When I was in my younger days, my parents were unbearably strict and borderline crazy. In my toddler mind I made them out to be some kind of demon.
I had a habit of pushing blame onto my brother, who was always passive and shy. I deeply regret it, because my mother was and is very misandric. Any word out of a girl’s mouth was no lie as girls were holy and the superior gender, while all men were animals and liars, so usually it was all-too-easy to redirect the blame.
I’m not proud that I did it, even though then I was really happy I could get away blame-free. Today I try my hardest to be responsible no matter the consequences.
One day, our mother had left my brother and I in the car so she could grab something from a store. I was in the back seat and my brother was in the passenger’s. It was a hot summer’s day, but today felt especially hot. The air conditioning was on but my brother and I were extremely bothered by the feeling as it was almost too cold, so we would alternate between keeping it switched off and turning it on when it felt like we were about to melt into puddles of our own filth.
As I checked the time to see we had been here for a very, very long time, I got fed up and pushed open the door. “Wait,” my brother told me. “Mom said to not open the door for anyone or anything.”
“I don’t care,” I huffed, being only six years old and very emotion-driven. “I’m tired of waiting. I’m gonna go get Mommy.”
My brother relented and sure enough, as soon as my foot touched the pavement, my mother walked out of the store’s doors. In my childish joy I jumped up and down, and since it was a short walk from the car to the store, my mother closed the distance easily.
However, instead of telling me to get back inside calmly, she hissed, “What are you doing outside of the car?”
I could immediately tell she was angry, so I fell on my usual tactic. “It wasn’t me,” I said. “(Brother) opened the door and pushed me out.”
I thought this was a brilliant excuse, but my brother must’ve finally gotten sick of it. He opened the door and jumped out. “It wasn’t me,” he said. “It was Loki. She was gonna come look for you. I tried to tell her not to but she didn’t listen.”
My mother immediately accused him of lying, but I stood in shock of the fact that my brother wasn’t taking my shit anymore. “I’m not lying,” he said. “Loki, I’m tired of taking the blame for you. Please just tell the truth.”
I was caught by the sadness and desperation in his voice, so I gave in and told my mother that it was me and my brother had really been trying to warn me.
My mother flipped. She threw the groceries - two bags with some milk and fruits - inside of the car and demanded in a menacing tone that we both get in the car, me especially. I was terrified so I did as told and regretted spilling. The entire car ride home, my mother was screaming her head off at me. I began crying because I didn’t like being yelled at.
When we reached home, my brother took both bags and walked in. I ran behind him and went to the living room, hiding between the couch and wall. I usually chose this spot in a game of Hide and Seek. My mother went to the kitchen, and for a few minutes I didn’t see her. My brother came to tell me he was sorry but he had to do it. I told him it was okay, I get it, I just didn’t like being yelled at. My brother went to his room.
I sobbed when my mother came back. She grabbed me by the hair and dragged me to the kitchen, where the stove had been turned on and was red-hot. “Liars aren’t tolerated in my house,” she told me. “Especially girl liars.”
With that, she took my wrist and forced me to put my hand on the stove palm-up, so the back of my hand was getting burned. I cried harder and begged her to stop, but she didn’t let me pull away for a bit of time - I’m not sure exactly how long, but it felt like an eternity.
She repeated this with my other hand.
I ran away into the living room crying. My hands were red and everything touching them hurt. I kept sobbing, and my dad came and belted me for interrupting his nap.
My brother came to me, and he offered to take me to his room so I could have some company. I didn’t argue and followed him. He made sure I didn’t have to touch anything. We talked, mostly him because I didn’t feel like it. He told me he was sorry I got this punishment because of him. I told him it was fine, liars can’t be tolerated, it was me not him. It was the first time I owned up to a big thing I did.
I didn’t lie about who did what anymore. I was scared of being caught again. It was the first time my mother or father did this out of several other times, but it was the most severe.
My hands are now red and somewhat wrinkly up to the wrists. I have a PTSD-like trigger to getting burned.
My parents have mellowed out since then. My brother is no long completely passive. I no longer lie as much as I used to. Punishments became more rare, despite how heavy and common they used to be… though I wonder if it can be called “punishments” since most of the time they came out of my parents’ frustrations rather than my own misdoings.