Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights

A Story by Chiquita
"

This is just me venting a bit. It is my therapy. The spelling and grammar may be rough. I feel like it is somewhat disjointed and needs more work to read more smoothly. I feel the need to post something and nothing else is ready yet either so this is

"

Brooklyn Heights, it is a  nice name but does absolutely nothing to describe the parcel of land it labels.  The name gives an illusion that the spance is more than it is, 12.2 acres of God forsaken land and man made structures destined to fall to waste.  My ideas of this place were not always so dark.  There was a time that the mere speaking of “Brooklyn Heights” festered dreams of hope and new beginnings.

Let me speak to you about a house, the house, on Brooklyn Heights...

A hideous realization that the man I had promised forever to had betrayed me is what precipitated my move to the Heights  and into the grand old victorian.  There was no tramp to despise.  The object of his lust had been my daughter.  Now I was broken and left alone to raise and nurture the other woman.  She is a wounded victim yet angry and full of venom. 

My son was a victim of the until death do us part man as well.  He had fallen prey to the man’s fists and also to his lies.  I had never experienced the fists that my son knew.   I barely knew the man’s touch.   In hind sight, this is because I was a woman and not a prepubescent child.  I was not his sexual preference.  My heart was familiar with rejection where it should have known his caress.

I never suspected another woman.  He was a family man.  He never strayed from home.  Never was I left to wonder where he was.  He went to work and then came home.  He was in church three to four times a week.  I knew his where abouts.  I just had no knowledge of his secret passions.  He seemed to have little to no sex drive.  Who would suspect  that there was any lust whatsoever  hidden within him?

A for rent sign appeared in front of an old  victorian that I had admired from the outside for years.  I called to inquire and set up a time to see it.  I walked into the house and it embraced me.  I felt it choose me as it’s new tenant.  It hugged me and loved me.  The stair case that turned to the left near the top was like a crooked and charming smile.  It tugged at my heart strings.  I had forever loved old houses.

Indeed, there was room for improvements in the elderly structure.  Character was in every nook and every cranny.  The dinning room had a tin ceiling held ten feet above the floor of aged hardwood.  A small coal fireplace was trimmed out in elaborate wood casings.  The windows were tall and narrow.  Lace curtains made dark and dull by age spoke of yester years.  Old paint in painful shades of outdated colors, some how made me feel wanted and necessary within the walls of the old place. 

Everything about the structure said something to me.  There was strength there.  In earlier years, when the whole downtown area had burnt to the ground, the sturdy Victorian was the first house left standing on the way out of town.  She had seen much.  She had witnessed tragedy and remained standing.  Since 1860, when she was built, she had seen many things and people come and go.  The walls invited me to life within them.  They promised comfort for a wounded heart.  “Come, I will hold you.  I am strong enough to help you rebuild your world.”.

The price tag was seven-fifty a month with heat included.  “I will take it.”.  My broken self and the wounded by product of my womb set out to fashion a new life.

Together we cleaned and painted.  We primed all of the walls with KILTZ to help kill the old colors.  When it was time to prime my room the babes were quite tired of the smell.  They shut me up into my space alone to the task.  I vaguely remember them calling for “Mom” and was aware that meant me.  They were surprised to open the door and find their mother standing in the center of the room.  I was propped with both hands holding the broom handle that had been screwed into the paint roller as a handle extension.  I remember feeling that it ws the only thing that tethered me to this universe.  Complete with s**t eating grin, my children found me quite stoned on the fumes.

With help, I was able to walk to the head of the stairs.  I sat upon my broad buttocks and took on the decent of the staircase.

We spent our first night in the old girl.  Not a piece of furniture was in the place.  Mom was simply too stoned to drive.  The wounded found laughter.  With that we had hope for  a brighter tomorrow.

Each wall found  itself fresh with new paint.  The kitchen was rebuilt:  new cabinets, new sink, dishwasher, new sub flooring that awaited new coverings.  The bathroom was overhauled.  There was new plumbing, a new shower and toilet.  The vanity was given a facelift and a new sink.  There was new lighting and new wiring.  The old knob and tubing wiring was removed from the entire house.  A new breaker box replaced to old fuse box.  The old girl was getting the works.

