In the Corner

Here I am again. Nose to the wall. My gaze is steady. I could stand here all day. This won’t break me. Standing in the corner isn’t teaching me any lesson. I like it over here. It’s quiet. I begin to remove myself from the situation. I live in my head. I think of being an adult and living my life away from the insanity. I think of speaking my mind. I think of my pride. I think of my relief. One day I’ll be able to make my own decisions. Until then, I’ll stand here. In this quiet corner I know so well. There are only two spots where the paint dripped before it dried. I wonder if this was the work of my father or if he painted over the last person’s drip marks. Likely the latter. He’s a master of perfection.

*Beep Beep Beep*

That’s my signal. When the timer goes off, I get to leave my post. I turn around to make a break for my bedroom but she’s waiting, yelling. “It’s an amazing thing. You’ve ruined Valentine’s Day before it ever happened. How could you tell me you don’t love me the day before Valentine’s Day? What kind of daughter are you? A terrible one. That’s for sure. Get out of my face.” Gladly. I sprint up the stairs, turn right, and close the door. I’m finally safe.

I know I shouldn’t have said it. I knew she’d be mad. But I guess deep down I was trying to infuriate her. I want her to feel my pain. I tried to make her happy. I cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen while she was at work. I thought that was enough. But I didn’t start the oven. I know I was supposed to, but I got so caught up in cleaning, I just forgot to pre-heat it. Knowing full well it’ll take ten minutes to preheat the oven to 350 degrees, I wonder why she didn’t just do it. Screaming at me for ten minutes about how I always make her life more difficult and what a burden I am, followed by pre-heating the oven, took twice as long. But I imagine for her it was twice as much fun. I can’t do anything right.

I know I shouldn’t have said it. But what do you stay to someone screaming at you? Someone whose house you just spent four hours cleaning. I should’ve just run away to my bedroom oasis in tears. But I didn’t. Not this time. This time she’s going to feel the pain. Fury feels better than emptiness. My words will sting. I knew what I said.

I know I shouldn’t have said it. What is dinner going to be like? It’s Sunday. The good news is school starts again tomorrow. The bad news is my father is likely intoxicated. I wonder when the Packers game is. If it was at 1:00 p.m., he’ll be more drunk than if he’s waiting for the 8:00 p.m. game. I wish I could run downstairs and grab my phone. Then I could gauge how this meal is going to go. But I left it in the kitchen, and I am not stepping foot in there until I have to.

Meatloaf is on the menu. The good news is it’ll take an hour to cook so I have an hour of peace up here. The bad news is my dad isn’t a huge fan and my mom is already in a terrible mood. You guessed it, a recipe for disaster. I didn’t think this through. I shouldn’t have said it.


JoAnna Baanana
JoAnna Baanana
Mother, Marketer, Writer, and Reader. I’m a mother of two wonderful little humans. I’m also an avid reader, an insatiable learner, and a self-acknowledged survivor. I’m grateful to work at O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) because I’ve learned the self-soothing and restorative craft of writing. I used to resist calling myself a writer because I have a finance degree. I naively thought I needed an English degree to effectively express myself in writing. But now, writer is a title I proudly wear, and writing is something I’ll practice for the rest of my life.

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    • Am I that transparent? I have a wonderful relationship with my therapist and being a mother has taught me more about myself than I’d ever have imagined.

  1. JoAnna, thank you for writing and sharing this story. The situation you described can not only be upsetting and stressful it can ruin your self-esteem as well. In times of extreme stress, abuse, and anxiety any one of us at any time can say something we should not have that may be hurtful. It is wrong to do. We are all flawed in one way or another and have to try to be the best possible person we can be. If we try our hardest that is all anybody can ask of us.

  2. JoAnna – An amazing honest story – the pain, anger, hurt, betrayal – it all comes through. You demonstrate courage by writing pieces that force us to see that not all the world is sunshine and lollipops. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Len. You can’t truly appreciate the sweetness of lollipops and warmth of the sunshine without knowing struggle. The beauty is you don’t get to chose one or the other, life will always bring you both.

    • Part fiction with a twist of reality. The way the human brain works, most of our memories are part fiction anyway. After my last piece on ACEs I felt the need to have a l series of fictional writings – to put the science in the story. If you read this one, its easy to see how stress can impact the way a child thinks and develops.