Monday, September 14, 2020

It's My Fault For Not Being Able to Move

No one likes being blamed for something they didn't do. That's not a revelation, right?  Who would be ok with taking the blame (and possible recrimination and punishment) for something that someone else did?  But I was noticing that I was reacting much more strongly to those situations than seemed normal.  And it wasn't until it had happened a few more times after that revelation, and I started to think about it more, that I realized the reason.  I've been blamed for things consistently in my life that I don't believe were my fault.  Now, I suppose it's possible that I'm just refusing to take responsibility. There are some situations where I do think I deserve some blame, but I don't think I deserved the amount of blame (and consequences) that was handed out to me.

I think maybe I was 11 or 12.  One of my sisters was giving me a haircut in the dining room.  I was sitting in a barstool chair with a sheet draped over me, hanging in the back so that the hair that was cut off wouldn't stick to me and would just drop to the floor.  We were kind of in the middle of the room, and the small TV was on, sitting on the counter.  I was turned so that when I faced straight ahead, I was looking at the TV, but when my sister had to turn my head to cut different parts of my hair, of course, I couldn't necessarily see the TV.

So I'm sitting there, watching TV, getting my hair cut. My father comes in the room, and he stops to see what's on the TV. Mind you, the TV wasn't just on, I was actually watching whatever show was on.  The main TV is in the living room, and I don't know if it was on, and if it was, who was watching it or what they were watching. He stopped right in between me and the TV, completely blocking my view.  I asked him to move.  He didn't.  I asked him again.  I tried to get his attention, calling him, telling him I couldn't see, and asking him to move.  And he didn't.  After a few more times, he got angry, went over to the TV and abruptly turned it off, saying that I was being loud and belligerent and that I didn't deserve to watch TV and walked out of the room. It was one of those TVs that had a knob that you pulled up to turn it on and pushed down to turn it off.  I remember that he pushed it down hard because the sound of the knob going down was pretty loud, kind of like slamming a door closed.

I just sat there and tears started. I was stuck in my position. It wasn't like I could move since I was getting my hair cut.  That would seem pretty obvious.  I wasn't yelling at him. At first, it was a regular level of speaking when I asked him to move. Eventually, yeah, I probably got a little louder, as sometimes, my father couldn't always hear very well, but we were in pretty close proximity, so it seemed unlikely that he couldn't hear me. It's not like it was a show he had been watching. He couldn't even understand the show, as he didn't know English very well. He would just be watching out of idle curiosity to see what it was. But of all the places he could have stopped to watch, anywhere since he had no restrictions on where he needed to be, he stopped literally in the only spot that blocked my line of sight completely. And when I asked him to move and kept telling him that I couldn't see, he didn't budge, until he got angry and blamed me for being loud and apparently bothering him, and my punishment was that I couldn't watching the show I had been watching before he came into the room.

Shortly after he left the room, as I sat there silently crying, my sister made a disgusted noise, walked over to the TV and turned it back on.  I don't remember if she said anything else. I don't think I paid any attention to the rest of the show. She finished giving me a haircut in silence.

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