The author wishes to advise you that the following passage is very harsh and contains violence.
She was exhausted that Friday night and wanted to go to bed early. She asked her mother if she could beg off doing the dishes that night and was soundly told “NO.”
Suddenly, her father was there in the kitchen yelling at her to get the “GD” dishes done and not to talk back to her mother. She would have explained that she was going to do them, but when she opened her mouth to tell him he reached out grabbing her by the hair. He yanked her head with such force she could hear her scalp popping with his violence. She screamed at the clot of hair in his hands and he again grabbed her by the hair. More popping sounds. Slapping her, she fell to the floor, and now using tactics solely reserved for the boys… he kicked her. She wet her pants.
He left the room.
Sobbing she got up, and looking her mother in the eye said, “I will do your dishes and when I am done I am leaving.”
Her mother then said, “Oh, you’re just tired and you need your sleep, just go to bed.”
“No, I mean it, I will do the dishes and then I am gone.” she said as she walked down the hall to clean up. From the bathroom she could hear her mother yelling for her dad to “…go in and knock some sense into your daughter.”
His reply was, “If she wants to leave let her.” and then louder for her benefit, “And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”
Clothes changed, she looked into the mirror at the mark on her face, and then at the sink full of her hair. She felt her head and found several fist sized bruises from his assault. She stopped crying, did the dishes, packed, and left.
She was eighteen, car-less and therefore on foot. Walking the five miles in the middle of the night she arrived at her friend’s home with a small suitcase, her sleeping bag, and her grandfather’s painting he’d done for her. Finding her friends were out for the evening, she sat on the porch in the dark, and waited for their return.
The next day they gave her a ride to get the rest of her things and she was stunned to see everything she owned in a pile on the front lawn. Her father came out and rebuked her with, “You leave home now and you will not graduate, because you’re too lazy for that!” and “You’ll never amount to anything.”
She finished loading and left him standing there. Later the police would come, and on finding out that she was 18, would advise him that she was of legal age and there was nothing he could do.
In June she graduated.
Her father did not let her family attend.