Our father is a werewolf 1.
When I was a child he was fun, playful and cuddly one minute, a bit like a puppy-dog and then, out of the blue, for no discernible reason (certainly nothing to do with the moon!), he would suddenly morph into an angry, ranting, violent and terrifying caricature of himself - the rabid and irrational wolf-side of the otherwise intelligent and considerate puppy-dog.
I could not tell my friends about this, of course, or bring them home to play or have tea, in case he would be there and would not be the docile and sociable puppy-daddy for the duration of their visit. Our home and all that happened therein, therefore, had to be a well kept secret.
There was many a night when I would lay awake plotting how I would get hold of, and put to use, some Wolfsbane. It was empowering and somehow reassuring to know that I could solve everything for our mother, my brother and myself but, at the same time, it always left me despairing that this might one day, sooner or later, become necessary. This felt like an act of violence and, at the same time, extreme mercy -- to put him out of the agony he was in due to causing us so much pain. I would never have the courage and strength, however, to actually enact this plan.
Ultimately, he attacked my brother one day while mum and I were out at work. Dad had never lain a finger on my brother before, usually being violent only to mum and I because we, in his mind, were the evil parties. For my mum, this was the final straw in an extremely heavy and rat infested haystack on her back. She could forgive the rape, beatings and emotional torture that she had to withstand and we were both used to him lashing out at me when I tried to protect her but my brother was off limits and usually kept himself out of the turmoil.
Our next-door neighbour rescued my brother from where he had barricaded himself in our bathroom while dad tried to smash down to door to get to him. Her husband was able to manhandle my father away for long enough that my brother could let himself out and run next door. Mum contacted the werewolf catchers 2 as soon as the neighbour called her to let her know what had happened and that bro was safe at her house. Dad was incarcerated for quite some time and was fed herbs that suppressed the lycanthropy 3. Not a cure this did, however, keep him calm enough that he did not harm himself or the other inmates, whilst turning him into another non-daddy, this time the catatonic absent-daddy.
Mum divorced my father as soon as she could and, in the meantime, took out a legal paper to keep him away from us all. I was even more terrified of our father than I had been before this awful event. During this time and once the paper expired, my brother spent a lot of time with our father, helping him to reintegrate into society, once he was released. I cannot imagine how he managed to do that, given what had happened. He was stronger then, at 14, than I was at 18 4.
I did not see dad again voluntarily, even after he was released, until his father's funeral ten years later -- during which I realised that I would be destroyed if my father died without my having a chance to put the ghost of these experiences to rest. Now on a maintenance of the herbs, our father had now become the calm, shadow of his former self, remorseful but unable to forgive himself. He would also become obsessive about the one and only important but same old subject of how he had ruined our lives, as he saw it.
1 He is manic depressive (bipolar) paranoid schizophrenic.
2 The police and eventually the mental health services.
4 23 years ago.