Not many people know, but my mom is a convicted felon charged with voluntary manslaughter against “Pop.” My father (he sure ain’t a dad) was verbally abusive toward my mother for years. He would get hammered from a refrigerator of Miller brews. Not a night would go by without me waking up hearing him yell about nothing. I got as comfortable as I could get going to elementary school the next day. It was one evening that my father pushed her in a rage. It was not a violent or painful shove, but enough to demand a response. She cracked. She hospitalized my father that night. That night I became a temporary orphan. My mom would be at the local jail that night, and my father recovering from burns on his face from a hot pan and a broken jaw. The episode lasted no longer than a minute, but I remember it clearer than anything I’ve witnessed and it stays with me. It has affected my life forever.
I hear that most women are in jail due to problems with a relationship that led to crime like being abused and fighting back. This is what happened in my family. I live with my dad, unhappily… He shares some of the blame and I can tell he feels ashamed. Instead of a remedy, he has sunk further to drinking. Since the divorce, my dad has come out of the closet and I’ve seen the strangest guys in and out of my house for the past year. I am ready to leave but don’t have enough to live out on my own. I’m a little dysfunctional myself and wouldn’t want to burden my friends who are struggling themselves.