12. He stabbed the Dash with A screwdriver
I got pushed into a car in London and held for 14 hours in a car that had been stripped of much of its internal paneling with a door that could only be opened from outside. I don’t really know what his intentions were, but he was going through a pretty serious crisis.
He told me how his wife had left him after revealing how neither of his two children were his. He was unemployed and evidently addicted to crack cocaine. For 14 hours, he shared many of his fears and problems along with a desire to ”end it”. As the time passed, I became a little impatient as I had a plane to catch, but soon abandoned such hope after he started shouting and stabbing the dashboard with a 10” screwdriver because I wasn’t listening.
Through all of this, I recognized a man at the end of his rope that needed someone to talk to. Although terrified at some points, I calmed myself by believing that I could get through it if I could keep him calm and see me as a friend, albeit one that needed to go home.
Eventually, the sun rose, the drugs ran out and wore off, and he had shared all he could. I encouraged him to speak with his family and try to seek legal advise. I gave him my email address and he opened the door and I found my way to the Tube station. I don’t know how things turned out for him. He never contacted me.
In late 2006, after a year out of high school finding my way about the world and decompressing, I started college at LSU. My father had been declining in mental state all since child hood, and I felt great getting out the house living on my own Getting Shit Done. Time came when his marriage was about rock bottom, I never will know exactly why but I guessed he was about to lose her and didn’t want to be without either of us, so he came to my college. I was called to the office, and he had the dean backed up to the wall behind her desk and said he was removing me and to unenroll me. This was a former footballer, bouncer, builder, almost 300 pounds and I don’t know how far over six feet. Knowing he was there I had mashed the ‘call police’ button on one of the pylons outside in the parking lot, but I later heard those fucking buttons don’t work anyway. So he succeeded in forcefully returning me to that hell in the tin can of a trailer. I still can’t look at a mobile home while being out in the city or with friends and not feel a knot in my stomach.
Long story short, things were much worse than I thought they had declined to, and I was not allowed to go outside my room without him being there to supervise me getting food to bring back to my room or even walking past the television in the living room. Due to his drug abuse (and my mothers’), I rarely saw my mother for years after that. Two or three times I year I got to tell her I loved her. Often, the only words I spoke all year. The window of my bedroom was screwed into the wall and covered in tinfoil from the outside, so I also had no light at any point in time (until the foil started to wear down from the wind, casting numerous dots of light on my bedroom wall.)
Not seeing my mother, I also stopped speaking. Soon captor bonding I felt set in, since his rage was very uncontrollable and I’m a very, very tiny woman. I snuck food from the fridge when my father was in his good moods, or stoned off his ass enough to not mind me eating. He would pig out, drink a gallon of milk in a sitting, eat everything while I slept so I had to hide cans under my mattress to have something to eat during lean times or when he was on some meth bender or whatnot. I later learned I was 73 pounds when I got out.
Learning to occupy myself for five years with books from high school and college by re-reading, or a lovely tiny ass faded TV set that could easily be called a handheld, became very numbing. Over time little pinholes were worn into the foil outside so I traced the anelemma and estimated the months and seasons on the wall. I would get so desperate to get out I once punched through the dry wall and got to the sheet metal and kicked, but he put a stop to that very swiftly, so I didn’t get to attempt egress after that.
A lot of time passed, a few hurricanes, and a shitload of worrying for my mother’s life and my own.. especially after he threatened to cut her into tiny pieces, set the house on fire, and shoot himself so we would all die together.. I kept tabs on his drug binges, staring out the gap at the bottom of my door to monitor his moving around (and honestly to catch the sound of the television as well,) so at the worst binge he was foaming at the mouth on the living room floor, I managed to pop the back door open with a thick butterknife (break-in attempts had rendered it almost useless by that time thankfully) and ran to the next door neighbour. I remember all he did was sit and stare at his TV, switching channels while I was sobbing, didn’t even say a damn word. Fuck you, thanks. No really, thanks.
So off to another house to find a phone, find family members, and eventually move into my mothers’ house (she had managed to get out a couple years before my escape!) I fled in 2012 and am grateful to be alive. Just wish I could find work, very very small resume due to being under a rock since college, but it’s south Louisiana and I hear everyone is having trouble.
Things did end well though, he went to rehab, gave up his anger problems, and turned into a completely different man. The fifth time he came down with cancer, we took him in, and I did his hospice (admin’d meds, watched his oxygen, washed his sad poor little feet since he could barely move, did his meals, etc.) I’m grateful I had four actual months to know this man that was my father, and to clear the air. My eyes well up with tears when I think about this, because I could have had a father… but at least I knew him for a few months and took care of him, letting my (and his) anger go. So… Broke, unemployed, no car, living on the couch of a Jehovah’s witness and I just wish I could be positive about the future. My heart goes out to other people in this thread, just know you’re not alone!
Sorry for the formatting, huge lack of sleep right now.