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We have gone through the entire day without a call or voicemail from M, looks like the letter our lawyer sent out has slowed him down. Or it sped him up, no telling really.

When we were getting messages at least we could tell something, measure his cadence for changes in his voice, pay attention to the details, anything to try to figure out his intentions. Now we have no sounds, and silence has its own torture at times.

While I got what I needed, space to breath and see if we can get him to operate within the confines of society’s timetable and rules. Hearing nothing posses it’s own problems as well, and time to breath does allow one to think. New questions arrive in my mind now!

Is he just going to pay his dept’s, collect his items from the storage shed, and move on?

Is he angry, stewing, and brooding on his next step on how to hurt me next?

I push those thoughts aside using the excuse of time will tell if I need to address these questions, and time will come or not whether I then need to answer questions like this. So I put them in the overflowing box of unanswered questions with the rest I have put over the last 3 months; it is looking like I may need to get a bigger box soon.

I went to bed tonight waking up with a new memory from my past, about my adopted brother Terry. Did Terry Protect me from my father? This is yet another memory that requires some deeper thinking and questioning, and another memory associated with feelings of fear. When I get caught back up in my life I may call my mom and her husband. Ask if it would be ok with them if we dig up some more old bones from her past. For maybe I owe Terry a stop by his grave and offer my thanks for shielding me from my father, another task for another tomorrow.

Tonight my good friend Mitchell got me to question another thing I considered normal from my childhood. Spankings, where do spanking end and child abuse begin? So I asked Katina this morning about how she and her x-husband have done it. She gave me what I expected to hear what my father called spankings were not normal.

My dad had a belt, he wore always, or at least always had it when we were in trouble. He would threaten with it well before you got hit with it, not with words as a warning you were about to get one. No, it was with a sound a sound that looked and felt like, just ramped up his anger in anticipation of what he was about to do to one of us kids. Each snap of his belt just seemed to fuel his rage.

(Warning this will startle your dog and cat. If you have a male leather belt handy take it off or grab it from the closet, fold the belt in half, grip the loose end firmly in your right hand, now loosely grip the other half in your left hand, gently push your hands together. You will see a circle form now pull your hands apart quickly and you will make the sound. *SNAP*)

*SNAP* That sound is what my father did every time before he told me to go to my room.

*SNAP* That sound is what was made right before he pointed at my bed and told me to bend over and assume the position.

*SNAP* That sound terrified me when I could only hear it and him breathing behind me as I waited for what came next. Just like thunder, or the bang from a gun. If my father made the noise with his belt, the action’s that followed always took place.

I now vividly recall, once I stuck a magazine in my pants to soften the blows, hoping to be able to sit tomorrow in school without pain. That was one of my most painfully smart ideas to date. It just enraged him more and I never got to wear pants again for my punishments.

So Katina my wife taught me another thing, my father did not give spankings. He terrified his children, and I now have to apologize to my own children for making that noise and threat of violence upon them. I am grateful I did not take it further to swinging as my father did. Another thing I am grateful for from my dad. Another thing that stops being normal both in my past and now. Spanking should be an alert to a pet or a child you love, not a form of torture or an outlet for your anger.

Thank you, Terry, for all you have done to shield me, I enjoyed the time you provided me to draw pirate ships in my bedroom closet. Thank you for the happy memory of jagged waves, two-dimensional sharks, and one-eyed pirates with oversized swords.

May you rest in peace