Imprisoned In My Terror


I apologized for his behavior.  Why did I write that letter to our guests blaming myself for his loud, angry, and demeaning outburst?  It was happening yet again – the frightening anger.

There was a fearful look in my son’s eyes in the bedroom as he cowered on the bed while his father screamed and displayed a physically threatening stance.  I was responding with immobilization because I didn’t know what to do at that time.  How could I fight back and show a mother’s guard and respond while an audience was near?  The hair on the back of my neck was standing up.  My panic and the pounding of my heart ensued.  I was screaming out loud with no voice, unable to make any sound.

He was out of control and I was unable to maintain the environment around me.  I was only able to freeze with a gnawing anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  My head was spinning with possible responses that they could say or do.  There could be the ultimate response yet again of the Department of Social Services being alerted.  I withdrew and could not fight at that moment.  The fear was overwhelming.  There was no way to cover up the viciousness of his anger.  All they said that night was, “Is everything alright in the bedroom?  Can we do anything?”.

Would they see the abuse, and would there be negative consequences?  Why did I later feel the need to write that letter and apologize and blame myself for my response to (basically) HIS behavior?  In the letter, I said “I’m sorry for my behavior.  I wasn’t feeling like myself”.  This panic showed its ugly head time and time again.  Always being on guard was my way of life.

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