Chapter 6: Not Okay

So Tina* and I arrived home from the gym. The plan was for the three of us to watch a movie, but as we pulled in, I could hear the stereo. Mike* and loud music never ended well. My gut feeling was right, it was about to go down.

When we walked in, I made a conscious effort to be happy, but for whatever reason, Mike had already decided that I was going to be a downer. He was happy and polite with Tina, his niece, but every time he opened his mouth to me, venom came out. It was like he was trying to be cool in front of Tina by putting me down, rolling his eyes when I said something, making shitty comments.

I ignored it. The last thing I wanted was to start a fight. But he continued. I don’t know how much he’d drank at this point, but enough that he was starting to get drunk. He was more animated and louder than usual. Then he brought out the tequila. He got angry when I said I didn’t want a shot, told me I was a boring bitch. I took a shot to keep him happy.

He kept going for a couple hours, slinging insults and talking to me like I was a piece of shit. Then he told me that he was going to “cave my head in”. Tina was very uncomfortable, but she’d done a shot of tequila too, and wanted to wait a while before driving. She was stranded there, listening to her uncle belittle and threatened his fiancé and her friend.

Tina and I went and sat outside. I was angry that I was putting in so much effort to stay positive that night, and keep him happy, and nothing was good enough for him. He always hated it if I turned the music down, so I specifically didn’t touch it, even though it was deafeningly loud. Tina told me that she hated seeing her uncle treat a woman that way. I told her that I can’t put up with it anymore. All he does is drink and treat me like shit, while I work and support him, financially and emotionally. I knew that I needed to leave, I just didn’t know how. She told me that she’d come pick me up in the morning so we could go for a drive and make a plan.

Mike came out and sat with us. He continued his insults, and finished off the bottle of tequila. Then he finished the rest of the beer in the fridge. Then he finished all of the wine in the house. That was it, he’d literally drank every drop of alcohol in the house. He was loud and slurring, and not making any sense. He was talking about how he wanted to cook a BBQ for Tina, but he never got up to do it, he just talked about it, and then he started to get angry at me because I was “stopping him” for cooking it. I told him I wasn’t stopping him from doing anything, that he was welcome to cook a BBQ if he wanted. He still didn’t.

About another hour went by and he started to sober up. He made himself a cup of coffee and Tina decided that she was ready to drive home.

As soon as Tina left I went inside and folded laundry. You know when you’re angry and anxious, and you need to do something to keep you busy? I needed to be doing something, so laundry it was.