This morning, my mom left at 5 am to take my brother and his roommate back to school, 6 hours away. She was going to round-trip it today. My father was going to take me later in our other car, to school 2.5 hours away. I don't want to get into why the boys couldn't make their own way back to school, but for me, the nearest train or bus station is over halfway to my school anyway, and I took the train home, and generally it's just not a big deal.

I can't sleep at all until after my mom and the boys leave because I'm having so much anxiety about her driving. This is not abnormal - anytime anyone I love is doing significant traveling I freak out. I finally go downstairs and try to sleep in our tv room. As I'm trying to sleep, at 5 am, my dad makes a bowl of cereal, comes in and eats where I'm trying to sleep. Okay, it's obnoxious, but he's an obnoxious self-centered guy. I figure he'll spend ten minutes, then I'll be able to fall asleep since the tv is on which usually helps. Then he goes back for a second bowl. Then a third. Then I finally say "Okay I get it I'll go back upstairs" at which point he huffily gets up and leaves. Let it be known at this point that my dad a) knows about my anxiety about people travelling, b) knows that if I come downstairs at 5 am it's because I can't sleep and I'm trying to get the tv to lull me to sleep. At some point while he's downstairs I mention to him that instead of leaving at 12 we can leave around 1 if he wants, because I'm not in an incredible rush. Let it be noted here that he HATES having a deadline on him, so in every way this is a concession to him.

I fall asleep for a few hours, and wake up to the following text from my brother: "I still have the keys to the other car in my pocket. I'm so sorry. Mom will drive you back tomorrow morning or dad will drive you back later tonight. Mom should be home around 7." Okay, that sucks because I worked really hard all weekend because I wanted to spend today unfucking my room and drinking a little with my friends and just gearing up for the rest of the semester. So when I tell my dad I'm a little teary. He responds with (after swearing about how lazy and self-centered my brother is) "Stop it. You're the one who wanted to move going back to school from 12 to 1." I just stare at him for a second and go back downstairs, start doing homework.

Advertisement

My youngest brother comes in does something obnoxious because he's 12 and doesn't know not to exasperate tense situations yet, I snap at him, and my father comes downstairs full of rage. He does what he always does, which is construct his own view of what happened which is full of him projecting his anger about other things. Essentially, it became very clear that he was mad that a) I was in the tv room so he couldn't have it to himself, b) he was being expected to take me back to school. I don't know if any of you have ever experienced this before, but when you're trying to tell someone how they've hurt you and they respond with "yes, okay I'm the worst person ever" and how helpless it makes you feel, like you can't be heard at all. That's been my whole life. It got physical. He put his hands around my throat (it's happened before). He doesn't squeeze like he's choking me, it's clearly meant to intimidate me and scare me into shutting up.

I text my mom, she's already at the school (it's around noon now) she's dropping my brother off and is turning right around. Says to stay calm until she gets home and she'll take me to a train or to school first thing in the morning.

Then about an hour later she calls. Her car is broken down. The alternator is broken. They can't get the part until tomorrow afternoon. She won't be home until tomorrow night. I'm now stranded at home, with my father, pretending this morning didn't happen. My mom is stranded in connecticut, with no way to get to us, but car keys for our car.

I don't know what to do guys.