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Stop and Stare

This is not something I like to share but it's important for all of us.

My Mother & Father (when my Mom was alive) were very passionate people, and they loved each other very much. This was never something I every questioned.  Whenever I would see them or leave them, a hug and kiss were standard fare in my family.

Their emotions were so vibrant and visible, akin to watching Kabuki theater. Wildly expressive and almost to the point of anxious expectation. Smiles were wide, hands were always moving and the volume was always....a bit high.

When my Mother laughed, she would electrify those around her and bring you into the comedic foray, whether you felt an invitation was necessary or not. It was something I loved about her and always will. My Father not to be emotionally outdone, would exude a directness that was captivating and incontestable. Black was black and white was white, there were no emotional gray areas in our household.

And my parents would argue at times and neither would back down. As I got older I grew to accept this, even though I didn't care for it. I hated it actually. When I was younger I secretly felt sad and scared as no child wants to see the people you love, argue and fight. In my young forming mind, it was the ultimate hypocrisy.

One such memory that persists in my mind but is equally fleeting, was when my parents were arguing very loudly in our small kitchen.  It was a typical warm summer day, slowly moving along. I remember seeing the argument from the living room, like a small fire that immediately turned to crisis. I was perhaps at the time 15 or 16 years old. I saw my Father crowd towards my Mother in what I thought was an inevitable strike. And with a strength and speed that only youth is afforded, I was quickly behind him with my right arm tightly around his throat.

And then it happened, they both just stopped and me.

My father and I immediately went from taut tension to wilted plants, his eyes locked with mine, shone with shame and then looked away. My Mother as well, quiet, was still and silent.

The emotional titans that were my parents in that moment had little to offer. They both unpreparedly apologized and as the sun began to wane into darkness the house became silent.

We never really spoke about this and at times I of wish we did, but I don't think we knew how to. And as the years went by, the arguments subsided in both intensity and my happiness of course.

And I think at times my parents struggled with their marriage like many families. I always knew they loved my brother and I and after this incident, they both re-iterated that it wasn't my fault and that they both loved each other. But I will say after this, my Father never came close to doing anything like that my happiness of course. 

And it isn't to say I haven't argued with girlfriends in the past, I definitely have with equal passion as my parents. But something that I've never done was hit them.

So from this very difficult memory and incredible life lesson, I encourage everyone to stop and stare, examine your actions, and become better than the day before.

To women everywhere, I support you and #ISTANDWITHHER also.

Gender-based Violence
Northern America
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