shilowallace: (do i also inherit his shame?)
Shilo Wallace ([personal profile] shilowallace) wrote2012-02-14 06:31 pm
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from the diary of Shilo Wallace
So STOP READING NOW...that means you, DAD. It's not like I can't tell when the LOCK has been broken!!!

Even as a little girl, I never had any delusions about whether or not my mother was really dead. Of course there are plenty of things my father lied to me about, but that may be one of the only things he told me that was a straight truth. Sometimes, that makes me more angry than other times. There are only two important things he ever said to me...maybe only one and a half important things he ever said to me that were not complete lies:

1. My mother is dead.

2. He loved me. (That's the half. I think he wanted to and maybe he even, sometimes, tried to, but he never, ever succeeded.)

I never questioned the former idea. When I was old enough to understand, I assumed everything would be all right because all princesses who get happy endings don't have mothers. Sometimes they don't even have fathers, which should have made my chances that much better since Dad's almost total absence (even when he was home) basically usually made me feel like I didn't have a father, too. Before I was old enough to understand, I thought she might be a ghost in our house.

My father's house. I get, now, that it probably still isn't my house, even though I'm the only one who lives in it, now. (Almost the only one.)

Just about no one would know because no one has ever been inside - other than Mag, who only ever saw the living room, and GraveRobber who probably doesn't much care what it looks like because it's bigger than a dumpster and has much better coverage - but if you were a four year old girl who spent most of her time in a weird, sick haze, you would probably mistake the portraits in the upstairs hallway for mom-ghosts, too. There are still...tons of things I'm trying to sort out in my brain, since I know most of what I'm used to being told was imagined or dreamed or something not real, but one thing I know for certain is how much it sucked running into a wall because you wanted a hug from a ghost who just turned out to be a hologram.

I've always been scared of this house. Is that a side effect, maybe, of being isolated to one part of it, for your whole life? I've never really known it, even when I did start sneaking out. The graveyard was always quieter, more comfortable. Still full of strange noises and dark corners, but noises and darkness I was familiar with. I wonder, kind of, now, if that's because Mom's tomb is empty. If it's less that I'm just a creepy little girl who likes hanging out with dead bodies and more...there's a dead body in the house I grew up in. Near the room I lived in. It's quiet in the crypt because there's nothing there, except for me. (And sometimes bugs.) (And sometimes GraveRobbers.) It's terrifying in my father's house because it's haunted.

I asked my dad that, once. "Do we have ghosts in our house?" He told me to stop reading Shirley Jackson. (I didn't.) I asked him again, when I was older, if he was sure the house wasn't haunted. He never answered, but I think that was less "Shilo, this isn't something I want to talk about because I have feelings and I don't want to share them with you because I'm your father," and slightly more, "Shilo, please be quiet and do your homework because you're wrong about that." So, I guess the answer I always get is "no". But. My dad was an expert with dead bodies and making bodies into dead bodies, not, like...a ghost hunter or anything.

(Wouldn't that have been so much cooler? Ghostbuster Dad. Hypno MGz.)

(What would he have done, though, if he wasn't a doctor? Tell me I was possessed?)

Anyway. I still don't think "no" is a good answer. If it wasn't before, the house is haunted, now. I wish I could say it was still just the ghost of my mom that I wanted to always be around, so she could do the mom things I was missing in my life,'s never been that. The house wouldn't be so sad, so horrible, if it was her.

...Okay, that's, I guess, another whole thing that Dad never lied about. Mom was perfect and beautiful and kind and our house would have probably been an amazing, happy place if she had been haunting it.

But she's not. And I don't just mean because she isn't...pinned and mounted in the hallway, anymore, so to speak. Dad isn't pinned and mounted (because I'm not a freak who does that to human beings, even if I am a freak who used to do that to bugs) anywhere in here, but he's still haunting it. Yeah, that's what I think. Even if he isn't a ghost who is wandering the halls and knocking things over in the basement and flushing my toilet all the time (no, but really, it's weird and I don't get it...) and uncovering bottles of...pills in places that I'm pretty sure they never were before...his bad feelings and guilt are stuck in the walls. Probably stuck in all the furniture, too, and anything he touched, ever.

This is why I'm going to get better. This is why I don't care if I feel woozy when I flush pills down the toilet. (The one downstairs, that doesn't work by itself, like it's haunted.) This is why I am going to get out of here and go somewhere else, even though there's probably not very many somewhere elses that have tunnels that lead directly to cemeteries I like. I'm going to get better and I'm going to leave this stupid place so I never have to be haunted by Largos or every awful thing my dad ever did or even the idea of my mother that everyone seemed to want me to live up to, so badly, again.

Dad always said, "We will always have each other, in our time of need," to me. But it's my time of need, now, and what I need is to not have what he never was and what my mom could never be weighing down on me.

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