The days came and went.  Through the front windows,  I watched the river’s tidal influence  bring the waters high and then low again.  Somewhere along the way, the tortured spawn of my loin were losing ground as quickly if not quicker than the house gained it.  There was a rage festering deep in them both.

There was a day that I heard an incredible crash.  I found my fourteen year old son in a heap at the foot of the stairs.  His eyes were glazed over and his speech was a jumbled mess. 

“Talk to me, damn it!  You had better tell me the truth.  Either  you have been drinking or you have a head injury from the fall. “.

“Momma,  I love you.”.  His words were heavy laden with the stench of alcohol.  Thus my son’s battle with alcohol began.

I literally had to sit on him that day to keep him down.  His words still tear at my heart.  “Momma, I want to kill him.  The b*****d fucked my sister.  He beat me all the time.”.  He struggled  under my weight to get up and exact vengeance.  “Tell me he never hit you Momma.”.  I sat on him until sleep claimed him.

I had known nothing of the beatings.  The man had applied corporal punishment in a very controlled manner in my presence.  Evidently, he took many liberties in my absence  He pleasured himself with my daughter and unleashed his rage upon my son.

Ironically, the beautiful victorian that had embraced me had been used as office space for drug and alcohol therapy.  For the twelve years  prior to my living there, therapists had cast demons of addiction out of others.  Now the demons found a home in my wounded male child. 

My world became a series of days, weeks and months of living with the angry and tormented souls of my children.  My heart broke for the pain that they were in everyday. 

My daughter became violent.  She beat me and my son.  My knives were locked away in a safe.  She was finally removed from the home because she was a danger to us.  She spent some time in juvenile detention on assault charges.  Then she was released to State custody and placed into foster care.  The court did not trust her at home.  I had to agree with them.

My son seemed to fall apart after she was out of the house.  He began to get into trouble with the police on a regular basis.  My relationship with him fell apart as well. 

For a while, my daughter  did well in foster care.  We were working on our relationship.  If she began to escalate, I would remove myself from the situation.  It seemed to be working.  Then with no real definable cause, she began to unravel in the  foster home.  She beat her boyfriend in front of her foster mother's young grandchildren.  It scared the children very much.  She lost her placement. 

I found her abandoned on my front steps one day.  There was a message on my machine, “She is your responsibility now.”.

Brutal fighting ensued between my spawn.  My son tore at his sister verbally.  When the situation warranted it he would restrain her, which threw her deeper into her rages.  She struck out with fists and objects became projectile weaponry.  My son’s body was marred  with bruising and broken skin from her biting him.  She was vicious. 

Doors were slammed until they splintered on there hinges.  The beautiful freshly painted walls that had hugged me were ridden with holes of various sizes from differing assaults upon them. 

I felt safer at work in a  maximum security prison than I did at home.  I slept with my door locked.  A locked door would never stop either child but the noise of them coming through it would wake me and give me a fighting chance. 

When my work days neared their end I frequently found myself in the throws of panic attacks and uncontrollably tearful.  When I was with  my boyfriend, I stopped the words, “Please don’t make me go home.”, just before they were spoken many times.  His arms were strong around me. 

My lovely and spacious bedroom was my sanctuary.  If I had to go home, I hid in there.  I looked for anyplace to be but at home.  They gym was another hiding place that offered peace.

My house had become a flop house for twenty or more homeless teens in town.  I didn’t know their names.  I enlisted the help of the town’s police department to get them out.   The number of squatters and the frequency of their squatting diminished.  Still, there were times that I would go to bed with just my two children in the house and wake to find a half dozen sleeping bodies that I could not identify.

My curtains were replaced by blankets  covering the window.  Half of the windows in the house were broken.   My home began to resemble a crack house.    An ax was taken to the outside stairs to fashion weapons for street fighting.   There was a continuous yelling of profanities outside of my house.  From dawn until about two p.m. there was quietness out there.  The afternoons and through the nights hostile voices with threatening messages were spewed. 

My son continued to get into trouble with the police.  None of the offenses were extreme.  Most offenses involved chemicals or occurred because of lack of judgment because he was impaired by chemicals.

