Jimmy Murphy
Part 2 of 5

Harsh words can cut deep... and they can flow freely when someone is intoxicated. Jimmy knows. He describes the shock and pain of hearing the most important woman in his life call him down. He was used to dealing with the outbursts, but when they began being directed at him, it was something different. Eventually, he reached a breaking point and decided to take matters in his own hands.






Jimmy Murphy - Choctaw - Part 2 of 5

My mother, she had a hot temper, and I found out later in my own life, a hot temper, bad temper and alcohol, they don’t mix.

And so that would be the hollering in the middle of the night, the screaming, the cursing, the breaking of glass and so forth.

I can remember one evening, I guess I might have been ten, I was sitting in… we were in, we lived in a little apartment in Dallas. I was watching television one morning and my mother had come in the night before. She was sleeping; she had a hangover and was sleeping off the drunk, and I remember my dad… I don’t know where he’d been, he’d been out somewhere, maybe to the supermarket or somewhere… but he’d come in. As he went in the bedroom just to check on her… my dad was, and still is, always been a loving father, he’s been a good example, a good Christian man, and even though she did him wrong a lot he always loved her and looked out for her… and he was in there looking out after her, he went in there to check on her, make sure she was okay.

And I remember, as I watched the television, a little boy watching children’s shows, cartoons and things like that, I can remember I heard the arguments start, and being used to it, I just blotted it out and kept watching television until she directed her voice to me. From where I was sitting she was behind me, the bedroom was behind me with the door open, and I was in a straight line between her and the television, and so my back was to her, she directed her comments to me. She said, ‘And you…’. I can remember her very clearly; she said, ‘And you, I wished I’d never had you,’ and then she said some more, called me some certain words I won’t repeat but, you know, I was a little boy, and I wasn’t doing anything wrong, just watching cartoons, and I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t deserve to be cussed at, I didn’t deserve… one woman in my entire life that that I loved more than anybody… to be talked to like that.

I remember I turned around and looked at her, made eye contact with her, cause I couldn’t believe what she was saying, and she’s staring right at me. She said, ‘I wished that I’d never had you.’ And all I can remember is getting up and I just took off running to the front door. I made it outside and here come my dad, and I was so hurt and I was hurt deep; I was crying uncontrollably, I was crying like I had lost someone.

And my dad come out. I was going to keep running is what I was going to do, and I remember him saying, real calm, he said, ‘Stop,’ and I stopped and turned around and looked at him, and all I could do was hold him, and he held me, and I remember out there on the sidewalk in broad daylight just crying, you know, like a little baby and asking him… I was more than crying; I was weeping, a sorrowful type of weep, like a person that didn’t have hope anymore… I just cried and asking, ‘Daddy, why did she say that? Why did she say that to me?’ I said, ‘Daddy, I didn’t do nothing.’ And he said, ‘Son, she didn’t mean it. She’s just been drinking, she loves you; you mean more to her than anything, but when people are like that, in that condition, they say things they don’t mean, you know, when they’re angry and in that state of mind.’

Well, you know, it was that point I can remember, that day things changed between my mother and I. I still loved her, still do, but there was something between us now, and over time it turned into resentment, turned into bitterness, turned to anger, and even, at one point in my life, it turned to hatred.

But you know I adjusted like little kids will; I adjusted, but after that I didn’t always look for her like I used to, I didn’t always miss her as much as I did, and I didn’t talk to her like I used to, and I remember going through life like that and growing up and, of course, more things happened. Matter of fact, a lot of things happened. When you live in a home where there’s alcohol, there’s always going to be something going on.

And I think I grew; I guess it was about 14 – 15… my mom and dad… you know, by this time, I’d grown tired of it. Like I said, I was a little older, understood a little bit more, and I was a little stronger in my Christian life, a little bit more mature even in that area, knew a little bit more about the Scripture and Bible.

But I had just grown tired of the way, the lifestyle, that my mother was living and how it affected me and my dad. But my dad always stayed with her, he always took care of her. When she called needing a ride late at night, he always went after her, and it got to the point I didn’t want to go anymore. I’d stay home, and honestly, I’m just speaking from the heart, but at that point in my life I didn’t care if she came back.

