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  • Breathe.

    “He’s doing it again! – CALL DAD!” I heard my sister yell from the next room

    I moved across the country for an escape. To learn how to mature, breathe, and grow without my family to guide me. I wanted to get away from the chaos that my brother likes to create.

    I heard a slammed door accompanied by screaming. At first I could hear the jumble of words my brother was screaming at my mom, and then I could hear actual screaming from my sister as I heard more banging noises – which I have learned is from the throwing of a variety of objects. I could hear the familiar sound of books and sneakers being thrown against the walls.

    I felt my heart drop, as this was the exact reason that I had left my home. I ran across the hall, and locked myself in our bathroom. I didn’t want my body to be another causality of this disease- what I like to call, his chaos.

    I put my back against the wall as I could feel the anxiety building up through my chest and into my throat. I wanted to scream, but I felt paralyzed by the banging that I keep hearing from down the hall. It felt like someone was physically pressing down onto my chest, keeping me from being able to process any thought that I could have- but this time, I knew exactly what to do.

    “SOMEONE CALL DAD. ARE YOU LISTENING? HE’S GETTING WORSE”

    When my brother had his chaos when I lived back at home, I would have to leave. I would run for 15 minutes until I reached my sanctuary- the beach. I would lay my towel down and sit while staring into the deep blue ocean. I would close my eyes and feel the ocean breeze on my face, sometimes sending goose bumps down my arms.

    So that’s what I usually did. But in this case, I couldn’t leave the room… Or I would become a part of his chaos. Or, I would become a casualty- again.

    My brother’s unexplainable and utterly uncontrollable anger has only gotten worse. And his strength was progressing as he decided to pick up his new hobby.. weight lifting. I could barely breathe as i could only imagine the damage he was causing. The banging sounds became louder and i imagined he might be throwing a chair. Physical damage was only a slight worry of mine compared to everything else that his anger causes.

    So I closed my eyes. I covered my ears with my hands and I tried to catch my breath. I could almost smell the ocean water as I coached myself to breathe through the screaming and banging that I could I could hear from down the hall. I felt goose bumps trickle down my arms as I entered my escape.

    “OPEN THE DOOR”

    But in that moment, I couldn’t hear the banging, screaming, or crying. I was OK. I wasn’t there anymore.

    The noises stopped.
    I could finally breathe.
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