4. My abusive, alcoholic father showed up to cause trouble
My own father showing up.
He was an abusive, crazy alcoholic, and post-divorce my mom had a restraining order that basically should have kept him out of our lives. I babysat for the little girl across the street, and I picked her up from the bus and took her home until her mom got off work.
When I went to wait at the bus stop one day, there among the actual parents was my dad. He was wavering on the sidewalk and staring into nothing and didn’t even notice me. It was the bus that brought my younger brother home, too, so I was certain that’s why he was there. He would occasionally show up and try to “make amends,” which basically consisted of him appearing at the house, weeping, grabbing us, and finally throwing a few punches if we didn’t react how he wanted us to. It was a small town, so the police knew my family’s situation and reacted quickly whenever we called.
I grabbed the girl I watched as well as my brother as soon as they stepped foot off the bus. I told my brother to go in the house, lock the doors, and call my mom at work. My two older brothers were already home, so I got the girl inside her house and called my brothers from there. I explained what was going on, and we all sort of agreed to see if he tried anything. I saw the rest from inside the neighbor’s house while I watched the little girl.
Meanwhile my dad, being a fall-down drunk, didn’t really seem to notice that my brother had already slipped past him and was still loitering at the now empty bus stop, looking around forlornly before finally stumbling around and up the steps of my house, where my brothers were inside. He knocked, shouted, and cried on the steps. After a short while (maybe 10 minutes), the police arrived and carted him away.
I guess it doesn’t sound all that scary, but this was the man who terrorized me, my brothers, and my mother for years before she was able to divorce him. He chased her around the kitchen with a hunting knife, beat her black and blue, and pointed guns at us, laughing when we ran because “they weren’t loaded” (they were). As a 13-year-old girl in charge of a young child, I was absolutely terrified.