Invisible – 1992

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TW: Domestic Violence, Alcoholism, Abuse

I am an adult child of an alcoholic parent. That’s what society and pop-psychology teach. That family is family no matter what.

But that’s just not reality, at least not mine. If I could strip away his last name from me, I would. I don’t want to be known as that despicable man’s daughter.

Parent. That’s never been a title that he could proudly claim — or even claim at all.

The first time I saw him in a drunken stupor hit my mother, I was 7 years old. It was nighttime and I was in my mother’s bed watching a TV show with her. Now, this wasn’t the first time I had witnessed him obliterated. And it wasn’t the first time he had come to harass my mother after a night at the bar. It also wasn’t the first time he was violent with my mother. This was just the first time I saw it.

He rapped on the door calling her name. Mary, Mary, Mary…

My mother told him to go back downstairs. He was insistent. She unlocked the bedroom door and came back to sit on the bed. He stumbled in making the room reek of used booze. Slurring his words he kept telling her she had to see the mascot on some football game. She refused and told him to go watch his game downstairs. He went to the little TV and changed the channel. She got up from the bed and went toward him. This was the part where he cocked his fist back and punched her in the face. He left the room without looking at me. She got up and locked the door, picked up her broken glasses, and grabbed the cordless phone to call her friend. She sat in the bathroom relaying to the person on the phone what had happened.

I buried my head under the pillow in fear and sadness. I was invisible.

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