My papa died just before Super Bowl in 1985. That is a way of telling you that he is no longer around to dispute what I am about to say. This type of entry belongs in a diary. I know that and yet here it is in my blog.
I had to grow up quick. I was the oldest. My father had what they call anger management issues. It is a nice way to cover up that our punishment for being bad would be him spanking us with his belt. Sometimes there was no belt, just his hands. Often we were forced to kneel for a half hour or stand in the corner. If he caught us not kneeling, we would be spanked for that as well. Too bad his anger extended to more than just punishments for our being bad. For there were many other times when he would get very angry, yell at the top of his voice and become physically violent.
Someone needed to protect my mother and sisters from his attacks. But I did not want to fight him. No way could I hurt my dad. I love my papa. Even so I would intervene and allow his blows to strike me instead of them. They were difficult to accept. Thus it is no surprise that later in my youth I had a temper just like my dad.
Mind you, none of us wound up in a hospital. Most of the injuries were mental. The few bruises healed and I cannot even remember where they were. Because for some time I have been focusing my life on the positive, it is difficult to remember any of those horrible things in detail. I have lived longer as a married man than all those years leading up to my marriage and much more than the precious few when we were a family. Those early memories are from a horror story I once lived, but remain as mere glimpses from my distant past.
My point is sometimes you are thrust into a position of responsibility. Then you must make a decision. Do you go on the offense or concentrate on the defense. Since fighting fire with fire is extremely destructive I chose to dowse anger with love and did my best to keep our family together. Instead of a fighter, I chose to be a defender.