Ed. Note: I started this last night and couldn’t finish it. I realize that the more I unravel my past, the more uncomfortable I feel about discussing the ramifications. The legacy of my childhood: toxic secrecy. What happens in the house, stays in the house.
I haven’t been to Taiwan in sixteen years. My brother, my niece, and I are scheduled to go two days after Christmas. We booked our tickets while my mom was here in early September. I was looking forward to seeing the motherland again because it’s changed drastically since I last went. My brother has not been in about thirty years. This is the first time for my niece. She is eleven.
Now, I don’t want to go. With the flashbacks coming at me, I don’t want to go face my father. Years ago, I made my peace with not knowing what really happened. In the last few years, I made my peace with my father because he is an old, frail man (physically) who can no longer hurt me. We were cordial to each other, and I was satisfied with that.
Now, I want to punch him. I want to protect my niece from him. I want to ask what the fuck he was thinking?
Many many years ago, before the lost years, at the urging of an incompetent therapist, I confronted my father with my mother and my brother present. I clearly remember my father’s response. He said, “I don’t remember that happening. I would remember that if it happened, right?”
My mother: “It couldn’t have happened. I would have to leave him if it did.”
My brother: “I don’t know what happened, but I support you no matter what.”
Immediately after that, I tucked the vague memories I had back into that little corner of my mind and froze my soul. I felt as if I would tear my family apart if I continued to explore my memories, and I couldn’t do that to us.