My mom tried to hide what was going on and how sad she was. When she was with me or when she thought I could hear what was going on, she was very happy and upbeat, but I could tell when she was sad because her hugs were sad and her eyes were very sad and shiny. A lot of nights I would wake up and hear my dad yelling at my mom. He was always very loud and talking constantly and he wouldn’t give my mom a chance to say anything. When my mom tried to say anything he’d always interrupt and talk more loudly over what she was trying to say. Then he’d say “do you really think that’s smart?” “Where do you get all these stupid ideas?” Mom sometimes told dad she was really tired and needed to go to sleep because she had to get up soon for work. Then dad would yell that she can only go to sleep when they were done talking. I would get scared and sad, so I’d call my mom. She’d come and sit with me, give me a hug and rub my back to help me get back to sleep. I would curl up in her lap and hug her while she was trying to get me to go back to sleep. Sometimes mom was so tired that she would start falling asleep before I did.
Mom would come home from work and while she was trying to get everything done, cooking the dinner, cleaning the house, taking care of me, my dad would be still sitting on the couch asking her about money and telling her that she should be spending time with her child instead of trying to impress people by cleaning the house. He always ended with “a little dirt never killed anyone”
My mom would get up every morning, wake me up and get me ready for school, she’d make my breakfast, my lunch and snacks for school and snack for after school then we’d have some snuggle time before she left for work.
My dad would get up much later…I remember my mom trying to wake him when it was time for her to take me to school and go to work. She couldn’t leave until she woke my dad or he’d be very angry. But whenever she tried to wake him he’d keep telling her that he needed to finish a dream he was having and would go back to sleep. He would take a long time to wake up and my mom would check her watch constantly as she kept trying to wake him up. When my dad finally got out of bed, he’d turn on the TV, and his laptop and sit on the couch. Then we could leave so my mom could take me to school and go to work.
At the end of the day, my mom would pick me up from daycare and we’d go home. My dad would usually still be on the couch with his laptop, watching TV and on the internet. He’d be surprised that we were home already. He always commented that the day went by so quickly that he didn’t have a chance to get anything done. My mom would just put her things down, put her apron on over her work clothes and start making dinner. She never complained, he never helped. But if I wanted to watch TV or he thought I was loud playing with my toys, my dad would get very upset and ask my mom why I wasn’t doing my homework or helping her to do stuff. He’d tell her what a terrible mother she was and that if he called CAS they would never let her see me again. I remember always trying to be very quiet so that dad wouldn’t get mad at mom and call CAS because I didn’t want them to take her away. Whenever dad was angry, he’d always tell my mom that he was either going to call CAS or the police so they could take her away and she’d never get to see me or come to the house again.
My dad was a different person for different people. When we went to the grocery store, my dad would be really nice to me and my mom. Always hugging us and saying nice things to my mom and making plans for vacations or family outings. Sometimes people would comment on how romantic my dad was or what a great dad he was. When my dad’s friends came to our house or when we went to theirs he was different as well. He’d talk the loudest, laugh the loudest, talk constantly and tell a lot of jokes. The only thing was most of his jokes were about mean things about my mom. He’d make jokes about how fat she was, her hair, her make-up, her clothes, her cooking, he never seem to run out of mean jokes to tell about my mom. His friends were always saying how funny he was and what a great father and husband he was because he stopped working so he could stay home and take care of me. When it was just us at home he was never that funny person or that great father, or the romantic person at the grocery store. Instead, he was usually grouchy, he rarely had time for me because he was watching TV or on the internet and he hardly spoke to mom unless he was mad at her and was yelling at her. We never go on any of the trips or outings he plans at the grocery store or in front of his friends. One day I asked dad about a trip to the water park that he promised me when his friends were visiting and he told me we can’t go because my lazy mom doesn’t make enough money.
Everything was always mom’s fault. The electricity got turned off, the phone got disconnected, we couldn’t go see a movie…his explanation of everything was usually…”your stupid mom doesn’t make enough money to pay all the bills and have family fun”. However, I remember my dad going out all the time with his friends. He’d be out doing things 3 or more times a week and then the next day he and mom would argue about money as he had spent money that was either for the bills or for rent.
Their fighting was getting worse and more frequent. It seemed dad was always angry with mom and yelling at her all the time. The only good times were when we were with dad’s friends and they weren’t coming over as much and we weren’t going to see them as much anymore or when dad wasn’t at home. Dad started wanting me to go with him to hang out. He’d tell me that my mom doesn’t need me anyway and that she doesn’t love me. He’d keep telling me that my mom doesn’t love either of us. Which made me sad but I knew it wasn’t true because my mom gave the best hugs, and she was always there when I need her, and she made the best cookies that I loved to take to school as long as dad didn’t eat them all. Plus mom told me all the time how much she loved me.
One day after my dad went out, my mom started rushing around and hurrying me to get dressed and to collect the toys I loved the most and put them in my school bag. When we were ready, we went outside and got into a taxi…mom said we were going to visit my aunt for a bit…we never went back to live with my dad.