The title of this post has more than one meaning.
I think to most people it’s a joke, made when you’re fifteen and have just trashed the family car, for instance. It’s a joke because it plays on what seems ridiculous (parents killing children! No wai! ((Unfortunately, yes, way.)) ) while cutting close to the truth: that if you were anybody but his beloved offspring, he would have at the very least entertained serious thoughts about killing you.
But on the other hand, these were the words uttered by my mother in all seriousness after one of my father’s violent explosions when he pinned me to the wall and shoved a knife in my face while screaming that he would kill me because I hadn’t blanched the lettuce in his salad properly. I would have been in my tweens. She should have eaten her words over a decade later, because I don’t call death threats followed by a failed murder attempt an indication that my father is holding off on killing me out of love.
Context: it makes a huge difference in meaning.
The reason I call my childhood “hilariously abusive” is because of the sheer twisted insanity of it, so warped that at times it was almost cartoonish, in the way nightmares are. Plus it has a way of turning cute aphorisms like the title of this post into high-octane nightmare fuel.
“Hilariously abusive” it may be, but I don’t laugh when I say it. There is probably no child abuse joke that my father did not actually do to me.
The worst part, if there can be said to be one in such a pile of horrible awfulness, is that my father is not unique. There are other fathers like him, more than we realize. Just think of all the people who love Twilight. My father’s name might as well have been Edward, and my mother loved him for all the same reasons that Bella does.
And then there are fathers who… aren’t as extreme, shall we say, but yet whose deeds cover part of the same ground.
There are more people out there who look at a child abuse joke and have dark fins flicker in the depths of their memories, than just me. I’m just one of the few insane enough to blog about it in the hopes that by penning it in a notebook that everyone sees, that I can’t escape, means I’ll stop denying these bits.
And there’s a reason why I have yet to stop feeling uncomfortable about watching a cartoon that’s not from Disney.