My dad was an alcoholic. There were times he went overboard when he’d been drinking, maybe five or six. A couple of times he used a belt. I remember in 8th grade going to gym class and intentionally being the last one to change into my gym clothes so no one would see the welts on my back. After gym I was the last to shower to avoid the welts being detected. He was more likely to use his fists. A couple times he’d raise his fists, one on each side of my head, and yell that I didn’t know which side it was coming from. A couple times during these onslaughts he even said he was going to kill me, and I thought he might.
The stress of living in a household where you’re told you’re going to be killed was probably the worst of it. Waiting for him to come home at night was stressful because you wondered how liquored up he might be, and if he might pick on you. I’ve read many kids going through domestic violence figure they did something wrong and they deserved the abuse, but I never did. I always knew I was being mistreated.
It’s decades later and I’ve made a documentary – One Punch Homicide – that I’d like to think might reduce domestic violence more than anything in our time.