You try to remain unseen, until you are needed. You walk five steps behind, ever-hovering to pick up the pieces, both literally and figuratively. You assume the sentinel role of standing guard alone. You are always protecting; everyone is in perpetual danger around him. You constantly fear his wrath and chaos but can only redirect it at yourself when it comes. And it does come, in varying degrees every day. You chose this, others did not. They are innocent. It’s your duty to draw fire and take the bullets. You become whatever the moment requires. You are a steely barrier between him and your children, your family and friends, neighbors, and the public. He is wrath and chaos.There’s only one way to pacify and lessen the duration of the attack. You have to stand alone and accept what comes without flinching. Like an old, used kitchen sponge, you absorb the hurled words of hate and ugliness. You are full of holes. You stand witness to the things broken. You become a broom and just sweep up the pieces. Material possessions are not important. They are there one minute and gone in the next whirlwind of anger and rage. You feel a sense of fluttering, sick relief like a silent hero in a twisted way when you succeed in facing down the demon..for that moment anyways. You become illogical in the non-existence of logic. You believe you are the cause and the cure. You know he can’t possibly believe his own words, but then do you? Maybe there’s a grain of truth.You doubt yourself daily. You question your sanity, your logic, your intelligence. Maybe there is something wrong with you and he is the normal one. You are the keeper of secrets, his secrets, your secrets. You defend him. You stand by his side. You make excuses for him. You insulate him. You isolate yourself from your family and friends. You take care of him…but not yourself. You become no one. You have no likes or dislikes, no personality, no sense of humor. How can you be someone’s hero when you have no value to yourself?