remember all that much of my actual childhood just fragments, bits and pieces if you will. It will probably not follow any kind of timeline and will wander around as much as my own mind does, so please bear with me.

This is what I remember of my childhood. I remember fear and hate and anger, I don’t remember things like having any fun, I do remember one time we were moving from one base to another and we were driving across country and I remember we had stopped at a rest stop and dad fixed fired squash, zucchini and onions for the very first time on a Coleman stove. I remember one Christmas in Puerto Rico that was the one and only good Christmas we had ever had with my dad. I do remember snorkeling in Coba Rojo Bay. To be honest those are really the only good times I do remember having with my dad. I want to tell you all of the bad things that I remember about him but I am not sure that is a good idea, those things I remember are scary even for me to think about. One I know for sure is this I didn’t know love from my father, I don’t really know that he actually ever told me that at all. I have always had to wonder whether he loved me as his son or not. The one thing I promised myself when I was younger laying in the dark trying to hold myself together after I got my ass beat, or laying in the hospital with broken bones or burns across my body was that I would tell my children if I had any that I loved them, they would always hear those words from me, hope that clears up why I am always telling you that and I will never stop telling you that I love you, son. This man did unspeakable things to me and my brothers and my mother, he would beat us, play psychological games on us, and he would force us to labor physically until we were spent with exhaustion. I was so small and he was so big what could I do, if anyone ever found out it would only get worse, who was I to tell. No one would listen, just as it seems no one is listening to me now. I can remember actually dreading him coming home at night because you never knew what was going to happen, to live your entire childhood in fear that whatever you did was never going to be good enough, you could never get your chores done fast enough, you could never get the right amount of coffee in the cup, knowing this would get you backhanded across the room or punched or kicked. How was I to know that I ever did anything right? He played head games with us I know you know about the one where he would go for days and not do anything to us and then when you did the least little thing wrong he would explode and collapse your entire world around you. I remember I was running through the house one day and slipped and went crashing through the sliding glass door and cut myself really bad, he beat my ass for breaking the glass took me to the base hospital and they stitched me up then when we got home he beat my ass again for taking time away from his day. I can remember my brothers taking up for me and taking the beatings that were meant for me. I can remember having to watch as they were beaten for their punishment, they also had their turn watching me, but I was so small and what was I supposed to do? You know I never told anyone about what happened to me as a child until I met your mother and really I only scratched the surface with her, she doesn’t know it all, there are some things I will never talk about with anyone, I actually tried with your mother but by then it was too late she didn’t really seem to care anymore. It is ok that she doesn’t care about me anymore, but that is for later on in the story not right now. As I got older the more severe the beating could be because I could handle more than when I was younger, but again what was I supposed to do. We left him, we left him a lot but we always went back, I am not sure why we always went back only your grandmother can answer that and now we will never know. I always wanted the sitcom TV family; mom, dad, and the brothers where ya things went wrong but no one got hurt and everyone loved each other and knew it. I always wanted a family, and I got one for awhile and I still do have a family it is you now. But understand that the things I have done in my life have one common denominator, fear. I ran away because of fear, I got angry because of fear. I left you and your mom because of fear, all because I couldn’t escape my own mind, the thoughts of my world coming crashing down all around me, I was afraid it would happen so I made it happen before it could happen to me, I don’t know if you understand that or not, but because of all the things that happened to me as a child grew up with me in to an adult and they grew bigger with me. I am going to stop for now because I am not feeling very well; I love you with my life son.

Dan Kline

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2 Responses to “the beginning of a story that needs to be told…..”

  1. I was on here over an hour writing you a reply, but the reason I come here Dan, is to let you know someone is hearing your pain, feels a kinship there, and knows your trying to be a better Man.

    So instead I leave you only with this.

    My heart and prayers are with you.

    Respectfully,
    SB

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