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By Casey Tyler

One night, like many before, a father trashes his house, breaking pictures of family members, throwing dishes, and all the while yelling at his family while they sit in tears, holding each other for comfort and safety.
Next, the angered man, through words that cut the heart as any knife would, smashes the phone into tiny pieces, cuts off all the electricity, and then proceeds outside to slash the tires of all the cars in the driveway but his own.
Peeling out of his driveway and leaving his family behind. Brokenhearted, sad, angry, and covered in their own tears to sit in the dark with no phone or transportation to freedom.
Their life destroyed like the pictures torn on the ground. All because one man has a disease. Their father is an alcoholic.
The family who is now on the front lawn look to each other, all desperately glancing for some hint of comfort, but there is none. Inside each person is confused with anger, sadness, and a supreme feeling of being scared.
The youngest, a three year old child, asks his mother why she was crying and why daddy is so mad. His confusion and concerned look almost made me cry.
I had never felt so many emotions at once. The emotional roller coaster I was on made me nauseous and I longed for the feeling to go away. I was scared for my friend and her family. For their safety, and quite selfishly, my own. I was angry. I was angered by this man’s actions his inhumanity. I was shaking. Half from anger and half from being so scared. I didn’t know what to say to them. How do you console them. I felt my silence was only shards of glass in their hearts. I couldn’t offer any words of consolation. I felt weak and powerless.
We sat outside for what seemed like hours. Mostly staring at the ground, but occasionally stealing glances at one another when we heard a sob or a sniff. Our sympathetic glances and painful eyes told each other it wasn’t fair, but not words where spoken.
I felt as if I was in a movie, and I just was waiting for something even more horrible to happen. We were trapped at the house, with no electricity, no phone to call for help, and no car to yield an escape. The thought of ever running didn’t even cross anyone’s mind. Our emotions froze us in place like a deer staring into a cars headlights.
We Just Waited…
And then he returned. Never before had I felt so scared. I began to tremble as his words of hatred spewed forth and hit me like razor sharp swords. I was shaking so bad my knees actually buckled and I fell to the ground, and began to cry. I was so ashamed. That is exactly what he wanted. He wanted me to be scared, he wanted me to cry. He needed and wanted to know he was in control.
Although he didn’t lay a hand on any of us, his words and actions pierced everyone’s hearts, causing them to cry out in pain.
It was scary how one man dangled us, as if by a thread over our own lives. Threatening to end our lives and bringing us to our knees. No one dared say anything for fear or how he would react.
I couldn’t think…
My Mind was racing, but I couldn’t pin-point one thought.
I couldn’t understand how someone could not respect themselves enough, or the people who loved him to not let alcohol consume their lives.
The anger I had for this man only grew as he destroyed the loved ones lives one after another without a care or remorse.
Another thing I will never understand is how a mother could tolerate anyone abusing her and her children on a regular basis. I had that thought running through my head constantly. Wondering if she truly loved her kids, and if she did, why didn’t she protect them. Save them from this horrible monster.
Then again, who is anyone to question a mother’s love?
Everything that I have ever read or watched about alcoholism and abuse never could compare to understanding of witnessing and experiencing it first hand.
That horrible experience will forever be embedded in my mind and I am forever changed because of it.

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