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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

This was normal for our family.

December 15, 2017


It was the summer between my junior and senior year in college. We were at my grandparents, my mom’s parents. It was morning. MTV was new. I was hooked. I remember I was watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.


My dad walked by and told me to turn off the TV. I paid him absolutely no mind. I had developed the habit of pretending he didn’t exist. I never paid him any mind. I continued watching, entranced.


He walked behind the TV and violently ripped the cable cord from the wall. “I told you to turn that off!” he shouted.


I ran into my grandparent’s room. They were still in bed watching the morning news. I was crying hard. “I do not want to go live with him when I graduate! I do not want to go live with him when I graduate!” I said it over and over again. They calmed me, reassured me. I wouldn’t have to, they said.


This was normal for our family, normal behavior for my father. Nothing was said. He was never called out for his inappropriate, violent, abusive, disruptive and flat out terrifying behavior. It just wasn’t done. He was my mother’s husband. He was the man, the head of the household. He deserved and received respect, it went without question, it was assumed. He was never held accountable for anything he did.


My grandparents despised him. But they never let on. I only know that now, looking back, reading the signs that are recorded in my head. They despised him for what he did to my mother and to me.

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