Usually, I’d get home and my parents would be fighting, instead there was silence. They asked me if we could talk in their room. This wasn’t a good sign because they were together, not fighting for the first time in weeks. That’s how I knew.
I was in the car with my mom and two of her cousins, who she had always been close with. We were driving through a part of town that was unfamiliar to me until we finally pulled up along the sidewalk outside of a small office building, and the car came to a halt. My mom turned to her cousins and said, "I have to do this," got out of the car, and walked into the building. I had no idea where we were, what was in the building, or what she "had to do." I later learned that the building was the leasing office for an apartment complex in a suburb about 20 minutes from my childhood home. I didn't know this until much later, but my mom had been seeking employment, and also a new place for us to live.
My parents fought all through my childhood. Alcohol was always the spark that started the fire. If my dad wasn't home by 7pm, we knew he wouldn't be home until well after midnight, and that he'd be drunk. My mom would wait for him, drinking wine and trying to figure out how to get back at him. Sometimes she'd make me call the bar, ask for him, and ask when he's coming home. I hated that.
We did an intervention for my dad's alcoholism right before Christmas of my freshman year of high school. We thought that it went well, and he agreed that he would go to treatment for his addiction. When we went to visit him for Christmas at the treatment center, he was royally pissed off and tremendously cold. He refused to see us beyond a 15 minute hello.
In all human love it must be realized that every man promises a woman, and every woman promises a man that which only God alone can give, namely, perfect happiness. - Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
“I, Joey, take you Brigid, as my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you until one of us becomes unhappy.” …wait, what?