a little over two years ago i was terrified. i knew i had to do something, to make a change. the outbursts were increasing in frequency. it was bad enough that i had to find a new home for our tiny dog, who he choked and threw across the room when he was angry. but the nature of his words and threats were escalating in description and detail. it got to the point where every week end there was a blow out, the children spilled their rice, the toy was in his way in the kitchen, the milk wasn't cold enough in the fridge, and he would explode at them. swear, scream, yell. stomp on the toy until it broke. knock over the baby because she was crying, by shoving her in her mouth with his foot.
i don't know why i suddenly have the need to write down these horrible things. when i see them on the page here, I see, oh my goodness, get out. get out. get out. but up to that point in time, i clung to our family unit, because i believed in something that wasn't there. i believed that he really didn't want to do those things. i believed in the quiet time in between the rage. i believed him when he said he loved us. when he acknowledge his behavior (the few times he did, saying he was sorry and we were better off without him), i believed he wanted to be better. i clung to the peaceful times, even though they were tenuous. we might be all sitting at the dinner table, and big sister would spill her milk, and he would fly in a rage. if i dared intervene he would punish me by withdrawing from speaking to all of us, and i would be left to care for the children (who were crying and couldn't understand what was going on), and clean up everything. sometimes, my daughter would cry so hard at what he said that she would throw up.
so two years ago, after reaching out to my friends and family, i knew there was a different place i needed to be, to protect my children. and here i am, finally, at that very different place.
what i'm most grateful for...? that my little hearts do not seem to remember the time from before. or perhaps they choose not to remember, but i think i protected them as best as i could when we were all in the house together and when those things happened. they were very young when dad moved out, so hopefully we escaped...just in time. and now? they have limited time with dad, but because the time is limited, he doesn't get set off (crossing fingers), and the peaceful, happy side is all they see (crossing fingers again).
at the very, very least, i can provide them a home that is free from that troubling behavior, and they will know what it means to live free from the clutches of bitterness and anger. a house where they learn that kindness and love are valued and strengthened. at least, that is my hope.