My dad was an abusive man — abusive as a husband and as a father. He is too old now to do too much damage. But by golly, he was something else in his heydays.

One of my earliest memories of his abuse was when I was maybe five or six years old. As was usual, he was screaming at my mom and beating her up. One line stood out to me then, and has remained ingrained in my memory since: “You are not what I wanted”…