This is a continuation of my journey with my father, read part one, part two, or part three.
Slaying the beast was the hardest decision of my life. It meant severing all ties. It meant leaving behind a life I would never return to.
As the weeks with my father deteriorated year after year, so did our relationship, well if you can even say we had a relationship at all. By the time high school rolled around I was practically tip toeing around the house. Anything I said could and would be used against me. The slightest bit of disagreement would lead to a meltdown on my fathers end. During my sophomore year in high school I was struggling in math and for that reason had a private tutor. It all came to a boil one night when I realized I needed a calculator for my test in school the next day.
I went downstairs to ask my father if he had a spare I could use, and when I told him the reason for needing it he started to unravel. He was yelling that I was going to fail, that because of one stupid mistake my entire math career was over, that because of this one thing I wasn’t going to get into college. I retreated to my room for cover as I usually did, until I heard my father yell that he was going to call my tutor. He did and started shouting that it was his fault. This switched over to saying his prices were too high. Then switched over to how my mother is a useless piece of shit. By this time I was downstairs again begging for him to get off the phone. I was petrified that he was saying this to my tutor. The family friend told me to go upstairs and close the door, she of course was going to try and calm him down.
I waited in my room, listening to my father explode. I could hear things smashing downstairs. I could hear the family friend screaming back. My father’s voice started to crack, instead of being his normal tone it was higher. It was him breaking down to his very core. I sat at my desk with my phone in hand shaking. I was scared, truly and honestly scared. Every bang I jumped, every scream a tear rolled down my face.
I sent my mother a text message, but was then too afraid to actually call her. We communicated that night via email, the one thing my father could not rip from my hands and use against me.
Then it happened. The family friend burst into my room, tears falling from her eyes. My father silent downstairs. She came over to me and hugged me. She was saying sorry over and over and over again. Then you hear the stomping. He was coming up the stairs. He burst into the room, she was screaming for him to get out. She sobbed as his face neared hers. He left, slamming the door shut. To protect us both she pressed her body weight against the door. We were both crying hysterically at this point.
My father was ballistic. From the other side of the door he was screaming that my mother was a lying bitch. She was worth nothing. That she ruined him. That all she wants is money. He called her every name in the book, saying that my then step-dad was the reason for all his despair. With every word he banged his fist against the door, the friend pushing with all of her might to keep him out. When she couldn’t any longer he was there, in front of me, practically foaming at the mouth. His fists were inches from my face and I was now my mother. In his eyes there was no difference. He was yelling at me like I was her.
My mind went blank. I sat there as the world seemed to fade around me, my father’s hands blurred, the sobbing in the room disappeared. In that moment I was gone. And then it was over.
He left. She left. I was there alone. The faint quivers from my father could be heard from downstairs. I sat there for a while. Not moving, not sure what to do. If I moved he might hear me, and if he hears me he might come back. So I sat as still as a statue.
After about an hour I snuck an email to my mother, her reply was pack as much as I could into my backpack as I could and act normal until I left for school the next day. Hours after the explosion my father came into my room. He comes over to me. He forcefully hugs me.
He says “that needed to happen, you needed to hear that” and leaves. I packed my essentials and as much clothes I could fit in my backpack and went to bed. I didn’t cry that night. I didn’t think of what had happened. I only thought about getting out. My only goal was to get out of that house safely. The next morning no one was awake to say good morning, no one was awake to tell me good bye. I walked in the dark to the bus stop and waited. I went through school like a normal day. I told no one what happened, and when it was time to take the bus home my mother was there to pick me up.
We drove to a parking lot close to school and she asked me if I wanted to do this. I was ready. I was ready to leave that house and I was ready to pursue legal action to do so. From here we drove to both counties my mother and my father lived in and told the police what happened. We also did this to notify them he has a history of physical violence and that there is a strong likelihood he will show up at my mother’s house expecting me to come back with him. When we got home my mother called him letting him know where I was and that I was not coming back. Within 20 minutes the family friend was dropped off at my mother’s door and was trying to negotiate a peace treaty. She kept insisting to see me. My mother kept me away. After no success my father picked her up and we didn’t hear from him for a while. In a weeks’ time my mother negotiated a way to pick up my stuff from his house, not realizing this was going to be a permanent removal. When I went to pick up my things no one said a word to me, in fact no one really looked at me. I was able to take my remaining clothes but that was about it. My computer was there, my bedspread from my mother’s house that I had since I was a young child, family keepsakes, all my childhood toys. I was leaving behind so much and it broke my heart. I knew this would be the last time I would be in this house. I knew even though just material objects, I was leaving behind a part of myself.
Within two weeks the court order was sent to my father and the legal battle began.