him? Were there some magic words I could use to halt or even prevent episodes?
Then came the occasion when Jenny wandered into the living room at the very
moment Charles wrapped his hands around my neck in a chokehold, his face red with
seething rage. Frightened by the looks on our faces, she wailed her protest. That did it. I
would not have our daughters exposed to any more verbal explosions or physical abuse of
their mother. I was raised in a calm environment, and Jenny was already suffering from
the early signs of a panic disorder.
Gagging from the pressure of Charles’ thumbs on my throat, I uttered a guttural order.
“Stop!” It was enough to break through some invisible wall blocking his consciousness.
He heard Jenny’s cries and saw the terror in my eyes and backed away, covering his face
with trembling hands.
“You’re sick, Charles,” I said in a voice that
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