I'm sure my mom and dad had been having problems before I noticed but the time I remember everything starting was Halloween of 2008. I was in the 4th grade and my mom picked me up early so we could decorate the house. When we got home, my mom was really upset and my dad was home early from work. When I asked them what was wrong, my dad told me he had lost his job. Being so young I didn't realize what his meant for us. My mom had been a stay at home mom since I was born so now that I'm older I realize this moment meant we had no money. At the time the stock market was down so it was really hard for my dad to find a new job. Because of his frustration and anger he began to drink. As time went on he became an alcoholic and this is where things started to get bad. My parents started to fight and to keep it away from me and my brother they would only fight at night. Their screaming and yelling woke me up almost every time and I would sit at the edge of my bed right by my door and just listen. My dad would be in the kitchen breaking glasses demanding my mom to give him her purse, keys and phone. I remember she would hide it in the oven so he wouldn't find it. I never really understood what they were fighting about, I just knew it was marital problems between them. One night I got so scared that my dad was going to hurt my mom I ran out of my room crying begging them to stop fighting. When they realized I had been watching they went to be and ended it for the night. That didn't last long. The same cycle started happening over and over. As my mom grew tired of being screamed at she started taking trips to her hometown of Corpus Christi to get away. This left me and my brother with my dad. My mom leaving brought up a new feeling of abandonment. She was the one that made us feel safe and she just left us behind.. this made my dad even more angry and gave them a whole new reason to fight. My parent began to live in separate bedrooms but still that didn't help the fighting. On my 10th birthday I had a group of friends over to celebrate with me. At first only my mom was home because my dad was out at the bar. Eventually he came home drunk and automatically began fighting with my mom in front of all my friends. My dad took my moms phone and broke it. One of my friends phones had disappeared and my mom had later told me she had taken it because she needed something to call the police with if she needed it. They took their fighting to their bedroom but you could still hear them screaming. I spent most of that time crying in my friends lap. Suddenly we heard a loud hit and I ran into their bedroom. When I walked in I saw my dad and mom sitting on the floor and a piece of the bathroom door frame broken off. It turns out that my mom had locked herself in the bathroom to protect herself from my dad and my dad decided to punch the door in and ended up breaking it. I had finally had enough and screamed at them to stop and that they had already ruined my birthday. My dad went to his room and my friends and I went to the living room to watch a movie. It was about 11 and there was a knock at the door. It was the police. The pulled me outside and asked me a few questions about my parents fighting. Apparently my dad had sent a picture of his hand to my aunt accusing my mom of hitting my dad and breaking his hand. My aunt then proceeded to call the police on her. They said because it was so late and my mom was in charge of my friends that they had to ask my dad to leave. I was actually glad for one night I wouldn't have to be in the middle of them fighting. A few days later everything was fine we were all having a good time watching tv and then my dad snapped. He started arguing with my mom and eventually went into his room. I went in there to check on him and he was laying on his bed with a bat In his hand. I asked him why he had it and his reply was “Your mom has hired someone to kill me and I need this to protect myself” I ran out of the room and started crying in my mom's arms. A few minutes later my dad came out of the room with the bat in his hand and held it over my mom's head. My brother and I hid under her arms as my dad said “if you ever talk to me like that again I'll crush you skull in with this bat” and then walked away. One Saturday morning a few days after that, my dad got us up really early and told us we had to help him move out. We then helped my dad pack up his stuff and move it into his mom's house. This began the new journey of split custody. They decided that we would spend one week with each parent to try and make it easier on us. Although the fighting at night had stopped the going back and forth between houses really took a toll on both me and my brother. I began to get really angry at my parents and I started being a really mean person. My brother once asked me “why are you so mean all the time?” He was too young to understand the situation so he was too young to know why I was so angry. Soon after that my parents got a divorce and for the first time ever I had to move out of the house I had lived in since I was born. The new argument was who we would live with. The one memory I have is of both my parents crying asking me and my 7 year old brother which parent we wanted to live with more. We didn't understand why we had to chose and the choice shouldn't have been put on us. The next few years things calmed down a bit but my parents decided to get remarried because they didn't want us to grow up in a “broken home.” This was the worst decision they could of made. Not too long after they got remarried the fighting started again. And it was like nothing had ever changed. I was in the middle of their arguments passing messages back and forth from one another's bedrooms because they were too childish and stubborn to talk to each other. The drinking was still going so my dad was even more abusive to my mom. She was living in our study and my mom had a hunting knife in her stuff to protect herself. My dad found it one night and as I stood in the doorway of my room I watched him hold it up to her throats and say “if I wanted to kill you I could” that night I had completely lost all faith I had left in my dad. They had tried marital counseling and every other possibility but nothing helped. Not to long after my parents got a divorce for the second and final time. Again the custody battles started up. I remember one night my dad had agreed to let us stay with our mom but later decided he wanted us. My dad came over to our house and was banging on the door demanding my mom to give us to him. Our neighbors ended up calling the police and the officer made my dad go home and let us stay with our mom cause it was 11:30 on a school night. Soon after I went into a really deep state of depression and I developed severe anxiety. I lost a lot of weight and spent most of my night in bed alone crying and I began to self harm. My parent never realized how much I knew about their fighting so they didn't realize why I was so depressed and why I would have sudden breakdowns and still to this day don't know about my scars. We still to this day live out of bags going back and forth between houses and I personally never feel at home anywhere. I was in middle school at the time so things were extra hard on me. It wasn't until 8th grade when I became close to one of my teachers that things started to change for me. She became a personal counselor to me but mostly so was a grown up I could look up to. I came to her when I was feeling down and she was always there to support me. With her support and my determination to have a better future for myself and eventually for my kids I pulled myself out of my depression by surrounding myself with the things I loved like softball. Softball helped me take my mind off things while getting some anger out. Because of that support I had and because of softball I was able to overcome my depression and I vowed to myself that I would never let a man treat me like that and that I would have a better home for my children than I did. Although things are still not perfect with my parents and I don't really have a good relationship with them, all that truly matters to me is that I have changed my life for the better and that I've learned how to deal with those negative situations. I do still have some anxiety from the memories that are still there and I have developed a few insecurities and fears but now I know that I have people there to support me and that there is always a way to help myself get better. It may be hard but there is always a way to get better.
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