I remember how my body would react the moment I heard his car in the driveway, feeling like all my organs would pull together in one tight, cramped ball, protecting one another from the dreaded onslaught. His heavy steps announced his anger as he crossed the house to see me and the children in the den. When he entered our little sanctuary, it was as though he sucked all the air out of the small space, leaving room only for his presence and negative energy. Unaware that he halted all activity, be it folding laundry, talking, homework, he'd plop heavily in his chair. He was too egocentric to realize that he'd created a new silent tension; his wife and children sat quietly waiting for his questions, his derisions, his complaints. He had no idea what a pleasant and ordinary atmosphere he'd destroyed and that he clearly no longer belonged in this family.
caccy46, whose full catalog is here, is a mother of two who's been married for 32 years.