The William and Mary Girl
You can't get there from here. Not any more. No road exists today to take you to take anyone anywhere near the place where the awful things happened. The reason no one can go there, though, is that it's no longer there -- the ostensibly happy and naive; the joyfully prosperous world that was America in the late 1950s and early 1960s. I'd made a life in that world; living in it was for me, for a long time, incredibly good; But one day everything I loved and believed in and counted on became something more horrible, even, than I remembered happening years before; what happened to my life now would take years to overcome. When I was thirteen, my father--- in almost every way an intelligent, kind, sensitive man, found himself gratifying my mother's rage: I had "talked back" angrily to one or both of them. I was not a beautiful child; I knew that and hated it. And later I'd know that Mama wanted no ugly duckling in her life-- I loved Mama, but what she couldn't feel for me was clear. Too often a terrible scene would begin to play itself out; insane, angry violence would again overwhelm me, demolishing everything I was; I d feel it for the rest of the day and the night as well. And as Daddy imparted his rage to me -- to my life itself -- my own anger would rise to meet it; the scenes that took place at our house were terrible. And later, the halting, painful, always slow climb up the stairs to bed was always more of an ordeal than I could bear to face. And I was sure that with every blow my father administered, as he swung again and again at my head,, that my life had already been ruined, that I could never overcome what had been happening. Although for years I hoped I was wrong about that, and I did my best.... and continued to hope.....
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