Sometimes I come home and wish I hadn't.
Sometimes I walk through the front door and feel like the air inside the house has turned to poison.
I left school for the day a couple of hours ago - purposely leaving late enough that I wouldn't be home for dinner. I usually try to minimize the amount of time I spend at home. Everything's just easier that way.
I had a plan for all the things I would do when I got home. Make a coffee. Finish some assignments I've been procrastinating on. Burn a candle in my new candle holder. Feed the fish, water the plants, pet the cat. Make tea and go to bed early.
So much for most of that now.
I came home to a house filled with tension. Mom warned me to stay upstairs. Dad had set my brother into a panic attack over something stupid that my brother wasn't even responsible for. My 5-foot-7 excuse for a father can make my 20-year-old, 6-foot-6 brother so upset that he can't breathe, and so angry that he inadvertently clenched his fist so hard, he broke his glasses. I knocked on my brother's door and found him buried under his blankets, just sitting awake in the dark.
This is not the way a family should be.
I hate to say it, because it is a horrible thing to say, but the rest of us would be better off without Dad. He's capable of sending my brother into panic attacks and making it so he can't breathe. He's capable of sending me into panic attacks, only instead of losing control of my lungs, I take it out on my body. He's capable of making Mom cry.
He's not physically abusive, but there are other forms of abuse. And while I don't believe anyone should be left completely alone in the world...I also know that he does a lot more harm than good. He doesn't show love. His mood is unpredictable, sometimes cruel. I've tried to build some sort of a relationship with him, numerous times, and it only ends up hurting me. Repeatedly. Consistently.
I know I can't fix myself, mentally, as long as I stay in this house, with him. But I don't want to go. Mom has a long list of serious health problems that aren't going away anytime soon - more likely, never - and I want to stay here to support her.
I'm torn between wanting to stay here for Mom's sake, and needing to leave for my own.