I remember looking up at the group of grownups [at a dinner party], and feeling an upwelling of anger at my father. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I don’t even know where it came from, what caused me to blurt out, ‘My father hit my mother and she cried,’ to the group.
And there was a silence, and my father was ashen, and there was a sort of collective in-drawing of breath from the people in the group, and I realized that was just not cool, what I had just said. And on the way home my father yelled at me for it, and said, ‘Don’t ever do that again! Don’t ever say something like that in front of my friends! You just really embarrassed me, and everyone was horrified and you should never do that again.’
And my feeling wasn’t righteousness or pride in having told the truth, it was horror that I had committed such a faux pas, and that if things like that happened you just weren’t supposed to talk about them. And you certainly weren’t supposed to announce it at a dinner party.”
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