My daughter’s rage flourished.

My heart grew wary from watching my children abuse one another.  I knew in my deepest parts that I would never tolerate such behavior from a man.  It is nearly laughable to state such a thing in light of the situations that had led to my second divorce.  The abuse that was doled out by my former husband had been cloaked in secrecy.  Had I known of it, I would not have tolerated it one minute.  I found myself wanting to divorce my children. 

Winter was kicking the s**t out of me.  The fuel cost was $3.29-$3.69 a gallon.  I was dropping $350-$450 into the fuel tank every two week pay period.  It is not easy to heat an old victorian with busted windows that were patched with cardboard, duct tape and plastic sheeting.  The doors were cracked for repeated assaults.  None of the door jams were intact.

My beautiful Victorian looked like a crack house and felt like a tomb.  My hopes for  a new and better tomorrow lie like death on the  cold slab of a morgue.

Brooklyn Heights is where yet another piece of my tattered heart has died.  Today finds my son incarcerated.  The plan is for him to enter a residential therapeutic group home when he gets out.  He will be there for six to twelve months to work on his issues.  Ultimately, I hope for him to return  home with me after his demons have been excised. 

My daughter is eighteen now.  She had been living alone in the old Victorian since I abandoned ship three weeks ago.  She found a new rent of her own and spent her first night there last night. 

I have a beautiful new apartment.  I  await utter and complete financial devastation as I let my dreams go into foreclosure.  I have found peace here in  my own space.  For now, I live alone and enjoy the absence of the nameless that had littered my space before.

I miss my son.  I visit him weekly.  He is still in the manipulative phase.  He tries to heap guilt upon me.  I feel sad and responsible for his plight when I am with him.  Then I become angry with his attempt to blame me and not own his behavior once I am in route home.

I am spending time with my daughter that does not hold abusive and violent attacks.  It is enjoyable.

I still have a few things to gather up from the Heights.  I need to drain the pipes and shut off the electric.  I need to say good bye to the walls that had welcomed me.  I will walk away from the broken house and broken dreams and attempt to start over again. 

© 2008 Chiquita


Author's Note

Chiquita
Be honest. I don't think it reads smoothly.

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Reviews

Oh it reads smoothly. Painfully, honestly, brutally and courageously. I, too, once lived in an old Victorian...but the similarities end there. I want to say I'm sorry for what has happened to your family but can only hear a reply of "what are you sorry for you didn't do it". Not that you'd say that to me, just that I know a sorry from me won't change anything. I used to work in a male adolescent rehab, and have heard many the horror story from there. I wish your Victorian was able to keep it's promise to keep you safe..but as you got out alive perhaps it did. It is terrible to have your children in such a state...the wounded are more likely to fall prey to evil spirits who thrive on anger and negativity. It is interesting how you pointed out it used to be an alcohol rehab which is why I said that about the spirits. I know my 1850 Victorian was haunted, I'm sure yours was as well.
I understand your children's reaction to the cruelty that was bestowed upon them. I hope and pray that one day they will understand and be able to expell their demons. Until then, I will keep you and your babes in my prayers. Much love to you, and may only the best accompany you to your new home.

Posted 13 Years Ago


I think it reads just like it should - I have tears streaming down my face - I have a teenage girl and a teenage boy- I cannot imagine the heartbreak you experienced when you discovered what was happening. So sad that your new beginning became first another nightmare (brought on by the first) and then another sad ending. You can pick up the pieces again - happiness must find you - the darkness can only live so long before the light pushes it out. all my thoughts and prayers are with you.

*hugs*

laura

Posted 13 Years Ago


This was an interesting read from the first line, to the last. So sad your home held, like so many other homes. memories of both bitter/sweet. The kids. You never judge what kind of parent you've been until they are in their 30's. I was 34 before I realized that pain I had caused. This could all be fiction. If it is, it is very well written. Here's to new memories. Rain..

Posted 13 Years Ago



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Added on March 14, 2008

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Chiquita
Chiquita

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My 40th year has begun. I have started my life over many times. I find myself in a place where I am starting over yet again. I hope that my writing will find a place in my new life. I have fancied.. more..

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