There was a second half to that nightmare that cut even deeper than the first. It seemed to be birthed from trauma inflicted years ago. My dad, his girlfriend Kate, and I were cruising down the freeway in my car. My dad was behind the wheel and I was in the passenger seat.
Kate sat in the middle of the back seat. I can’t tell you specifically what initiated the fight that ensued but it brought me back to the terrors of freshman year of high school when resentment seeped through the branches of our family tree. Tension sky rocketed and my dad turned on me with more hostility than a guard dog attacking an intruder.
“I don’t see why you bother trying to conceal it with that hideous green hoodie. We all know you cut. We all know you’re popping pills and using. We see you for what you really are. There’s no point in hiding it. You’re worthless; isn’t that apparent enough by the abandonment of your so-called friends?”
Each line was spewed with acid and cut through my defenses swifter and deeper than any knife ever could. My heart bled with every beat. Kate snickered in the back seat.
I grabbed the wheel demanding he pull over. For once, I took control and demanded that he be the one who exited the car for once instead of me.