Outside of school, my life was not the typical life of a kid attending an elementary school. I chose to stay out all night hanging out with friends. I would fail to call my mom and let her know where I was or when I was coming home. It was always foreign to me when I would go to a friend’s house that had two parents that chose not to fight or argue with each other in front of their children. It was also really weird for me to fall asleep over at friend’s house and wake up to a table full of breakfast food and two parents still there in the same house and getting along. I thought every family was like mine, I never thought that people lived with both their parents. After being surrounded by that as long as their parents would allow me to stay I would go home to the complete opposite. I could count on one hand how many time my father stayed at our house. Due to his alcohol problem as well as his verbal and physical abuse, he was by law never allowed to live with us.
I had a hard time understanding why it was not okay for my father to abuse me and my brother’s when I messed up or made a mistake and also why he abused my brothers and me when he was under the influence of alcohol. My elementary school counselor told me that it was not the right thing to abuse a kid physically or verbally by any means whether they messed up or make a mistake. I remember countless times when my dad would drink to the point where he would have no idea where he was or his name and beat my mom with just about everything he could get his hands on, while my older brothers and I sat there defenseless crying but not fully understanding the reasons of why things were the way they were. I never thought anything was wrong with that because I was around it so often I knew that if I did something wrong no matter the magnitude of it I would get hit as a punishment because of it. I did not know it was against the law or not right for a father figure to do, so I never felt the need to tell anyone or seek outside help.
It was not until my middle school years when I found out that it was not a correct way to deal with problems. My brothers and I would run and lock ourselves in the bathroom whenever my dad would come over drunk and listen to him beat my mother from the next room. My oldest brother, Anthony, would hold us, the only one who would not cry; he told us he would put a stop to that. I remember around seventh grade my father came over angry. His breath smelled strongly of liquor; he began breaking things in the house and threatening us with physical abuse. Before my brothers and I could react to his words, he was already beating my mother. Anthony ran upstairs and left me and my brother sitting there scared hugging each other. Anthony approached my dad with a baseball bat and told him to let her go or he would hit him. Thinking nothing of it, my father continued with his hands around my mother’s throat so my brother struck my father in the back of his head that day as my dad laid there bleeding from his head I watched him cry for the first time in my life. The ambulance came and took him away where he had to stay in the hospital over night and then was incarcerated for two months after that. After that day, my father never put his hands on any of us every again; that day changed my entire life. I made a promise to myself that I would never in my life under any circumstance allow any man to put his hands on a woman no matter what.