Once, at the checkout he started a fight. I remember the cashier and the customer ahead of us watching curiously. It looked as though we were a bickering married couple as my father was quite youthful for an older man. It sickens me, the looks we got. Of course he never perceived what he was doing was anything but right.
After we returned home I would run upstairs in a fit of tears. He couldn’t take my crying, it was a weakness to him and he’d use it as a chance to insult and criticise me, saying “Oh here come the waterworks!”
I’d take with me one plastic bag of shopping, filled with a high calorie sandwich, an energy drink, doughnuts, chocolate and two or three bags of crisps. With the TV on high, I’d sit and gorge on my selection to the point of feeling sick (although, I never actually did throw up). It satisfied me. Immediately I felt ashamed of what I had done, often shoving the remnants under my bed or frantically stuffing it in the bin.
He tormented me about waste. If there were any fragments of food left on my plate he would complain that I’m being childish leaving such a small amount and that I should eat it. If I refused he’d call me an “animal” then take back his insult and say, “No, an animal appreciates their food, you’re worse than that”.
So I would eat the last remaining slivers of food. Usually in front of him under his watchful gaze. Feeling sick, I’d try to bring it back up, but most of the time I’d go upstairs, lock myself in my room and cry.