His Jaw



What had I just done?  It was as if I was awakening from a bad dream, but the bad dream was still there, looking at me in what seemed to be stunned silence.  I was still more stunned.


-I guess you really were mad.


As the look on his face began to change, the full implications of what I’d just done began to dawn on me.  My stomach churned with the knowledge that there would be hell to pay for that punch, even if he had been teaching me to throw them, just like that.  Telling me how soft I was, how I needed to learn to fight, not let the kids at school walk all over me.


He’d taught me to block, and to throw a punch, demanding that I learn to be harsh, not to care if I knocked someone down, not to care how that person might get hurt.


Then, after a phone call from a boy, he’d demanded to know who it was, what the boy had wanted.  When I told him that I’d had to push off the boy’s attempt to kiss me, he’d asked me something, moving closer.  My grandmother was out of the house, out shopping.  I felt that warning pain in my gut, and I had tried to move away.  This man, my step grandfather, was my guardian, but not my kin, not safe.  I wasn’t fast enough.


He put out a hand, then the other, pulled me toward him, pressing his lips against mine.  I had twisted and blocked, just like he’d taught me, then backed away, shaking in my disgust, and he had laughed, saying I couldn’t be angry.  Just like my mother had laughed, after she’d told me not to tell, so long ago.  Then, it came out of no where.


He had been teaching me, and taunting me.


-Hit harder, don’t be such a sissy.


Teaching me to throw a decent punch, then a block, and then another punch.  He’d taught me how to throw a good punch, for a girl.  A hard punch, alright.



But at his shoulder, not his jaw.





Action Prompts:  

1.) How can we protect kids from adults, especially those in their own families?

2.)  Do you think that Project Do Better’s Phase IV (described in chapters 5 and 10 of the book) might help?


Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 


Click here to read, if you like:

B5, La Casa De Papel/Money Heist, & Lupin & Hakan: Muhafiz/The Protector Reviews

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.


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Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.



37 thoughts on “His Jaw

    1. Well, it certainly shocked him.
      But the worst part was that many years after that, when I was 46, my mother finally told me that she’d married my father, in part, just to get out of the house, where he was “making passes at” her, when she was 16/17 at the time! She said that she couldn’t tell grandma because it would hurt her, but then, what, 14/5 years later, she sends a 12 year old me to live with this perv, knowing what he was?? After she’d already thrown me under the bus when I was 4, 6, 11, and 16, and then spent my entire adult professional career (even my PhD student time) demanding money and attention from me.
      Motherhood, noble, right.
      The perv was him, but the one in sheep’s clothing was the one who sent me to him.
      This is why I work on ways to help our society build structures in which kids can protect themselves, and live in their own safe private spaces, if need be, as with Baby Acres/Floors.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. I am currently listening to/watching videos by Caroline Myss. I forget in which one, but she said a betrayal by a mother has cosmic implications. I think it means a betrayal of, or to God – meaning the Mother principle in the Godhead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with the Christian and Jewish ideas that forgiveness requires
      1.) restitution or Tikkun (repair in some form),
      2.) sincere regret on the part of the offender.

      Without those, one can grieve, one can honor that pain, and one can accept that this world is a horrible place for many people, due to the ways we treat one another, but I do not believe that forgiveness is either necessary nor proper, under many circumstances. This is such a circumstance.

      And I do appreciate your advice: I’ve left the lives of those who told me “yes, but” long ago, and I appreciate having your support. I just hope that this work contributes to preventing such pain for others, especially for other children, as the human race must break this cycle, and every new generation is the most important key.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Reading other people’s pain-filled accounts have given me the courage to speak out. Gaps in my understanding of my own issues have been informed by it, been affirmed and confirmed I’m not just a bad person who doesn’t want to get better.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you: this helps me understand that telling my story is not just whining, but actually giving support, as well.

          We are seeking to get better, and to push through the pain, and to help others do the same.

          Thank you for this, Petru (is that how I should write your name, btw?), this helps me place things much better.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. “…strengthens the writer and, importantly, the reader.”
          Got it.
          This helps me to have the strength to keep doing this, that it helps others, and may even make a difference in keeping someone else safe. Thank you so much, P.

          much love,

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, maybe that’s a topic for another short short? Well, I called my mother to say get me out of there asap, and without asking why, she simply said ‘call your father.’ (she was comfortably passing for white up north with her new husband…)

      My grandmother seemed insulted that I wanted to leave, but also never asked why, and my father came to collect me, I think, that very night, because I called him and said I needed to leave, and when he asked why, I said that the new house they’d just bought might help things work out. He made some comment about taking after my mother, but came to get me, and never asked more of it, either.
      And after that, things went back to normal, as you’ve seen from my first short, “Floating.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is raw and I feel this! I’m sending you a hug hoping you can feel it! My brother taught me to be tough, which included fracturing some of my ribs. I was always taught to be more afraid of government people. Never trust a suit or a uniform, they’ll break up our family, they’ll take you away. You’ll end up in foster care and get raped and abused by strangers. Around here it was safer to sit in the car while your parents were drunk in a bar. I know other friends who have gone through this experience and I think what a shame it is that we couldn’t have all sat in the same car keeping each other company. I think of all the kids hidden away now during Covid-19, not attending classes, not being seen and its too much. It breaks my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can feel it, thank you, Melanie. I think of how much more we could do, as a society, to build a safety net for kids, and for adults too, and then I get back to work on my Wondering Wednesdays draft of Baby Acres/Floors, because there has to be a way, and if one more idea, worked out, long term, and there for discussion and action, might help, then it is worth working on.

      For all of us.

      Liked by 2 people

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