When you are used to living with violence, it doesn’t always occur to you how others will react to it. I experienced this first hand as I was a teenager when I had a friend over to spend the night…
My mother’s best friend, Patty, stayed over frequently. She had a long time on-again-off-again relationship with her baby daddy, Don. They both had stayed at our house on this particular weekend.
Don was a bad guy. Everyone in town was afraid of him, including the police. He looked a little like Charles Manson with the wild wiry hair and crazy eyes. He dealt drugs among other things and could get really violent. Most of the time he was at our house, he was sober and polite. This would not be one such time.
My mother was out bar-hopping with some other friends. Patty and Don were at the house with my friend Jess and I. We were watching t.v. when the screaming started.
Don and Patty had started arguing which quickly led to him slapping her around. I dove into action, ran into the room, and yelled at him to stop. He was pulling her hair and hitting her. Don didn’t stop. He paid no attention to me, and I told him that if he didn’t stop that I was going to call the police.
This is an ongoing story of my life and some of the childhood adversities that I faced. If you would like to start at the beginning of my tale, please read Four-year-old and Mother Survive Bludgeoning by River Rock, or go to the Childhood category and start at the bottom.
He threatened me, but I ignored that. I called 911.
By the time the police had arrived, he had stopped hitting her. I told the police that he needed to leave. He rather calmly told the police that he was not leaving. He said that my mother had given him permission to be there and that he wasn’t going anywhere. This infuriated me.
I am trying to have a weekend with my friend Jess, who is now huddled in a corner and crying and whimpering, and here is this madman who refuses to leave my house.
To my shock and surprise, the policemen say that he doesn’t have to go if my mother has given him permission to be there! WHAT???!!!
I told them that my name was also on the lease and that I wanted him to be removed- but yet again I am only a teenager, so I apparently have no say.
I started calling bars but could not find the one my mother was currently at, repeatedly hearing that I had either just missed her or that they hadn’t seen her.
Don was calm now. He apologized to me and told me that he would behave and that nothing more would happen.
I thought that maybe everything would be okay…that didn’t last very long. Within the hour, he and Patty were at it again. He started getting very irate with me as well and kept threatening to kick in the t.v.
Again, I called 911. The police came out again, but Don was still claiming to have permission to be there. We seemed to be at a stalemate when I was finally able to get in touch with my mother. I put the police on the phone with her, and she told them that Don had to go.
Here the police are standing in my front yard, three officers if I remember correctly, at least one with his hand on his weapon and Don tells them that he will leave with them after he finishes his beer.
Like I said, the police were even frightened off this crazy man, so the officer just waited for him to drink his beer as I’m screaming in the background. I just cannot believe what is happening.
Finally, they take him away. That’s when I notice poor Jess is still crying her eyes out. She had sat outside on the porch in the cold for the last hour after Don had erupted again. Even after he left, she was afraid to stay at my house. She was terrified and traumatized. She called her father to come and get her.
Being used to the violence at the time, I didn’t understand why she was shaking and insisted on going home.
I can’t imagine living like that now or being around this crazy man and his irrational behavior, but back then I suppose it was par for the course. Jess’s reaction was appropriate, normal actually, but I was so used to the abnormality that I couldn’t see it. I was just upset that I was now home alone, again.