Who Will Cry For The Little Boy?

by Chris de Serres

I have this memory from childhood.  I was playing with this big plastic boat in my upstairs room.  I was in Hawaii.  The windows were open.  It had just rained so it was hot and muggy.  My mother wasn’t there.  I’m not sure where she went.  My older siblings were gone too.  I moved this boat around with my hands over the carpeted floor.

I could hear my father coming up the steps.  He walked into my room and kicked my boat.  All the moving parts crashed around as his foot struck it.  I was surprised and upset.  I don’t remember what I said.  I just remember that he was angry.

He walked me into his bedroom.  He sat on the bed and told me to take down my shorts.  No one was home.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted my mommy.  I stood a few feet away from him.  As far as I could.  He told me again.  So I took my shorts down a little.  He told me to just take them off.  I moved very slowly.  Where was my mommy?  I stood there, naked from the waist down.  I remember bending my knees and hunching forward, trying to cover myself.  I couldn’t look at him.  I didn’t dare to look at him.

He reached over and began touching my penis.  It may have been a few seconds, but it seemed like an eternity.  Was he going to spank me?  What is happening here?  I want my mommy!

I didn’t even feel like I was in my body.  I didn’t understand what I was seeing and feeling.

I yelled out,”NO!”

Suddenly and violently his finger became a claw and it seized my arm.  My entire body was jerked forward onto his lap and he hit my behind with his leather belt.  Over and over and over.

I don’t remember anything after this.  I don’t remember what happened when my mother finally came home.  I don’t remember what he said to her.  I don’t remember ever being alone with him ever again.  I kept the secret, like men do, all underground.

I hate him.  I really do.  I hate him more than one would hate an abuser because I also love him.  You can ask the question, how does one love someone and hate them at the same time?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  I am still alive.  So my answer is somehow.

He was a hard-working family man.  That’s how most people know him.  That’s how my siblings know him.  He was one of those generation of fathers who paid the bills.  He’s changed quite a bit.  He is elderly and frail.  His body is shutting down.  He shows an interest in the lives of his children.  He is not so unknowable now.

My wife has a hard time hating him too.  She can’t reconcile the person who did that to me with the person she knows today.  Her father was violently abusive so she knows this feeling of dissonance well.  Like her father, mine can be incredibly loving.  In fact, this is his usual self today.

Growing up, I was always angry at my mother.  She betrayed me.  She left me with him.  It allowed me to avoid him.  How does a boy confront his father?  You might as well confront God.  God can wound you with one word or a movement of the hand. You always confront God as a boy, no matter what age you find yourself.  There is almost nothing he could say that wouldn’t destroy me emotionally and spiritually.

Abusers rarely say i’m sorry.  If I know anything about survivorship it’s that.  They won’t give you what you need.  No one can do that but ourselves.  That is why there are false promises attached to confrontation.  The abuser can provide no resolution.

Years ago my little brother and I were going through a rough patch.  I had said a number of hurtful things to him. We were not on talking terms.  It was then that my father intervened on his behalf.  He came at me with great force.  In a way, I had never seen him.

“Your brother loves you!  He worships the ground you walk on!”

It was then that I realized how easily older brothers can wound their siblings.  I didn’t realize how much my brother adored and emulated me.  I had done him wrong.  I was poisoning this sacred relationship we have.

My father, who I love so much.  Whose walking ground I worshipped.  Who has given me everything I knew on how to be a man in this world.  Yet, there was no one to cry for this little boy.  The boy inside of me.

Who Will Cry for the Little Boy?

Who will cry for the little boy?
Lost and all alone.
Who will cry for the little boy?
Abandoned without his own?

Who will cry for the little boy?
He cried himself to sleep.
Who will cry for the little boy?
He never had for keeps.

Who will cry for the little boy?
He walked the burning sand
Who will cry for the little boy?
The boy inside the man.

Who will cry for the little boy?
Who knows well hurt and pain
Who will cry for the little boy?
He died again and again.

Who will cry for the little boy?
A good boy he tried to be
Who will cry for the little boy?
Who cries inside of me

by Antwone Fisher