I got to the point I kind of wished she’d just stayed wherever she was at. Even came to the point where I asked my dad, ‘Dad, why do you stay with her? Why do you put up with that?’ And I can remember him looking at me, and in that calm voice that my dad has he said, ‘Son, that’s your mother, and that’s my wife and I love her, and no matter how wrong she is, that’s still your mother.’

And he left it at that, and of course I thought about that, and I realized that and I knew that, but still yet, all the hurt and the things that I’d seen, it just… that was too much for me. I was about, I guess, 15 years old and again I was in my room, and it was about two – three o’clock in the morning, middle of the night anyway. Dad was in his bedroom and she’d come in. She came in mad, she came in arguing, came in cursing, and went in there just automatically went to dad, took it out on him, and she came to my room after she left him and I was awake by this time. I’d been awakened by the hollering and cursing. I just turned my stereo on. I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear the fighting anymore; I was tired of it.

I remember, I used to have this steel bar. It was kind of heavy and I’d wrapped it in tape, made it a little heavier. At that time, you know, I’d always been athletic as a young boy, so I used that kind of to lift weights; it was kind of make shift barbell, if you will, for me, and I’d used it to lift weights and it was pretty heavy.

And I remember I’d had it in my room, and she came there, automatically started cussing at me and accusing me of things, blaming me of things that I wasn’t even guilty of, and she turned and staggered out, and I remember I’d had enough, I’d had enough, and I picked that bar up, and she was in the hallway and I came behind her, and it was dark, the lights were out.

I remember, I reared back and I was going to hit her with everything I had cause of all the hurt, anger and just everything that had boiled up in me. I was going to release it, let it go, and now this is the woman that I loved but it was just too much. I can remember as I reared back and got ready to go forward, I felt something grab, you know, stop… it was a force that stopped me.

I turned around, and it was my dad. He’d got up; I guess he heard me come out too, come out my room, but he grabbed that bar, and I just looked at him and I went back in my room.

I was mad, I was angry, I was hurt… at the same time though, he didn’t say anything to me but in the way he looked at me I knew, I knew that I needed to just go back to my room. I knew I was wrong, and my dad just kept the bar and he turned around, and my mother never knew… to this day she doesn’t even know that happened.

She staggered back into the living room and, I don’t know, I guess she passed out, but I just went back into my room and laid there and cried. Cried because I was still angry and bitter, cried because I was ashamed of what I had almost done.

Finally I went to sleep, and I woke up the next morning and she was gone again, and I can remember dad was outside washing the car, and I walked outside. I had made me something to drink and I walked outside. I remember he wouldn’t say anything to me, and it hurt.

I knew he was disappointed, cause he had raised me better than that. He’d taught me Christian values, but because of all the hurt and my rationalization, I thought that… at that point or at that moment, I guess… I thought that was the only thing to do, or… I don’t know… actually, I don’t know what I was thinking, but I remember he wouldn’t say nothing to me though, and I asked him if I could help. He just kept washing the car.

And so I stood there for a minute, and actually probably several minutes. Finally I just turned around and was going to walk back in the house, and then he said… again, at this point in my life; he’d said it before but he said it again… ‘Son, that’s your mother; don’t do anything that you’re going to regret.’

And I remember telling him, ‘Dad, I’m sorry, but I’m hurting and I’m tired of it. I didn’t know what else to do.’ And that was all that was basically said between us that time.

Originally, not too long after that, she got her own place; they separated. I can remember, I was… in one way I was relieved, in another way I was sad, because that’s not what I wanted. I wanted us to be happy. I wanted us to be a family, but the alcohol just had her so bad that it wasn’t turning out that way.

And I’d been a good, you know, I made good grades up to this point, A’s and B’s and always went to school just… I liked school, I liked my friends, but during that time I began to lose my enthusiasm about school, my grades fell, I started skipping classes and then started skipping school. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the effects of that lifestyle, it was the effects of the alcohol, but I… all my friends, you know, kind of had the same lifestyle I had, had something going on in their life, but they all, back then they all smoked marijuana, drank beer, tried to get me to do it but I never would. I always told myself, ‘I’m not gonna; I’ve seen what it did.’

I didn’t… I just said… at that point, I just thought my mind was made up about alcohol, marijuana, weed, did different drugs but I just wouldn’t do it. I was the only one out of my friends that wouldn’t do it, but eventually, one thing led to another. I started drinking; something I said I’d never do; I started drinking.

(To be continued)