I like to draw, paint, sculpt, and illustrate.
Around the age of 15, I babysat some kids for my sister’s coworker. One time the couple planned on partying late, so they had me stay the night and sleep on their couch. I woke up that night to an argument between the couple which ended with the man holding the woman against the wall with a knife to her throat. I don’t remember what they were yelling about, or what all he said, but I do remember him pointing the knife at me and threading to kill me if I called the police.
I grew up with a father who was a painter, and a musician among other things. I would wake up to him playing the drums, or painting whenever he had the chance. He also did many of the murals around town for the schools which meant that sometimes I would see him painting while I was at school. This was a very normal thing to me. I expected every house I went to to have gigantic oil paintings and musical instruments everywhere. It took me a while before I realized my dad was special in this way. This was something unique to him, but not something that everyone does or is expected to do.
I worry about the kids I watched. I know that couldn’t have been the first, or the last time their parents fought like that. I highly doubt that was the first time he had threatened to violently harm her too. I don’t know what happened to kids. I worry, that because they grew up in that situation it will seem normal to them and just a thing that everyone does. I was so lucky that I had a relatively safe home to return to, but these kids didn’t have one. It wasn’t until recently, when my boyfriend pointed it out, I realized that I was threatened. All this time, I was ashamed for not doing anything to help them, but also failed to see that I was in danger. I shut down, tried to make sense of the situation and prayed it was just a dream. I wish I did more, I did tell my sister the next day. She was upset I didn’t call her, and never hung out with them again. I try to think about what I could have done, and what I would tell my offspring (if I had any) what to do in that situation. I think it’s easy to not realize what kind of danger you are in, when you’re in the midst of it. It can be easy to tell yourself lies to comfort you through the challenge. It’s once you are safe that you realize how bad and scary it was.