After that day with Bandit, my life seemed to be in a haze. Yet as a young child I merely locked that day away in my memory and went about everyday. I was still living and laughing everyday. But that nightmare with Bandit was only the first of many nightmares to come and every single one just got worse and worse.

Another memory: the next big nightmare in my childhood that stands so vividly i can always recollect every detail and every action as if it had just happened yesterday. You see a couple years had passed from the that fateful November Sunday and over the time my father’s drinking had increased dramatically. My Mother’s father, my grandfather, had since passed away from cirrhosis of the liver due to drinking and even that didn’t deter my father from drinking. My father was an electrician at the cable company in the little Arizona town we lived in and he had since quit. According to him, he quit due to Unfavorable Working Conditions. I later realized he quit because his company realized he was very good at what he did and there weren’t many cable technicians in Wilcox, Arizona to begin with. So, unemployed and depressed he began drinking heavily and nearly every night.

One particular night, this particular memory, was either Friday or Saturday night. I remember it being the weekend because the rule was I could only stay up late on the weekends as I had no school the next day. I was sitting on the couch watching a movie or television show with my mother in the rocking chair she had bought when she had my little bother. My father was outside talking with my Uncle Ed. My Uncle had left a while later and my mother went to the door to tell him to come inside. She came back in and sat down. I remember the next series of events quite vividly. I looked up when my father came stumbling back into the living room. With his drink in his right hand he stood behind my mother’s chair and with his left hand fully stretched over the chair and punched her straight in the face with such force he knocked her and the chair down backwards. My mother, the fighter she has always been, immediately came up swinging back at him. I remained on the couch for several minutes. I was in shock at what i was witnessing. My Dad had just punched my mom in the face out of the complete blue.

After several punches and kicks were exchanged i watched him smack my mom across the face so hard that her glasses went flying across the room. At that moment, I stood up and screamed at the top of my lungs for them to stop but they were in a different world. One where my mom was fighting for her life and my dad was trying to subdue her. Down the hall, my little brother, still in diapers, was crying and screaming himself knowing as young children do that there was something very wrong and it scared him. Seeing my little 2 year old brother afraid like that made me jump in to the action i knew how to do. Scream “STOP!” even louder. The fighter continued nonetheless. Then my mother knocked my dad to the ground but he tripped her up and she ended up in a choke hold. Seeing my mom struggling for air and to escape my father’s suffocating hold i moved in to help her.

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  • Patricia Oshier Bruening on Sep 16, 2009

    I had no idea this happened after I stormed out that night. I\’ll be reading more of your articles , finding out the things I don\’t remember. I was so ticked at him by the time I got to the end I could only think, \”if he crosses my path again, I\’ll killhim.\”

    Sounds like you\’re dealing with it all pretty well, though. I don\’t remember the fight part of this but I probably will when my mind is ready to handle it. Well done, and I so wish none of this had happened–but hindsight is always 20/20. What matters is what we do now. You are the strongest person I know and I can\’t take credit for that. YOu\’ve done well in spite of m e. Now, off to do errands.



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