Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You by Sue Silverman

By Sue Silverman

Because I take into accout Terror, Father, I bear in mind You destroys our complacency approximately who between us can devote unspeakable atrocities, who's subjected to them, and who can cease them. From age 4 to eighteen, Sue William Silverman used to be again and again sexually abused through her father, an influential executive reputable and profitable banker. via her eyes, we see an outwardly common relatives equipped on a beginning of scary secrets and techniques that lengthy went unreported, undetected, and unconfessed.

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When my father returns home he is pleased to see me, the daughter who always waits for him, the daughter who knows how to make him happy. On Saturday he builds a dollhouse from construction paper. I cut out paper dolls to live inside. In the afternoon my mother cooks chicken and rice, fresh vegetables, an apple pie. The house smells right. But even though the day has been perfect, we grow silent around the dinner table. We—we three little girls, as my father always calls us, his three little girls—watch, without eating, watch while my father tests the food.

D D D Night after night in the bathtub I watch my rubber duck. Its round rubber eyes watch me, too, for it is the first to see. Bits of scum float on the murky surface of water, and I believe it is pieces of skin scaled from my body. Perhaps I am losing bits of skin, parts of my body. Soon, perhaps, there will be nothing left. I don't look down at my daddy's hand. I don't look down at my body. I don't move. Not a finger. Not a toe. I'm not aware of breathing. But his breath—his—rushes. This is the only sound, this, I feel his breath as it rushes toward me across the water.

The sweet smell of rum and mahogany, the lingering scent of smoke, make us dizzy. We sit on the brick floor propped against a rum barrel. " my sister asks. She knows I hate to have my back rubbed; rather, I know she is the one who finds it soothing. "How about if I rub yours first," I say, knowing this is what she intended. She lies down, her face on my legs. My fingers trickle across her back, round and around. My legs go to sleep, my arm is cramped, but I continue, not wanting to lose my sister.

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