The Young Prisoner’s Rage
It boils out of me, this rage against you, this struggle I have on how to feel about me being the son, and you the father. The bruised knuckles from hitting the wall, again, with the full force of the rage, aching, yet all I want is to be numb, and not feel the ache in my heart.
I stuff it down, push it deep, wanting to turn my heart into stone.
Betrayed. Abandoned. Neglected. I just want to be numb, and not feel all that.
I’m trying to grow up, to be healthy, mature, manly. But without a father, a healthy, good father, I am empty, hollow.
My soul is hungry for connection, yet the absence of my dad, the silence, even worse, the indifference, tells me I am unworthy, I have failed.
I’m here in prison, doing time, labeled, categorized, marked. Wanting to be a healthy man, yet I have stumbled, fallen, and became a criminal.
I hear my dad’s voice saying, again, of course you’re worthless, you are trash, you are a criminal, and not worthy of my love, or even my name. You are not my son. I denounce you. I reject you, my heir, my seed, my son. You are not of my image, my spawn, my child.
Be my dad, I had said, I had begged. Love me, embrace me, take me by the hand and show me. Show me how to be the son, the man-child, a good man.
But, no. Rejection. Shame, guilty, abandonment. I am the throw away son.
Of course I am worthless. I am the criminal, the felon, the prisoner. Like you expected of me, I have proven how worthless I am. I guess you were right when you said I was worthless. You told me I was trash and so here I am, a sack of garbage, the criminal unworthy of you even acknowledging me.
I am not your son. I am trash. You have no son.
But, father, did you just try to love me, to guide me, to hold me close, to be the parent, the father I needed?
I didn’t need much, just for you to love me, to accept me, just to be your son.
I got lost, but you didn’t come find me, didn’t guide me, didn’t hug me, didn’t parent me. You threw me away, and I just want to go numb, and slam my fist into the wall, and not feel it.
You loved the bottle, the pipe, the pill, the denial of my existence much more than what I needed from you.
Undeserving, of no value, that’s the message you gave me, again and again, until it sounded like the truth. Repeated, and repeated, so it must be true.
What else can I do, but rage. I scream into the night, punch my fist into the wall, look into the mirror and see only a worthless soul, unworthy of love, unable to forgive, to honor myself, to see any good in myself.
I rage, so therefore I am worthless, trash. A tight circle, self-fulfilling prophesy of emptiness, garbage.
Is it too much to ask, that I can hear I am valued, that I have purpose, that I am a man, a good man, capable of and deserving of love?
Is it too much to ask that I hear you are proud of me?
You reject me, over and over again. I get it. I am nothing in your eyes. I can never be the man I dare to dream of being; I can never be the son worthy of your name, your love.
No, I am trash, garbage, a worthless sack of s**t. My destiny must be to sit in my prison cell and mean nothing to anyone else, is that what you think? Is that what you want? Is that what you desire your son to be?
Slam, goes the fist into the wall, the pain somehow justified, earned, because of who you think I am, how worthless I must really be. If only I could be loved, to hear you say that word, to hold me tight and let me feel your love for me.
But, no. Rejection, shame, abandonment. Is that what you want for me? Is that why you brought me into the world, to throw me away?
All I want is to be loved, to be seen as a son, as a soul seeking his dream, wanting to have value, to be a beloved child of God.
Yet, I am rejected, unloved, unworthy, undeserving of the name of son, of being beloved and embraced.
And when I have a son, how will I treat him, what will I say to him? What will I show him how I have learned to treat a son?
And, so I rage.
And , so I rage.
—-Neal Lemery 3/20/2017