I used to live here. It seems so strange to me now. Almost like it was a movie I watched or maybe a past life. This was only about 16 years ago. My Aunt sent me this picture this week. She was shocked at how bad it looks now. It is very disheartening. When she sent me this picture I realized that I don’t have a single picture from inside this house. I never had a happy memory there to record. I’m not sure that this house has ever seen a happy memory.
We lived on the top floor. The bottom floor was unfinished and had originally been a garage that you entered from the rear. This made a perfect place for his activities. I spent as much time as possible away from home. I had no money so I worked. I volunteered to work any weekend that they would let me. I was a Quality Assurance Inspector for a local factory so overtime was plentiful. The added work provided me with a means to buy car insurance. It’s odd that insurance seemed like a luxury item to me. I hid my money in my bible. I knew it was the one place that he would never look.
He pawned most everything that wasn’t nailed down to support his addictions. His demons haunted him and tore his life away. They consumed every waking minute which was a lot of minutes since he rarely slept. The closest I can come to a happy memory here was a time when I baked him a cake. He had been asleep for over 24 hours after recovering from a binge. When he awoke he was so pitiful and was craving sugar. I made him that cake and watched him devour it. It was the only normal thing I had seen him do in weeks. It was a connection to reality for me to see him do an ordinary thing like eating. We didn’t do ordinary things together. Most of our time was spent in screaming matches. Many times I hadn’t the slightest idea why he was angry. There were so many profanities being tossed about at high decibels that it became difficult to make sense of it. I had learned to block him out. This in turn made him angrier so he added physical assaults to get my attention. No, he never hit me. He wouldn’t do that. He was not that kind of person. His favorite attention getter was to spit in my face. He had pure contempt for me. I never understood why he didn’t want me to leave since he hated me so much. Sometimes he would sling me across the living room by my ankles but he never punched me. I had a glider chair with a gliding foot stool. I learned to drop my feet quickly when he came into the room so he wouldn’t grab me by my ankles.
I tried to leave him many times. He would lock me in the bathroom to wear me down. The bathroom was on the second floor so in order to leave I would have to jump. The day I finally left was a most surreal day. I don’t know what happened in my head but I knew it was over. He and his friend we’re in the bottom floor completing their activities. I knew an earthquake could come and they wouldn’t leave those activities. I took this opportunity to start gathering my clothes. I stuffed everything I could into my Ford Escort and left. I wasn’t scared anymore. I didn’t care what he did to me. I made it to a place mentally that he could have bashed my head in and that would have been better than our current situation. If you’re not scared to die then fear has no hold on you anymore.
Today I am in a different place mentally and physically. I have no anger for him. If I could talk to him today I would tell him that I am sorry. I am sorry that I couldn’t help him. I am sorry that I couldn’t protect him. I am sorry that I couldn’t make his life better. I am sorry that I was a hindrance to him. I truly wish him peace and happiness. I hope that he will find some before he leaves this earth.