It’s almost funny how a simple, everyday situation can suddenly flip in just a second.
I think about how I’ll have to hide in the house and watch what rooms I visit.
Survival mode switched on, more intensely after the first few days. Weeks.
From now on I’ll have to lock the door behind me before I go to bed.
I memorize their sleep and daily schedules so I can avoid seeing them.
Because being yourself, being human, making mistakes or doing things your own way in her eyes is an optimal excuse for an outburst.
No apology awaits, just more anger.
And my dad is as fragile as a flower, with no water. She’ll blame him for her humiliation and in return he’ll just wilt. He’ll agree with her, even if she blames me.
The next day, I close the door to the house lightly. Pebbles stick under my feet as I stride past the flowers which usually wave goodbye to me in the breeze.
I breathe out and I still feel nothing. The quiet cuts me open and drains all the happiness. Like an alcoholic, it breaks all my shelves in the search for more. And all I can do is just watch it emptying me out. To feel this way for a week or more if I’m lucky.
My boxing teacher looks at me disappointed as I run out of energy after the first round…. customers find me fake, stuck on default as I ask them if I can help…. I can’t meet people’s eyes on the street, something I always loved to do as a measurement of curiosity, connection- even if it is fleeting.
Now people terrify me.
You begin fearing the unpredictable nature of people; the sides you can’t see.
Craving control as a means of not feeling helpless.
Your autopilot is now on fight or flight because it could happen via your alarm clock they were accidentally woken up by. Or the door which you accidentally shut when they were outside.You could have eaten their mango, despite it not being placed on their designated self or used their pillow because it was placed on your bed, while you were away.
The triggers are so small, minute but the response is traumatic.
The anger of just one person and their lack of control has lasting effects. You quickly learn that Domestic Violence paralyses you, no matter what age. And one event usually multiples, breeding in confidence.
There, I said it.
Isn’t that weird, if I say attack, it sounds too dramatic.
Aggressive even. It makes the person and/or family member into a monster.
But by swapping the label for ‘incident’ it sounds watered down, bearable.
When it is anything but.
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