As the distractions became less and less distracting, the anxiety (not even knowing what that was back then) would consume. It was a type so bad I remember being on the floor in fetal position, shaking and praying. Praying to God it would stop. Praying that he wouldn’t hurt her this time. Sometimes even praying something terrible would just happen so that we wouldn’t have to go through this anymore. As much as I’d never wish again for something bad to happen to my mother, in those moments, of unrelenting fear and anxiety….you don’t think logically, your brain goes into survival mode. Fight or flight mode. This Day, The Day, I got a whole new meaning of flight or fight.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the fear and anxiety of just waiting for it to pass. Waiting for something to happen. I had to happen.
I was no longer choosing flight. For the first time, I marched downstairs and chose fight.
In the moment, marching down the stairs, I felt like I knew what i was walking in to. I felt like I had a bit of control. I felt ready….but when I turned the corner into the living room I was NOT ready for what I saw. Along the wall adjacent to the stairs was a chase lounge, my mother on it and him on top of her, hands laid over her nose and mouth like a butterfly. He looked up at me….my heart fell through my toes.
Now, let me back up for a second and give you a picture of our body types. My mother is small. I’m 5’9 140lbs and she’s probably about 5’5 120lbs and he is 6’2 probably about 280lbs and looks like a linebacker for the NFL.
I din’t think, I didn’t have time to think. When I say I learned a whole new level of flight or fight, I’m not kidding. This was like the mother lifting a car off her child type fight or flight. I was able to grab him, thrust him back and push him clear across the room off of my mother. He stumbled toward the kitchen area where there was a cut out with a ledge between the kitchen and the living room and a plastic cup of water was sitting there. Looking back I think his reaction was probably to physically harm me, but he knew he couldn’t so he picked up the cup of water and chucked it at me, enraged. All in the same instance his face changed and he started trying to justify what I saw…..he even cried to me. Again, looking back I can see exactly what I was dealing with. A complete narcissist.
He knew he had done wrong. He knew he had skewed his image and let me see something that was supposed to be kept behind closed doors. He didn’t cry to me because he felt remorse for what he’d actually done. He cried to me because he was scared I was going to tell someone.
That was The Day, from then on I was eternally on his “bad side”. I now saw him for what he truly was. From that day on I was brought into every argument. I became the mediator, the rescuer….it was exhausting. I was surviving and making sure my mother was too. In doing this, I also had to learn to “play” him. Very quickly I learned that taking his side was the easiest means to an end. I’d listen to his reasoning, listen to what was so horribly wrong with my mother, I’d make him feel like he was right and that his actions were justified and then he’d eventually pass out from the drinking and I knew we were all safe. When he slept, I knew we were safe.
-Blue Eyed Princess