Brother Be Well Wellness for Boys and Men of Color

It was a beautiful day in the Martinez home. My father and I were setting up our stereo equipment in the living room. We enjoyed bonding over our favorite music and playing air instruments. My father was a drummer, and I loved playing electric guitar with a broomstick. Before we began our jam session, my mother entered the room. Her eyes traveled across our improvised band set up. Noticing one of the speakers resting on her wicker basket, she became highly upset. She stomped over and removed it from the basket. My father moved to stop her from doing so, and as he attempted pulling the speaker from her hands, my mom shoved him away with her shoulder.

Furious, my father ripped the extension cord out of the stereo system and began whipping my mother with it repeatedly. I was frozen in fear. After 19 years of witnessing domestic violence in my household, I finally said, “That’s enough!”

After watching my dad whip my mom in the face and back several times, I reacted with violence, morphing into fight mode. I physically assaulted my dad in my mother’s defense, punching my father in the face until he fell to the ground. My mother ran upstairs to find safety in her room. I can still remember my body shaking as the adrenaline stopped rushing. Then, my anxiety kicked in intensely. I was terrified of what my father would do next.

Eventually, I left the house and waited around the corner for a friend to pick me up. I had a hard time processing the abusive situation. I felt like I was no better than my father because he was abusive and I tried to solve the problem with more abuse. I reacted violently so he would not continue to whip my mother or abuse her any longer.

Justin Martinez, BBW Host/ Content Contributor

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