Walk Softly

After growing up with an alcoholic stepfather, there are some rather absurd things that I can laugh about now. My four year old daughter was stomping through the house the other day in a pair of my high heels. Wincing, I soon broke into a smile, remembering. Living with an alcoholic was terrifying enough when he was drunk, but the next morning he was usually hung over. Most everyone can sympathize with being hungover. Queasy stomach, dry mouth, throbbing headache and just all around feeling terrible, any noise seems to be magnified. My sister and I would get yelled at for walking too loud. Yes, walking too loud. We soon learned to walk quietly on our toes so that the heel of our foot would not touch the floor. Mom tried to ease our tension and confusion by making a game out of it. She told us to pretend we were Indians (Native Americans in this day and age). She explained that Indians could sneak through the forest and no one would hear them. Her explanation made it a game for our younger years, which became a habit for us later. To this day, when I decend the steps quickly in our house (even though they are carpeted) I find myself slowing down and walking on my toes because I am not walking softly enough. These kinds of ridiculous scenes stay with me and I am glad. As an adult, I am able to understand everyone’s role. And as a survivor, I can sit back and smile while my daughter clomps through the house as lound as she wants to be.

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One response to “Walk Softly

  1. Jill

    Wow….your hitting this right on the nail……my remembrance of childhood weekend mornings was to quietly move around. The only thing I could do right was when she called, grab a wet washcloth and a glass of ice water. Mom would be laying in front of a fan on the floor with cold sweats. Sometimes she would ask for another beer. My brother and I were so happy to please her, that would be a hopeful path for an easy day, that we would push and shove each other to be the first one to go tend to her hangover. As I grew into an older child and early teens I dealt with this by going out into the woods and exploring from sun rise to sun set…..this way I only had to deal with a few hours of the life.

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