My dad is some kind of bipolar mixed with an insane anger disorder. He would beat the hell out of my mother and my brother. For the most part he spared me. I was the smart one, he said, his favorite of his living punching bags.
I stopped telling him that I loved him as a kid. I couldn't even look him in the face. I couldn't sit with him and not feel like the air had been sucked out of my lungs. I'd walk home from school on eggshells worried that I'd get there and my mother would be dead.
For the first time in 14 years I went to their dilapidated home to have Thanksgiving dinner along with my siblings. It was surreal. We pretended to be a normal and loving family so well, but at the same time I felt like their house covered me in a gross film and I worried in the back of my irrational brain that I'd bring it home and like a plague or wildfire it'd spread everywhere and destroy my life.
Of course that didn't happen I just have an over active imagination.