I remember the day my life flipped around 180 degrees. My life at 8 years old had been good. My father and I had never seen that much of each other because he was a airline captain. He worked long weeks and came home only for a few days. My baby brother was my best friend; he and I would spend hours doing little kids stuff and play computer games. We were playing Buzz Lightyear when I heard my dad come up.
I could always tell because his ankles would crack and pop with every movement. I remember thinking something was wrong, just by the demeanor in his eyes at the time. I thought I had seen tears, but wasn’t sure. Jack looked up and frowned to,
“Come ‘ere you guys.” he said, and motioned with his hand to follow. We obeyed. As the good children we were.
I came out of the play room and looked at mom who was shaking her head. All she said was, “Don’t drag them into this,” All my father did was glare in her direction.
“Sit on the couch.” he suggested in his Navy Captain manner. I heard my mom sigh and she moved over to the couch. We squished her and she put her arms around both of us. He took a deep breath, muttering something that till this day I still don’t know. Then in an outburst, “You guys….” Another set of hyperventilating breaths and he said, “I can’t live here anymore!!” and then he started crying. My dad as the master manipulate, up-playing the emotion. Jack thought he had meant because we were broke but I knew. It wasn’t long before Jack and I were crying too. Mom got up from us, furious and put herself between us and my father.
I don’t remember what happened after that but mom was counter acting that statement with things like, “It was your choice!” “No it wasn’t!” I heard him cry back. Something happened and then the last straw. My dad came back and hit my mom. I could tell it wasn’t hard in 20/20 hindsight it wasn’t that hard. It was wrong and inappropriate behavior to show. My mom gasped in shock and said, “That is the last time you’ll ever touch me. I’m calling the police.” I sat back down on the couch with Jack and waited. Mom made dad stay outside while she talked to us and made us pack our things.
Dan, my soon to be stepfather was there for us that first night and I am still grateful, when I choose to remember that day. We went to a hotel room for a couple days to sit back. He would bring us McDonalds and things like that and make sure we settled. Though it was not an easy journey from here on out. The comfort of my other family could not always save me.
If you want to tell me your story, I would love love love to hear about it. Or if you have similar experiences, please feel absolutely free to leave some feedback!! God Bless!