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The following submission was written anonymously by a mother who is living with an emotionally and psychologically abusive man. This man is not her husband, but rather her mother-in-law's husband. The mother, her husband, and their son live in the same home as his mother, as many Spanish households do. The abusive man, whom will be referred to as Gato, is a self-proclaimed demon. Struggling with the familial tension caused by Gato, the mother, and her husband are conflicted. They fear for the mother-in-law's wellbeing if they leave her alone with this man. At the same time, they can't take the abuse Gato puts forth against them and their young child.

This submission is a creative piece written by the mother, from the perspective of her young child, whom Gato is disgusted by.

We encourage all mommies who need to release to submit their work anonymously to

Dear Journal,

I am living with a monster. He only comes home on the weekends, but when he does, he brings a dark cloud of misery with him. Mud from his work boots tracks all over the house. It smells like poop, but he enjoys it. His hate for me and my parents runs through the house. He cracks open his beer. Gaining confidence as he drinks, he starts to loudly complain about our presence. He does not like when we play. He drinks the beers with the wasp on it. He buzzes around me like he wants to sting me. He treats me like I am a bug he wants to squash. But, he knows, like wasps, if he were to sting me, he would only hurt himself. So, instead, he spreads his aroma of hate and disgust. I ask my Gramma why she allows this monster in our home. She says it is because he helps pay the bills. I wonder, "Is this the cost she is willing to pay?"

Gato calls my mother "la punta negra", but Gramma does not believe us. Is it because of the color of my skin he treats me so bad? Is the color of our skin the reason why she does not believe us? Even though he his a monster, I try to play with him. He ignores my existence when I offer him a toy. My parents tell me about prejudice, apologizing that I am experiencing it at such a young age. The monster never gave me a hug my entire life, yet my grandmother says he is my "Tito", even though it is clear he does not want to be.

Gato has not spoken to my uncle in about 3 years, even though they live in the same house. Gramma sees this and accepts it. It hurts my feelings to see her sitting on this couch with this monster.

My parents always tell me I am beautifully chosen by the Most High. Every day and night, we pray that HE will rebuke this evil from our lives. My grandmother deserves love. We all do. We pray my gramma will open her eyes. We pray she will be this chain from this monster. We pray she will see that money is not everything.

Meanwhile, my parents and I practice peace, joy and compassion. My mother tells me I teach her many things about joy, gratefulness and peace. I am so happy they are my parents.

One thing I did learn about monsters, is they only have as much power as you give them. Monster are really weak and afraid. The power they get is from fear. Just like the movie, Monsters INC!

I know we are protected, and the monster will be gone sooner than he thinks. How do I know? Because evil cannot prevail.

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