After years of threats and physical bullying at the hands of a husband who was more intent on partying than on parenting, says Monica Busch, her mother checked out some books on divorce from the local library.
Just eight years old at the time, Busch, who was already aware of her parents’ turbulent relationship and helping care for her 6-year-old twin brothers, couldn’t help judging, wondering why her mother didn’t just leave her angry and abusive father.
“I know now what it’s like to stay with someone who takes and takes and takes,” says Busch.
Her parents, it turned out, didn’t divorce then but stayed together, fighting and having two more children, for almost another decade.
Busch, in the meanwhile, moved out and started college, prepared for a new life, one that would be free of angry fights and abuse. But Busch says, she got caught in her own destructive cycle, “dating someone who, in so many ways, was a younger version of my dad.”