Why is it I can go along for ages with certain horrid memories tucked away so deep it’s like they never happened, and then BAM, awaken one morning – this morning – to discover one of them out and about and abusing me anew? I don’t know.

He used to take the dog out without a leash.

My son’s dog. His beloved Golden who was never taught to go off leash. Hell, the dog could barely walk on a leash. Every single solitary time he took the dog out leash-less, the dog would disappear. Sometimes for hours. My son would be sobbing. Together we’d drive around in a panic, looking for the dog. And you know what HE would do? He’d come storming, pounding into the house, slamming doors and yelling that the dog was gone, and it was our fault. Mine and my son’s.

I’m sorry. You lose our dog and it’s OUR fault?

This happened so many times, each time more traumatic than the one before. And it’s not like I didn’t beg him not to let the dog off the leash. But listen to me? Never. Not once.

Why is this memory – these memories, because it happened too many times to count – making me sick today, so many years after the fact?  I don’t know. Maybe it’s my subconscious reminding me to stay vigilant.

Things are good now, Susan, but stay alert! You thought they were good before and look what happened. Look what you put your son – both of your sons – through.

Yes, yes. I’m alert. I swear. Now please, get back in your box and go away.