Kristi awoke with a start. It was quiet, and still dark. At first she felt good about the quiet - then she remembered; she started to shake with a chill that went clear to her bones. She stared into the darkness and remembered all the noises and yelling,
and she started to cry, again. Bekah leaned over and put her arm around Kristi; she jumped, then melted into her big sister's arms. "Shhhhh, Little One, it's ok. I'm here."
Kristi turned to look up at her sister, and with tears welling up, said, "I'm
scared, he was yelling so much last night! Why does Mommy make Daddy so mad, can't she stop? I don't like it when Daddy yells and throws things, and bangs the doors!"
"I know, honey; I don't like it either; but we have to try and be very good girls
and do what Mommy and Daddy say, so we don't make Daddy mad."
"But why CAN'T Mommy stop making Daddy mad? If I spill something on accident, or break something, Daddy NEVER bangs the doors or throws things. All Mommy has to do is ask him where he's been!
Why does that make Daddy so mad, Bekah?"
"I don't know, I just know we don't want to make any more trouble. We want to help Mommy, right?"
"Yes we do! I can protect Mommy from him. I'll give him all the hugs and kisses I can! Maybe he'll be happy,
and Mommy won't ask him any questions, then. Do you think it will work?"
Kristi and Bekah are not living, breathing beings; but they represent a lot of my childhood memories. For so long, I tried to get my Mother to leave my Father alone when
he came home after being gone for hours at a time. I tried to help their relationship by being a good girl, and loving all over him when he came home.
I know I took on responsibilities that were not mine; but I felt I had to, to keep my Mother safe.
I never saw him strike her; he would leave before that happened, I think. I DID see him draw his hand back a few times. She was just trying to get him to talk to her. She would grab his arm, and he would pull away. I guess he DID smack her hands a few times
to get her to let go. One time, she had the doorway blocked, so he climbed out the sun-porch window.
When he got away, he would then walk the five miles to his office and cool off. He then called her to pick him up. She always did. Don't know what the
drive was like, but he would usually come home and go right to bed.
I know, now, this was a form of Domestic Violence. It's all about power and control. He kept her under control by both yelling, AND his silence when she asked him where he had been.
I wrote this because the children DO get affected, even when the "violence" is covert, like my story. It's verbal, and emotional abuse - no visible bruising; but my entire family was affected, and all came through it differently. I can only tell MY part
of the story...
What is YOUR story? How are YOUR kids affected? Is it time for YOU to ask for help?