Heaven and Hell
I used to think I understood the concepts of Heaven and Hell. Now… I’m not so sure anymore.
For as long as I can remember, I had faith in retribution. I had faith in karma. I had faith in the inevitable, unerring justice that God serves. I think, to sum it up, I had faith.
Every single time my father hit me, I had faith. God will ensure that he suffers for this blow. And for the next. And the next. And all the times he hit my mother, or my siblings. Every time he lashed out at us. I used to watch him with vacant pity, every time he launched into his hour long sermons about God and religion and success and morals- he knew nothing. He knew nothing of what was in store for him. I did. I knew, and God knew. And God would have my revenge. At least, that’s what I used to believe.
But nothing happened. His arm was never flayed as it rose to strike me. His tongue was never struck dumb mid diatribe. I convinced myself that it was wrong to expect a justice of biblical proportions, even though our suffering certainly would warrant it. I convinced myself that God works in silent ways. That He would pave our future paths with happiness in return for everything, every thorn we walked on. I clung on to my faith with such tenacity that I even accepted that I might not live to see my revenge come around to him, but it would come some day – I didn’t even care that I wouldn’t have the satisfaction of seeing it happen. I just knew that it would.
But justice, apparently, is a double edged sword. It cuts the one being served just as sharp as the one serving it. One particular time, I remember, my father had a particularly vicious episode. He starved us for three days as punishment for not throwing a wrapper away. Rather, he found an empty wrapper stuffed behind the clothes basket, and all Hell broke loose. The maid had left it there, and obviously, she denied it. I don’t blame her. It was clearly a lie of self preservation. What no one could’ve anticipated is that he would blow up quite so disproportionately. A semi third world war followed, in which my mom was threatened with divorce if she fed us on the sly, before we ‘confessed’. So for three days, we ate nothing. On the fourth day my youngest sister, who was five, decided to ‘confess’, and the drama ended. His storm had broken by then, and he gloated openly on how he’d taught us a lesson for lying. Lol. He’d definitely taught us a lesson for lying.
After that particular episode, I remember hating him with unparalleled vehemence. All my prayers began with “please, God” and ended with ‘”let him suffer in front of me”. And somehow, God heard me. Dad fell sick, a random crippling viral fever with severe body pains and a blinding headache. But even that ended up being our punishment as much as his, because for one week, one week till he was strong enough to resume his daily routine, we waited on him hand and foot, being constantly nagged. Constant, constant, constant nagging. Complaining and whining and sniping about how useless and incapable we all were- even that, even that was not his ‘lesson’ in return for ours.
I don’t know. I just don’t know. Am I earning Heaven, or is it just more of this Hell forever? My patience has near run out, all of ours has. I’m simply sick of being held accountable for every breath I take, because even every breath i take is dismissed- “you’re doing it wrong”. I have spent all my life, all my conscious life waiting for this ‘justice’, waiting for God to do something, anything, anything at all to teach this man, to show him for an instant how wrong, how inexpressibly wrong he is. He’s like the Pharaoh who condemned the first borns to die. Like the trials Job was sent. My mother says that we’re like three roaches under his boot, and he likes stepping on us a little at a time, and he enjoys watching us squirm. Which is true, really. He derives a perverse satisfaction from torturing us. From our persecution. Perched on his moral and financial Hugh ground, he’s in a position of complete, iron bound power, and he knows it.
We know it, too. I know it very well. Which is why, why I always turned to God for help. The man is Satan incarnate- but I’m not a saint. I’m just a human being, with human limitations and misgivings and a small amount of hope that somehow manages to claw out of the ground, every time he buries it. I’m just tired of suffering. Of listening, of answering. Of trying, trying, trying, and getting nothing but disappointments in return. There has to be a limit, some threshold to how much one person can take. And after so many years of nothing but watching him flourish while we wilt, I’m very close to mine.
I don’t think I can stop believing in God even if I tried to. I know He’s there. I know He’s watching everything, every single thing. He watches and He listens, and He knows. I guess I just have to accept that He’s simply never going to do anything about it, though.
As for me…. I’m too bitter for Heaven, and I’m already sick of Hell. I have nowhere left to go.